1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bernstein, Eduard

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BERNSTEIN, EDUARD (1850-       ), German Social-Democratic politician and writer, was born in Berlin Jan. 6 1850. From 1866 to 1878 he was employed in banks. Since 1872 he has been an active advocate and expounder of socialism. In 1878 he acted as private secretary to K. Höchberg, editor of the socialistic review Zukunft. From 1881 to 1890 he was on the editorial staff of the Social-Democrat, a leading organ of the German Social-Democratic party, which was published at Zurich because, owing to the anti-socialistic legislation, free expression for its views could not be found in Germany. He was expelled in 1888 and migrated to London, where he lived in intimate intercourse with Friedrich Engels and other followers of Karl Marx. He returned to Germany in 1901 and was elected deputy to the Reichstag for Breslau, a seat which he continued to hold till 1907. His numerous published works include: Die Voraussetzungen des Sozialismus und die Aufgaben der Sozialdemokratie (1899); Die Kommunistischen und Demokratisch-Sozialistischen Strömungen in England während des 17ten Jahrhunderts (1895); Zur Geschichte und Theorie des Sozialismus (1900); Ferdinand Lassalle und seine Bedeutung für die Arbeiterklasse (1904); Sozialismus und Demokratie in der grossen Englischen Revolution (1908) and an edition of Lassalle's speeches and writings with a biographical introduction (3 vols., 1892-3), etc. In these he dealt principally with the theoretical and historical aspects of socialism. In 1904-5 he edited the monthly publication Dokumente des Sozialismus and in 1904 the weekly Das Neue Montagsblatt. In the conflict between the orthodox Marxists and the revisionists Bernstein was one of the foremost champions of the latter. His differences with Kautsky, the literary protagonist of the straitest sect of the Marxians, were gradually healed after Bernstein, like Kautsky, associated himself with the Independent Socialists in 1915, and still more when both of them broke with the extreme Independents, the self-styled Communists, who advocated government by councils on the Moscow pattern and the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Immediately after the revolution Bernstein was appointed Secretary of State for the Treasury, an office which he held till Jan. 1919. He had again been a member of the Reichstag from 1912-8. Subsequently he left the Independents and returned to the fold of the governmental German Social-Democratic party.