MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Terms



Erfurt Programme

The programme of the German Social-Democratic Party adopted at the Congress in Erfurt in October 1891. The Erfurt Programme was a step forward in comparison with the Gotha Programme (1875); It was based on the Marxist doctrine of the inevitable doom of the capitalist mode of production and its replacement by the socialist mode; It stressed the need for the working class to carry on a political struggle, pointed out the party's role in that struggle.

The Erfurt Programme, however, contained serious concessions to allow opportunism. A comprehensive criticism of the Erfurt Programme was given by Engels in his "Critique of the Social-Democratic Programme of 1891". This was, in effect, a criticism of the opportunism of the whole Second International for whose parties the Erfurt Programme served as a mode.

The leaders of the German Social-Democratic Party, however, concealed Engels's criticism from the general membership of the party, and his most important comments were disregarded when the final text of the programme was drawn up. The programme did not make mention of any need for the dictatorship of the proletariat.



A distorted or one-sided perception of reality conditioned by restricted practice, as opposed to (deliberate) falsehood, or mistakes which refer to actions. The concept of error held by any philosophical standpoint reflects its theory of knowledge. In dialectics, error, like knowledge, is both absolute and relative. Hegel also talks of "error" in the context of the "freakish" or fortuitous encountered in everyday life.

Further Reading: The Object for Hegel's explanation of error; and Hegel's comment on Error as a positive.