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Summer 2020 readings: Kautsky's Marxism

"How well Kautsky wrote [when he was still a Marxist]!"
— Lenin, "Left-Wing" Communism — An Infantile Disorder (1920)

required / + recommended readings

Recommended background reading:
+ Vernon Lidtke, The Outlawed Party: SPD 1878–1890 (1966)
+ Lidtke, The Alternative Culture: Socialist Labor in Imperial Germany (1985)
+ Carl Schorske, The SPD 1905-17: The Development of the Great Schism (1955)
+ James Joll, The Second International 1889–1914 (1966)

Preliminary readings:

• Monty Johnstone, “Marx and Engels and the concept of the party” (1967)
• J. P. Nettl, “The German Social Democratic Party 1890–1914 as a Political Model” (1965)
Spartacist League, "Kautskyism and the origins of Russian Social Democracy," Ch. 1, Lenin and the Vanguard Party (1978)


Week 1 | June 6

+ Karl Korsch, "The Marxism of the First International" (1924)
• Karl Marx, Inaugural address to the First International (1864)
• Ferdinand Lassalle, Open letter to the German workers’ movement (1863)


Week 2 | June 13

• Mikhail Bakunin, A Critique of the German Social-Democratic Program (1870)
Bakunin, Marxism, Freedom and the State (1872)
Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme (1875)
Marx, Programme of the Parti Ouvrier (1880)


Week 3 | June 20

• Karl Kautsky, The Class Struggle (1892)
+ Eugene Debs, "How I became a socialist" (1902)
+ Debs, "Competition versus Cooperation" (1900)


Week 4 | June 27

Kautsky, The Social Revolution (1902)


Week 5 | July 11

Kautsky, The Road to Power (1909)


Week 6 | July 18

• Vladimir Lenin, The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky (1918)
+ Debs, “The Day of the People” (1919)


Week 7 | July 25

Manifesto of the Communist International to the Workers of the World
The Organisational Structure of the Communist Parties, the Methods and Content of Their Work: Theses
The 21 Conditions of Admission into the Communist International [HTML]

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