“Kautsky as Marxist” Data Base
(Lars T. Lih, February 2008, updated February 2011)
The Kautsky-as-Marxist database is a collection that I have compiled of all comments by Lenin in his final decade, 1914-1924, that bear on the issue on his attitude during those years toward Kautsky’s prewar writings—or rather, his writings up to and including 1909. The original aim of the database was to provide empirical material on a dispute about Lenin’s attitude toward Kautsky after 1914. Both sides acknowledge that Lenin admired Kautsky strongly before
1914 and that he reacted in strongly negative terms to everything that Kautsky wrote starting in 1914. The question is: did Lenin’s post-1914 negative attitude spill over into a reevaluation of writings by Kautsky earlier endorsed by Lenin? According to one side of the dispute, Lenin regarded Kautsky as a renegade who failed to live up to his earlier, still valid, positions. According to the other side, the scale fell from Lenin’s eyes about Kautsky in general, leading to
a root-and-branch reevaluation not only of Kautsky but of “Second International Marxism” in general. The two sides of the debate are set forth in the Symposium on Lenin Rediscovered in Historical Materialism, 18:3 (2010), pp. 25-174.
The aim of the database is to collect and arrange all evidence in Lenin’s collected works relevant to deciding this dispute.