Marx-Engels Correspondence 1865

Engels To Marx
In London

Source: MECW Volume 42, p. 68;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913 and in full in MEGA, Berlin, 1930.

Manchester, 27 January 1865

Dear Moor,

I will send the letters back to you tomorrow or on Sunday, as I simply have to read this dreadful handwriting and these pale inks by daylight; yesterday evening I was only able to skim through them.

Moses really has been extraordinarily tactless (no doubt the head of the party took a certain malicious pleasure in it), but Liebknecht even more so. But I am surprised the latter has not already committed more such gaffes, it always was his forte.

I am sending the fellows the little Danish folksong about Tidmann, who is struck dead by the old man at the Thing for imposing new taxes on the peasants. It is revolutionary but not indictable, and above all it is directed against the feudal nobility, which the paper absolutely must condemn. I am making a few remarks to that effect. I shall probably be able to do the article on the reorganisation of the army as soon as I get the new military budget proposals, etc.; I am writing to ask them to send them to me and am telling them at the same time that I shall be coming out against the government — past and present — just as much as against the men of Progress, and that the article must not be published if the first point is unacceptable to them. As far as the American war is concerned, perhaps something can be made of it at a later date after all. The present phase is not yet complete, the calm, to use J. Grimm’s term, is ‘inorganic’.

Good old Lassalle is after all gradually being unmasked as a common or garden scoundrel. It has never been our practice to judge people by what they thought but rather by what they were, and I do not see why we should make an exception in the late Izzy’s case. Subjectively, his vanity may have made the affair seem plausible to him, but objectively it was the act of a scoundrel, the betrayal of the whole workers’ movement to the Prussians. Throughout, the stupid fop does not seem to have obtained from Bismarck anything at all in return, nothing specific at all, let alone guarantees; he seems just to have taken it for granted he would definitely do Bismarck in the eye, in exactly the same way as he could not fail to shoot Racowita dead. That’s Baron Izzy all over for you.

Incidentally, it will not be very long now before it becomes not merely desirable but necessary to make this whole affair public. We can only gain from it, and, if the business with the Association and the paper in Germany bears fruit, the fellow’s heirs will have to be thrown out soon enough now. Meanwhile, the proletariat in Germany will soon see what it has got in Bismarck.

Kind regards to the Ladies.

F. E.

I can only see my way to disposing of approx. 1/2 dozen cards; I will see Jones about it, I'm very busy just now.