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Critique of the Gotha Program Paperback – March 30, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Wildside Press (March 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434463095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434463098
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,305,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Antonis on July 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Critique of the Gotha Program is one of the few documents published during Karl Marx's lifetime where he discusses with some detail the transition from a capitalist society to a communist society. This discussion emerges from the critique he develops towards the Gotha program, the program of the German Workers' Party that was published in 1875.

This is a very nice edition of Marx's critique. The translation reads well, the quality of the paper is good, and the book comes with a number of additional material that are related to the Gotha program, such as the correspondence of Marx and Engels with other socialists and extracts from a number of Lenin's texts where the critique is discussed. The original program is also included in the appendix.

The critique is a key text in Marxist literature, and can be very useful as a historical document as well. I give it five stars because this is a nice edition of an influential text.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CB on August 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is extremely short. Only 23 pages are written by Marx, about 20 more are letters from Marx and Engel's to readers who didn't understand the first 23 pages (They aren't difficult to understand...), and the rest is excerpts from Lenin's State and Revolution. Also, it's one of the only books where Marx, somewhat, outlines what Communism ought to look like. In the 50 volumes of his writing, only a handful of pages are devoted to what Communism ought to look like, and this book alone must take up at least half of that handful.

The Programme of the German Workers Party was established in 1875, under the framework of Lassallean political-philosophy. Ferdinand Lassalle was a former protégé and pupil of Marx and Engels, who later came to reject their socialism and economics; like most socialist he went off in the Utopian and Nationalist direction, away from the Scientific and International approach advocated by Marx and Engels. Thus, the Programme drafted a series of demands and prospective hopes for the future that Marx, while sick, was asked to comment on.

He does not comment on every aspect of the Programme, presumably because the parts he leaves out he either agrees with, or they are corollaries to positions he has already dispatched with.

The book is short so there's no need to really go over all his critiques, simply summarizing them would in general consist of half the 23 pages. But, to inform prospective readers, you will learn about why Marx does not believe in Rights, rejects equal rights, how he thinks revolutionary socialism will lead to communism, and what the differences between the revolutionary socialist state and the communist non-state ought to be.
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