Karl Korsch is best known to students of Marxism for two works: Marxism and Philosophy (1923) and Karl Marx (1938). Both these books reflect the changing fortunes of the revolutionary workingclass movement in Europe. In the early 1920s, until the defeat of the German Communist Party (KPD) in October 1923, which was followed by a series of reverses in other countries, this movement was in the ascendant. During the period there was a fruitful examination of the foundations of Marxism by revolutionary Marxists, in which all the basic questions of Marxism were reexamined: namely, the relation of Marxism to its predecessors, the validity of its economic analyses, and the connection between Marxist science and political action. The best-known part of this debate concerns the first question — the Hegelian dimension of Marx’s thought. The revival of interest in this problem was initially stimulated by various remarks of Lenin, which were acted on by a number of writers.1 The most significant contributors to this debate sympathetic to such a philosophical examination of Marxism were Korsch and Lukács. The discussion was soon cut short as Stalin’s faction in the Comintern began to gain control. Thus at the Fifth Congress of the Comintern, the first after Lenin’s death, both Korsch and Lukács were subjected to a crude, demagogic denunciation by Zinoviev.2
KeywordsGain Control Ideological Struggle Communist Movement Philosophical Examination Overwhelming Predominance
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- 8.Cf. S. Carillo, ‘Eurocommunism’ and the State (London, 1977), esp. pp. 7–10.Google Scholar