The 'new era of war and revolution'

Did the outbreak of World War I cause Lenin to break with the ‘Marxism of the Second International’? In this extract from his contribution to a book to be published later this year, Lars T Lih argues that the opposite was the case

In October 1914, shortly after the outbreak of World War I, Lenin wrote to his associate, Aleksandr Shliapnikov: “I hate and despise Kautsky now more than anyone, with his vile, dirty, self-satisfied hypocrisy.” This pungent summation of Lenin’s attitude toward Kautsky - an attitude that remained unchanged for the rest of Lenin’s life - is often cited.

Ultimately more useful in understanding Lenin’s outlook, however, is another comment, made four days later to the same correspondent: “Obtain without fail and reread (or ask to have it translated for you) Road to power by Kautsky [and see] what he writes there about the revolution of our time! And now, how he acts the toady and disavows all that!”1

Lenin took his own advice. He sat down in December, flipped through the pages of Kautsky’s Road to power, and came up with a page-and-a-half list of quotations that he inserted into an article entitled ‘Dead chauvinism and living socialism’. He then commented: “This is how Kautsky wrote in times long, long past - fully five years ago. This is what German social democracy was, or, more correctly, what it promised to be. This was the kind of social democracy that could and had to be respected.”2

Three crucial implications about the impact of World War I on Lenin can be drawn from these comments. First, Lenin passionately reaffirmed the outlook of the wing of the Second International that he and others called “revolutionary social democracy”. He did not reject it, he did not rethink it. Second, despite Lenin’s fury at Kautsky’s actions after the outbreak of war, he still considered the pre-war Kautsky the most insightful spokesman of revolutionary social democracy. Third, what was most important to Lenin at this crucial juncture was Kautsky’s analysis of “the revolution of our time” - or, in the more expressive formula also taken from Kautsky, “the new era of war and revolution”.

According to the standard story, the sense of betrayal caused by the socialist parties’ support for the war shocked Lenin to such an extent that he embarked on a radical rethinking that led him to reject the ‘Marxism of the Second International’, to renounce his earlier admiration for Kautsky and to return to the original sources of the Marxist outlook. Lenin’s rethinking is often tied to his intense study of Hegel’s Science of logic in autumn 1914. A series of innovative new positions found in Lenin’s wartime writings is said to reveal the impact of Lenin’s new understanding of Marxism.3

Alternative account

The standard account we have just outlined gains its plausibility by overlooking two crucial things. First is Lenin’s own rhetoric of aggressive unoriginality in the years 1914-16. Lenin insisted again and again with particular vehemence that he was merely repeating the pre-war consensus of revolutionary social democracy. Also overlooked is the actual content of the pre-war Marxist consensus, especially the part most crucial to Lenin: namely, Kautsky’s analysis of “the revolution of our time”. Recent scholarship has made it harder to ignore these issues.4 The aim of this essay is to provide an alternative account that does not overlook the basic facts. My interpretation of events can be summarised as follows.

During the years from 1902 to 1909, Karl Kautsky put forth a scenario of the current state of the world that later had great influence on Lenin. The central theme of this scenario is that the world is entering a “new era of war and revolution” that is characterised first and foremost by a global system of revolutionary interaction. In Lenin’s view, this vision found practical expression in the Basel Manifesto of 1912, which he saw as a summary of the message of revolutionary social democracy. Kautsky’s scenario and the mandates of the Basel Manifesto became integral parts of the Bolshevik outlook in the period immediately before the war, as shown in articles not only by Lenin, but also by his lieutenants, Zinoviev and Kamenev.

The outbreak of war caused Lenin to insist on the continuity between what he regarded as a pre-war consensus of revolutionary Marxism and the Bolshevik programme during 1914- 16. This continuity explains why he instantly arrived at his basic programme - one that remained unchanged until early 1917. Throughout the war years 1914-16, he adopted a rhetorical stance of aggressive unoriginality and tied his own position as tightly as possible to Kautsky’s pre-war scenario and to the Basel Manifesto. In his disputes with comrades on the left, it was they who were the innovators and Lenin who stoutly defended ideological continuity. Whatever originality and insight Lenin showed in his arguments and analyses, the positions he defended were in fact unoriginal - and he was proud of the fact.

Lenin’s reaction to the outbreak of war cannot be understood without a solid grasp of the scenario of global revolutionary interaction set forth in Kautsky’s writings and the first section of my essay, contained in this article, is devoted to outlining Kautsky’s vision of the new era of war and revolution. The section that follows analyses the Basel Manifesto of 1912 that Lenin saw as a fundamental expression of the pre-war consensus. The third section is devoted to articles written in 1910-1913 by Bolshevik spokesman Lev Kamenev. Kamenev reprinted these articles in 1922 with the aim of documenting the continuity of Bolshevik positions before and during the war, and they accomplish this aim admirably.5

These three sections lay the groundwork for my interpretation of Lenin’s response to the outbreak of war and to the actions of the European social democratic parties. Before turning to a closer look at Lenin’s response, I will outline a powerful alternative interpretation. One of the most intriguing and influential versions of the standard account of Lenin’s radical rethinking points to his reading Hegel’s Science of logic and the more profound grasp of dialectic that proceeded from this reading. While I do not dispute the philosophical claims made by the authors who put forth this interpretation, I do not think their historical claims about Hegel’s influence on Lenin’s wartime political positions stands up to examination.

The Hegelist interpretation (as I will term it) paints a striking picture of Lenin during the first months of the war: finding himself in complete political isolation, Lenin retires from the hurly-burly of political activity, holes up in the Berne library with Hegel, and emerges only after a rethinking of the dialectical foundations of Marxism. His new outlook finds expression, among other places, in his writings on national self-determination from late 1916.

The last two sections of the essay are devoted to evaluating the two alternative interpretations in the light of the evidence. First I examine the seven months from the outbreak of war in August 1914 to the conference of émigré Bolsheviks in Berne in late February 1915, followed by a final section on Lenin’s writings on national self-determination in late 1916. I conclude that Lenin was correct to stress the continuity between his wartime political platform and the pre-war consensus of “revolutionary social democrats” about the fast-approaching new era of war and revolution.

Kautsky’s scenario

An era of revolutionary developments has begun. The age of slow, painful, almost imperceptible advances will give way to an epoch of revolutions, of sudden leaps forward, perhaps of occasional great defeats, but also - we must have such confidence in the cause of the proletariat - eventually of great victories (Karl Kautsky, 1905)

Kautsky’s The social revolution appeared in 1902, Socialism and colonial policy in 1907, and Road to power in 1909.6 In these three works, as well as many substantial and influential articles, Kautsky outlined a global view of the contemporary world. The key features of Kautsky’s scenario are as follows:

1. After a generation of relative stability and only gradual progress, Europe and the world are entering upon a new era of war and revolutions that will be marked by profound conflicts and sharp shifts in power relations.

2. The new era of war and revolution differs from the previous one, which lasted from 1789 to 1871, primarily by virtue of its global scope and of the new intensity of interaction made possible by growing ties among countries and in particular by new means of communication that allows accelerated access to modern ideas and techniques.7

3. The transition from a non-revolutionary situation to a revolutionary situation will require radically new tactics.

4. The revolutions that mark this new era fall into two large categories: the socialist revolution that is on the agenda for western Europe and North America, and the democratic revolutions that are on the agenda elsewhere in the world. The category of democratic revolutions can be further broken down into three main types: political revolutions to obtain political freedoms and overthrow absolutist oppression; revolutions of self-determination against national oppression; anti-colonial revolutions against foreign oppression.

5. One can no longer say that a socialist revolution is not yet ‘mature’ in western Europe. A sharp growth of class antagonisms is one indication that we are on the eve of a socialist revolution. Anything less than a firm rejection of opportunism and its policy of class-collaboration would be political suicide.8

6. The four types of revolutions overlap and interact with each other in ways that are unpredictable but that will certainly increase the overall intensity of the global revolutionary crisis. Thus any scenario of future developments must be extraordinarily open-ended.

7. Global interaction implies a rejection of simplistic models in which ‘advanced’ countries show ‘backward’ countries the image of their future. For example, in crucial respects Germany sees an image of its future in ‘backward’ Russia.9

8. The principal types of global interaction are: direct intervention, such as conquest, investments and colonial domination; observation of the experience of other countries, allowing latecomers to swiftly catch up and overtake; direct repercussions of revolutionary events, due to the enthusiasm of some and the panic of others, the breaking of some ties and the creation of others.10

9. The capitalist world will try to preserve itself from revolutionary change in a variety of ways, and in particular, by imperialism, “the last refuge of capitalism”.11 Imperialist and militarist ideologies may stave off collapse by allowing the labour aristocracy to share in colonial profits and by presenting a plausible way out of the impending crisis. Nevertheless, these attempts will ultimately fail, if only because the world has already been divided up by the imperialist powers.12

10. Imperialism and militarism have greatly increased the chances of war, but the proletariat has no possible stake in wars between imperialist powers and will therefore not unite with the upper classes to fight one. The role of war as an incubator of revolution is likely to be extremely large, and there is a strong correlation between defeat in war and revolution.13

11. Only a resolutely anti-racist platform will permit social democracy to navigate the coming rapids of revolutionary change. Racist condescension prevents even some socialists from appreciating a basic fact about world politics: the colonies will demand, fight for and win their independence.

12. Russia occupies a crucial position in the process of global revolutionary situations. The triumphs and setbacks of the Russian Revolution will therefore have an especially broad resonance in other countries.14

Such are the basic features of Kautsky’s scenario of global revolutionary interaction. What remains to be brought out is the way in which these propositions cohere together as a system, since it was as a system that it was taken over by Lenin.15

Colonialism and democracy

Kautsky’s vision of the current situation in western Europe had been advanced by him at least since 1902 in polemics aimed at the ‘opportunist’ picture of class antagonisms melting away. Just the opposite, said Kautsky - class antagonisms were becoming sharper precisely because cartelisation at home and colonial policies abroad showed that capitalism was going through its final phase and that socialist revolution was on the agenda:

The further cartels develop and spread, the clearer the proof that the capitalist mode of production has passed beyond the stage when it was the most powerful agent for the development of the productive forces, and that it is ever more hindering this development and creating ever more unbearable conditions … Socialism has already become an economic necessity today; only power determines when it will come.16

In an effort to “rub the rouge of health and youth into its wasted cheeks”, bourgeois society was resorting to militarism and imperialism - as an economic imperative, as ideologies that promised a way out of the looming impasse of capitalist development, and as a means of bribing the upper reaches of the working class. As Kautsky observed in 1906, in England - as opposed to Russia or India - capitalist exploitation was “a means of enriching the country, of accumulating a perpetually growing booty that was won through plundering the whole world. Even the propertyless classes benefit in many ways from this plunder”. This kind of explanation for the absence of worker militancy in the United Kingdom and elsewhere was commonplace in pre-war social democracy.17

Colonial expansion was only a short-term remedy for capitalist woes, since it would inevitably lead to heightened conflict at home and abroad. Since the world was almost completely divided up, colonial expansion could only result in armed conflict between the imperialist powers. Imperialist oppression was also leading to colonial revolts for national independence that, when (not if) successful, would destroy the imperialist system: “English capitalism will suffer a frightful collapse when the oppressed lands rebel and refuse to continue paying tribute.”18

We now arrive at the second level of the system of global revolutionary interaction: namely, the democratic revolutions against absolutist, national and colonial oppression. Kautsky had much to say about each of these three types of democratic revolution. The principal revolutionary struggle for the destruction of absolutism and the establishment of political freedom was, of course, taking place in Russia. What needs to be stressed here is that Kautsky offered an authoritative endorsement of the Bolshevik strategy for carrying out the anti-tsarist revolution: a wager on the Russian peasant as a fighter for the democratic transformation of the country.19 Kautsky could almost be called an honorary Bolshevik, and he was so regarded by all interested parties in Russian and German social democracy.

On the level of national revolutions for self-determination, Kautsky and Lenin shared a position that rejected both the overestimation of the role of nationality by Austrian social democracy and its underestimation by Rosa Luxemburg in Poland. The key commitment shared by the two men was the idea that “the masses can only be filled with a durable enthusiasm for socialism where and insofar as the national question is solved”.20 Following from this, both Kautsky and Lenin argued that the right of self-determination against national oppression must be respected, although social democracy did not necessarily advocate the use of this right in concrete cases; separatism in socialist and other worker organisations must be resisted; great-power chauvinism (Germans vs Poles in Kautsky’s case, Russians vs various national minorities in Lenin’s) must be opposed, even at the cost of bending over backwards to avoid offence; the ultimate solution to nationalism is to reassure national minorities that their democratic rights will be respected.21

Kautsky’s attitude to national liberation movements in the colonies can best be seen in the response he made in 1907 to a group of Iranian social democrats who were unsure about the propriety of social democratic participation in the struggle against foreign capitalism.22 Kautsky replied that “socialist fighters cannot adopt an exclusively passive attitude towards the revolution and remain with their arms folded. And if the country is not sufficiently developed to have a modern proletariat, then only a [pre-socialist] democratic movement against foreign domination provides the possibility for socialists to participate in the revolutionary struggle”.

Kautsky went on to advise his Iranian correspondents that the social democrats may have to participate “as simple democrats in the ranks of bourgeois and petty bourgeois democrats”. They nevertheless will always have a wider perspective, since for them “the victory of democracy is not the end of political struggle; rather, it is the beginning of the new, unknown struggle, which was practically impossible under the absolutist regime”. This new struggle required not only political freedom, but national independence. The social democratic fight against capitalism in countries like Iran may not be able to put socialist revolution on the immediate agenda, but nevertheless such a struggle will “weaken European capitalism and bestow greater strength on the European proletariat … Persia and Turkey, by struggling for their own liberation, also fight for the liberation of the world proletariat.”

In 1909, Kautsky again stressed that the anti-colonial rebels were often supporters of capitalism: “This does not in any way alter the fact that they are weakening European capitalism and its governments and introducing an element of political unrest into the whole world.”23

Kautsky’s feelings about colonial liberation went deep. According to his biographer, Gary Steenson, Kautsky had already predicted in articles he wrote in the 1880s that “the all-too-gradual modernisation of the colonised countries would eventually yield native rebellion against domination by the Europeans”. He therefore emphasised “the common interests of, and a possible coalition between, the industrial proletariat of the European nations and the natives of the colonies”.24 Kautsky’s attitude toward colonial independence movements was not just due to empirical observation and political strategy, but also to a visceral anti-racism:

The colonial policy of imperialism is based on the assumption that only the peoples possessed of European civilisation are capable of independent development. The men of other races are considered children, idiots or beasts of burden, according to the degree of unfriendliness with which one treats them; in any case as beings having a lower level of development, who can be directed as one wishes. Even socialists proceed on this assumption as soon as they want to pursue a policy of colonial expansion - an ethical one, of course. But reality soon teaches them that our party’s tenet that all men are equal is no mere figure of speech, but a very real force.25

Kautsky’s scenario of the new era of revolutions was a global system of revolutionary interaction primarily because of the role played in it by the national liberation movements. As he remarked in Road to power, “Today, the battles in the liberation struggle of labouring and exploited humanity are being fought not only at the Spree River and the Seine, but also at the Hudson and Mississippi, at the Neva and the Dardanelles, at the Ganges and the Hoangho.”26


The various types of revolution in Kautsky’s scenario do not proceed along their own tracks in isolation, but are profoundly affected in every way by global interaction. Kautsky sets out with clarity the logic of what was later termed ‘uneven and combined development’, or, in Kautsky’s words, “the conjuncture of the most advanced with the most backward forms of societies and states”:

The backward nations have since time immemorial learned from the more advanced, and they have often therefore been capable of leaping with one bound over several stages of development which had been climbed wearily by their predecessors.

In this way limitless variations arise in the historical path of development of nations … And these variations increase, the more the isolation of individual nations decreases, the more world trade develops, and thus the nearer we come to the modern era. This variation has become so great that many historians deny there are any historical laws. Marx and Engels succeeded in discovering the laws governing the variations, but they have only provided an Ariadne’s thread for finding one’s bearings in the historical labyrinth - they have definitely not transformed this labyrinth into a modern urban area with uniform, strictly parallel streets.27

I have outlined Kautsky’s scenario of global revolutionary interaction. Before proceeding, we should note some implications Kautsky drew from this scenario about the coming era of war and revolution - implications that show up in Lenin’s programme during the war. One such implication is the privileged position of Russia within the system.

In 1902, Kautsky wrote an article for Lenin’s underground newspaper Iskra entitled ‘Slavs and revolution’, which asserted that “the revolutionary centre is moving from the west to the east”. The “revolutionising of minds” among the Russian people will lead to “great deeds that cannot fail to influence western Europe” and the blood of Russian revolutionary martyrs will “fertilise the shoots of social revolution throughout the entire civilised world”.28 Lenin was so fond of this article that he read lengthy excerpts of it in 1920 at the public celebration of his 50th birthday. Soon afterwards, he included these excerpts in his pamphlet Leftwing communism, commenting: “How well Karl Kautsky wrote 18 years ago!”29

In the latter part of the decade, Kautsky often described 1905 as a turning point in world affairs that had inaugurated a “period of continuous unrest throughout the orient” (meaning both east Asia and the Islamic world).30 For him, the event that started off the new era was not so much the Russian Revolution in itself as Japan’s victory over tsarist Russia - a victory which ended “the illusion of inferiority” of non-Europeans and gave them self-confidence.31 Nevertheless, the picture of Russia that emerges from Kautsky’s extensive writings on the subject is a country whose revolutionary prowess had vast potential influence on socialist revolution in western Europe, national revolution in eastern Europe, and national liberation movements in “the orient”.

Kautsky also argued that the revolutionary situation that was looming in the very near future would require a radical change of tactics. This was the point - widely misunderstood today - he was trying to make in 1910 with his famous distinction between a “strategy of attrition” and a “strategy of overthrow”. Kautsky explained that “attrition” (the standard Social Democratic Party of Germany activity of energetic socialist enlightenment and organisation) was appropriate to a normal, non-revolutionary situation, whereas “overthrow” (mass political strikes and other non-parliamentary means of pressure) was appropriate to a genuinely revolutionary situation. Kautsky added that, while at present Germany was still in a non-revolutionary situation, nevertheless a revolutionary crisis could be expected very soon.32

Lenin took Kautsky at his word. Writing in 1910, he pointed out that “Kautsky said clearly and directly that the transition [to a strategy of overthrow] is inevitable during the further development of the political crisis”.33 Lenin therefore minimised the significance of the clash between the German party’s two honorary Bolsheviks: Kautsky and Luxemburg both believed that a fundamental turning point comparable to Bloody Sunday in January 1905 was in the works. The only disagreement was whether this turning point would occur “now or not just yet, this minute or the next minute”.34

A Polish social democrat close to the Bolsheviks, Julian Marchlewski, equated Lenin and Kautsky on exactly this point: Lenin “recommends [in 1909], if you will, the same thing as did Kautsky [a year later]: application of the ‘strategy of overthrow’ and the ‘strategy of attrition’, each at the correct time”.35

As early as 1902, Kautsky had concluded that “we must reckon on the possibility of a war within a perceptible time and therewith also the possibility of political convulsions that will end directly in proletarian uprisings or at least in opening the way toward them”.36 In any such war between imperialist powers - as opposed to national and colonial independence movements - the proletariat had no cause to fight side by side with the bourgeoisie. As Kautsky put it in 1907,

The bourgeoisie and the proletariat of a nation are equally interested in their national independence and self-determination, in the removal of all kinds of oppression and exploitation at the hands of a foreign nation. [But in the present era of imperialism,] a war in defence of national liberty in which bourgeois and proletarian may unite is nowhere to be expected … At the present time the conflicts between states can bring no war that proletarian interests would not, as a matter of duty, energetically oppose.37

Looking back, Lenin insisted with great vehemence on the pre-war Marxist consensus that the outbreak of war would lead almost by definition to a revolutionary situation. The following statements - one from early 1916 and the other from late 1918 - illustrate Lenin’s rhetoric of “aggressive unoriginality”:

The one now denying revolutionary action [Kautsky] is the very same authority of the Second International who in 1909 wrote a whole book, Road to power, translated into practically all the major European languages and demonstrating the link between the future war and revolution.38

Long before the war, all Marxists, all socialists were agreed that a European war would create a revolutionary situation … So, the expectation of a revolutionary situation in Europe was not an infatuation of the Bolsheviks, but the general opinion of all Marxists.39

Lenin once stated that he had read practically everything by Kautsky, and indeed it is hard to believe that anyone in his generation knew the Kautsky corpus as well as he did.40 Anything Lenin says about Kautsky should be taken very seriously indeed. Recent scholarship is beginning to catch up with Lenin’s thesis that “the new era of war and revolution” was a central theme in Kautsky’s writings after the turn of the century. In this section, I have shown how this theme provides a dynamic unity to a wide range of Kautsky’s positions and arguments.41

This is the first section of an essay that will feature in a book to be published later this year: A Anievas (ed) Cataclysm 1914: the First World War and the making of modern world politics (Historical Material­ism book series: Brill, Leiden, 2014).


1. VI Lenin CW New York 1960-68, Vol 35, p167; VI Lenin Polnoe sobranie sochinenii Moscow 1958-64, Vol 49, p24 (letters of October 27 and October 31 1914).

2. VI Lenin Polnoe sobranie sochinenii Moscow 1960-68, Vol 21, pp94-101, ‘Dead chauvinism and living socialism’ (December 1914). For more discussion see LT Lih, ‘Lenin’s aggressive unoriginality, 1914-16’ Socialist Studies 5, 2 2009: pp90-112.

3. A more detailed discussion of the standard story will appear in Cataclysm 1914.

4. See R Day and D Gaido (eds) Witnesses to permanent revolution: the documentary record Leiden 2009; also R Day and D Gaido (eds) Discovering imperialism: social democracy to World War I Chicago 2011; and the documents translated by Ben Lewis and Maciej Zurowski: K Kautsky, ‘Nationality and internationality’ (1907- 08) Critique 37, 3 2009, pp371-89 and 38, 1 2010, pp143-63; M Macnair (ed) Kautsky on colonialism London 2013. Lenin’s relations with Kautsky are a theme in all of my writings on Lenin; for the wartime years, see in particular ‘Lenin and Kautsky, the final chapter’ International Socialist Review No59, 2008; ‘Lenin’s aggressive unoriginality, 1914-16’ Socialist Studies 5, 2, 2009, pp90-112; ‘Kautsky when he was a Marxist (Database of post-1914 comments by Lenin)’ Historical Materialism 2011: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/journal/online-articles/kautsky-as-marxist-data-base 2011a.

5. The full discussion contained in the second and third sections will appear in Cataclysm 1914.

6. For English translations of these three works, see K Kautsky The social revolution Chicago 1902; K Kautsky Socialism and colonial policy (1907): www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1907/ colonial/index.htm; K Kautsky The road to power: political reflections on growing into the revolution (1909), New Jersey 1996; all three works are available online at the Marxists Internet Archive.

7. For reasons of space, I cannot give a full documentation of Kautsky’s views. On issues not specifically discussed here, I have provided references to illustrative remarks that can be found in R Day and D Gaido (eds) Witnesses to permanent revolution: the documentary record Leiden 2009, pp183, 395-96 (on Japan), p640.

8. Ibid p536.

9. Ibid p219.

10. See in particular K Kautsky, ‘Revolutionary questions’ (1904) in R Day and D Gaido (eds)Witnesses to permanent revolution: the documentary record Leiden 2009; and K Kautsky, ‘The consequences of the Japanese victory and social democracy’ (1905) in the same book.

11. K Kautsky The road to power: political reflections on growing into the revolution (1909), New Jersey 1996, chapter 9.

12. R Day and D Gaido (eds) Witnesses to permanent revolution: the documentary record Leiden 2009, p400.

13. Ibid p386.

14. Ibid p184.

15. Georg Lukács provides an excellent analysis of the systematic nature of Lenin’s view of the global situation, although he shows no awareness of its roots in Kautsky and others: G Lukács Lenin: a study on the unity of his thought (1924), London 1970.

16. K Kautsky Socialism and colonial policy (1907): www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1907/ colonial/index.htm.

17. R Day and D Gaido (eds) Witnesses to permanent revolution: the documentary record Leiden 2009, p631. In 1915, Lenin cited Kautsky, along with Marx and Engels, as an authority on British opportunism (VI Lenin CW New York 1960-68, Vol 21, p154). In 1916, Karl Radek quoted a German Social Democratic supporter of the war, Paul Lensch, about the imperialist corruption of the English workers and comments: “Lensch’s view is not new. It is one of many he has borrowed from the radical Social Democrats. But it is doubtless correct” (J Riddell Lenin’s struggle for a revolutionary international New York 1984, pp461-62).

18. R Day and D Gaido (eds) Witnesses to permanent revolution: the documentary record Leiden 2009, p633; for a similar statement at the time of the Boer War, see R Day and D Gaido (eds) Discovering imperialism: social democracy to World War I Chicago 2012, pp155-64.

19. Kautsky’s classic statement of support for the Bolshevik position is ‘The driving forces of the Russian Revolution and its prospects’ in 1906 (in R Day and D Gaido (eds) Witnesses to permanent revolution: the documentary record Leiden 2009), which includes commentaries by Lenin and Trotsky; the young Stalin also wrote a commentary (‘Preface to the Georgian edition of K Kautsky’s pamphlet The driving forces and prospects of the Russian Revolution’ in JV Stalin Works Vol 2).

20. J Jacobs, ‘Karl Kautsky: between Baden and Luxemburg’ in On socialists and ‘The Jewish question’ after Marx New York1992, p510, citing Kautsky in 1897. Jack Jacobs’s study usefully compares Kautsky’s attitudes toward the Jews and the Czechs.

21. For Kautsky’s critique of the writings by Austrian Social Democrats on the nationality question, see K Kautsky, ‘Nationality and internationality’ (1907- 08) Critique 37, 3 2009, pp371-89 and 38, 1 2010, pp143-163; also see R Day and D Gaido (eds) Witnesses to permanent revolution: the documentary record Leiden 2009, pp213-14.

22. C Chaqueri The left in Iran, 1905-1940 London 2010, pp123-28.

23. K Kautsky The road to power: political reflections on growing into the revolution (1909), New Jersey 1996, p83.

24. G Steenson Karl Kautsky, 1854-1938: Marxism in the classical years Pittsburgh1978, p75.

25. K Kautsky The road to power: political reflections on growing into the revolution (1909), New Jersey 1996, pp80-81.

26. Ibid pp88-91.

27. K Kautsky Socialism and colonial policy: www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1907/colonial/ index.htm1907. See also R Day and D Gaido (eds) Witnesses to permanent revolution: the documentary record Leiden 2009, pp395-97. As Richard Day and Daniel Gaido well remark, “Disputing the notion of any single pattern of capitalist development, Kautsky simultaneously rejected any idea of unilateral economic determinism” (p617).

28. R Day and D Gaido (eds) Witnesses to permanent revolution: the documentary record Leiden 2009, pp61-65.

29. VI Lenin CW New York 1960-68, Vol 40, pp325-27; Vol 41, pp4-5.

30. K Kautsky The road to power: political reflections on growing into the revolution (1909), New Jersey 1996, p83.

31. K Kautsky Socialism and colonial policy: www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1907/colonial/ index.htm1907.

32. A Grunenberg (ed) Die Massenstreikdebatte Frankfurt 1970.

33. VI Lenin Polnoe sobranie sochinenii Moscow 1958-64, Vol 19, pp367.

34. Ibid Vol 20, p18.

35. J Marchlewski (J Karski), ‘Ein Missverständnis’ Die Neue Zeit, July 1909, p102. See VI Lenin Polnoe sobranie sochinenii Moscow 1958-64, Vol 15, p458; and Vol 19, p50.

36. K Kautsky The social revolution Chicago 1902, pp96-97.

37. As cited, with approval, by Rosa Luxemburg in the Junius pamphlet: M-A Waters (ed) Rosa Luxemburg speaks New York 1970, pp424-26.

38. VI Lenin Polnoe sobranie sochinenii Moscow 1958-64, Vol 27, pp109-10.

39. Ibid Vol 28, pp289, 292.

40. VI Lenin CW New York 1960-68, Vol 41, p468 (1920).

41. The closest thing to a statement of synthesis by Kautsky is the final chapter of The road to power.