Knut Wicksell: Selected Essays in Economics - Vol. 2

By Knut Wicksell; Bo Sandelin | Go to book overview

29

FERNANDO LINDERBERG, KARL MARX OG DEN HISTORISKE SOCIALISME {KARL MARX AND HISTORICAL SOCIALISM}

Copenhagen, Lehman & Stage, 1899

The Danish author Fernando Linderberg has taken upon himself the task of propagating among the middle classes of his fatherland an interest in and understanding of the modern socialist labour movement, towards which he himself appears to adopt about the same point of view as that held by the so-called National Social Union in Germany, which is led by Pastor Naumann, i.e. he acknowledges the principal aims of the movement in warm terms and strongly emphasizes the social evils that have given rise to it, while otherwise doing his best to bridge the gap between socialist and traditional perspectives. Naturally, these endeavours are worthy of all respect and have apparently met with a favourable reception in broad circles in the author’s homeland, especially among representatives of the Church and the Folk High School. The book that has been sent to Ekonomisk Tidskrift for review is the first part of a work that is to deal with Karl Marx and Historical Socialism, and itself bears the subtitle ‘Marx’s Position in History’. The book contains a predominantly sympathetic account of Karl Marx’s life and intellectual development, and also of some of his precursors, particularly the German labourer Wilhelm Weitling. It does not bear witness to any very profound penetration into the subject; thus, Marx is described as the successor of Saint-Simon in the area of social politics, just as Auguste Comte was his disciple in philosophy (pp. 33-4). This claim hardly holds good; in fact, the only points of contact between the Saint-Simonists and Marx are those that are shared by all kinds of socialist movements or perhaps even by all radical political systems. Marx’s true precursors are rather Proudhon and Rodbertus; between Rodbertus and Marx in particular, there is virtually no difference at all in theoretical respects, however unalike they were in temperament and style. However, there is not a single mention of Rodbertus in the

Originally published in Ekonomisk Tidskrift, 1899.

-185-

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