March 13, 1904
Stolp, Pomerania, Imperial Germany
February 7, 1981
|Occupation||Council communist theoretician and social revolutionary|
Paul Mattick, Sr. (March 13, 1904 – February 7, 1981) was a Marxist political writer and social revolutionary, whose thought can be placed within the council communist and left communist traditions.
Throughout his life he continually criticised
- The Masses and the Vanguard
- Council Communism
- Anti-Bolshevik CommunismIntro to
- Marx and Keynes: The Limits of the Mixed Economy, Boston: Porter Sargent, 1969
- Anti-Bolshevist Communism in Germany, New York: Telos Press, 26, Winter 1975-76 Telos
- Anti-Bolshevik Communism, Wales: The Merlin Press, 1978 (reprinted 2007) ISBN 978-0-85036-223-7
- Economic Crisis and Crisis Theory, London: Merlin Press, 1981 (transl. Paul Mattick Jr.)
- Paul Mattick archive at libcom.org
- Kurasje - The Council Communist Archive - The original source of this text
- Paul Mattick Internet Archive
- The Paul Mattick Homepage
- German Paul Mattick Archive in MIA
- International Council Correspondence, contents 1934-43
- Mattick, Paul (2007) . Anti-Bolshevik Communism. Wales: The Merlin Press. pp. Introduction, XI.
- Aronowitz, Stanley (2001). The Last Good Job in America: Work and Education in the New Global Technoculture. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield. p. 258.
- The above text is from the Paul Mattick Biography at the Libertarian Communist library
Paul Mattick died in February 1981 leaving an almost finished manuscript for another book, which was later edited and published by his son, Paul Mattick, Jr., as Marxism - Last Refuge of the Bourgeoisie?.
In his last years, Paul Mattick thus succeeded in getting a small audience within the new generations for his views. In 1978, a major collection of articles from over forty years appeared as Anti-Bolshevik Communism.
Up through the seventies, many old and new articles by Mattick were published in different languages for various publications. In the academic year 1974-75, Mattick was engaged as visiting professor at the "Red" University-Center of Roskilde in Denmark. Here, he held lectures on Marx’ critique of political economy, on the history of the workers movement and served as critical co-referent at seminars with other guests such as Maximilien Rubel, Ernest Mandel, Joan Robinson and others. In 1977, he completed his last important lecture tour of the University of Mexico City. He spoke in West Germany only twice: in 1971 at Berlin and in 1975 at Hanover.
With the general changes of the political scene and the re-emergence of more radical thoughts in the sixties, Paul Mattick made some more elaborated and important political contributions. One main work was Marx and Keynes: The Limits of Mixed Economy from 1969, which was translated into several languages and had quite an influence in the post-1968 student movement. Another important work was Critique of Herbert Marcuse: The one-dimensional man in class society, in which Mattick forcefully rejected Marcuse's thesis that the proletariat, as Marx understood it, had become a mythological concept in advanced capitalist society. Although he agreed with Marcuse's critical analysis of the ruling ideology, Mattick demonstrated that the theory of one dimensionality itself existed only as ideology. Marcuse subsequently affirmed that Mattick's was the best critique to which his book was subjected.
After the United States' entry into World War II and the post-war Mccarthyism, the left in America experienced repression. Mattick retired at the beginning of the 1950s to the countryside, where he managed to survive through occasional jobs and his activity as a writer. In the postwar development Mattick took part in only small and occasional political activities, writing small articles for various periodicals from time to time. From the forties and up through the fifties, Mattick went through a study of John Maynard Keynes and compiled a series of critical notes and articles against Keynesian theory and practice. In this work, he developed Marx’s and Grossman's theory of capitalist development further to meet the new phenomena and appearances of the modern capitalism critically.
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World War II and after
Like Karl Korsch and Henryk Grossman, Mattick had some contact with Max Horkheimer's Institut fur Sozialforschung (the later Frankfurt School). In 1936, Mattick wrote a major sociological study on the American unemployed movement for the Institute, although it remained in the Institute's files, to be published only in 1969 by the SDS publishing house Neue Kritik.
As European Council Communism went underground and formally "disappeared" in the second half of the thirties, Mattick changed Correspondence's name - from 1938 to Living Marxism, and from 1942 to New Essays.
Apart from his own factory work, Mattick organized not only most of the review's technical work but was also the author of the greater part of the contributions which appeared in it. Among the few willing to offer regular contributions was Karl Korsch, with whom Mattick had come into contact in 1935 and who remained a personal friend for many years from the time of his emigration to the United States at the end of 1936.
Towards the end of the 1920s, Mattick had moved to United Workers Party, later to be renamed Group of Council Communists. The group kept close contacts with the remaining small groups of the German/Dutch Left communism in Europe and published the journal International Council Correspondence, which through the 1930s became an Anglo-American parallel to the Rätekorrespondenz of the Dutch GIC(H). Articles and debates from Europe were translated along with economic analysis and critical political comments of current issues in the US and elsewhere in the world.
To Mattick, Marx’s "critique of political economy" became not a purely theoretical matter but rather directly connected to his own revolutionary practice. From this time, Mattick focused on Marx’s theory of capitalist development and its inner logic of contradictions inevitably growing to crisis as the foundation of all political thoughts within the workers’ movement.
In the USA
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the United States
|Parties and organizations|
With the continuing decline of radical mass struggle and revolutionary hopes, especially after 1923, and having been unemployed for a number of years, Mattick emigrated to the United States in 1926, whilst still maintaining contacts with the KAPD and the AAUE in Germany.
In 1921, at the age of 17, Mattick moved to AAUE founded by Otto Rühle.
Implicated in many actions during the revolution, arrested several times and threatened with death, Mattick radicalized along the left and oppositional trend of the German communists. After the "Heidelberg" split of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD; a successor to the Spartacist League) and the formation for the Communist Workers Party of Germany (KAPD) in the spring of 1920, he entered the KAPD and worked in the youth organization Rote Jugend, writing for its journal.
Born in Pomerania in 1904 and raised in Berlin by class-conscious parents, Mattick was already at the age of 14 a member of the Spartacists' Freie Sozialistische Jugend. In 1918, he started to study as a toolmaker at Siemens AG, where he was also elected as the apprentices' delegate on the workers' council of the company during the German Revolution.
- Early life 1
- In the USA 2
- World War II and after 3
- Later life 4
- References 5
- External links 6
- Key works 7
- "...serving as a mere ideology to justify the rise of modified capitalist (state-capitalist) systems, which were ... controlled by way of an authoritarian state."
describing their political legacy as: