This is the only legal and therefore only possible form of Irish emancipation which can be admitted in the programme of an English [workers'] party." And Marx went on to show that what the Irish needed was Home Rule and independence of Britain, an agrarian revolution and tariffs against Britain.
Such was the programme proposed to the British workers by Marx, in the interests of Irish freedom, of accelerating the social development and freedom of the British workers; because the British workers could not become free so long as they helped to keep another nation in slavery (or even allowed it)
Alas! Owing to a number of special historical causes, the British workers of the last third of the nineteenth century proved dependent upon the Liberals, impregnated with the spirit of liberal-labour policy. They proved to be, not at the head of nations and classes fighting for liberty, but in
the wake of the contemptible lackeys of the money-bags, the British Liberals.
And the Liberals have for half a century been dragging out Ireland's liberation, which has not been completed to this day! It was not until the twentieth century that the Irish peasant began to turn from a tenant farmer into a freeholder, but the Liberals have imposed upon him a system of land purchase at a "fair" price ! He has paid, and will continue to pay for many years, millions upon millions to the British landlords as a reward for their having robbed him for centuries and reduced him to a state of chronic starvation. The British liberal bourgeois has made the Irish peasant thank the landlord for this in hard cash. . . .
A Home Rule Bill for Ireland is now going through Parliament. But in Ireland there is the Northern province of Ulster, which is inhabited partly by English-born Protestants as distinct from the Catholic Irish. Well then, the British Conservatives, led by Carson, the British version of our Black-Hundred landlord Purishkevich, have raised a frightful outcry against Irish Home Rule. This, they say, means subjecting Ulstermen to an alien people of alien creed! Lord Carson has threatened rebellion, and has organised gangs of reactionary armed thugs for this purpose.
An empty threat, of course. There can be no question of a rebellion by a handful of hoodlums. Nor could there be any question of an Irish Parliament (whose powers are determined by British law) "oppressing" the Protestants.
It is simply a question of the reactionary landlords trying to scare the Liberals.
And the Liberals are losing their nerve, bowing to the reactionaries, making concessions to them, offering to conduct a referendum in Ulster and put off reform for Ulster for six years!
The haggling between the Liberals and the reactionaries continues. Reform can wait: the Irish have waited half a century; they can wait a little longer; you can't very well "offend" the landlords!
Of course, if the Liberals appealed to the people of Britain, to the proletariat, Carson's reactionary gangs would melt away immediately and disappear. The peaceful and full achievement of freedom by Ireland would be guaranteed,
But is it conceivable that the liberal bourgeois will turn to the proletariat for aid against the landlords? Why, the Liberals in Britain are also lackeys of the money-bags, capable only of cringing to the Carsons.
Saltychikha (Saltykova, D. I.) (1730-1801) -- a landowner, notorious for her brutal treatment of her serfs. She was responsible for the death of 139 peasants. The name Saltychikha became a synonym for bestial treatment of the peasants by the feudalist squirearchy.
See Marx and Engels, Selected Correspondence, Moscow, 1955, p. 236.