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Socialism and Democracy

ISSN: 0885-4300 (Print) 1745-2635 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/csad20

Guidelines for the historical‐critical dictionary of


Marxism

Wolfgang Fritz Haug

To cite this article: Wolfgang Fritz Haug (1997) Guidelines for the historical‐critical dictionary
of Marxism , Socialism and Democracy, 11:2, 155-158, DOI: 10.1080/08854309708428204

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08854309708428204

Published online: 13 Dec 2007.

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Resources 155

GUIDELINES FOR THE


HISTORICAL-CRITICAL DICTIONARY OF
MARXISM
(HISTORISCH-KRITISCHES WÖRTERBUCH DES
MARXISMUS (HKWM))
Wolfgang Fritz Haug

n. Historisch-Kritisches Wörterbuch des Marxismus


c. Prof. Wolfgang Fritz Haug
Freie Universität Berlin
Institut für Philosophie
Habelschwerdter Allee 30
D-14195 Berlin - GERMANY
fax: (49) (30) 8033984
<wf.haug@services.de>
a. To order the dictionary, contact:
Argument-Buchladen
Reichenbergerstr. 150
D-10999 Berlin - GERMANY
fax: (49) (30) 6114270

Introductory Remarks
When in 1983 a German translation of Labica's Dictionnaire critique du marxisme
(DCM) started to appear, it was planned to add a number of supplementary
volumes.
At first only German Marxists were invited to participate. When the project was
attacked by the German Communist Party, we decided to internationalize it.
Subsequently the response was so positive that the conception of a mere supplement
was transcended.
After two years of preparation with innumerable consultations the outlines of a
comprehensive conceptual dictionary of Marxism had been developed.
A "dictionary workshop" was founded at the Philosophical Institute of the Freie
Universität Berlin and a secretariat began to work. An international board of editors
was constituted.
The project received its final shape after 1989, in the context of post-communism.
It took five more years before the first two volumes appeared. The third volume,
going through the letter 'E/ is due out in 1997.
156 Socialism and Democracy

More than 500 authors are now working on over 1,250 entries to be published in 12
volumes.
The following guidelines, the result of many public discussions, formulate the
consensus of the collaborators. The editorial reworking of the articles will also be
guided by it.

Basic Orientation
The dictionary is not a work intended to take an ideological or political position. It is
in the first place a historical-critical collective work by representatives of various
orientations and regions in world Marxism which is intended to review and make
available, in a scholarly framework, an enormous mass of material.

Key Words
The book is constructed as a conceptual dictionary. The material entered in it will
consist primarily of theoretical and political-strategic concepts which have acquired a
special meaning in the works of Marx and Engels or in one of the traditions of
Marxism. Personal names will not be entered as key words, but names of tendencies
derived from proper names (for example, Trotskyism, Mao Zedong Thought, the
Brecht Line) will be included. The contributions of individual authors to Marxism
will be treated under the corresponding concepts (for example, Ernst Bloch under
utopia). An index of names will assist in finding references to persons.
New concepts which were unknown to the Marxist traditions or have not yet found
general acceptance within present-day Marxism will also be taken up in cases where
recently-arisen problems and demands are articulated in them or where they tend to
put into relief neglected aspects of Marxism (for example, ecology, feminism, or
discourse). Key words receive double treatment where concepts—primarily in
relation to the women's movement—exhibit a "split" history. Historical events and
geographical designations will in general not be included unless they have become
concepts for strategic problems (for example, Auschwitz, or the Long March).
Metaphors, images, manners of speech, and stereotyped expressions (topoi) will be
included if they have become important for the articulation of theoretical or strategic
ideas (surface/depth, mole).

The Structure of the Articles


The articles follow, unless the subject dictates otherwise, a common structural model.
On the basis of reasons given by Labica in the preface to DCM (Vol. I, pp. 12ff.), the
articles begin not so much with a definition as with the reconstruction of a
problem-area—the embedding of a concept in the struggles and contradictions of its
time. The articles as a rule consist of the following elements:
Resources 157

1. The Key Word


Besides the German concept, the Arabic (in transcription), Chinese (both ideogram
and transciption), English, French, Russian (in transcription only), and Spanish
equivalents are noted.

2. Occurrence and development of the concept in the writings of Marx and Engels
(M/E) with consideration of the contextual problematic.

If relevant, the philosophical traditions in which Marx and Engels intervened.


In the case of new concepts which were unknown to Marx and Engels (such as
ecology), it is stated how the problem-area in question is articulated in Marx and
Engels (status of nature, plundering of natural resources, the question of
domination of nature, overcoming of the relations of ownership with reference to
nature, and so forth).
This part also serves as a guide to the works of M/E. An important value of the
Dictionary will consist in stimulating the readers to refer to the works of the
Marxist "classics," and putting into their hands the references needed for this.
Method of citation: Where possible, the new Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe (MEGA
=complete edition of the works of M/E) will be cited; however, the
Marx-Engels-Vierke always function as an additional reference. Only in cases
where the passages in question are not to be found in either of these, may other
editions be cited.

3. Continuation, working out, or innovation in Marxism of the II. International up


to 1914 (Kautsky, Bernstein, Plekhanov, Labriola, Luxemburg, and others). Special
consideration of Lenin. Developments and changes in the main Unes which split
apart after 1914-1917. Communists and Marxism-Leninism, with consideration of
Stalinism and Trotskyism. The major creative and controversial differentiations in
the Communist line should be considered. An important stress should be place on
the contributions of the large Western Communist Parties ("Euro-Communism").
In the socialist line Austro-Marxism takes on a particular importance because it
was the last major Marxist formation of the soical-democratic workers' movement
in the German-speaking area. Recent Marxist approaches of eco-socdalist
orientation should also be described.

Developments in thought and strategy which have become increasingly important


in "Western Marxism" or in culture and science and outside the parties and trade
unions (critical theory, contributions of independent Marxist theorists, etc.).
Developments in Marxism in the Third World (primarily China, India, and
Vietnam; Latin America with Mariátegui, Castro, etc.; Africa with Cabrai, etc.).
158 Socialism and Democracy

4. Current Problematic
Here, the present-day state of the problem should be shown, along with a survey
of differing or controversial approaches. Divergent readings of theoretical concepts
also find their place here. It is important above all to show the real practical
problems to which particular concepts and theorems are intended to respond.

5. Bibliography: all quoted titles and additional literature.

6. Cross-References to Other Key Words

Size of the Articles


It is important for the conception of the Dictionary that the decision has fallen in
favor of dividing the material into a large number of individual concepts
("conceptual dictionary"). The cross-references will assist in establishing broader
contexts. Three groups of articles can be distinguished: 1) "small" key words, or
entries (2-5 typed pages, double-spaced); 2) "regular-size" key words (10-15 typed
pages, double-spaced); and 3) 'large" (up to 30 typed pages).

Relations to Other Reference Works


A debate with the most important other reference works can also take place (Labica's
DCM, Bottomore, A Dictionary of Marxist Thought; Buhr/Klaus, Philosophisches
Wörterbuch, etc)

Handling of Controversies
In the HKWM representatives of different currents are, in effect, assembling a "tool
kit" which can be used by everyone. No one has to deny his or her standpoint, but
competing positions must also be represented. The entries should not be treated like
fortresses in a war of positions. The final part of each article provides space for the
presentation of controversies. Here the authors can accentuate their own positions
more strongly. The fact that related concepts are often treated by representatives of
different currents results in the desired "stereoscope" effect