Democracy and republic

Ben Lewis (editor and translator) "Karl Kautsky on democracy and republicanism" Historical Materialism series No196, Brill, 2020, £121, pp352.

It is slightly embarrassing to review a book in which your own help is acknowledged in the prefatory material, as Ben Lewis does for me in this book. But the converse is that I am perhaps in a better position than other potential reviewers for this paper to have something to say about the arguments in the works by Kautsky, which Ben has translated.

The starting point is necessarily why it is sufficiently worthwhile for the modern left to read Kautsky, to make it worthwhile for Ben to have spent the time doing the translation and editing work, for Historical Materialism to publish it and for this paper to review it. Part of the context is, of course, the US ‘Kautsky debate’ about whether some version of ‘Kautskyan’ strategy represents an alternative to the loyalist and coalitionist policy of the remains of mainstream social democracy and ‘official communism’. But we at this paper had been working on ‘Kautsky material’ well before the US left started debating the issue, following in the footsteps of Lars T Lih’s Lenin rediscovered (2005), which argued that Lenin’s arguments in What is to be done? were an attempt to create a version of the German Social Democratic Party’s ‘Erfurtian’ strategy for Russian conditions. Ben has already translated Kautsky on the national question for Critique, he and Maciej Zurowski have translated Kautsky’s 1898 series on colonialism as a pamphlet and he has translated several other pieces by Kautsky for this paper.

The point is not to resurrect ‘Kautskyism’ as a positive strategic line to be simply copied by the left in the 21st century. There is a positive element, or perhaps a ‘positively asserted negative’: this is to reject both the ‘Millerandism’ (from Millerand, socialist minister in a French coalition government of ‘republican defence’ in 1899-1902) of the modern social democrats and ‘official communists’, including left variants like the Corbynites, Syriza and Podemos; and, on the other hand, to reject the Bakuninist-Sorelian syndicalism and strikism of much of the modern far left. But translating Kautsky is, in a sense, ‘too much information’ for this purpose; certainly, the texts in this book contain both elements of the retrievable ‘usable past’ of the movement and a lot of bad historical arguments from Kautsky. Some of these elements may have some explanatory value in relation to Kautsky’s scab role after 1914, and especially after 1917.

It is primarily an issue in understanding the past of the movement. It is a blunt fact that Bolshevism emerged from the centre tendency of the SPD and Second International, not from its semi-syndicalist left (which was represented in Russia by the Vperyod split from the Bolsheviks of Bogdanov and others). The consequence is that there are a whole series of fields in which the Bolsheviks - and hence the Communist International - merely took over wholesale arguments derived from the SPD centre tendency, for whom Kautsky was one of the most prominent writers. Quite a lot of these came, in turn, from the political writings of Marx and Engels. Parts of the communist left and the post-1956 ‘new left’ dug up counter-arguments to these arguments - and some of its writers’ ideas became internalised among their versions of Trotskyism (and thence even to ‘official communist’ formations, as with the Morning Star’s episodic use of street-and-strikism).

But the loss of memory of the linkages of the Russian Bolsheviks and the Comintern to the ideas of the Second International centre tendency results in a dumbing-down process, in which the majority of the far left can no longer actually defend the ‘new left’ writers’ arguments against ‘Engelsism’ or ‘Kautskyism’ - let alone comprehend Sebastiano Timpanaro’s or Hal Draper’s critiques of these arguments; they merely have the assumptions of the semi-syndicalist left burned into their brains as irrefutable assumptions, like the flatness of the earth for some medieval Christian writers.

Recovery of the understandings and debates of the Second International can, then, help us to understand where the modern left’s own ideas come from - and what the original arguments for and against these ideas were. Two of the books Ben uses in the bibliography - Richard B Day’s and Daniel Gaido’s collections Witnesses to permanent revolution (2009) and Discovering imperialism (2011) - are exemplary of the processes of discovery that retrieving the documents of the past enables. Of course, for German speakers much of the material is available online or in libraries; but, even so, modern editions massively improve accessibility of the arguments. And there are now (thanks to German defeats in 1914-18 and 1939-45, and the UK handing off the mantle of imperialist world-dominance after 1940 to the USA) many more English-speakers than German-speakers in the world.


The present book contains Ben’s helpful introduction, which sets the general context, and translations of three texts by Kautsky: the 1893 Parliamentarism, direct legislation and social democracy (in the 1911 edition under the title Parliamentarism and democracy); the 1905 Neue Zeit series Republic and social democracy in France; and Kautsky’s 1924 autobiographical article, ‘The making of a Marxist’.

It concludes with a synoptic view of the drafts of the 1891 Erfurt programme of the German SPD (pp307-28), which allows us to set against each other, under individual topic heads, the original draft of the party executive; Engels’ critique of this draft, widely and inaccurately called ‘Engels’ critique of the Erfurt programme’; the executive’s second draft, including its responses to Engels’ criticisms; the first draft of the alternative proposals from the Neue Zeit editorial board (Kautsky and others); the ‘Bebelised’ second draft of these; and the programme as eventually adopted by the Parteitag (annual conference) at Erfurt. This is a very useful reference source, which clarifies the process by which the Erfurt programme was drafted.

I am going in this review to write only on the ‘The making of a Marxist’ and the book Parliamentarism. The reason for this is largely space and time; but also that, because Republic was never issued as a book, but only appeared as an NZ series, and Kautsky reissued Parliamentarism in 1911 with very little change, Parliamentarism with all its weaknesses - and it is a lot weaker than Republic - is likely to have been more influential.

‘The making of a Marxist’ (pp273-306) gives us Kautsky’s retrospective view of his work in 1924, at the age of 70. The way the concluding passage is written suggests that Kautsky did not expect to live much longer - though, in fact, he did not die until 1938. Because it reflects Kautsky’s retrospective views, (and is only an article) it is in fact less informative than the available biographies of Kautsky. Perhaps the most significant matters to be flagged are three.

The first is Kautsky’s note at the outset (p273) that he began his political life as a Czech nationalist and amidst the belief that the multinational Habsburg-empire state could not be made to work. This view was perhaps reflected in his argument in The class struggle, his popular explanation of the Erfurt programme, that the ‘cooperative commonwealth’, which would replace capitalism, would be national; the same argument against multinational states appears in his 1908 series, ‘Nationality and internationality’, and resurfaces in 1917 in Die Befreiung der Nationen, arguing theoretically for the Entente powers’ point of view on ‘self-determination’ (and hence for German war guilt), just as Serbien und Belgien in der Geschichte in the same year also argued for this from a historical point of view.

The second is the radical absence, in Kautsky’s retrospective account, of the SPD’s debates on imperialism/colonialism (Day’s and Gaido’s collection and Kautsky’s articles on colonialism, referred to above). The issue was very clearly important, in the beginning of the ‘revisionism debate’ in the 1890s; in the debates following the attempted genocide of the Hereros and the 1907 ‘Hottentot election’; and in the debates on arms policy and war in 1911-12. Hence the omission is very striking. Kautsky clearly could not defend his 1914 line of a developing cartel between the imperialist powers, and his arguments about the war were severely vulnerable both to criticisms from the left (as is familiar) and from the right (from the Die Glocke group, which argued that British imperialism was the fundamental problem, and hence for ‘German victoryism’). In 1924 Kautsky merely shut up about the issue altogether.

The third is Kautsky’s change of mind on the question of coalitions with liberals and defence of the ‘democratic’ constitution against coups. On this front, Kautsky had by 1924 totally reversed the position he held in the ‘Millerand debate’ and in the series, ‘Republic and social democracy in France’, that socialists should not join capitalist coalitions in order to defend liberal constitutionalism against the far right (in France, the monarchists). He offers merely a tossed-off comment (p305) that “the only remaining disputed question [between the USPD and majority-SPD] of whether to participate in a coalition government gradually lost its force”. As late as spring and autumn 1919 Kautsky was arguing for unity of the USPD right with the SPD-majority’s left, as opposed to the SPD-majority right’s commitments to a SPD-Democratic Party-Centre Party coalition. So it is clear that the tossed-off comments of 1922 and 1924 represent a mere capitulation to the coalitionist right wing, faced with the USPD’s right being defeated and the USPD left going over to communism.


Der Parlamentarismus, die Volksgesetzgebung und die Sozialdemokratie was published in 1893, and translated into French in 1900 under the title Parlementarisme et socialisme (with a preface by Jean Jaurès). Kautsky for the second edition of 1911 changed the title to Parlamentarismus und Demokratie, which is the edition Ben has translated here. It seems that Kautsky in 1911 did no more, beyond the changed title, than add a new preface to his 1893 book.

The political context of the 1893 book was a fairly extensive discussion in the European socialist left of referendums, the right of initiative (the right to force a referendum by a petition signed by sufficient numbers), and so on. This debate was discussed by Ian Bullock and Siân Reynolds in a 1987 History Workshop Journal article. The Erfurt programme in fact contained a demand for “direct legislation by the people”, which was in the original party executive draft; absent from the NZ editorial board’s draft; and reinserted by Bebel - hence included in the final programme (pp318-19). Engels’ critique had proposed “concentration of all political power in the hands of the people’s representatives” (p317), as a way of calling for a republic without violating the Reich lèse-majesté (seditious libel) laws. Kautsky in his 1892 pamphlet introduction to the Erfurt programme had argued that the introduction of ‘direct legislation’ could not lead to the abolition of parliaments, but only supplement or check them.

For this line, Kautsky had been criticised in the SPD’s paper Vorwärts by the Swiss socialist, Karl Bürkli, who was an advocate of referenda and the right of initiative. Bürkli avowed the influence of Moritz Rittinghausen, a German ‘48er’ who had advocated in 1850 a complicated system of popular assemblies, and who in 1869 had participated in the founding of the ‘Eisenacher’ Social Democratic Workers Party of Germany; and Rittinghausen’s complicated scheme became a ‘soft target’ for Kautsky’s attack. But the Bullock/Reynolds article, as well as the history of the Erfurt text, shows that this was a much wider debate than just one between Kautsky and Bürkli. It was linked to a debate at the Zurich conference of the Second International, and to French left debates about parliamentarism and the ‘referendum advocacy’ of the French nationalist-populist movement around failed Bonaparte general Georges Boulanger in the mid-to-late 1880s.

Kautsky begins the book by citing the debate with Bürkli, and by disavowing providing a theoretical justification for “parliamentarism and its importance for the proletariat” rather than “merely the brief characteristics of its origins and its essence” (pp43-44). This disavowal introduces six chapters (pp59-91), which are in substance empirical-historical. Chapter 1 - ‘Direct legislation in pre-history’ - is superficial anthropology, based on Tacitus’s Germania. Chapter 2 - ‘Direct legislation in civilisation’ - leaps from pre-class society to feudalism. Chapter 3 - ‘Urban democracy in antiquity’ - then takes a side-jump into classical Athens, arguing that the citizen assemblies depended on the work of women and slaves, and were practically dominated by aristocrats. Chapter 4 - ‘The representative system’ - is about the medieval ‘estates’, with a strong German-history bias. Kautsky identifies law-making through precedents as a hallmark of the period, and notably shares the illusions of late 19th-20th-century German lawyers that a “clear separation of judicial and legislative power” is possible (p72). Chapter 5 - ‘Monarchical and parliamentary absolutism’ - argues that absolutism was the form of the transition to capitalism; on the continent, this was monarchical, but in Britain it was parliamentary, due to the country being an island and hence not subject to invasion (as I have remarked before in relation to Kautsky’s colonialism articles, this ‘our island’ story makes the successful invasion of 1688 go missing, and requires ignoring British continental commitments in the major wars of 1689 to 1815).

None of this history is really much help to the argument; none of it is much use as history. The assembly of elected representatives is largely an invention of the later middle ages, and one which probably began in the institutions of the Catholic church, which Kautsky did not discuss, before the form was applied by later medieval monarchies to incorporate the lower part of the rural propertied classes and the developing urban elites.

Chapter 6 - ‘Modern democracy’ - has a curious character. It begins with ‘the democracy’ in the sense of the unity of the petty bourgeoisie and proletarians under a ‘democratic’ platform, led by the intelligentsia - again with a very strongly continental coloration to the narrative, and no sight whatever of the USA. It theorises the tasks of this class coalition in terms of “transforming the central power from a tool of the aristocracy into a tool of the people” (p89); and:

it appeared that a representative assembly, equipped with the competences of the English [meaning UK] parliament towards the crown, was the most important way - the only possible one, even - to control the enormous power at the disposal of a modern, centralised state and to make this power subservient to the masses, who were granted the power to elect representatives to the representative assembly (p90).

It is noteworthy that Kautsky does not analyse how the UK parliament has the power to control the state - which is, in fact, by virtue of the absence of the “clear separation of judicial and legislative power”, which Kautsky favours earlier. This absence enabled parliament in principle to sack ministers and officials, jail those who refuse to answer questions or to obey orders for contempt, convict people of crimes by legislative procedures, cut off funds for government contracts, and so on.

He goes on to say that the parliamentary form posed the question of the suffrage (also p90) and of related demands, “such as the shortening of parliamentary terms, secret ballots, moving election days to Sundays, proportional representation and so on”. The referendum and the right of initiative, he argues, “also belong to the devices just mentioned” (that is, supplementary provisions for the exercise of the franchise). “In democratic Switzerland they have acquired a certain significance.”

This is followed by a description of some Swiss provisions - but the revealing point is the assumption that the late-19th-century Swiss constitution is ‘democratic’. The Swiss had attained universal male suffrage in 1848 - but women’s suffrage was not to arrive until 1971; and, while federal legislation was not subject to judicial review, cantonal legislation was. Kautsky’s characterisation of Switzerland as ‘democratic’ reveals that he had begun to internalise the Tocquevillean view that universal male suffrage amounted to ‘democracy’.


With chapter 7, the ‘operative part’ of the argument begins. It outlines critically Rittinghausen’s proposal, which is in substance that there should be the right of initiative; and that the population of the country should be divided into assemblies of 1,000 (so that, for example, in the UK today, there would be around 52,000 assemblies), each of which discusses a general proposition and elaborates it to reach a votable point.

Chapter 8 critiques Rittinghausen on the basis of the difficulties of drafting legislation in market society. Kautsky asserts that “the participation of lawyers in the production of laws is essential” (p102) - I would rather say, ‘unavoidable’, for the reason given above that judicial precedent and the interpretation of statutes cannot be eliminated, so that, if there are lawyers, they will affect the drafting either before or after the fact; if there are not lawyers, as in ancient Athens or early medieval Europe, any statutes promulgated will have negligible effects on the actual outcome of disputes.

More generally, Kautsky makes valid points about the serious politics and political haggling involved in drafting issues. The brief Chapter 9 - ‘Implementing laws’ - is addressed to the growth of the state bureaucratic apparatus, and argues that representative assemblies are able to hold the government to account in a way that atomised popular assemblies could not.

Chapter 10 - ‘Jurisprudence and the press’ - begins with the assertion that Rittinghausen’s approach contradicts “the general law of social development, which entails a constant increase in the division of labour, or differentiation” (p111). This rather sub-Adam Smith argument conflicts with the Marx-Engels approach in the texts printed as The German ideology, and in the Anti-Dühring. It practically excludes self-government. Illustratively, he comments:

Today, probably not even the most committed advocates of direct legislation would attempt to have the dispensation of justice taken care of by the people as a whole. It has become necessary to hand it over to particular officials (p112).

So much for trial by jury! Kautsky in fact, goes on to say (p113) that trial by jury (a) is a form of representative system, which is true, but omits the selection of jurors by sortition; and (b) the jury does not decide questions of law (which has been debated episodically since the 17th century) or assess punishments - which was certainly not true of the 18th century English jury, is incompletely true of the US criminal trial jury, and continues not to be true of the civil trial jury, where it is used.

Starting at this not very helpful point, Kautsky proceeds to argue that the extension of the press is another instance of the necessary development of the division of labour. But the reader has less influence on the newspaper than the voter has on the MP. “Without any accountability to its readers, the press has become far more corrupt than parliamentarism ever was - even in its worst forms” (p114). But the solution is not to abolish the press; rather, it is the production of newspapers by workers’ organisations (pp115-17).

Chapter 10 - ‘Parliamentarism and the parties in England’ - responds to Rittinghausen’s view, held more widely, that “the representative system necessarily signifies the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”. Kautsky flatly denies this claim:

The representative system is a political form that can assume, and has assumed, the most diverse context. The same is true of the despotic monarchy. In most European states, the class rule of the bourgeoisie was ushered in not by the representative system, but by absolutism ...

Kautsky’s earlier discussion of the history in fact provides no real evidence for this claim, except insofar as he characterises 18th century Britain as “parliamentary absolutism”. I do not propose to go into the point beyond saying that it is now clear that the absolutist regimes were not the class rule of the capitalist class, though they responded to the rise of this class.

What follows is a discussion of the history of the British development, starting with the 18th century regime as a “means of the class rule of the nobility”, analogous to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the same period. The artificiality of this claim is extreme. Kautsky then progresses through a narrative of the Reform Acts, and so on (but without Chartism or even the First International and the agitations of the 1860s). After the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, “parliamentary politics lost any principled character again and struggles in parliament became pure comedies, performed by professional politicians and careerists” (p124).

The 1867 Act initially changed nothing (false), but the long depression of the later 19th century led to increased class struggles, with the Liberals becoming “the party of friends of the workers and philanthropists” (p127). Kautsky argues that “within a short time period the Liberal party will be driven to a point at which it must decide whether it wants to continue to be a bourgeois party or to become a pure workers’ party”. This claim is illustrative of the point that Kautsky made no substantive revision to his text in 1911 - by which time there was a substantial Labour Party. It also sets wholly on one side the efforts of later 19th century British socialists to fight for electoral representation, relatively over-emphasising the victories of the ‘Lib-Lab’ trade unionists.

Chapter 11 - ‘Parliamentarism and the working class’ - again begins with the argument from the need for occupational specialisation: “The office of a parliamentarian necessitates specific knowledge and skills, as does every position in the modern division of labour” (p130). Hence parliamentarians are usually drawn from the intelligentsia. But the rise of the workers’ movement results in the development of ‘parliamentary’ skills among the activists of this movement (pp132-33) and the drive of the working class to form a political party leads to monitoring of the activities of elected representatives and party discipline (pp133-35); this is a bulwark against corruption. It is true that the capitalists use bribery, intimidation and so on to affect the outcome of elections; but they also do so in strike struggles, and could do so just as much in referendums (pp135-36).

Chapter 12 - ‘Direct legislation by the people and the class struggle’ - brings the argument to a close. The restoration of “the democracy” - the early 19th century proletarian-petty bourgeois bloc against the absolutist state and the aristocracy - is illusory, because the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is now dominant, and the small proprietors, especially in the countryside, can form the basis for reactionary majorities in elections. Referenda exaggerate the political weight of this group (pp140-44). Secondly, parliamentary activity requires the party system, and the party system enables the proletariat to organise its own party, whose discipline is the most effective instrument against corruption. Referenda have the opposite effect: they tend to split parties, and to divert attention from general issues of principle (pp145-51).

The book ends, however, not with a bang, but a whimper, as Kautsky concedes that under some circumstances referenda may be appropriate: essentially, in Switzerland (because of the (alleged) absence of contradictions between city and country), and in Britain (because of the - alleged - complete dominance of the city over the country and the - equally alleged - weakness of the executive and its domination by parliament). “For us eastern Europeans it is part of the inventory of the ‘state of the future’” (p153). There is no explanation of why it should be positively useful in these cases; and the reality is that this is merely an unwarranted concession to the supporters of ‘direct legislation by the people’.


As I have said, Kautsky republished the book with a new preface, but no or little other amendment, in 1911. His explanation for doing so is that there was a revival of anti-parliamentarism in the workers’ movement (p45). He remarks that this issue is also posed by the internal life of the SPD (p46). He does not identify who his interlocutors are here, but it very probably includes the arguments about the decline of parliamentary power in Parvus’s Class struggle of the proletariat (1910), and the 1911 first publication of the syndicalist and later fascist Roberto Michels’ Political parties, his critique of the SPD being (necessarily) oligarchical.

Kautsky argues in the new preface that the need for the division of labour, which grounded a good deal of his argument in the second half of Parliamentarism, has become obtrusively present in the workers’ organisations, leading to clashes between the ranks and the leaders, which may produce unofficial strikes, etc; but these risk destroying the discipline of the union and therefore its effectiveness (pp48-49). Moreover,

today the duties of union officials are so diverse that, if they are to be properly fulfilled, then they require much special knowledge. This means that a qualified specialist cannot be removed and replaced by an untested newcomer on the basis of a temporary difference of opinion (p50).

He suggests as a solution the creation of representative bodies within the trade unions, “with around 50 to 100 members” (p51); in the French Socialist Party, he says, a bimonthly conseil national plays a similar role (p52). I cannot resist making the point that such infrequently meeting bodies (national committees, large central committees, and so on) have shown themselves repeatedly to be incapable of controlling the operations of the full-time staff of unions and of even quite small political groups.

Back to Kautsky’s failure to get clear the reasons for the ability of the British parliament to rule: here, because it meets every weekday for much of the year, so that non-compliance by the minister could attract sanctions one or two days later, whereas for (say) the Socialist Workers Party national committee, non-compliance by the central committee would at most attract sanctions three months later.

Kautsky, of course, goes on to argue that a party is not comparable to a state (pp53-56): there are no necessary class conflicts within the party (clearly untrue in a mass party, since the capitalist class will endeavour to corrupt at minimum the elected representatives, and more generally to promote through the media loyalist tendencies); and so on.


Kautsky in Parliamentarism, in particular in chapters 7-9, 11 and 12, has hold of a fundamental point: that we cannot avoid large groups delegating authority to smaller groups. The belief that getting rid of delegation will get rid of corruption or oligarchy is merely a delusion: the result will merely be (like the ‘tyranny of structurelessness’) informal delegation, with less accountability.

On the other hand, while Kautsky was certainly committed to some sort of idea of political democracy, Parliamentarism seems to show him converging with the idea which became orthodox liberalism in the 20th century: that universal male suffrage was enough to make a regime ‘democratic’, without institutions of self-government.

The contradiction has at its core Kautsky’s anti-Marxist “general law of social development, which entails a constant increase in the division of labour” - this implies that self-government is impossible, with the result that the most which can be achieved is a diluted version of parliamentary supervision of the executive, with less ‘sackability’ of officials than in 19th century English or US practice. There is, I think, a connection between this view and Kautsky’s 1918 denunciation of the Bolsheviks.

Mike Macnair



. I wrote at length on this last year: ‘Widening frame of debate’, August 9 2019; ‘Fabian or anarchist?’, August 16; ‘Organisation or “direct actionism”?’, September 5; ‘Containing our movement in “safe” forms’, September 12; ‘Revolution and reforms’, September 20.

. ‘Nationality and internationality’ (1908) Critique vol 37, pp371-89 (2009); and part 2, Critique vol 38, pp143-63 (2010).

. B Lewis and M Zurowski Karl Kautsky on colonialism London 2013.

. ‘Guidelines for a socialist action programme’ Weekly Worker November 10 2011; ‘Origins of democratic centralism’, November 5 2015; ‘The proletariat and its ally’, May 4 2017; ‘Prospects of the Russian Revolution’, June 8 2017.

. Cf Noa Rodman at https://libcom.org/library/correction-friederich-engels-karl-kautsky.

. www.marxists.org/deutsch/archiv/kautsky/1917/befnat/index.html; www.marxists.org/deutsch/archiv/kautsky/1917/serbelg/index.html.

. B Lewis, ‘SPD left’s dirty secret’ Weekly Worker June 26 2014 (and following series of translations); M Macnair, ‘Die Glocke or the inversion of theory: from anti-imperialism to pro-Germanism’ Critique vol 42, pp353-75 (2014).

. In the 1922 text, ‘Mein Verhältnis zur Unabhängigen Sozialdemokratischen Partei’ (www.marxists.org/deutsch/archiv/kautsky/1922/xx/uspd.htm#p5) he offers merely two lines on the issue, which seem only to say that coalitions have turned out not to be a bad idea in practice in Germany and Austria.

. GP Steenson Karl Kautsky 1854-1983: Marxism in the classical years Pittsburgh 1991, pp216-17. Cf B Lewis and LT Lih Zinoviev and Martov: head to head in Halle London 2011.

. Librarie G Jacques 1900.

. German text available at http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/dietz-kb/kb12-toc.html.

. ‘Direct legislation and socialism: how British and French socialists viewed the referendum in the 1890s’ History Workshop Journal vol 24, No1, pp62-81.

. Grundsätze und Forderungen der Sozialdemokratie: Erläuterungen zum Erfurter Program (1892): http://library.fes.de/prodok/fa-26322.htm at pp 34-36; this part of the book is not in the early 20th century English translation online at www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1892/erfurt/index.htm.

. But see also E Meiksins Wood Peasant-citizen and slave London 1988.

. The idea had already been disproved by around 90 years of experience of the French Code Civil, and has since been again disproved by 120 years of the German BGB.

. B Lewis and M Zurowski op cit p21.

. B Tierney, ‘Freedom and the medieval church’ in RW Davis (ed) The origins of modern freedom in the west Stanford 1995, pp76-88.

. B Studer, ‘Universal suffrage and direct democracy: the Swiss case, 1848-1990’, in C Fauré (ed) Political and historical encyclopaedia of women London 2003, pp687-703.

. References in M Macnair, ‘Law and state as holes in Marxist theory’ Critique vol 34, pp211-36, note 88 (2006).

. Parvus: brief discussion in M Macnair, ‘Die Glocke’ (see note 7 above). Michels: PJ Cook, ‘Robert Michels’ political parties in perspective’ Journal of Politics vol 33 pp773-96 (1971).