League of the Just
League of the Just
Bund der Gerechten
|Split from||League of Outlaws|
|Succeeded by||Communist League|
|Headquarters||Paris (before 1839)
London (after 1839)
|Political position||Left-wing to Far-left|
The League of the Just was founded by German émigrés in Paris in 1836. This was initially a utopian socialist and Christian communist group devoted to the ideas of Gracchus Babeuf rather than the teachings of Christ. It became an international organization.
The motto of the League of the Just ("Bund der Gerechten" or "Bund der Gerechtigkeit") was "All Men are Brothers" and its goals were "the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth, based on the ideals of love of one's neighbor, equality and justice". The League of the Just was itself a splinter group from the League of Outlaws (Bund der Geaechteten) created in Paris in 1834 by Theodore Schuster, Wilhelm Weitling and other German emigrants, mostly journeymen. Schuster was inspired by the works of Philippe Buonarroti.
The latter league had a pyramidal structure inspired by the secret society of the Republican Carbonari, and shared ideas with Saint-Simon and Charles Fourier's utopian socialism. Their goal was to establish a "Social Republic" in the German states which would campaign for "freedom", "equality" and "civic virtue".
The League of the Just participated in the Blanquist rebellion of May 1839 in Paris. While Weitling relocated to Switzerland, Bauer and Schapper escaped to London. Thereafter expelled from France, the League of the Just relocated to London where they initiated a front group, the Educational Society for German Working-men, in 1840.
At a congress held in London in June 1847 the League of the Just merged with members of the Communist Corresponding Committee headed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, adopting a new organisational charter and programme and reconstituting itself as the Communist League.
- Joachim Höppner/Waltraud Seidel-Höppner: Der Bund der Geächteten und der Bund der Gerechtigkeit, in: Jahrbuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung, No. III/2002.
- While in most literature the group is referred to as "Bund der Gerechten" (League of the Just), the German historian Waltraud Seidel-Höppner has, based on new archival sources, argued that the group itself used the name "Bund der Gerechtigkeit" (League of Justice) - see Joachim Höppner/Waltraud Seidel-Höppner: Der Bund der Geächteten und der Bund der Gerechtigkeit, in: Jahrbuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung, No. III/2002.
- G.N. Volkov et al., The Basics of Marxist-Leninist Theory. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1979.
- Bernard Moss, "Marx and the Permanent Revolution in France: Background to the Communist Manifesto," in The Communist Manifesto Today: The Socialist Register, 1998. New York: Monthly Review Press; pg.10.