Marx-Engels Correspondence 1872

Marx To Nikolai Danielson
In St Petersburg

Source: MECW Volume 44, p. 455;
First published: in Russian, in Minuvshiye gody, St Petersburg, 1908.

[London,] 12 December 1872

Dear Friend,

From the enclosed you can see the results of the Hague Congress I read out the letter to Lyubavin to the Commission d'enquête on the Alliance in the strictest confidence and without divulging the name of the addressee. Nevertheless, the secret was not kept, firstly because the Commission included Splingard, the Belgian lawyer, among its numbers, and he was in reality no more than an agent of the Alliancists; secondly, because Zhuhovsky, Guillaume et Co. had already earlier — as a preventive measurere — counted the story all over the place in their own way and with apologist interpretations. This was how it came about that, in its report to the Congress, the Commission was compelled to pass on the facts relative to Bakunin that were contained in the letter to Lyubavin (of course, I had not revealed his name, but Bakunin’s friends had already been informed on that score by Geneva). The question that presents itself now is whether the Commission appointed by the Congress to publish the minutes (of which I am a member) may make public use of that letter or not? That is for Lyubavin to decide. However, I may note that — ever since the Congress — the facts have been going the rounds of the European press, and this was none of our doing. I found the whole business all the more distasteful since I had reckoned on the strictest discretion and solemnly demanded it.

As a consequence of the expulsion of Bakunin and Guillaume, the Alliance, which had control of the Association in Spain and Italy, has unleashed a campaign of vilification, etc., against us everywhere. It is joining forces with all the disreputable elements and attempting to force a split into two camps. However, its ultimate defeat is assured. Indeed, the Alliance is only helping us to purge the Association of the unsavoury or feeble-minded elements who have pushed their way in here and there.

It is a fact that Bakunin’s friends in Zurich have tried to murder poor Outine. Outine himself is in a very critical state of health at the moment. This scurvy deed has already been reported in a number of papers belonging to the Association (including the Emancipación in Madrid) and will figure in detail in our official Compte rendu of the Hague Congress. The same scurvy gang has made two similar attempts on the lives of their opponents in Spain. Its misdeeds will soon be exposed to the view of the world at large.

The fate of our dear ‘mutual friend’ has been of the very greatest interest to my entire family. I have a plan to obtain help for him from Constantinople — through diplomatic channels. It may work.

I still have the manuscript you sent me, for Outine is not in a position to see to the printing, while Elpidin is just a scoundrel belonging to the gang. It is very interesting. I am eagerly looking forward to the promised review (in manuscript), as indeed to anything printed you have in this line. One of my friends wants to write something on the way my book [Volume I of Capital] was received in Russia.

The publication of the French translation [of Volume I of Capital] has been interrupted by unpleasant accidents, but will be resumed in a few days.

An Italian translation is in preparation.

Lastly, a request: My son-in-law, Dr Lafargue M.D. (a refugee), would — if possible — be happy to contribute to some Russian Review, etc.; he could supply articles either on the natural sciences or on the state of affairs in Spain and Portugal (as well as France). However, his circumstances would not permit him to do this gratis and he could only submit articles in French.

I should very much like to see a copy of the book by Prof. Sieber (Kiev) on Ricardo’s, etc., doctrines of value and capital, which also contains a discussion of my book.

Yours very sincerely,
A. Williams

In Volume II of Capital I shall, in the section on landed property, deal in great detail with the Russian form.

One last point. I would like to publish something on Chernyshevsky’s life and personality, etc., so as to create some interest in him in the West. But I need information for it.