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Eduard Bernstein

Gradualism and Revolution

The constant description of the Labour Party’s programme of Nationalisation as an example of Socialism in action has brought into prominence again the old controversy between “Gradualism” and “Revolution” that raised a ferment in the Social Democratic movement towards the end of the last century and the beginning of this one. An examination of the contentions of those who argued for revolution at the time shows that even they were impregnated with a good deal of the gradualist outlook, which was based on the assumption that Socialism, as a practical proposition, was at the back of beyond and then some.

The Socialist Party v. The Communist Party - A Debate

About four hundred people were present at Chalmers Street, Clydebank, on Wednesday, May 27th, to hear a debate between the Communist Party of Great Britain and the S.P.G.B. The subject for debate was, “Which Policy should the working class support at the Present Period of Crisis, that of the C.P.G.B. or that of the S.P.G.B." Mr. J. Cunningham occupied the chair.

The Chairman intimated that the conditions of debate would be: first speech twenty minutes, second speech fifteen minutes, and a closing speech of five minutes. All “personalities” barred.

Book Review: 'The Preconditions of Socialism'

Waste, War & Want

'The Preconditions of Socialism', by Eduard Bernstein (Cambridge University Press)

This is the first complete edition in English of Bernstein's Preconditions of Socialism, part of which has long been in print under the title Evolutionary Socialism. Written in 1899 one of the leading figures of German social democracy during the period of the Second International, this work is an elaboration of Bernstein's criticism of the precepts of orthodox Marxism as interpreted by Kautsky, Bebel, Luxemburg and others.

The Passing of Eduard Bernstein

The death (recently announced) in Germany of Eduard Bernstein recalls a life which spanned a period that saw rapid growth and development in working-class history.

He was born in 1850 of working-class parents. At the age of 22 he joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany, and eight years later became editor of the Sozial Demokrat, the official organ of the party. When Bismarck's anti-Socialist laws came into existence he had to leave Germany and for some years carried on his work as editor from Zurich, in Switzerland. In 1890 the anti-Socialist laws were withdrawn, but still Bernstein was not allowed to return to Germany. As a result he came to England, where he stayed for about 12 years until the ban was lifted.

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