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Period of Transition

Titlepage of the first German edition of 1930


Period of Transition

Quelle: Kommunistischer Arbeiter : Organ der Kommunistischen Arbeiter-Union, Wirtschaftbezirk Ostsachsen (Revolutionäre Betriebsorganisationen). – Jg. 1 (1932), Nr. 8 (Dezember)


de | Thema: Die ökonomische Lösung für die Übergangsperiode vom Kapitalismus zum Kommunismus
en | Theme: The Economic Solution for the Period of Transition from Capitalism to Communism
fr | Thème : La solution économique pour la période de transition du capitalisme vers le communisme
nl | Thema: De economische oplossing voor de overgangsperiode van kapitalisme naar communisme


An editorial introduction

The book by Jan Appel, in the 1935 Dutch second edition, might be edited in other languages. In Dutch, it was republished in 1950 and in 1972, but without efforts to make it available in other languages, and there were little means neither. This edition integrated four texts (leaving out large parts, here to be found in full), all written by Jan Appel himself in German, and partially translated:

  1. Grundprinzipien kommunistischer Produktion und Verteilung (1930, also in en, fr, it, es and nl)
  2. Die Ausgangspunkte der Grundprinzipien kommunistischer Produktion und Verteilung (1931, also in en, fr, it and es and nl)
  3. Marx-Engels und Lenin : Über die Rolle des Staates in der proletarischen Revolution / Max Hempel [=Jan Appel] (1927, also in en, fr and nl)
  4. Die gesellschaftlich-durchschnittliche Arbeitszeit als Grundlage der kommunistischen Produktion und Verteilung (1935, also in fr)

If you want to participate in making a new edition, first in German (there is a lot of comparing and editing to do, but very little to translate), then in English, and then in as many languages as possible, please contact us. The fourth text in German has also been transcribed in March 2020, thus the four texts might now be integrated into a new German edition in the wordings of Jan Appel himself, which, in turn, might serve for further translation, also based on partial already existing translations into English, Spanish, French and Italian (notably the first two items; and it seems a good idea to respect the work already done). The English translator also made interesting changes in the text, which could be marked in notes (in all languages); furthermore his no less than 90 pages of annotations have not yet been taken into account.

Here, quality is more important than speed. And some knowledge about the history of the text is desirable to approach some more “definite” edition.

A very first version was published in Dutch in 1928 (discovered in 2017); a German original, which might have existed, has not yet been found. In 1930 a second German edition was published (known as the first edition), with a complement in 1931. These two were integrated into a new Dutch edition published in 1931. In 1935, two further contributions were integrated into a new Dutch edition; the first published in German in 1927 (Dutch in 1932), the second in 1935 (exclusively in German, no Dutch version is known, yet it was seperately translated towards French).

In 1970, a German reprint was made – including the 1930 edition, and the 1931 complement; seperately, not integrated  – and without the other two contributions, and without refering to the extended 1935 edition; and this 1970 German reprint served for translations into English, French, Italian and Spanish; it also included an introduction by Paul Mattick, which can hardly be ignored (and which is already available in de, en, es, fr,  it, and nl).

Finally, the pamphlet by Henk Canne Meijer, written in 1938, and rewritten in 1948, republished in 1972 (a close comparison between these versions remains to be made), the last version is already available in de, en, fr, and nl), should be considered to be an integral part of the work.

As many as possible original materials can be found here for further editing, and the research goes on; no © is claimed, some honesty is appreciated.

 Furthermore, for a new paper-edition (with an inevitably very limited circulation), it seems desirable to give some credit to the persons who have contributed, like Jan Appel himself, to Henk Canne Meijer (and Herman de Beer, someone completely forgotten), and to previous translators and editors. It might also be fairly annotated. And it can hardly be seen as a shame to refer to this page neither.

The already available materials (in five languages; Spanish is to follow) permit a very serious discussion; and they might be studied within the context of so many other contributions already available.


de | Übersicht

Grundprinzipien kommunistischer Produktion und Verteilung : Kollektivarbeit der Gruppe Internationaler Kommunisten (Holland), 1930. Einleitung von Paul Mattick. – Berlin-Wilmersdorf : Rüdiger Blankertz Verlag (Institut für Praxis und Theorie des Rätekommunismus), 1970. – 176 S. – S. 4-144.

Quelle: Kollektion a.a.a.p.

 Umschl., Einl., S. i-xvii, 1-3  Kap. II-III, S. 26-43  Kap. VI-VIII, S. 62-91  Kap. XV-XIX, S. 120-149
 Vorw., Inhalt, Kap. I, S. 4-25  Kap. IV-V, S. 44-61  Kap. IX-XIV, S. 92-119  Ausgangsp., p. 150-176



en | Overview

Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution / Collective Work of the Group of International Communists of Holland (g.i.c.) : [On the cover: by Jan Appel]. – London : Movement for Worker’s Councils, 1990. – xii, 589 p.

 Cover, Pref., Ch. I, p. 1-33  Ch. X-XIX, p. 141-212  Appendix I-III, p. 339-399  Notes (3), p. 535-589
 Ch. II-V, p. 34-86  Postscript (1), p. 213-273  Notes (1), p. 400-466  
 Ch. VI-IX, p. 87-140  Postscript (2), p. 274-338  Notes (2), p. 467-534  

Source pdf’s: Collection a.a.a.p.; an earlier partial English web-version html from the same source appeared on Kurasje, then disappeared, and reappeared at marxist.org , html markup by Jonas Holmgren, further edited here.




es | Visión de conjuncto

  • es | Principios fundamentales de una producción y distribución comunista (1976)
  • es | Introducción (Paul Mattick, 1970)


fr | Aperçu

 Fondements de l’économie communiste. – Paris : Informations Correspondance Ouvrières (i.c.o.), 1971. – 48 p.


L’i.c.o. annonce en 1971 la publication d’une traduction à partir de l’allemand du livre du 1930 avec le complément de 1931, mais qui, à notre connaissance, n’a jamais été publié. Un manuscrit qui circulait à Paris à été conservé sous forme de photocopie à Bruxelles. Apparement ignorant l’existence de cette traduction à partir de l’allemand, (Dis)continuïté a publié en 2011 une nouvelle traduction vers le français à partir de la traduction anglaise “amélioré” de 1990.

Fondements de la production et de la distribution communistes (1930)  Points de départ des principes fondamentaux de la production et de la distribution communistes (1931). – [Manuscrit dactylographié, i.c.o., 1971].

 Ch. I (16 p.)  Ch. IV-V (17 p.)  Ch. IX-XII (28 p.)  Points de départ (26 p.)
 Ch. II-III (16 p.)  Ch. VI-VIII (28 p.)  Ch. XIII-XIX (28 p.)  

 Fondements de la production et de la distribution communiste. Groupe de Communistes Internationaux (g.i.c. 1930) ; Préface de Paul Mattick. – Brochure pdf mise en ligne par La Bataille socialiste  en 2014. – 134 p.; édition d’après i.c.o., 1971, voir plus haut, avec des annexes.
Contient :




it | Sondaggio

Principi fondamentali di produzione e di distribuzione comunista / Gruppo comunisti internazionali olandesi (g.i.c.h.), Introduzione di Paul Mattick. – Milano : Coop. Edizione Jaca Book, 1974. – 234 p.

 Introduzione; p. 1-31  Ch. II.-IV., p. 65-104  Ch. VII. X., p. 134-178  Ch. XVI.-XIX., p. 202-234
 Intro, Ch. I, p. 32-64  Ch. V.-VI., p. 105-133  Ch. XI.-XV., p. 179-201  

  • it |  Introduzione (Paul Mattick, 1970)


nl | Overzicht



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Compiled by Vico, 6 January 2016, latest additions 21 August 2020