"What is your take on violence?" On a crucial question of the international Left in its historical-political contex


International Conference at IHSF Vienna, International Rosa Luxemburg Society, Nord University (20–22 June 2024)

"What is your take on violence?" On a crucial question of the international Left in its historical-political context

In the years leading up to the First World War, the international labor movement made considerable efforts to counteract an escalation in international politics. In fact, however, in the respective historical-political context of their time, numerous influential left-wing theorists, who, for example, strictly opposed an armed conflict of the European powers, had to take the position that violence was “[the] means of the offensive [...] where the legal terrain of the class struggle has yet to be conquered.” (Rosa Luxemburg, 1902). Against the background of this apparent contradiction, the conference in Vienna will examine left-wing positions on violence in the 19th and 20th centuries.


Thursday, 20 June 2024

Check-in / Welcoming remarks

Keynote & Discussion
Mark Jones (Berlin/Dublin): Making the atrocities go away: reflections on violence in the German Revolution of 1918-19.

Friday, 21 June 2024

Panel 1: Linke Intellektuelle und die Gewaltfrage/ Left lntellectuals and the Question of Violence

David Bernardini (Milan): "All the Violence Necessary to Win; but Nothing More": Errico Malatesta and the matter of violence

Ari Ofengenden (New Orleans): Kautsky and Trotsky on Terrorism and Communism

Ben Lewis (Leeds): Dictatorship, Terror and Sacrifice in Rosa Luxemburg's Thought

Panel 2: Linke Gewaltpraxen / Violent Practices of the Left

Christina Diac (Bucharest): Far-Left Terrorism? The Bomb Attack at the Romanian Senate in December 1920

André Pina (Porto): The Red Legion: radical-left terrorism in the Portuguese 1st Republic (1919-1925)

Monica Quirico (Stockholm/Turin): Between Strategy of Tension and Second-Wave Feminism: Lotta Continua and the lssue of Violence (1969-1976)

Panel 3: Zur linken Organisation von Gewalt/ On Left Organization of Violence

Paul Dvorak (Wien): Vom Bellizismus zum Pazifismus? Die französische Linke, der Krieg und die Armee im langen 19. Jahrhundert

Chris Ealham (Madrid): "All power to the unions": The genealogy of Spanish "Anarcho-Bolshevism" and the Anarcho-Syndicalist Revolutionary Armed Struggle (1917-36)

Sebastian Engelmann (Karlsruhe): Wie lernt die Klasse kämpfen? Gewalt in der proletarischen Pädagogik zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts

Panel 4: Gewaltrezeptionen / Perceptions of Violence

Ottavia Dal Maso (Genova): Women leading Turinese Bread Riots: Between Violence and Spontaneity, August 1917

Kostas Paloukis (Thessaloniki): The Views of the lnterwar Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on Revolutionary and Labour Violence

Judith Tauber (lthaka, New York): The Cause of the People: Gauche proletarienne on Violence and Consensus

Saturday, 22 June 2024

Panel 5: Zwischen Gewalterfahrung und Gewaltwahrnehmung/ Between Experience and Reception of Violence

Mari-Leen Tammela (Tallinn): Use(fulness) of violence in political struggle: views on the use of violence in Estonian left-wing newspapers' editorial offices from 1906 to 1914

Vojtěch Šimák (Prag): From Militant Vanguard to Neutral Observer: The lntellectual Evolution of the lrish Citizen Army from Militancy to Neutrality

David Mayer (Wien): Fokus und Ambivalenz: Die Guerilladebatten in den langen 1960er Jahren in Südamerika und ihre differenzierte Anverwandlung der Maximen des bewaffneten Kampfes

Panel 6: Erinnerungen an Gewalt/ Memories of Violence

Kyra Schmied (Wien): Auseinandersetzung mit der Erinnerung an Gewalt im Rahmen bzw. im Anschluss an die Pariser Commune (1871)

Linh Vu (Tempe, Arizona): Laboring and Sacrificing Life: Narratives of Brutality in Worker Movements in Early Twentieth Century China

Kumru Toktamis (Brooklyn, New York): Lessons from Historical Praxis of Violently Defeated Left Movements in Chile and Turkey

Nicholas Bujalski (Oberlin, Ohio): 'Knight of the Proletariat': Feliks Dzierżyński and the Antinomies of Russian Revolutionary Violence

Panel 7: Strategische und taktische Beurteilungen von Gewalt/ Strategie and Tactical Assessments of Violence

Daniel Egon (Lowell, Massachusetts): ls There a Socialist Mode of Warfare?

Mario Kikaš (Bodø): Cultural Front on the Semi-Periphery: lntellectuals and the International Labor Movement in the 1930s

Sean Scalmer (Melbourne): Sabotage and Violence: Historical Transformations

Antonio J. Pinto (Malaga): Postcolonialism in Africa and ... in Europe? The Algerian Experience and lts lnfluence on Eta (Spain) and IRA (Ulster) in the 1960s


Florian Wenninger/Charlotte Rönchen, IHSF Vienna: office@ihsf.at
Frank Jacob, Nord Universitet, Bodø, Norway: frank.jacob@nord.no