Eduard Bernstein

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Eduard Bernstein

Eduard Bernstein (January 6 1850December 18 1932) was a German social democratic theoretician and politician, a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, and the founder of "evolutionary socialism" or "reformism".

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  • The fact of the modern national States or empires not having originated organically does not prevent their being organs of that great entity which we call civilised humanity, and which is much too extensive to be included in any single State. And, indeed, these organs are at present necessary and of great importance for human development. On this point Socialists can scarcely differ now. And it is not even to be regretted, from the Socialist point of view, that they are not characterised purely by their common descent. The purely ethnological national principle is reactionary in its results. Whatever else one may think about the race-problem, it is certain that the thought of a national division of mankind according to race is anything rather than a human ideal. The national quality is developing on the contrary more and more into a sociological function. But understood as such it is a progressive principle, and in this sense Socialism can and must be national. This is no contradiction of the cosmopolitan consciousness, but only its necessary completion, The world-citizenship, this glorious attainment of civilisation, would, if the relationship to national tasks and rational duties were missing, become a flabby characterless parasitism. Even when we sing "Ubi bene, ibi patria," we still acknowledge a "patria," and, therefore, in accordance with the motto, "No rights without duties"; also duties towards her.

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