Evolutionary Socialism: a Criticism and Affirmation

Evolutionary Socialism: a Criticism and Affirmation

Evolutionary Socialism: a Criticism and Affirmation

Evolutionary Socialism: a Criticism and Affirmation

Excerpt

The present book has not only had its history, it has also in some way made a little history. Called forth by the circumstances described in the preface to the German edition, it created at its appearance a fair stir inside and outside German social democracy. Opponents of socialism declared it to be the most crushing testimony of the unsoundness of the socialist theory and criticism of capitalist society and socialist writers. First of all Karl Kautsky denounced it as an abandonment of the fundamental principles and conception of scientific socialism. Induced by all this the German social democratic party put the book on the agenda of its Hanover Congress (October, 1899), where it was discussed in a debate that lasted three days and a half and ended with the acceptance of a resolution that was meant to be a rejection of the views put forward by the author.

I could not at that time take part in the debate. For political reasons I had to stay away from German territory. But I declared then that I regarded the excitement of my comrades over the book as the outcome of a state of nervous irritation created by the deductions the opponents of socialism drew from some of its sentences, and by an over- estimation of the importance to socialism of . . .

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