The Forgotten Socialist—Karl Kautsky

My name is Daniel. I was an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and am now a writer who has
published four books including South Korea: Our Story by Daniel Nardini.
                           This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. Along
with Frederick Engels, Marx was the founder of modern Communism. But there is one man who
was in his time one of the greatest theoreticians of socialism; Karl Kautsky. Who was Karl Kautsky?
He became one of the greatest single leaders of the socialist movement after the death of both
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Born in Prague (now the capital of the Czech Republic) on
October 16, 1854, Kautsky was educated at the University of Vienna. He had personally met with
both Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, and had corresponded at great length with both men.
When Marx died, Kautsky had met and carried on a long correspondence with Engels until Engels’ 
death in 1895. Kautsky was a leader in the Social Democratic Party of Germany and served in
the German parliament the Reichstag going into World War I. Far from supporting the Communist
revolution in Russia in 1917, Kautsky condemned it as a betrayal of socialism and a complete
perversion of Karl Marx’s ideas. Kautsky believed that socialism had to peacefully take over from
the ruins of capitalism and thus found a new workers’ state. He saw the Russian Communists
under Lenin as a new  form of dictatorship and a threat to the workers. But the world had changed,
and Karl Kautsky, who had known personally Marx and Engels, was now living in a different and
far more violent world that wanted radical change. For what was left of his life, Kautsky spent the
remainder of years in exile in Austria and then in the Netherlands. He died on October 17, 1938,
at age 84—a completely forgotten man. None of his books or works can be found, his writings
are not reprinted, and hardly any mention is made of Karl Kautsky.