Karl Kautsky (1854–1938) was the leading theoretician of the German Social Democratic Party and one of the most prominent public intellectuals of his time. However, during the twentieth century a constellation of historical factors ensured that his ideas were either gradually consigned to near oblivion or downright reviled. Not only has his political thought been dismissed in non-Marxist historical and political discourse, but his ideas are equally discredited in Marxist circles.
This book aims to rekindle interest in Kautsky's ideas by exploring his democratic-republican understanding of state and society. These essential works from different points in his career demonstrates how Kautsky's republican thought was positively influenced by Marx and Engels—especially in relation to the lessons they drew from the experience of the Paris Commune.