Karl Kautsky

Kautsky, Karl Johann

Karl Johann Kautsky (kärl yō´hän kout´skē), 1854–1938, German-Austrian socialist, b. Prague. A leading figure in the effort to spread Marxist doctrine in Germany, he was the principal deviser of the Erfurt Program, which set the German Social Democratic party on an orthodox Marxist path and established him as a dominant figure in the Second International. He was a consistent opponent of Eduard Bernstein and other socialists who advocated revision of Marxist doctrines. After initial hesitation he opposed the Social Democratic party's support of the German effort in World War I and helped form, with Hugo Haase, the Independent Social Democratic party. Soon after the Bolshevik Revolution (1917) in Russia, he condemned it as undemocratic and non-Marxist. Kautsky wrote a great amount of socialist and other literature and edited the German documents on the origin of World War I (4 vol., 1919). Among his translated works are The Economic Doctrines of Karl Marx (tr. 1925), Ethics and the Materialist Conception of History (tr. 1907), and Bolshevism at a Deadlock (tr. 1931).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Defence of Terrorism (Terrorism and Communism): A Reply to Karl Kautsky
L. Trotsky.
The Labour Publishing Company, 1921
FREE! The Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Karl Kautsky; H. J. Stenning.
The National Labour Press, Ltd., 1919
Thomas More and His Utopia
Karl Kautsky.
Russell & Russell, 1959
Communism in Central Europe in the Time of the Reformation
Karl Kautsky.
Russell & Russell, 1959
Social Democracy Versus Communism
Karl Kautsky; David Shub; Joseph Shaplen.
The Rand School Press, 1946
Socialism Unbound
Stephen Eric Bronner.
Westview Press, 2001 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Karl Kautsky: The Rise and Fall of Orthodox Marxism"
Marx and the Marxists: The Ambiguous Legacy
Sidney Hook; Louis L. Snyder.
Van Nostrand, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Orthodox Marxism: Kautsky, Plekhanov, de Leon"
Marxism and the Leap to the Kingdom of Freedom: The Rise and Fall of the Communist Utopia
Andrzej Walicki.
Stanford University Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Karl Kautsky: From the 'Historical Necessity' of Communism to the 'Historical Necessity' of Democracy" begins on p. 208
The Pattern of Imperialism: A Study in the Theories of Power
E. M. Winslow.
Columbia University Press, 1948
Librarian’s tip: "Karl Kautsky and the Fight against Imperialism" begins on p. 151
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