Plekhanov on “Bourgeois” Science

Strictly speaking, “partisan science” is impossible, but, regrettably enough, the existence is highly possible of “scientists” who are imbued with the spirit of parties and with class selfishness. When Marxists speak of bourgeois science with contempt, it is “scientists” of that brand that they have in view. It is to such “scientists” that the gentlemen Herr Bernstein has “learnt” so much from belong, viz. J. Wolf, Schulze-Gävernitz, and many others. Even if nine-tenths of scientific socialism has been taken from the writings of bourgeois economists, it has not been taken in the way in which Herr Bernstein has borrowed from the Brentanoists and other apologists of capitalism the material he uses to “revise” Marxism. Marx and Engels were able to take a critical attitude towards bourgeois scientists, something that Herr Bernstein has been unable or unwilling to do. When he “learns” from them, he simply places himself under their influence and, without noticing the fact, adopts their apologetics.

SOURCE: Plekhanov, Georgi. “Cant Against Kant, or Herr Bernstein’s Will and Testament” (August 1901), in Selected Philosophical Works, Vol. II (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976), pp. 352-378. This quote, p. 374.

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