Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pope or Papa?

A bit of a problem with regards to the uploading of the 1982 'Socialist Thinkers – People Who History Made' lecture series. I would like to upload the lectures in chronological order but I don't have the Socialist Standards from 1982 immediately to hand, so I don't know which talk is next in the series.

So, your starter for ten. Who came first: the 'Pope of Marxism' or the 'Father of Russian Marxism'?

Well, Karl Kautsky did found Die Neue Zeit in 1883, but that was also the same year that Georgi Plekhanov co-founded the Emancipation of Labour group alongside Vera Zasulich, Pavel Axelrod and some other bloke whose name nobody ever remembers.

German Social Democracy versus Russian Social Democrats? Stuttgart versus Geneva?

Does Kautsky outrank Plekhanov 'cos he was born a couple of years before the latter? Does Kautsky get the nod 'cos the SPGB translated and published part of his 'Erfurter Programme' in its early years? Maybe Plekhanov gets the nod 'cos he was one of the first Russian Social Democrats to call into question Lenin's lurch into Jacobinism (of course, Lev Bronstein spotted these tendencies early on also).

But, wait up, what was that insult political criticism - amongst many others - that FDTW Dave used to level at the SPGB when he was still a Party member? Something about us being "static Kautskyians"? Stuart, cross your self-imposed blogging picket line and remind me what that line was. It was definitely far wittier and more biting than I remember it. And as I read in an old WSM Forum contribution that you referred to the SPGB as "the bastard child of Engels, Kautsky, Hyndman and De Leon", that seems to tip the balance towards the Mr K, but I think I should sleep on it for the time being.

Watch this space.

. . erm, if you want.

. . . you might as well. Socialist Unity Blog has turned the comments off and, as I mentioned before, the FDTW collective has gone on strike until the New Year.

1 comment:

John said...

Or you can always pop over to Counago & Spaves and nominate your most annoying arseholes of 2007.