Beyer, Wolfram

Beyer, Wolfram

Wolfram Beyer

1 June 2002Feature

In this article looking at calls for conscientious objection and against war made more than 100 years ago, Wolfram Beyer highlights an ongoing tension between the traditional leftist position on war and violence and that of libertarian anti-militarists.

About a hundred years ago there was a significant debate in the international workers movement that continues to be relevant today. The discussion involved the connection between capitalism and militarism, the responsibility of the individual, conscientious objection, and striking against war.

It was a controversy between the German social-democrat Karl Liebknecht (1871-1919), a well-known personality in the international social-democratic movement, and the Dutch libertarian…