Karl Kautsky, Wardour Street Economics, Justice, 27th February 1904, p.4 (letter).
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
DEAR COMRADE QUELCH,
You ask me what I have to say to the article in the Labour Leader of January 30 on Mr. Massingham’s inquiries, where it is stated that in declining the Marxian theory, in acknowledging the great injury done to British Socialism by the “Marxian dogmas,” and in declaring that Darwin has done more for British Socialism than Marx, the Labour Leader knows it “has the heartiest support of the leading German Social-Democrats themselves.”
Unhappily the editor does not tell us the names of those “leading German Social-Democrats” who will support him. In Germany they are not known The programme of our party is a strict Marxian one; the best known of our comrades, as for example, Bebel and Singer, are Marxian. Those who are not strictly Marxians are a very small set without influence, as the Congress of Dresden has shown, and even those would not dare to subscribe to the statements of the Labour Leader; for example, to that queer sentence that Darwin has done more for British Socialism than Marx. The great mass of German Socialists, and their leaders too, think that it was not the insistence upon the “Marxian dogmas,” but the bad understanding of the Marxian dogmas that has greatly injured British Socialism.
The whole International Socialist movement is today organised on Marxian lines, in America as well as in Russia, in Holland as in Spain, in Switzerland as in Bulgaria, in Belgium as in Austria, in Denmark as in Italy. In France the one section of the Socialist movement that is repudiating Marxism is in decomposition.
In England, it is true, Marxism is weak, but unfortunately so is the whole Socialist movement there too. Where Marxism is strong, Socialism is strong; where the first is weak we may say the same of the second.
That is not my private opinion, that is the opinion of the “leading German Social-Democrats themselves.” if the editor of the Labour Leader affirms the contrary he is bound to tell us the names of the “leading German Social-Democrats” he refers to.
My friend Singer, of whom you have asked the same question, is very busy now with Parliamentary, work, so he cannot write to you himself. He has charged me to tell you that he agrees with my letter. – I am, dear comrade Quelch, yours truly,
Last updated on 16.6.2004