Eduard Bernstein

Edward BernsteinBernsteinBernsteinismBernstein EBernstein revisionismBernsteinistBersteinian
Eduard Bernstein (6 January 1850 – 18 December 1932) was a German social-democratic Marxist theorist and politician.wikipedia
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Social democracy

social democraticsocial-democraticsocial democrat
Eduard Bernstein (6 January 1850 – 18 December 1932) was a German social-democratic Marxist theorist and politician.
Starting in the 1890s, there was a dispute between committed revolutionary social democrats such as Rosa Luxemburg and reformist or evolutionary social democrats as well as Marxist revisionists such as Eduard Bernstein, who supported a more gradual approach grounded in liberal democracy, with Karl Kautsky representing a centrist position.

Historical materialism

materialist conception of historyhistorical materialistMarx's theory of history
A member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Bernstein had held close association to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, but he saw flaws in Marxist thinking and began to criticize views held by Marxism when he investigated and challenged the Marxist materialist theory of history.
Indeed, in the years after Marx and Engels' deaths, "historical materialism" was identified as a distinct philosophical doctrine and was subsequently elaborated upon and systematized by Orthodox Marxist and Marxist–Leninist thinkers such as Eduard Bernstein, Karl Kautsky, Georgi Plekhanov and Nikolai Bukharin.

Marxism

MarxistMarxistsMarxist ideology
A member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Bernstein had held close association to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, but he saw flaws in Marxist thinking and began to criticize views held by Marxism when he investigated and challenged the Marxist materialist theory of history.
Kautsky's revisionist rival Eduard Bernstein also later adopted use of the term.

Socialism

socialistsocialistssocialistic
The former, exemplified by Marx and Engels's 1848 The Communist Manifesto, he opposed for what he regarded as its violent Blanquist tendencies, embracing the latter, holding that socialism could be achieved by peaceful means through incremental legislative reform in democratic societies.
Eduard Bernstein was a leading social democrat in Germany who proposed the concept of evolutionary socialism.

Ferdinand Lassalle

LassalleFerdinand LasalleLassallean
Bernstein's party contested two elections against a rival socialist party, the Lassalleans (Ferdinand Lassalle's Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein), but in both elections neither party was able to win a significant majority of the leftist vote.
The work was characterized by Edward Bernstein, an early and sympathetic biographer, as awkward and prone to excessive oratory, unsuited for the stage despite several effective scenes.

Revisionism (Marxism)

revisionistrevisionismrevisionists
In later years, his opponents routinely claimed that his "revisionism" was due to his having come to see the world "through English spectacles".
Eduard Bernstein, a close acquaintance of Marx and Engels was one of the first major revisionists, and was prominent in the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

Erfurt Program

Erfurt ProgrammeErfurt CongressThe Erfurt Program
In 1891, Bernstein was one of the authors of the Erfurt Program and from 1896 to 1898 published a series of articles entitled Probleme des Sozialismus (Problems of Socialism) that resulted in the revisionism debate in the SPD.
Formulated under the political guidance of Eduard Bernstein, August Bebel, and Karl Kautsky, it superseded the earlier Gotha Program.

Karl Kautsky

KautskyK. KautskyKarl Johann Kautsky
In 1888, Bismarck convinced the Swiss government to expel a number of important members of German social democracy from its country and so Bernstein relocated to London, where he associated with Friedrich Engels and Karl Kautsky. Bernstein's analysis of agriculture (according to which Bernstein believed that land ownership was becoming less concentrated) was largely based on the work of Eduard David and was in its marshalling of facts impressive enough that even his orthodox opponent Karl Kautsky acknowledged its value.
In 1891 he co-authored the Erfurt Program of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) together with August Bebel and Eduard Bernstein.

Social Democratic Federation

Democratic FederationSDFSocial Democratic Party
He also communicated with various English socialist organizations, notably the Fabian Society and Henry Hyndman's Social Democratic Federation.
Friedrich Engels was jubilant about the split, declaring to Eduard Bernstein: "I have the satisfaction of having seen through the whole racket from the outset, correctly sized up all the people concerned, and foretold what the end would be."

Rosa Luxemburg

LuxemburgismLuxemburgLuxemburgist
Rosa Luxemburg's 1900 essay Reform or Revolution? was also a polemic against Bernstein's position.
She returned briefly to Paris, then moved permanently to Berlin to begin her fight for Eduard Bernstein's constitutional reform movement.

August Bebel

BebelAugust Babel's “Woman and Socialism,”FA Bebel
Consequently, Bernstein, together with August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht, prepared the Einigungsparteitag ("unification party congress") with the Lassalleans in Gotha in 1875.
In 1899, at the Hanover Congress of the SPD, Bebel delivered a speech condemning Eduard Bernstein's revisionism.

Reichstag (German Empire)

ReichstagGerman ReichstagGerman Parliament
There had been no Social Democratic involvement in either assassination attempt, but the popular reaction against "enemies of the Reich" induced a compliant Reichstag to approve Bismarck's Anti-Socialist Laws.

Reformism

reformistreformistsreform
Although he had voted for war credits in August 1914, he opposed World War I from July 1915 and in 1917 was among the founders of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) which united anti-war socialists (including reformists like Bernstein, centrists like Kautsky and revolutionary socialists like Karl Liebknecht).
One of the delegates to the SPD congress was Eduard Bernstein, who expanded on the concept, proposing what he termed "evolutionary socialism".

Blanquism

BlanquistBlanquistsBlanquistes
The former, exemplified by Marx and Engels's 1848 The Communist Manifesto, he opposed for what he regarded as its violent Blanquist tendencies, embracing the latter, holding that socialism could be achieved by peaceful means through incremental legislative reform in democratic societies.
Rosa Luxemburg and Eduard Bernstein have criticised Vladimir Lenin that his conception of revolution was elitist and essentially Blanquist.

Social Reform or Revolution?

Social Reform or RevolutionReform or Revolution?German
Rosa Luxemburg's 1900 essay Reform or Revolution? was also a polemic against Bernstein's position.
Luxemburg argues that trade unions, reformist political parties and the expansion of social democracy—while important to the proletariat's development of class consciousness—cannot create a socialist society as Eduard Bernstein, among others, argued.

The Communist Manifesto

Communist ManifestoManifesto of the Communist PartyThe Manifesto of the Communist Party
The former, exemplified by Marx and Engels's 1848 The Communist Manifesto, he opposed for what he regarded as its violent Blanquist tendencies, embracing the latter, holding that socialism could be achieved by peaceful means through incremental legislative reform in democratic societies.
In contrast, critics such as revisionist Marxist and reformist socialist Eduard Bernstein distinguished between "immature" early Marxism—as exemplified by The Communist Manifesto written by Marx and Engels in their youth—that he opposed for its violent Blanquist tendencies and later "mature" Marxism that he supported.

Sozialistische Monatshefte

Foreign policy was Bernstein's main intellectual interest between 1902 and 1914, with many articles in the Sozialistische Monatshefte (Socialist Monthly).
Shareholders were Jakob Bamberger (5,999 marks), Eduard Bernstein (2,000 marks), Joseph Bloch (6,000 marks, of which, however, 5,000 marks came from Leo Arons).

Revolutionary socialism

revolutionary socialistsocialist revolutionrevolutionary
Although he had voted for war credits in August 1914, he opposed World War I from July 1915 and in 1917 was among the founders of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) which united anti-war socialists (including reformists like Bernstein, centrists like Kautsky and revolutionary socialists like Karl Liebknecht).
The reformist viewpoint was introduced into Marxist thought by Eduard Bernstein, one of the leaders of the SPD.

Karl Höchberg

Shortly before the Anti-Socialist Laws came into effect, Bernstein went into exile in Zurich, accepting a position as private secretary for social democratic patron Karl Höchberg, a wealthy supporter of social democracy.
Eduard Bernstein and Karl Kautsky were his secretaries and pupils in Zurich.

Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany

USPDIndependent Social Democratic PartyIndependent Social Democratic Party (''"Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands"'' / USPD)
Although he had voted for war credits in August 1914, he opposed World War I from July 1915 and in 1917 was among the founders of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) which united anti-war socialists (including reformists like Bernstein, centrists like Kautsky and revolutionary socialists like Karl Liebknecht).

Orthodox Marxism

orthodox Marxistorthodox Marxistsvulgar Marxism
Bernstein's analysis of agriculture (according to which Bernstein believed that land ownership was becoming less concentrated) was largely based on the work of Eduard David and was in its marshalling of facts impressive enough that even his orthodox opponent Karl Kautsky acknowledged its value.
From the 1890s during the Second International, Eduard Bernstein and others developed a position known as revisionism, which sought to revise Marx's views based on the idea that the progressive development of capitalism and the extension of democracy meant that gradual, parliamentary reform could achieve socialism.

Ernest Belfort Bax

Belfort BaxE. Belfort BaxErnest Bax
Bernstein was sympathetic to the idea of imperial expansions as a positive and civilizing mission which resulted in a bitter series of polemics with the anti-imperialist Ernest Belfort Bax.
Bax supported Karl Kautsky over Eduard Bernstein, but Kautsky had little time for what he saw as Bax's utopianism, and supported Theodore Rothstein's efforts to spread a more orthodox Marxism in the SDF.

Marxist philosophy

Marxist theoryMarxist philosopherMarxist
Eduard Bernstein (6 January 1850 – 18 December 1932) was a German social-democratic Marxist theorist and politician.

Politician

statesmanpolitical figurepoliticians
Eduard Bernstein (6 January 1850 – 18 December 1932) was a German social-democratic Marxist theorist and politician.