Any of the 5,757 varieties of socialists ranging from Bernie Sanders to the Spartacists
will tell you that they alone are the true socialists and that all the others are frauds.
As the army by this time had disintegrated, the SDP relied upon right-wing paramilitary groups, the Freikops, to defeat the Spartacists
We may be worried by street crime and terrorism, but before the 'security' imposed by the Nazis my parents had dodged bullets on their way to work while the Spartacists
and the Freikorps exchanged shots.
After the First World War, the Spartacists
and their followers had tried to convince the soldiers to form soviets, or soldiers' committees, and to join the revolution, by talking directly to them or by distributing leaflets.
At this moment, the group still flew the pennant of the Spartacists
' failed Socialist uprising of 1920, an all but forgotten event that, in being incorporated into the Mulheimer Freiheit mythos, reinforced a rebellious cachet.
The seven substantive chapters therefore focus on key political documents by region, starting with the mutiny of sailors in October 1918 in Wilhelmshaven and Kiel that is seen as the spark of the Revolution, before shifting to Berlin where the actions of Revolutionary Stewards and Spartacists
were especially important.
Conscripted into the German Navy, de Graaf joined a revolutionary committee plotting mutiny; he later joined the Spartacists
and worked with the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) to overthrow the Weimar Republic.
At the meeting of the Vancouver Trades and Labor Council held on 20 March 1919, at which the resolution on the dictatorship of the proletariat was presented as part of the report on the two recent conventions, a protest was made against sending greetings to the Bolsheviks and Spartacists
of Germany, but there was no objection to adopting the principle of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The press regularly published frightening reports that "the Spartacists
have taken steps to implement their criminal plan by freeing and arming the Russians." The public was encouraged to "keep eyes and ears open." (87) Unsurprisingly, the military authorities received in return a stream of demands from ordinary citizens to be relieved of the dangerous presence of the Russian Bolshevik hordes that were inside the country and under the influence of local Communists.
(6) Similar satirical escapades can be observed in the rendering of the 'Eichhorn affair' (III, 262-67), where a play on people's names occasions fantasies of metamorphosis, or in a mockery of the Spartacists
, who are turned into insects: 'Sie hatten ihre Kiefern [sic] zu Sicheln und ihre Vorderbeine zu Hammern umgewandelt, um ihre Anhanglichkeit zur Sowjetunion zu bezeugen' (III, 268).
They return in the slave revolt of the French Revolution, in the 'black Spartacus' who is Toussaint-Louverture; they return in Karl Leibnecht and Rosa Luxemburg, the Spartacists
; they return in Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus, where all declaim 'I am Spartacus'; they also return, though Badiou doesn't mention it, in Monty Python's Life of Brian ('I am Brian, and so is my wife').
For socialists, the readiness of the original Spartacists
to die for their leader must have been the ultimate example of the class-conscious sacrifice of individual interest for the sake of the collective, something a disillusioned George Orwell writing 1984 on Jura was to refer to as 'the obliteration of the self' or 'death worship'.