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Karl Kautsky

Edited by Ben Lewis

Once deemed ‘the pope of Marxism’, Karl Kautsky (1854–1938) was the leading theoretician of the German Social Democratic Party and one of the most prominent public intellectuals of his time. However, during the twentieth century a constellation of historical factors ensured that his ideas were gradually consigned to near oblivion. Not only has his political thought been dismissed in non-Marxist historical and political discourse, but his ideas are equally discredited in Marxist circles.
This book aims to rekindle interest in Kautsky’s ideas by exploring his democratic-republican understanding of state and society. It demonstrates how Kautsky’s republican thought was positively influenced by Marx and Engels – especially in relation to the lessons they drew from the experience of the Paris Commune.

Contemplating Violence

Critical Studies in Modern German Culture

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Edited by Stefani Engelstein and Carl Niekerk

This volume illuminates the vexed treatment of violence in the German cultural tradition between two crucial, and radically different, violent outbreaks: the French Revolution, and the Holocaust and Second World War. The contributions undermine the notion of violence as an intermittent or random visitor in the imagination and critical theory of modern German culture. Instead, they make a case for violence in its many manifestations as constitutive for modern theories of art, politics, identity, and agency. While the contributions elucidate trends in theories of violence leading up to the Holocaust, they also provide a genealogy of the stakes involved in ongoing discussions of the legitimate uses of violence, and of state, individual, and collective agency in its perpetration. The chapters engage the theorization of violence through analysis of cultural products, including literature, museum planning, film, and critical theory. This collection will be of interest to scholars in the fields of Literary and Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Philosophy, Gender Studies, History, Museum Studies, and beyond.