Bernstein: The Preconditions of Socialism by Eduard Bernstein

By Eduard Bernstein

This can be the 1st whole new translation of Eduard Bernstein's (1850-1932) well-known and influential paintings. it is going to offer scholars with a correct and unabridged variation of the vintage security of democratic socialism and the 1st major critique of innovative Marxism from in the socialist flow. First released in 1899, on the top of the Revisionist Debate, it argued that capitalism used to be now not heading for the main predicament estimated through Marx, and that socialism should be accomplished by means of piecemeal reform inside of a democratic constitutional framework. Bernstein's paintings is the focus of 1 of an important political debates of contemporary occasions, and the most important for the sunshine it casts on "the difficulty of Communism."

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By his own labour and that of his forefathers’, answer unanimously the spokesmen of Political Economy. And, in fact, their supposition appears to be the only one consonant with the laws of the production of commodities. (1974a, 545–6 [1976, 728]) However, although Marx does admit that this type of primitive accumulation is possible and did in fact take place, he argues that the methods of primitive accumulation are usually anything but as idyllic as this. The second type of primitive accumulation that Marx mentions is that which is brought about by the forcible expropriation of the wealth of the developing world, initially that of South America: The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production.

Before an individual can be transformed into a capitalist a certain sum of money must be assumed to be in the hands of our would-be-capitalist before such a transformation can take place. I call this individual a ‘would-be capitalist’ here because of course, at this stage, he or she has not yet actually INTRODUCTION TO PART II 41 become one. As we have already shown (see Part I, Ch. 4 of the present study) if a labourer can reproduce him- or herself (and/or his or her family) for one day by the performance of 8 hours labour and if, besides these 8 hours labour, a guild master/journeyman makes the labourer work an additional 4 hours, at the end of the working day of 12 hours the guild master/journeyman will be in possession of a value equivalent to half of what it takes to keep one labourer and/or his or her family for one day: 4 hours surplus labour.

And, if there is no class warfare as such, what are the implications of all of this for the development of socialism? ) 3. It seems inexplicable that a capitalist state (or even a state dominated by the interests of a capitalist class) should introduce legislation restricting the freedom of capitalists to exploit labour for longer than 10 or 12 hours per day. This has a number of implications for Marx and Engels’ theory of the capitalist state as a committee for managing the common affairs of the bourgeoisie.

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