By Jukka Gronow
Karl Kautsky used to be, for 3 a long time prior to the 1st international conflict, the most authority at the highbrow history of Marx and Engels, the founding fathers of Marxism. His interpretation of Marx’s Capital and the fundamental legislation and contradictions of capitalism used to be the normal reference aspect for either the foes and allies of Social Democracy. Jukka Gronow’s at the Formation of Marxism analyses Kautsky’s influence at the self-understanding of the ecu labour circulation from his dispute over Revisionism with Eduard Bernstein to his polemics with V.I. Lenin over Imperialism and the Russian Revolution. regardless of many political changes, Gronow indicates that those authors shared a standard realizing of the fundamental nature of capitalism, which in very important respects differed from Marx’s critique of political economy.
Jukka Gronow, Ph.D. (1986) is an emeritus professor of sociology on the collage of Uppsala, Sweden. He has released monographs and articles on social idea, sleek intake and the background of the Soviet Union, together with Caviar with Champagne (Berg 2000).
All attracted to the historical past of Marxism and the eu Social Democratic labour flow.
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Extra info for On the Formation of Marxism: Karl Kautsky’s Theory of Capitalism, the Marxism of the Second International and Karl Marx’s Critique of Political Economy
Scientific socialism was supposed to prove both the necessity and the possibility of the goal of the socialist movement. Even though the overthrow of capitalism can – in the last instance – only 9 Kautsky 1910–11, p. 883. 34 chapter 1 be the outcome of conscious action by the proletariat organised in a socialist party, the dissolution of capitalism is not a problem as such; it is the necessary and law-like result of the historical tendency of the accumulation of capital. chapter 2 The Dispute over Revisionism Some of the main ideas and problems in Kautsky’s theoretical thinking – his concepts of capitalism and of socialist revolution – can best be presented with an analysis of the first dramatic polemic against Kautsky and the Scientific Socialism represented by him, the revisionist controversy of 1899, which was the first polemic to seriously threaten Kautsky’s theoretical authority inside the party.
Bernstein 1909, pp. 105–8. Bernstein 1909, p. 197. 44 chapter 2 Kautsky took Bernstein’s critique very seriously. 24 In his response, Kautsky took up all the central problems and questions posed by Bernstein in his Evolutionary Socialism. Kautsky did not practically accept any of Bernstein’s conclusions. They were all based on either serious misunderstandings or unreliable empirical data. The historical validity of the law of capital accumulation and concentration was discussed in great detail and in a systematic way in the second part of the work, ‘the programme’.
The strategic consequences drawn from this thesis are crucial. Since the exploitation has become quite visible and can be experienced by its objects in a direct way, capitalism – as a fully established mode of production – is politically impossible; its very establishment will inevitably lead to its replacement by a different mode of production, the elements of which have furthermore already been developed within capitalism. In Hilferding’s Finance Capital, this kind of reasoning is explicitly presented.