Rosa luxemburg

Why did the Weimar Republic descend so rapidly into chaos?

‘Thirteen wasted years’ bellowed Adolf Hitler at receptive audiences in the spring of 1932. He was talking about the first full German democracy, the Weimar Republic. Proclaimed in November 1918, it was born out of a desire to do things better after the horrors of the first world war and was an ambitious attempt to establish one of the most progressive states in history. ‘Democratic chaos,’ sneered Hitler, ‘unmitigated political and economic chaos.’ Much of the electorate agreed. Less than a year later, Hitler became chancellor and immediately set about fulfilling his electoral promise to destroy democracy. The short and tumultuous story of the Weimar Republic continues to fascinate. The

The end of capitalism has been just around the corner for centuries

These days the world seems to end with staggering regularity. From the financial crisis to Brexit to Trump to a climate apocalypse to coronavirus: new eras are born faster than old ones can die. And yet, despite it all, the proletariat still haven’t bothered to rise up and overthrow capitalism. Worse still, many of them voted for an old Etonian with the middle name ‘de Pfeffel’. When will the oppressed masses learn? Perhaps, just perhaps, such questions aren’t helpful. For the left-wing political scientist Francesco Boldizzoni, rather than banging on about class consciousness, it’s time that a new consciousness dawned on a class of intellectuals who have confidently predicted capitalism’s