The collapse of Second International and the founding of the Communist International did not guarantee instant success for the young forces of communism.
The newly-formed Communist Parties were made up of new, inexperienced, and untested layers. They made a number of mistakes which risked cutting the communists off from the masses.
For example, in Britain, the communists initially rejected the idea of affiliating to the Labour Party, on the grounds that it was reformist. And in Germany, the communists rejected working within bourgeois parliaments.
Lenin characterised these mistakes as “ultra-left” and strove to correct this “infantile disorder” through patient political explanation.
In this podcast, Thomas Soud discusses Lenin’s struggle against ultra-leftism and draws out the lessons for communists today.
Purchase a copy of The Classics of Marxism vol. 2 which contains Lenin’s classic text Left-wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder.
Listen to the other episodes in our series The Lessons of the Communist International.