The “Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution” emerged as a reaction to the negative development of the Russian Revolution. With this writing, the authors, for the first time, put up for debate the economic foundations for the construction and organization of a society in the sense of the “association of free and equal people”. At the same time, they took into account all the experience gained from the previous attempts of the labor movement, and by criticizing it were able to point out necessary new paths. A critique that has lost nothing of its original topicality to this day.

The first edition of the Fundamental Principles, published in German in 1930, was confiscated and largely destroyed. A completely revised and improved edition in Dutch was first published in excerpts in 1931 and 1935 in book form in a second edition. The text of the German first edition was reprinted in 1970 and also translated into English and French. The completely revised and improved 2nd edition, on the other hand, remained largely unnoticed in Dutch for the following 85 years. With this translation of the 2nd edition into English, the Sleeping Beauty has awakened.

This book is a tribute to the collective work of the Group of International Communists of Holland. Given the experiences with state communism in Russia, their “Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution,” published in 1930, was an attempt to elaborate the economic basis of a communist society as outlined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Although their explanations have lost none of their original topicality, their text has remained a product of its time in the way they address the literature of that period. This paper, therefore, attempts to reintroduce the core statements of the “Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution” into the current debate on the alternative to capitalism.