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MAIN CURRENTS OF MARXISM ITS RISE, GROWTH, AND DISSOLUTION oy Leszek Kolakowski VOLUME I ‘THE FOUNDERS Translated fom the Potsk b PS. Falla CLARENDON PRESS OXFORD 1978 (© Dyin ey Pres it Ap pin ep fn "apa nage ci oop yond Oat “oe ‘Caney Bre ‘rvs Library Canlgsing in Fusion Data se N SM uus Neate PL, a, Te ont Wr Pi iC Chive re ‘nse. Sl PREFACE ‘Tier present work is intended to serve asa handbook, In saying ‘his Team not putting forward the absurd claim to have succeeded in presenting the bistory of Marxism in a none ‘controversial manner, eliminating my own opinions, preferences, {nd principles of imerpretation. All I mean is that I have ex- ‘deavoured 10 present that history not in the form of a lose fssay but rather so as to include che principal fats that are likely to be of use to anyone seeking an introduction to the subject, whether or not he agrees with my assessment of ther, TThave ao done my hes: nex wo merge comment with expasiton, but to present my own views in separate, clearly defined sections Naturally an author's opinions and preferences are bound 10 be reflected in his presentation of the material, his selection of hemes, and the velatve importance be atachen diffe ideas, events, writings, and individvals” But i would impossible to compile a historical manual of any kind-—whether of political history, the history of ideas, or the history of art—if ‘we were fo suppose that every presentation ofthe facts equally listorted by the author's personal views and is infact ® more fr les arbitrary construction, so that there no such thing as a hisorical account but only'a series af historical assessment This book is an attempt at a history of Marsism, ie. the history of doctrine. It is not a history of socialist ideas, nor ofthe parties or political movements that have adopted one or another version of the doctrine as their own ideology. I need ‘not emphasize that this distinction isa dificult one to observe, ‘especially in the eate of Marxism where there is manifestly & close Tink berween theory and ideology on the one hand and political contests on the other. However, a writer on any subject, 's bound to extract from the ‘living whole’ separate portions Which, as he is well aware, are not wholly selecontained or wi Prefice independent. If this were not permitted we should have 10 confine ourselves to writing histories of the world since all things ave interconnected in one way or another, ‘Another feature that gives the work he character ofa hand- book i that I have indicated, though a: briefly as posible, the basic facts showing the connection between the development af the doctrine and its function as a political ideology, The whole is a narrative strewn with my gloss, ‘There is scarcely any question relating tothe intespretation of Marxism thas not a mater of dispute. Ihave tied to record the principal controversies, but it would altogether exceed the scope ofthis book 0 enter into a detailed analysis of the views ofall historians and crtes whose works [have ste, but whose opinions or interpretations T da not stare. The book does not pretend to propose & particularly original interpretation of Marx, And it i easy to see that my reading of Mars was influenced more by Lukies than by oxher commentators ough Tam far from sharing his aide to the doctrine Tt wil be observed that the book isnot sbdivided according toa single principle. I proved imposible to adhere toa purely chronological arrangement, as I found it necesary to present certain individuals or tendencies as part of a self-contained ‘whole. The division into volumes is exsentislly chronological, bbut here co I hati to permit myself some inconsistency inorder, asfar as posible, to teat different trends in Marxism ns separate themes ‘The fist volume was originally drafted in 1968, dusing the leisuretime at my disposal ater dismissal from my professorship at Warsais Univenity- Within a year of two it became clear that the draft required good deal of supplementing, amendment, and alteration, The second and thied volumes were written in 1976-6, during my Fellowship at All Soule College, Oxford, and 1am almost certain that it could not have Deen written but for the privileges 1 enjoyed as 2 Fellow. ‘The book does not contain an exhaustive bibliography, but only indications forthe eader who wishes to refer tothe sources and principal commentaries. In the works [ have mentioned fe will be easy for anyone to Bnd references to literature which today, unfortunately, & altogether too extensive for a single reader to master Preface sii "The second volume has been read in typescript by 1wo of my Warsaw friends, Dr. Andrzej Walicki and Dr. Ryseart Hereaytsk. The formers a historian ofideas, the latter a mathe- ‘matician; both have made many valuable critical remarks and ‘suggestions, The whole work has been read, prior to translation, ‘nly by myself and my wife, Dr. Tamara Kolakouska, who is 2 prychiatrst by profession; lke all my other writings, Wt owes uch to her good sense and critical comments Oxford Leszex Kovanowskt