Eduard Bernstein

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Eduard Bernstein
Bernstein Eduard 1895.jpg
Member of the Reichstag
from Lower Silesia
In office
7 June 1920 20 May 1928
Constituency Breslau
Member of the Imperial Reichstag
from Silesia
In office
13 January 1912 10 November 1918
Preceded byOtto Pfundtner
Succeeded by Reichstag dissolution
Constituency Breslau-West
In office
31 October 1901 25 January 1907
Preceded byBruno Schönlank
Succeeded byOtto Pfundtner
Constituency Breslau-West
Personal details
Born(1850-01-06)6 January 1850
Schöneberg, Kingdom of Prussia
Died18 December 1932(1932-12-18) (aged 82)
Berlin, Free State of Prussia, Weimar Republic
Political party SDAP (1872–1875)
SPD (1875–1917)
USPD (1917–1919)
SPD (1918–1932)

Philosophy career
Era 19th20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Socialism
Main interests
Politics, economy, sociology
Notable ideas
Social democracy

Eduard Bernstein (6 January 1850 – 18 December 1932) was a German social-democratic Marxist theorist and politician. 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. [1] He rejected significant parts of Marxist theory that were based upon Hegelian metaphysics and rejected the Hegelian dialectical perspective. [2]

Social democracy is a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist mixed economy. The protocols and norms used to accomplish this involve a commitment to representative and participatory democracy, measures for income redistribution and regulation of the economy in the general interest and welfare state provisions. In this way, social democracy aims to create the conditions for capitalism to lead to greater democratic, egalitarian and solidaristic outcomes. Due to longstanding governance by social democratic parties during the post-war consensus and their influence on socioeconomic policy in the Nordic countries, social democracy has become associated in policy circles with the Nordic model in the latter part of the 20th century.

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

Social Democratic Party of Germany political party in Germany

The Social Democratic Party of Germany, or SPD, is a social-democratic political party in Germany.


Bernstein distinguished between early Marxism as being its immature form as exemplified by The Communist Manifesto written by Marx and Engels in 1848 that he opposed for what he regarded as its violent Blanquist tendencies. He instead favoured Marxism in its mature form. [3] This mature form of Marxism holds that socialism could be achieved by peaceful means through incremental legislative reform in democratic societies.

Young Marx

Some theorists consider Karl Marx's thought to be divided into a "young" period and a "mature" one. There is disagreement to when Marx's thought began to mature and the problem of the idea of a "Young Marx" is the problem of tracking the development of Marx's works and of its possible unity. The problem thus centres on Marx's transition from philosophy to economics, which has been considered by orthodox Marxism as a progressive change towards scientific socialism. However, this positivist reading has been challenged by Marxist theorists as well as members of the New Left. They pointed out the humanist side in Marx's work and how he in his early writings focused on liberation from wage slavery and freedom from alienation, that they claimed was a forgotten element of Marx's writings and central to understanding his later work.

<i>The Communist Manifesto</i> 1848 publication written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

The Communist Manifesto is an 1848 political pamphlet by the German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Commissioned by the Communist League and originally published in London just as the Revolutions of 1848 began to erupt, the Manifesto was later recognised as one of the world's most influential political documents. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle and the conflicts of capitalism and the capitalist mode of production, rather than a prediction of communism's potential future forms.

Blanquism refers to a conception of revolution generally attributed to Louis Auguste Blanqui (1805–1881) which holds that socialist revolution should be carried out by a relatively small group of highly organised and secretive conspirators. Having seized power, the revolutionaries would then use the power of the state to introduce socialism. It is considered a particular sort of "putschism"—that is, the view that political revolution should take the form of a putsch or coup d'état.


Bernstein was born in Schöneberg (now part of Berlin) to Jewish parents who were active in the Reform Temple on the Johannistrasse where services were performed on Sunday. His father was a locomotive driver. From 1866 to 1878, he was employed in banks as a banker's clerk after leaving school. [4] Bernstein's political career began in 1872, when he joined a socialist party with Marxist tendencies, known formally as the Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei Eisenacher Programms  (a proponent of the Eisenach, named after the German town Eisenach, type of German socialism) and soon became known as an activist. 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. Consequently, Bernstein, together with August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht, prepared the Einigungsparteitag ("unification party congress") with the Lassalleans in Gotha in 1875. Karl Marx's famous Critique of the Gotha Program criticized what he saw as a Lassallean victory over the Eisenachers whom he favoured; Bernstein later noted that it was Liebknecht, considered by many to be the strongest Marxist advocate within the Eisenacher faction, who proposed the inclusion of many of the ideas which so thoroughly irritated Marx.

Schöneberg Quarter of Berlin in Germany

Schöneberg  is a locality of Berlin, Germany. Until Berlin's 2001 administrative reform it was a separate borough including the locality of Friedenau. Together with the former borough of Tempelhof it is now part of the new borough of Tempelhof-Schöneberg.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

The Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany was a Marxist socialist political party in the North German Confederation during the period of unification. Founded in Eisenach in 1869, the SDAP endured through the early years of the German Empire. Often termed the Eisenachers, the SDAP was one of the first political organizations established among the nascent German labor unions of the 19th century. It officially existed under the name SDAP for only six years (1869–1875), but through name changes and political partnerships its lineage can be traced to the present-day Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

In the Reichstag elections of 1877, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) gained 493,000 votes. However, two assassination attempts on Kaiser Wilhelm I the next year provided Chancellor Otto von Bismarck with a pretext for introducing a law banning all socialist organizations, assemblies and publications. 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. [5]

1877 German federal election

Federal elections were held in Germany on 10 January 1877. The National Liberal Party remained the largest party in the Reichstag, with 128 of the 397 seats. Voter turnout was 61.6%.

William I, German Emperor 19th-century German Emperor and King of Prussia

William I, or in German Wilhelm I, of the House of Hohenzollern, was King of Prussia from 2 January 1861 and the first German Emperor from 18 January 1871 to his death, the first Head of State of a united Germany. Under the leadership of William and his Minister President Otto von Bismarck, Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire. Despite his long support of Bismarck as Minister President, William held strong reservations about some of Bismarck's more reactionary policies, including his anti-Catholicism and tough handling of subordinates. In contrast to the domineering Bismarck, William was described as polite, gentlemanly and, while staunchly conservative, he was more open to certain classical liberal ideas than his grandson Wilhelm II.

Otto von Bismarck 19th-century German statesman and Chancellor

Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890 and was the first Chancellor of the German Empire between 1871 and 1890.

Bismarck's strict anti-socialist legislation was passed on 12 October 1878. For nearly all practical purposes, the SPD was outlawed and throughout Germany it was actively suppressed. However, it was still possible for Social Democrats to campaign as individuals for election to the Reichstag and they did as despite the severe persecution to which it was subjected the party actually increased its electoral success, gaining 550,000 votes in 1884 and 763,000 in 1887.

The vehemence of Bernstein's opposition to the government of Bismarck made it desirable for him to leave Germany. [6] 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. A warrant subsequently issued for his arrest ruled out any possibility of his returning to Germany and he was to remain in exile for more than twenty years. 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. It was soon after his arrival in Switzerland that he began to think of himself as a Marxist. [7] In 1880, he accompanied Bebel to London in order to clear up a misunderstanding concerning his involvement with an article published by Höchberg and denounced by Marx and Engels as being "chock-full of bourgeois and petty bourgeois ideas". The visit was a success and Engels in particular was impressed by Bernstein's zeal and his ideas.

Exile event by which a person is forced away from home

To be in exile means to be away from one's home, while either being explicitly refused permission to return or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return.

Karl Höchberg German economist and publisher

Karl Höchberg was a German social-reformist writer, publisher and economist, with a Jewish family background, who acted under the pseudonyms Dr. Ludwig Richter and R.F. Seifert. In 1876, he became a member of the Social Democratic Workers Party of Germany (SDAP). From 1877 to 1878, he was responsible for editing the Zukunft ("Future") magazine. He was in exile in Switzerland from 1878 onwards, first to avoid conscription to the prussian military, and then due to the anti-socialist laws. Eduard Bernstein and Karl Kautsky were his secretaries and pupils in Zurich. Afterwards, between 1879 and 1881, he was editor of the Jahrbuch für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Back in Zurich, Bernstein became increasingly active in working for Der Sozialdemokrat (Social Democrat) and later succeeded Georg von Vollmar as the paper's editor, a job he was to have for the next ten years. It was during these years between 1880 and 1890 that Bernstein established his reputation as a major party theoretician and a Marxist of impeccable orthodoxy. In this, he was helped by the close personal and professional relationship he established with Engels. This relationship owed much to the fact that he shared Engels's strategic vision and accepted most of the particular policies which in Engels's opinion those ideas entailed. In 1887, the German government persuaded the Swiss authorities to ban Der Sozialdemokrat. Bernstein moved to London, where he resumed publication from premises in Kentish Town. His relationship with Engels soon developed into friendship. He also communicated with various English socialist organizations, notably the Fabian Society and Henry Hyndman's Social Democratic Federation. [8] In later years, his opponents routinely claimed that his "revisionism" was due to his having come to see the world "through English spectacles". However, Bernstein denied the charges. [9]

Georg von Vollmar German socialist politician

Georg Heinrich Ritter (Chevalier) von Vollmar auf Veldheim was a democratic socialist politician from Bavaria.

Kentish Town area of northwest London

Kentish Town is an area of northwest London, England in the London Borough of Camden, immediately north of Camden Town.

Fabian Society British socialist organisation whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism via gradualist and reformist effort in democracies

The Fabian Society is a British socialist organisation whose purpose is to advance the principles of democratic socialism via gradualist and reformist effort in democracies, rather than by revolutionary overthrow.

In 1895, Engels was deeply distressed when he discovered that his introduction to a new edition of The Class Struggles in France, written by Marx in 1850, had been edited by Bernstein and Kautsky in a manner which left the impression that he had become a proponent of a peaceful road to socialism. On 1 April 1895, four months before his death, Engels wrote to Kautsky:

I was amazed to see today in the Vorwärts an excerpt from my 'Introduction' that had been printed without my knowledge and tricked out in such a way as to present me as a peace-loving proponent of legality quand même (at all costs). Which is all the more reason why I should like it to appear in its entirety in the Neue Zeit in order that this disgraceful impression may be erased. I shall leave Liebknecht in no doubt as to what I think about it and the same applies to those who, irrespective of who they may be, gave him this opportunity of perverting my views and, what's more, without so much as a word to me about it. [10]

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. [11] He also published a book titled Die Voraussetzungen des Sozialismus und die Aufgaben der Sozialdemokratie (The Prerequisites for Socialism and the Tasks of Social Democracy) in 1899. The book was in great contrast to the positions of Bebel, Kautsky and Liebknecht. Rosa Luxemburg's 1900 essay Reform or Revolution? was also a polemic against Bernstein's position. In 1900, Berstein published Zur Geschichte und Theorie des Sozialismus (The History and Theory ofSocialism). [12]

The USPD's party board on 5 December 1919 including Bernstein, among others USPD-Vorstand.jpg
The USPD's party board on 5 December 1919 including Bernstein, among others

In 1901, Bernstein returned to Germany after the end of a ban that had kept him from entering the country. He became an editor of the newspaper Vorwärts that year [6] [12] and a member of the Reichstag from 1902 to 1918. He voted against the armament tabling in 1913, together with the SPD fraction's left-wing. 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). He was a member of the USDP until 1919, when he rejoined the SPD. From 1920 to 1928, Bernstein was again a member of the Reichstag. He retired from political life in 1928.

Bernstein died on 18 December 1932 in Berlin. A commemorative plaque is placed in his memory at Bozener Straße 18, Berlin-Schöneberg, where he lived from 1918 until his death. His grave in the Eisackstrasse Cemetery became a Protected Grave (Ehrengrab) of the city-state of Berlin.


Opposition to violent revolution

Die Voraussetzungen des Sozialismus (1899) was Bernstein's most significant work. Bernstein was principally concerned with refuting Karl Marx's predictions about the imminent and inevitable demise of capitalism and Marx's consequent laissez-faire policy which opposed ameliorative social interventions before the demise. Bernstein indicated simple facts that he considered to be evidence that Marx's predictions were not being borne out as he noted that while the centralisation of capitalist industry was significant, it was not becoming wholescale and that the ownership of capital was becoming more and not less diffuse. [12] [13] 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 [14] and was in its marshalling of facts impressive enough that even his orthodox opponent Karl Kautsky acknowledged its value. [15]

As to Marx's belief in the disappearance of the middleman, Bernstein declared that the entrepreneur class was being steadily recruited from the proletariat class and therefore all compromise measures such as the state regulation of the hours of labour, provisions for old-age pensions and so on should be encouraged. For this reason, Bernstein urged the labouring classes to take an active interest in politics. [12] Bernstein also indicated what he considered to be some of the flaws in Marx's labour theory of value. [13]

Looking especially at the rapid growth in Germany, Bernstein argued that middle-sized firms would flourish, the size and power of the middle class would grow and that capitalism would successfully adjust and not collapse. . He warned that a violent proletarian revolution as in France in 1848 produced only reactionary successes that undermined workers' interests. Therefore, he rejected revolution and instead insisted the best strategy was patiently building up a durable social movement working for continuous nonviolent incremental change. [16]

In his work, The Quest for Evolutionary Socialism: Eduard Bernstein and Social Democracy, Manfred Steger touches on Bernstein’s desire for socialism through peaceful means and incremental legislation. Some say this is Marxism in its mature form after the revisionists said much of Marx' theories were wrong and came up with theories of their own, including socialism coming through democratic means. [17]

Bernstein's moderation under attack

Bernstein was vilified by the orthodox Marxists as well as the more radical current led by Rosa Luxemburg for his revisionism. [18] Nonetheless, Bernstein remained very much a socialist, albeit an unorthodox one as he believed that socialism would be achieved by capitalism, not by capitalism's destruction (as rights were gradually won by workers, their cause for grievance would be diminished and consequently, so too would the motivation for revolution). During the intra-party debates about his ideas, Bernstein explained that for him the final goal of socialism was nothing; progress toward that goal was everything.

Luxemburg argued that socialism has its end in social revolution and revisionism "amounts in practice to the advice [...] that we abandon the social revolution—the goal of Social Democracy—and turn social reform from a means of the class struggle into its final aim". [19] She says revisionism has lost sight of scientific socialism and reverted to idealism and therefore lost its predictive force. Since reformists underestimate the anarchy of capitalism and say it has adaptability and viability, by which they mean that the contradictions of capitalism would not of historical necessity drive it to its doom, Luxemburg said they would abandon the objective necessity for socialism and give up all hope for a socialist future. The movement would collapse unless revisionism is repudiated. Trade unionists, who could see the successes of capitalism and the improvement of working conditions and who wanted to improve working conditions through parliament, generally followed Bernstein while those who were more orthodox hardliners generally followed Luxemburg. [20]

Foreign policy

Foreign policy was Bernstein's main intellectual interest between 1902 and 1914, with many articles in the Sozialistische Monatshefte (Socialist Monthly). He advocated policies positions for Germany that were aggressively nationalist, imperialist and expansionist. [21] [22]

Bernstein considered protectionism (high tariffs on imports) as helping only a selective few, being fortschrittsfeindlich (anti-progressive) for its negative effects on the masses. He argued Germany's protectionism was based only on political expediency, isolating Germany from the world (especially from Britain), creating an autarky that would only result in conflict between Germany and the rest of the world. [23] Germany did have protectionism and Bernstein wanted to get rid of it, arguing that tariffs did not increase grain production, did not counter British competition, did not increase farm profits and did not promote improvements in farming. Instead it inflated rents, interest rates and prices, hurting everyone involved. In contrast, he argued that free trade led to peace, democracy, prosperity and the highest material and moral well-being of all humanity. [24]

Bernstein rejected reactionary bourgeois nationalism and called instead for a cosmopolitan-libertarian nationalism. He recognized the historical role of the national factor and said that the proletariat must support their countries against external dangers. He called on workers to assimilate themselves within nation-states which entailed support for colonial policies and imperial projects. 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. [25] Bernstein argued that colonialism was a good idea because it uplifted backward peoples and it was working well for both Britain and Germany. Bernstein supported such policies in an intensely racialised manner, arguing in 1896 that "races who are hostile to or incapable of civilisation cannot claim our sympathy when they revolt against civilisation" and that these "savages [must] be subjugated and made to conform to the rules of higher civilisation". [26] However, he was disturbed by the Kaiser's reckless policies. He wanted strong friendship especially with Britain as well as France and protection against the Russian threat to Germany. He envisioned a sort of league of nations. [27] [28]


Bernstein's views on Jewish matters evolved. He never identified as a Zionist. Yet after initially favouring a wholly assimilationist solution to "the Jewish Question", his attitude toward Zionism became considerably more sympathetic after World War I. [29] [30] Bernstein is also noted for being "one of the first socialists to deal sympathetically with the issue of homosexuality". [31]


Primary sources


  1. Berman, Sheri. Social Democracy and the Making of Europe's Twentieth Century. Cambridge University Press, 2006. pp. 38–39.
  2. Michael Harrington. Socialism: Past and Future. Reprint edition of original published in 1989. New York, New York, USA: Arcade Publishing, 2011. P. 251.
  3. Steger, Manfred B. The Quest for Evolutionary Socialism: Eduard Bernstein And Social Democracy. Cambridge, England, UK; New York, New York, US: Cambridge University Press, 1997. pp. 236–237.
  4. Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Bernstein, Eduard"  . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
  5. The Preconditions of Socialism Eduard Bernstein
  6. 1 2 Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Bernstein, Eduard"  . Encyclopedia Americana .
  7. Berstein, Sozialdemokratische Lehrjahre, p.72; Berstein to Bebel, 20.10.1898, Tudor and Tudor, p.324.
  8. This influence is particularly evident in Bernstein's My Years of Exile: Reminiscences of a Socialist (London, 1921).
  9. Bernstein to Bebel, 20.10.1898, Tudor and Tudor, pp. 325-6.
  10. Engels, Friedrich (2004). Collected Works, Volume 50. New York: International Publishers. p. 86.
  11. Wolfgang Eichhorn: Über Eduard Bernstein. Gegensatz und Berührungspunkte zu Rosa Luxemburg und W. I. Lenin, in: Jahrbuch für Forschungen zur Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung, No. I/2002.
  12. 1 2 3 4 Wikisource-logo.svg  Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Bernstein, Eduard"  . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
  13. 1 2 Die Voraussetzungen des Sozialismus (1899)
  14. Service, Robert. Comrades!. Harvard University Press. p. 49.
  15. Kolakowski, Leszek (2008). Main Currents of Marxism. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 433–435.
  16. Richard A. Fletcher, "Cobden as Educator: The Free-Trade Internationalism of Eduard Bernstein, 1899-1914." American Historical Review 88.3 (1983): 563-68.
  17. Steger, Manfred (1997). The Quest for Evolutionary Socialism. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 236-237.
  18. Peter Gay, The Dilemma of Democratic Socialism: Eduard Bernstein's challenge to Marx (1952) p 258ff
  19. Gay, The Dilemma of Democratic Socialism: Eduard Bernstein's challenge to Marx (1952) p 259
  20. Gay, The Dilemma of Democratic Socialism: Eduard Bernstein's challenge to Marx (1952) p 260
  21. Roger Fletcher, "In the interest of peace and progress: Eduard Bernstein's socialist foreign policy." Review of International Studies 9.2 (1983): 79-93.
  22. Roger Fletcher, "Revisionism and Wilhelmine Imperialism" Journal of Contemporary History (1988) 23#3 pp 347-366. online
  23. Fletcher, R. A. (1983). "Cobden as Educator: The Free-Trade Internationalism of Eduard Bernstein, 1899–1914". American Historical Review . 88 (3): 561–578. doi:10.2307/1864587. JSTOR   1864587.
  24. Fletcher, "Cobden as Educator" 563-69.
  25. Bax, Ernest Belfort. "E. Belfort Bax: Our German Fabian Convert (1896)". Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  26. Mcgeever, Brendan, and Satnam Virdee. "Antisemitism and Socialist Strategy in Europe, 1880–1917: An Introduction." Patterns of Prejudice 51.3-4 (2017): 229
  27. Roger Fletcher, "Revisionism ad Wilhelmine Imperialism" Journal of Contemporary History (11988) 23#3 pp 347-366.
  28. Roger Fletcher, "An English Advocate in Germany. Eduard Bernstein’s Analysis of Anglo-German Relations 1900-1914." Canadian Journal of History 13.2 (1978) pp: 209-236.
  29. Jacobs, J. (1992). On Socialists and the Jewish Question After Marx. New York University Press. p. 193. ISBN   9780814742136 . Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  30. Laqueur, W. (2009). A History of Zionism: From the French Revolution to the Establishment of the State of Israel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 425. ISBN   9780307530851 . Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  31. "The Eduard Bernstein Internet Archive". Retrieved 12 December 2014.

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Karl Johann Kautsky was a Czech-Austrian philosopher, journalist, and Marxist theoretician. Kautsky was recognized as among the most authoritative promulgators of Orthodox Marxism after the death of Friedrich Engels in 1895 until the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

<i>Forerunners of Modern Socialism</i>

Forerunners of Modern Socialism is a four volume work that documents the history of primitive communist and socialist ideas, edited by Karl Kautsky and including contributions by a number of prominent intellectuals of the Second International, including Eduard Bernstein, Paul Lafargue, C. Hugo, Franz Mehring, and Georgii Plekhanov. The first volume was published in 1895.

Crisis of Marxism was a term first employed in the 1890s after the unexpected revival of global capitalist expansion became evident after the Great Depression of Europe from 1873-1896, which eventually precipitated a crisis in Marxist theory. The crisis resulted in a series of theoretical debates over the significance of economic recovery for the strategy of the socialist movement, leading to ideological fragmentation and increasingly sectarian debates. By the 1890s, orthodox Marxists came to believe that capitalism was on the “verge of breakdown,” while the socialist movement was on the “verge of revolutionary triumph,” but due to a renewed burst of capitalist and industrial activity such interpretations could no longer be maintained in Western Europe.

The Stuttgart Congress of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) was held between October 3–October 8, 1898, in Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg.