The New International Encyclopædia/Bernstein, Eduard
BERNSTEIN, Eduard (1850—). A German social-democratic leader, born in Berlin. In 1878 he became private secretary to Höchberg, the publisher of the Zukunft, and from 1881 to 1890 was editor of the Sozialdemokrat. His socialistic views made it desirable for him to withdraw to London in 1888, but he returned to Germany, and in 1901 became editor of the Vorwärts. Bernstein combats Marx's laissez-faire teaching — that the concentration of capital, the extinction of the entrepreneur, and the rapid growth of the proletariat class presage the desirable and inevitable industrial revolution, and that, therefore, partial reforms in the interests of the latter class are undesirable by contradicting at the outset the assertion about the disappearance of the middleman. As a matter of fact, he declares, the entrepreneur class is being steadily recruited from the proletariat class, and therefore all compromise measures, such as the State regulation of the hours of labor, provisions for old-age pensions, and so on, are to be encouraged and taken advantage of. For this reason he urges the laboring classes to take an active interest in politics. His published works, besides an edition (1891-93) of the speeches and writings of Lasalle, include Die Voraussetzungen des Sozialismus und die Aufgaben der Sozialdemokratie (1899); Zur Geschichte und Theorie des Sozialismus (1900), and other works.