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.

Eduard Bernstein and Revisionism: Selected full-text books and articles

Socialism Unbound By Stephen Eric Bronner Westview Press, 2001 (2nd edition)
Marxism and Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: A Defense of Vulgar Marxism By Richard Hudelson Praeger Publishers, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Marxisms of the Second International"
1917 and the Revisionists By Pipes, Richard The National Interest, No. 31, Spring 1993
The Jewish Ethic and the Spirit of Socialism By 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 By 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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