In 1928 Korsch’s mandate to the Reichstag expired (he did not stand again) and the Kommunistische Politik group dissolved itself.1 During this period, Korsch concentrated on literary activity. Up to the time of writing Karl Marx (1936onwards), the two most important works were Die materialistische Geschichtsauffassung (The Materialist Conception of History) in 1929 and the Anti-Critique to Marxism and Philosophy in 1930. The sure touch which he had shown in earlier writings had temporarily deserted him. In fact, in these years, Korsch was looking for a direction. For example, he later considered writing a long introduction to a German edition of the works of Antonio Labriola. In his opinion Labriola was ‘the best interpreter of the Marxist method and in particular of its methodological … foundations; at the same time a fundamental Hegelian’.2 There were two other reasons for his interest in Labriola. First, Labriola stood at a turning point: after him came the syndicalists in France and the revisionists in Germany. Secondly, the significance of Labriola for the development of Marxism in the West is a striking parallel to the meaning of Plekhanov for the development of Marxism in the East.3 However, this remained an unrealised project and The Materialist Conception of History was the only book he wrote; his Anti-Critique to Marxism and Philosophy is only an extended essay.
KeywordsPhilosophical Question Historical Materialism Class Struggle Marxist Theory Materialist Conception
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