Eduard Bernstein and Revisionism

Bernstein, Eduard

Eduard Bernstein (ā´dōōärt bĕrn´shtīn), 1850–1932, German socialist. From 1872 he was actively associated with the Social Democratic party. In 1878, antisocialist legislation sent him into exile. In 1898, he aroused controversy among German socialists by critiquing Marxism, denying that the collapse of capitalism was imminent, and maintaining that the bourgeoisie was not wholly parasitic. He saw socialism as the final result of liberalism, not revolution. Returning from England to Berlin in 1901 he became the leader of revisionism, opposed by Karl Johann Kautsky. Bernstein protested his party's support for war by resigning in 1914. He rejoined the party after World War I, leading it as a popular reformist party. He served briefly in the government (1919), and later opposed the Nazis. His most important book setting forth criticisms of Marxism is Evolutionary Socialism (1898, tr. 1909).

See his reminiscences, My Years of Exile (1921); P. Gay, The Dilemma of Democratic Socialism (1954); J. W. Hulse, Revolutionists in London (1970).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Revisionism: Essays on the History of Marxist Ideas
Leopold Labedz.
Frederick A. Praeger, 1962
Marxism, Revisionism, and Leninism: Explication, Assessment, and Commentary
Richard F. Hamilton.
Praeger, 2000
Evolutionary Socialism: a Criticism and Affirmation
Eduard Bernstein.
Schocken Books, 1961
Socialism Unbound
Stephen Eric Bronner.
Westview Press, 2001 (2nd edition)
Bitter Harvest: The Intellectual Revolt behind the Iron Curtain
Edmund Stillman; François Bondy.
Praeger, 1959
Marxism and Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: A Defense of Vulgar Marxism
Richard Hudelson.
Praeger Publishers, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Marxisms of the Second International"
Social-Economic Movements: An Historical and Comparative Survey of Socialism, Communism, Co-Operation, Utopianism; and Other Systems of Reform and Reconstruction
Harry W. Laidler.
Thomas Y. Crowell, 1944
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 20 "Eduard Bernstein and Revisionism"
1917 and the Revisionists
Pipes, Richard.
The National Interest, No. 31, Spring 1993
The Dilemma of Democratic Socialism: Eduard Bernstein's Challenge to Marx
Peter Gay.
Columbia University Press, 1952
The Jewish Ethic and the Spirit of Socialism
Adam M. Weisberger.
Peter Lang, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "Utopia Deferred: Eduard Bernstein and the Messianic Idea" begins on p. 139
The Struggle for Labour's Soul: Understanding Labour's Political Thought since 1945
Raymond Plant; Matt Beech; Kevin Hickson.
Routledge, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Revisionist Antecedents during the Attlee Years, 1935-55" begins on p. 69
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