Karl Marx 1875

Critique of the Gotha Programme

Written: April or early May, 1875;
Source: Marx/Engels Selected Works, Volume Three, p. 13-30;
Publisher: Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1970;
First Published: Abridged in the journal Die Neue Zeit, Bd. 1, No. 18, 1890-91;
Online Version: mea; marxists.org 1999;
Transcribed: Zodiac and Brian Baggins;
HTML Markup: Brian Baggins.

Table of Contents:

Marx to Bracke
Engels to Bebel
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV


Critique of the Gotha Programme is a critique of the draft programme of the United Workers' Party of Germany. In this document Marx address the dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition from capitalism to communism, the two phases of communist society, the production and distribution of the social goods, proletarian internationalism, and the party of the working class.

Lenin later wrote:

The great significance of Marx's explanation is, that here too, he consistently applies materialist dialectics, the theory of development, and regards communism as something which develops out of capitalism. Instead of scholastically invented, 'concocted' definitions and fruitless disputes over words (What is socialism? What is communism?), Marx gives analysis of what might be called the stages of the economic maturity of communism.

(Lenin Collected Works, Volume 25, p. 471)

Engels wrote a foreword when the document was first published in 1891. Together with the Critique of the Gotha Programme Engels published Marx's letter to Bracke, directly bound up with the work.