HOME

TheInfoList




The ''Critique of the Gotha Programme'' (german: Kritik des Gothaer Programms) is a document based on a letter by
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
written in early May 1875 to the
Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany The Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany (german: Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands, SDAP) was a Marxist socialist political party in the North German Confederation during Unification of Germany, unification. Founded in Eisena ...
(SDAP), with whom Marx and
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
were in close association. Offering perhaps Marx's most detailed pronouncement on programmatic matters of revolutionary strategy, the document discusses the "
dictatorship of the proletariat In Marxist philosophy Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are strongly influenced by Karl Marx's Historical materialism, materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly ...
", the period of transition from capitalism to communism,
proletarian internationalism Proletarian internationalism, sometimes referred to as international socialism, is the perception of all communist revolution A communist revolution is a proletarian revolution A proletarian revolution is a social revolution in which the ...
and the party of the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar colorCo ...
. It is notable also for elucidating the principles of "
To each according to his contribution "To each according to his contribution" is a principle of distribution considered to be one of the defining features of socialism Socialism is a Political philosophy, political, Social philosophy, social, and economic philosophy encompassing ...
" as the basis for a "lower phase" of
communist society In Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern societi ...
directly following the transition from capitalism and "
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" ( German: ''Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen'') is a slogan popularised by Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was ...
s" as the basis for a future "higher phase" of communist society. In describing the lower phase, he states that "the individual receives from society exactly what he gives to it" and advocates remuneration in the form of non-transferable
labour voucher Labour vouchers (also known as labour cheques, labour certificates and personal credit) are a device proposed to govern demand for goods in some models of socialism Socialism is a Political philosophy, political, Social philosophy, socia ...
s as opposed to money. The ''Critique of the Gotha Programme'', published after his death, was among Marx's last major writings. The letter is named after the Gotha Programme, a proposed party platform manifesto for a forthcoming
party congress The terms party conference ( UK English), political convention ( US and Canadian English Canadian English (CanE, CE, en-CA) is the set of varieties of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language ...
that was to take place in the town of
Gotha Gotha () is the fifth-largest city in Thuringia Thuringia (; german: Thüringen ), officially the Free State of Thuringia ( ), is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazi ...

Gotha
. At the party congress, the SDAP ("Eisenachers", based in
Eisenach Eisenach () is a town A town is a . Towns are generally larger than s and smaller than , though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use The word "town" shares an origin ...
) planned to unite with the
General German Workers' Association The General German Workers' Association (german: Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiter-Verein, ADAV) was a German political party founded on 23 May 1863 in Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German Sta ...
(ADAV, "Lassalleans", from
Ferdinand Lassalle Ferdinand Lassalle (; 11 April 1825 – 31 August 1864) was a Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent Germans, German state that originated in 1525 with Duchy of Prussia, a duchy centered on t ...

Ferdinand Lassalle
) to form a unified party. The Eisenachers sent the draft programme for a united party to Marx for comment. He found the programme negatively influenced by Lassalle, whom Marx regarded as an opportunist willing to limit the demands of the workers' movement in exchange for concessions from the government. However, at the congress held in Gotha in late May 1875 the draft programme was accepted with only minor alterations by what was to become the powerful
Social Democratic Party of Germany The Social Democratic Party of Germany (german: Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, ; SPD, ) is a social democratic political party in Germany. It is one of the two major parties of contemporary Germany along with the CDU/CSU, Union parties ...
(SPD). Marx's programmatic letter was published by Engels only much later, in 1891 when the SPD had declared its intention of adopting a new programme, the result being the Erfurt Programme of 1891. The Gotha Programme presented a moderate, evolutionary way to socialism as opposed to the revolutionary approach of the
orthodox Marxists Orthodox Marxism is the body of Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and s ...
. As a result, the latter accused it of being " revisionist" and ineffective.


See also

*
Iron law of wages The iron law of wages is a proposed law of economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships ...
*
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
*
Marxist philosophy Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are strongly influenced by Karl Marx's Historical materialism, materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly divided into Western Ma ...
*
Marxist theory Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality ...


References


External links

*
A Soviet study guide
{{Authority control Communist books Books by Karl Marx Social Democratic Party of Germany program Historical materialism