V.I. Lenin


Critical Comments on a Reactionary Philosophy

Chapter Four: The Philosophical Idealists as Comrades-In-Arms and Successors of Empirio-Criticism

So far we have examined empirio-criticism taken by itself. We must now examine it in its historical development and in its connection and relation with other philosophical trends. First comes the question of the relation of Mach and Avenarius to Kant.

1. The Criticism of Kantianism from the Left and From the Right

Both Mach and Avenarius began their philosophical careers in the seventies, when the fashionable cry in German professorial circles was “Back to Kant” And, indeed, both founders of empirio-criticism in their philosophical development started from Kant. “His [Kant’s] critical idealism,” says Mach, “was, as I acknowledge with the deepest gratitude, the starting point of all my critical thought. But I found it impossible to remain faithful to it. Very soon I began to return to the views of Berkeley . . . [and then] arrived at views akin to those of Hume. . . . And even today I cannot help regarding Berkeley and Hume as far more consistent thinkers than Kant” (Analysis of Sensations, p. 292).

Thus Mach quite definitely admits that having begun with Kant he soon followed the line of Berkeley and Hume. Let us turn to Avenarius.

In his Prolegomena to aCritique of Pure Experience” (1876), Avenarius already in the foreword states that the words Kritik der reinen Erfahrung (Critique of Pure Experience) are indicative of his attitude towards Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason,” and “of course, of an antagonistic attitude” towards Kant (1876 ed., p. iv). In what does Avenarius’ antagonism to Kant consist? In the fact that Kant, in Avenarius’ opinion, had not sufficiently “purified experience.” It is with this “purification of experience” that Avenarius deals in his Prolegomena (§§ 56, 72 and many other places). Of what does Avenarius “purify” the Kantian doctrine of experience? In the first place, of apriorism. In § 56 he says: “The question as to whether the superfluous ‘a priori conceptions of reason’ should and could be eliminated from the content of experience and thereby pure experience par excellence established is, as far as I know, raised here, as such, for the first time.” We have already seen that Avenarius in this way “purified” Kantianism of the recognition of necessity and causality.

Secondly, he purifies Kantianism of the assumption of substance (§ 95), i.e.,the thing-in-itself, which, in Avenarius’ opinion “is not given in the stuff of actual experience but is imported into it by thought.”

We shall presently see that Avenarius’ definition of his philosophical line entirely coincides with that of Mach, differing only in pompousness of formulation. But we must first note that Avenarius is telling a plain untruth when he asserts that it was he who in 1876 for the first time raised the question of “purifying experience,” i.e., of purifying the Kantian doctrine of apriorism and the assumption of the thing-in-itself. As a matter of fact, the development of German classical philosophy immediately after Kant gave rise to a criticism of Kantianism exactly along the very line followed by Avenarius. This line is represented in German classical philosophy by Schulze-Aenesidemus, an adherent of Humean agnosticism, and by J. G. Fichte, an adherent of Berkeleianism, i.e., of subjective idealism. In 1792 Schulze-Aenesidemus criticised Kant for this very recognition of apriorism (op. cit., pp. 56,141, etc.) and of the thing-in-itself. We sceptics, or followers of Hume, says Schulze, reject the thing-in-itself as being “beyond the bounds of all experience” (p. 57). We reject objective knowledge (p. 25);   we deny that space and time really exist outside us (p. 100); we reject the presence in our experience of necessity (p. 112), causality, force, etc. (p. 113). One cannot attribute to them any “reality outside our conceptions” (p. 114). Kant proves apriority “dogmatically,” saying that since we cannot think otherwise there is therefore an a priori law of thought. “This argument,” Schulze replies to Kant, “has long been utilised in philosophy to prove the objective nature of what lies outside our ideas” (p. 141), Arguing thus, we may attribute causality to things in-themselves (p. 142). “Experience never tells us (wir erfahren niemals) that the action on us of objective things produces ideas,” and Kant by no means proved that “this something (which lies outside our reason) must be regarded as a thing in-itself, distinct from our sensation (Gemut). But sensation also may be thought of as the sole basis of all our knowledge” (p. 265). The Kantian critique of pure reason “bases its argument on the proposition that every act of cognition begins with the action of objective things on our organs of sensation (Gemüt), but it then disputes the truth and reality of this proposition” (p. 266). Kant in no way refuted the idealist Berkeley (pp. 268-72).

It is evident from this that the Humean Schulze rejects Kant’s doctrine of the thing-in-itself as an inconsistent concession to materialism, i.e.,to the “dogmatic” assertion that in our sensations we are given objective reality, or, in other words, that our ideas are caused by the action of objective things (independent of our mind) on our sense-organs. The agnostic Schulze reproaches the agnostic Kant on the grounds that the latter’s assumption of the thing-in-itself contradicts agnosticism and leads to materialism. In the same way, but even more vigorously, Kant is criticised by the subjective idealist Fichte, who maintains that Kant’s assumption of the thing-in-itself independent of the self is “realism(Werke, I, S. 483), and that Kant makes “no clear” distinction between “realism” and “idealism.” Fichte sees a crying inconsistency in the assumption of Kant and the Kantians that the thing-in-itself is the “basis of objective reality” (p. 480), for this is in contradiction to critical idealism. “With you,” exclaims Fichte, addressing the realist expositors of Kant, “the earth rests on the   great elephant, and the great elephant rests on the earth. Your thing-in-itself, which is only thought, acts on the self!” ( p. 483).

Thus Avenarius was profoundly mistaken in imagining that he “for the first time” undertook a “purification of the experience” of Kant from apriorism and from the thing-in-itself and that he was thereby giving rise to a “new” trend in philosophy. In reality he was continuing the old line of Hume and Berkeley, Schulze-Aenesidemus and J. G. Fichte. Avenarius imagined that he was “purifying experience” in general. In reality he was only purifying agnosticism of Kantianism. He fought not against the agnosticism of Kant (agnosticism is a denial of objective reality given in sensation), but for a purer agnosticism, for the elimination of Kant’s assumption, which is contradictory to agnosticism, that there is a thing-in itself, albeit unknowable, noumenal and other-sided, that there is necessity and causality, albeit a priori, given in our understanding, and not in objective reality. He fought Kant not from the Left, as the materialists fought Kant, but from the Right, as the sceptics and idealists fought Kant. He imagined that he was advancing, when in reality he was retreating to the programme of criticising Kant which Kuno Fischer, speaking of Schulze-Aenesidemus, aptly characterised in the following words: “The critique of pure reason with pure reason [i.e., apriorism] left out is scepticism. The critique of pure reason with the thing-in-itself left out is Berkeleian idealism” (History of Modern Philosophy, German ed., 1869, Vol. V, p. 115).

This brings us to one of the most curious episodes in our whole “Machiad,” in the whole campaign of the Russian Machians against Engels and Marx. The latest discovery by Bogdanov and Bazarov, Yushkevich and Valentinov, trumpeted by them in a thousand different keys, is that Plekhanov is making a “luckless attempt to reconcile Engels with Kant by the aid of a compromise—a thing-in-itself which is just a wee bit knowable” (Studies, etc., p. 67 and many other places). This discovery of our Machians discloses a veritable bottomless pit of utter confusion and monstrous misunderstanding both of Kant and of the whole course of development of German classical philosophy.

The principal feature of Kant’s philosophy is the reconciliation of materialism with idealism, a compromise between the two, the combination within one system of heterogeneous and contrary philosophical trends. When Kant assumes that something outside us, a thing-in-itself, corresponds to our ideas, he is a materialist. When he declares this thing-in-itself to be unknowable, transcendental, other-sided, he is an idealist. Recognising experience, sensations, as the only source of our knowledge, Kant is directing his philosophy towards sensationalism, and via sensationalism, under certain conditions, towards materialism. Recognising the apriority of space, time, causality, etc., Kant is directing his philosophy towards idealism. Both consistent materialists and consistent idealists (as well as the “pure” agnostics, the Humeans) have mercilessly criticised Kant for this inconsistency. The materialists blamed Kant for his idealism, rejected the idealist features of his system, demonstrated the knowability, the this-sidedness of the thing-in-itself, the absence of a fundamental difference between the thing-in-itself and the phenomenon, the need of deducing causality, etc., not from a priori laws of thought, but from objective reality. The agnostics and idealists blamed Kant for his assumption of the thing-in-itself as a concession to materialism, “realism” or “naïve realism”. The agnostics, moreover, rejected not only the thing-in-itself, but apriorism as well; while the idealists demanded the consistent deduction from pure thought not only of the a priori forms of perception, but of the world as a whole (by magnifying human thought to an abstract Self, or to an “Absolute Idea”, or to a “Universal Will” etc., etc.). And here our Machists, “without noticing” that they have taken as their teachers people who had criticised Kant from the standpoint of scepticism and idealsim, began to rend their cloathes and to cover their heads with ashes at the sight of monstrous people who criticised Kant from a diametrically opposite point of view, who rejected the slightest element of agnosticism (scepticism) and idealism in his system, who demonstrated that the thing-in-itself is objectively real, fully knowable and this-sided, that it does not differ fundamentally from appearance, that it becomes transformed into appearance at every step in the   development of the individual consciouness of man and the collective consciousness of mankind. Help!—they cried— this is an illegitimate mixture of materialism and Kantianism!

When I read the assurances of our Machists that they criticise Kant for more consistently and thoroughly than any of the antiquated materialists, it always seems to me as though Purishkevich[1] had joined our company and was shouting: I criticised the Constitutional-Democrats[4] far more consistently and thoroughly than you Marxist gentlemen! There is no question about it, Mr. Purishkevich, politically consistent people can and always will criticise the Constitutional-Democrats from diametrically opposite points of view, but after all it must not be forgotten that you criticised the Constitutional-Democrats for being excessively democratic, while we criticised them for being insufficiently democratic! The Machians criticise Kant for being too much of a materialist, while we criticise him for not being enough of a materialist. The Machians criticise Kant from the Right, we from the Left.

The Humean Schulze and the subjective idealist Fichte may be taken as examples of the former category of critics in the history of classical German philosophy. As we have already seen, they try to obliterate the “realistic” elements of Kantianism. Just as Schulze and Fichte criticised Kant himself, so the Humean empirio-criticists and the subjective idealist-immanentists criticised the German Neo-Kantians of the second half of the nineteenth century. The line of Hume and Berkeley reappeared in a slightly renovated verbal garb. Mach and Avenarius reproached Kant not because his treatment of the thing-in-itself was not sufficiently realistic, not sufficiently materialistic, but because he assumed its existence; not because he refused to deduce causality and necessity in nature from objective reality, but because he assumed causality and necessity at all (except perhaps purely “logical” necessity). The immanentists were at one with the empirio-criticists, also criticising Kant from the Humean and Berkeleian standpoint. For instance, Leclair in 1879, in the work in which he praised Mach as a remarkable philosopher, reproached Kant for his “inconsistency and connivance at realism” as expressed in the concept of the “thing-in-itself”—that   “nominal residuum of vulgar realism” (Der Realismus der modernen Naturwissenschaft, usw., S. 9). Leclair calls materialism “vulgar realism”—in order “to make it stronger.” “In our opinion,” writes Leclair, “all those parts of the Kantian theory which gravitate towards realismus vulgaris should be vanquished and eliminated as being inconsistencies and bastard (zwitterhaft) products from the idealist point of view” (p. 41). “The inconsistencies and contradictions in the Kantian theory of knowledge [arise from] the amalgamation (Verquickung) of idealist criticism with still unvanquished remnants of realistic dogmatism” (p. 170). By realistic dogmatism Leclair means materialism.

Another immanentist, Johannes Rehmke, reproached Kant because he realistically walled himself off from Berkeley with the thing-in-itself (Johannes Rehmke, Die Welt als Wahrnehmung und Begriff, Berlin, 1880, S. 9). “The philosophical activity of Kant bore an essentially polemical character: with the thing-in-itself he turned against German rationalism [i.e., the old fideism of the eighteenth century], and with pure contemplation against English empiricism” (p. 25). “I would compare the Kantian thing-in-itself with a movable lid placed over a pit: the thing looks so innocent and safe; one steps on it and suddenly falls into . . . the ‘world-in-itself’” (p. 27). That is why Kant is not liked by the associates of Mach and Avenarius, the immanentists; they do not like him because in some respects he approaches the “pit” of materialism!

And here are some examples of the criticism of Kant from the Left. Feuerbach reproaches Kant not for his “realism,” but for his idealism, and describes his system as “idealism based on empiricism” (Werke, II, 296).

Here is a particularly important remark on Kant by Feuerbach. “Kant says: If we regard—as we should—the objects of our perceptions as mere appearances, we thereby admit that at the bottom of appearances is a thing-in-itself, although we do not know how it is actually constructed, but only know its appearance, i.e.,the manner in which our senses are affected (affiziert) by this unknown something. Hence, our reason, by the very fact that it accepts appearances, also admits the existence of things-in-themselves;   and to that extent we can say that to entertain an idea of such entities which lie at the bottom of appearances, and consequently are but thought entities, is not only permissible, but unavoidable. . . .” Having selected a passage from Kant where the thing-in-itself is regarded merely as a mental thing, a thought entity, and not a real thing, Feuerbach directs his whole criticism against it. “. . . Therefore,” he says, “the objects of the senses [the objects of experience] are for the mind only appearances, and not truth. . . . Yet the thought entities are not actual objects for the mind! The Kantian philosophy is a contradiction between subject and object, between entity and existence, thinking and being. Entity is left to the mind, existence to the senses. Existence without entity [i.e., the existence of appearances without objective reality] is mere appearance—the sensible things—while entity without existence is mere thought—the thought entities, the noumena; they are thought of, but they lack existence—at least for us—and objectivity; they are the things-in-themselves, the true things, but they are not real things. . . . But what a contradiction, to sever truth from reality, reality from truth!” (Werke, II, S. 302-03). Feuerbach reproaches Kant not because he assumes things-in-themselves, but because he does not grant them reality, i.e.,objective reality, because he regards them as mere thought, “thought entities,” and not as “entities possessing existence,” i.e.,real and actually existing. Feuerbach rebukes Kant for deviating from materialism.

The Kantian philosophy is a contradiction,” Feuerbach wrote to Bolin on March 26, 1858, “it inevitably leads either to Fichtean idealism or to sensationalism.” The former conclusion “belongs to the past,” the latter “to the present and the future” (Grün, op. cit., II, 49). We have already seen that Feuerbach advocates objective sensationalism, i.e.,materialism. The new turn from Kant to agnosticism and idealism, to Hume and Berkeley, is undoubtedly reactionary, even from Feuerbach’s standpoint. And his ardent follower, Albrecht Rau, who together with the merits of Feuerbach also adopted his faults, which were eliminated by Marx and Engels, criticised Kant wholly in the spirit of his teacher: “The Kantian philosophy is an amphibole [ambiguity]; it is both materialism and idealism, and the key   to its essence lies in its dual nature. As a materialist or an empiricist, Kant cannot help conceding things an existence (Wesenheit) outside us. But as an idealist he could not rid himself of the prejudice that the soul is an entity totally different from sensible things. Hence there are real things and a human mind which apprehends those things. But how can the mind approach things totally different from itself? The way out adopted by Kant is as follows: the mind possesses certain a priori knowledge, in virtue of which things must appear to it as they do. Hence, the fact that we understand things as we do is a fact of our creation. For the mind which lives within us is nothing but the divine mind, and just as God created the world out of nothing, so the human mind creates out of things something which they are not in themselves. Thus Kant guarantees real things their existence as ‘things-in-themselves.’ Kant, however, needed the soul, because immortality was for him a moral postulate. The ‘thing-in-itself,’ gentle men [says Rau, addressing the Neo-Kantians in general and the muddleheaded A. Lange in particular, who falsified the History of Materialism], is what separates the idealism of Kant from the idealism of Berkeley; it spans the gap between materialism and idealism. Such is my criticism of the Kantian philosophy, and let those who can refute it. . . .” “For the materialist a distinction between a priori knowledge and the ‘thing-in-itself’ is absolutely superfluous, for since he nowhere breaks the continuity of nature, since he does not regard matter and mind as two fundamentally different things, but as two aspects of one and the same thing, he need not resort to artifice in order to bring the mind and the thing into conjunction.”[2]

Further, Engels as we have seen, rebuked Kant for being an agnostic, but not for his deviation from consistent agnosticism. Lafargue, Engels’ disciple, argued in 1900 against the Kantians (amongst whom at that time was Charles Rappoport) as follows:

“. . . At the beginning of the nineteenth century our bourgeoisie,   having completed its task of revolutionary destruction, began to repudiate its Voltairean and free-thinking philosophy. Catholicism, which the master decorator Chateaubriand painted in romantic colours (peinturlurait), was restored to fashion, and Sebastian Mercier imported the idealism of Kant in order to give the coup de grâce to the materialism of the Encyclopaedists, whose protagonists had been guillotined by Robespierre.

At the end of the nineteenth century, which will go down in history as the ‘bourgeois century,’ the intellectuals attempted to crush the materialism of Marx and Engels beneath the philosophy of Kant. The reactionary movement started in Germany—without offence to the socialist integralistes who would like to ascribe the honour to their chief, Malon. But Malon himself had been to the school of Höchberg, Bernstein and the other disciples of Dühring, who were reforming Marxism in Zurich. [Lafargue is referring to the ideological movement in German socialism in the later seventies.[5]] It is to be expected that Jaurès, Fournière and our other intellectuals will also treat us to Kant as soon as they have mastered his terminology. . . . Rappoport is mistaken when he assures us that for Marx the ‘ideal and the real are identical.’ In the first place we never employ such metaphysical phraseology. An idea is as real as the object of which it is the reflection in the brain. . . . To provide a little recreation for the comrades who have to acquaint themselves with bourgeois philosophy, I shall explain the substance of this famous problem which has so much exercised spiritualist minds.

The workingman who eats sausage and receives a hundred sous a day knows very well that he is robbed by the employer and is nourished by pork meat, that the employer is a robber and that the sausage is pleasant to the taste and nourishing to the body. Not at all, say the bourgeois sophists, whether they are called Pyrrho, Hume or Kant. His opinion is personal, an entirely subjective opinion; he might with equal reason maintain that the employer is his benefactor and that the sausage consists of chopped leather, for he cannot know things-in-themselves.

The question is not properly put, that is the whole trouble. . . . In order to know an object, man must first verify   whether his senses deceive him or not. . . . The chemists have gone still further—they have penetrated into bodies, they have analysed them, decomposed them into their elements, and then performed the reverse procedure, they have recomposed them from their elements. And from the moment that man is able to produce things for his own use from these elements, he may, as Engels says, assert that he knows the things-in-themselves. The God of the Christians, if he existed and if he created the world, could do no more.”[3]

We have taken the liberty of making this long quotation in order to show how Lafargue understood Engels and how he criticised Kant from the Left, not for those aspects of Kantianism which distinguish it from Humism, but for those which are common to both Kant and Hume; not for his assumption of the thing-in-itself, but for his inadequately materialist view of it.

And lastly, Karl Kautsky in his Ethics also criticises Kant from a standpoint diametrically opposed to that of Hume and Berkeley. “That I see green, red and white,” he writes, arguing against Kant’s epistemology, “is grounded in my faculty of sight. But that green is something different from red testifies to something that lies outside of me, to real differences between the things. . . . The relations and differences between the things themselves revealed to me by the individual space and time concepts . . . are real relations and differences of the external world, not conditioned by the nature of my perceptive faculty. . . . If this were really so [if Kant’s doctrine of the ideality of time and space were true], we could know nothing about the world outside us, not even that it exists.” (Russian Translation, pp. 33-34.)

Thus the entire school of Feuerbach, Marx and Engels turned from Kant to the Left, to a complete rejection of all idealism and of all agnosticism. But our Machians followed the reactionary trend in philosophy, Mach and Avenarius, who criticised Kant from the standpoint of Hume and Berkeley. Of course, it is the sacred right of every citizen, and particularly of every intellectual, to follow any ideological   reactionary he likes. But when people who have radically severed relations with the very foundations of Marxism in philosophy begin to dodge, confuse matters, hedge and assure us that they “too” are Marxists in philosophy, that they are “almost” in agreement with Marx, and have only slightly “supplemented” him—the spectacle is a far from pleasant one.

SEE: Supplement to Chapter Four, SECTION I
From What Angle Did N. G. Chernyshevsky Criticise Kantianism?


[1] Purishkevich, V. M.—a representative of the parties of the extreme Right in the Duma, a big landlord and arch-reactionary. —Lenin

[2] Albrecht Rau, Ludwig Feuerbachs Philosophie, die Naturforschung und die philosophische Kritik der Gegenwart [Ludwig Feuerbach’s Philosophy, Natural Science and the Modern Philosophical Critique], Leipzig, 1882, S. 87-89. —Lenin

[3] Paul Lafargue, “Le materialisme de Marx et l’idealisme de Kant” [Marx’s Materialism and Kant’s Idealism], Le Socialiste,[6] February 25, 1900. —Lenin

[4] Constitutional-Democrats (Cadets)——members of the Constitutional—Democratic Party, the leading party of the liberal-monarchist bourgeoisie in Russia. The Cadet Party was founded in October 1905; it included representatives of the bourgeoisie, landlord Zemstvo members and bourgeois intellectuals. Prominent lenders of the Cadets were P. N. Milyukov, S. A. Muromtsev, V.A. Moklakov, A, I, Shin garev, P. B. Struve, F. I. Bodichey and others. To deceive the working people the Cadets falsely entitled themselves the “party of people’s freedom”, but actually did not go beyond the demand for a constitutional monarchy. The Cadets made the struggle against the revolutionary movement their chief aim and endeavoured to share power with the tsar and feudal landlords. During the First World War the Cadets actively supported the annexationist foreign policy of the tsarist government. During the February bourgeois-democratic revolution they tried to save the monarchy. Occupying a leading position in the bourgeois Provisional Government., the Cadets pursued an anti-popular, counter-revolutionary policy convenient to the American-Anglo-French imperialists. After the victory of the October Socialist Revolution the Cadets   came out as irreconcilable enemies of Soviet power and took an active part in all the armed actions of the counter-revolutionaries and the campaigns of the interventionists. After the rout of the interventionists and white-guards the Cadets became émigrés but did not cease their anti-Soviet counter-revolutionary activity.

[5] This refers to the opportunist trend that developed within the German Social-Democratic Party in the second half of the seventies of the nineteenth century. Its chief ideologists were Karl Höchberg, Eduard Bernstein and Karl August Schramm, who were influenced by Duhringism. Bernstein and Louis Viereck, along with Johann Most and others, actively helped to spread the eclectic views of Eugen Duhring among the German Social-Democrats. Höchberg, who, as Marx expressed it, had “bought” his way into the Party by his money, demanded that socialism should be made a movement of “humanity in general” based on the “sense of justice” of both the oppressed and the representatives of the “upper classes”.

In Berlin, Viereck took the initiative in forming the Mauritanian Club, in which Dürhringism prevailed and which set itself the task of bringing “educated people” to “socialism” and achieving class collaboration between the workers and the bourgeoisie. After the promulgation of the Anti-Socialist Law in Germany (1878), the leaders of the Mauritanian Club migrated to Zurich where they continued their efforts to win over the bourgeoisie to “socialism”.

The opportunist, anti-Marxist character of Höchberg’s group was clearly shown in regard to the founding in Zurich of a central organ of the German Social-Democratic Party. fl6chberg and his co-thinkers considered that the newspaper should not carry out the revolutionary policy of the Party but should limit itself to the abstract preaching of socialist ideals. The Party leadership—August Bebel, Wilhelm Liebknecht and others—in fact underestimated the opportunist danger by entrusting the publication of the newspaper to the Zurich group.

In July 1879 the .Jahrbuch für Sozialissenschaft und Social-politik (Annals of Social Science end Social Politics), the journal edited by Höchberg, published an article entitled “A Retrospective Review of the Socialist Movement in Germany”, which discussed the revolutionary tactics of the Party. The authors of the article—Höchberg, Schramm and Bernstein—accused the Party of having provoked the Anti-Socialist Law by its attacks on the bourgeoisie, and called for alliance with and subordination to the bourgeoisie, on the grounds that the working class was not able to emancipate itself by its own efforts. These opportunist, reformist views evoked sharp protest from Marx and Engels, who rightly regarded them as a betrayal of the Party, and in September 1879 they came out with their famous “Circular Letter” (see K. Marx and F. Engels,   Selected Correspondence, Moscow, 1955, pp. 388-95). “The result of Marx’s ‘furious’ attack,” wrote Lenin in describing the struggle of the founders of Marxism against opportunism, “was that the opportunists retreated and—tade themselves scarce. In a letter dated November 19, 1879, Marx announced that Höchberg had been removed from the editorial committee and that all the influential leaders of the Party—Bebel, Liebknecht, Bracke, etc.—had repudiated his ideas” (present edition, Vol. 12, p. 367).

Subsequently Hocbberg and Schramm left the workers’ movement, but Bernstein, who temporarily refrained from advocating opportunism, became one of the leaders of German Social-Democracy. The theoretical confusion, however, and the opportunist position adopted by Bernstein at the end of the seventies, were not accidental. After Engels’ death, Bernstein openly came out with a revision of Marxism, putting forward the opportunist slogan; “The movement is everything, the final goal is nothing”, which was a further development of the basic propositions of the 1879 article.

[6] La Socialiste (The Socialist)—a weekly newspaper published from 1885 as the theoretical organ of the French Workers’ Party; from 1902 it was the organ of the Socialist Party of France, and from 1905 of the French Socialist Party. The newspaper reprinted articles by Marx and Engels and published articles by prominent leaders of the French and international working-class move meat at the turn of the century: Paul Lafargue, Wilhelm Liebknecht, Clara Zethin, 0. V. Plekhanov and others. The newspaper ceased publication in 1915.

  6. Freedom and Necessity | 2. How the “Empirio-Symbolist” Yushkevich Ridiculed the “Empirio-Criticist” Chernov  

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