Karl Kautsky

Communism and Socialism


This pamphlet by Karl Kautsky presents in clear and succinct form the issue between Communism and Socialism, the two forces struggling for supremacy in the international later movement. No man more competent to discuss the question than Kautsky. Universally recognized as the most important living exponent of Socialist thought, Kautsky has also been a keen student of Russia for more than forty years. His book The Moving Forces of the Russian Revolution, published in 1906, was translated into Russian with a preface by Lenin, in which the father of Bolshevism hailed him as the only man among Western European Socialists who truly understood Russia and her problems. Since the Revolution of 1917, Kautsky has written prolifically on the subject. His books Democracy and Dictatorship, From Democracy to State Slavery, Terrorism and Communism, The Proletarian Revolution and Bolshevism at a Deadlock, as well as innumerable articles, have been translated into many languages. His two recent volumes on The Materialist Interpretation of History have been hailed throughout Europe as the most important contribution to socialist thought since the appearance of the classic works of Karl Marx.

This pamphlet presents in popular form the essence of Kautsky’s writings on Communism and Socialism. Kautsky approaches the issue from the viewpoint of its historical development, fundamental Socialist principle, and the experience of the Russian Revolution and of the international labor movement.

The American League for Democratic Socialism, composed of members of the Socialist Party banded together for educational publication purposes, believes that the publication of this pamphlet, the first of a series on socialist topics, fills a long felt need for an authoritative exposition of the question, which has been sadly confused in this country by uncritical and ill informed writers of all shades.


The American League
for Democratic Socialism


Last updated on 27.1.2004