Publication Date


Document Type

Working Paper


Professor John Hall

Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes

B31, B14, P30, P20

Key Words

Eduard Bernstein, Friedrich Engels, Karl Kautsky, Marxism, Social Democracy, Socialism


This inquiry seeks to establish that Karl Kautsky’s vision of social democracy considered and incorporated the best of his day’s socialist theory, leading to the creation of a powerful formula that has also proved enduring, leading towards the achievement of socialist goals. Karl Kautsky was influenced by his work with Karl Marx, Eduard Bernstein and Friedrich Engels. During his time with these noted thinkers he created a unique form of socialism that today is termed ‘social democracy’. Kautsky advanced the view that socialism could better survive when it integrated democracy. Socialism cannot have a period of dictatorship for implementation, but must always remain a democratic. Social democracy also notes that revolution must always remain a legitimate threat, even if it is not actually used.


© Leo Kendall

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