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© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Karl Kautsky: Selected full-text books and articles

FREE! The Dictatorship of the Proletariat By Karl Kautsky; H. J. Stenning The National Labour Press, Ltd., 1919
Thomas More and His Utopia By Karl Kautsky Russell & Russell, 1959
Social Democracy Versus Communism By Karl Kautsky; David Shub; Joseph Shaplen The Rand School Press, 1946
Socialism Unbound By 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 By 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 By 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 By E. M. Winslow Columbia University Press, 1948
Librarian's tip: "Karl Kautsky and the Fight against Imperialism" begins on p. 151
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.