(pseudonym of S. Buttermilch). Born Dec. 28, 1824; died May 4, 1898. One of the early representatives of reformism in the German workers’ movement.
Born was a typesetter. In 1847 he joined the Union of the Just, and he was a member of the Union of Communists. During the Revolution of 1848–49 he left the Union of Communists. He was head of the Central Committee of Berlin Workers and the Workers’ Brotherhood, which he founded in 1848 and whose program eclectically combined ideas from the Manifesto of the Communist Party interpreted in a reformist way and doctrines of Louis Blanc and Pierre Joseph Proudhon.
Born was an opponent of independent political action by the working class. He diverted the workers from the struggle for the common political goals that confronted the German people and worked instead for the achievement of small reforms, the organization of mutual aid, workers’ cooperatives, and so forth. V. I. Lenin characterized Born’s tendency as opportunism similar to the position of the Russian economists (see Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 11, pp. 130–31). In May 1849, Born participated in the uprising in Dresden; after its suppression he escaped to Switzerland and abandoned political activity.
REFERENCESMarx, K. “Moralizuiushchaia kritikai kritiziruiushchaia moral’.” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch.,2nd ed., vol. 4, p. 321.
Engels, F. “K istorii Soiuza kommunistov.” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 21.
Lenin, V. I. “Dve taktiki sotsial-demokratii v demokrati-cheskoi revoliutsii.” Poln. sobr. soch.,5th ed., vol. 11, pp. 129–31.
Lenin, V. I. “K biografii Stefana Borna.” In Leninskii sbornik, [vol.] 16. Moscow-Leningrad, 1931.
Wernicke, K. “Kommunisten und politische Aktivisten in der Berliner Arbeiterbewegung vor, wáhrend und nach der Revolution 1848–49.” Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung, 1968, no. 2.