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The German Ideology by Marx and Engels


The Leipzig Council [37]

Source MECW Volume 5, pp 94-116
Written: November 1845 — April 1846;
First published: 1921;
Transcribed by: Andy Blunden.


In the third volume of the Wigand’sche Vierteljahrsschrift for 1845 the battle of the Huns, prophetically portrayed by Kaulbach,[38] actually takes place. The spirits of the slain, whose fury is not appeased even in death, raise a hue and cry, which sounds like the thunder of battles and war-cries, the clatter of swords, shields and iron waggons. But it is not a battle over earthly things. The holy war is being waged not over protective tariffs, the constitution, potato blight, [38] banking affairs and railways, but in the name of the most sacred interests of the spirit, in the name of “substance”, “self-consciousness”, “criticism;’, the “unique” and the “true man”. We are attending a council of church fathers. As these church fathers are the last specimens of their kind, and as here, it is to be hoped, the cause of the Most High, alias the Absolute, is being pleaded for the last time, it is worth while taking a verbatim report of the proceedings.

Here, first of all, is Saint Bruno, who is easily recognised by his stick (“become sensuousness, become a stick”, Wigand, p. 130).’ His head is crowned with a halo of “pure criticism” and, full of contempt for the world, he wraps himself in his “self-consciousness”. He has ‘,smashed religion in its entirety and the state in its manifestations” (p. 138), by violating the concept of “substance” in the name of the most high self-consciousness. The ruins of the church and “debris” of the state lie at his feet, while his glance “strikes clown” the “masses into the dust. He is like God, he has neither father nor mother, he is “his own creation, his own product” (p. 136). In short, he is the “Napoleon” of the spirit, in spirit he is “Napoleon”. His spiritual exercises consist in constantly “examining himself, and in this self-examination he finds the impulse to self-determination” (p. 136); as a result of such wearisome self-recording he has obviously become emaciated. Besides “examining” himself — from time to time he “examines” also, as we shall see, the Westphälische Dampfboot.


Opposite him stands Saint Max, whose services to the Kingdom of God consist in asserting that he has established and proved — on approximately 600 printed pages [Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum] — his identity, that he is not just anyone, not some “Tom, Dick or Harry”, but precisely Saint Max and no other. About his halo and other marks of distinction only one thing can be said: that they are “his object and thereby his property”, that they are “unique” and “incomparable” and that they are “inexpressible” (p. 148).c He is simultaneously the “phrase” and the “owner of the phrase”, simultaneously Sancho Panza and Don Quixote. His ascetic exercises consist of sour thoughts about thoughtlessness, of considerations throughout many pages about inconsiderateness and of the sanctification of unholiness. Incidentally, there is no need for us to elaborate on his virtues, for concerning all the qualities ascribed to him — even if there were more of them than the. names of God among the Muslims — he is in the habit of saying: I am all this and something more, 1 am the all of this nothing and the nothing of this all. He is favourably distinguished from his gloomy rival in possessing a certain solemn “light-heartedness” and from time to time he interrupts his serious ponderings with a “critical hurrah”.

These two grand masters of the Holy Inquisition summon the heretic Feuerbach, who has to defend himself against the grave charge of gnosticism. The heretic Feuerbach, “thunders” Saint Bruno, is in possession of hyle, substance, and refuses to hand it over lest my infinite self-consciousness be reflected in it. Self-consciousness has to wander like a ghost until it has taken back into itself all things which arise from it and flow into it. It has already swallowed the whole world, except for this hyle, substance, which the gnostic Feuerbach keeps under lock and key and refuses to hand over.

Saint Max accuses the gnostic of doubting the dogma revealed by the mouth of Saint Max himself, the dogma that “every goose, every dog, every horse” is “the perfect, or, if one prefers the superlative degree, the most perfect, man”. (Wigand, p. 187: “The aforesaid does not lack a tittle of what makes man a man. Indeed, the same applies also to every goose, every dog, every, horse.”)


Besides the hearing of these important indictments, sentence is also pronounced in the case brought by the two saints against Moses Hess and in the case brought by Saint Bruno against the authors of Die Heilige Familie. But as these accused have been busying themselves with “worldly affairs” and, therefore, have failed to appear before the Santa Casa, [40] they are sentenced in their absence to eternal banishment from the realm of the spirit for the term of their natural life.

Finally, the two grand masters are again starting some strange intrigues among themselves and against each other.

The German Ideology by Marx and Engels

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Saint Bruno


1. “Campaign” Against Feuerbach

Before turning to the solemn discussion which Bauer’s selfconsciousness has with itself and the world, we should reveal one secret. Saint Bruno uttered the battle-cry and kindled the war only because he had to “safeguard” himself and his stale, soured criticism against the ungrateful forgetfulness of the public, only because he had to show that, in the changed conditions of 1845, criticism always remained itself and unchanged. He wrote the second volume of the “good cause and his own cause” [Bruno Bauer’s article “Charakteristik Ludwig Feuerbachs” is here ironically called the second volume of Bauer’s book Die gute.Sache der Freiheit und meine eigene Angelegenheit — The Good Cause of Freedom and My Own Cause]: he stands his ground, he fights pro aris et focis. [literally: for altars and hearths, used in the sense of: for house and home — that is, pleading his own cause] In the true theological manner, however, he conceals this aim of his by an appearance of wishing to “characterise” Feuerbach. Poor Bruno was quite forgotten, as was best proved by the polemic between Feuerbach and Stirner, [Feuerbach, “Ueber das ‘Wesen des Chrienthums’ in Bezichung auf den ‘Einzigen und sein Eigenthum'"] which no notice at all was taken of him. For just this reason he seized on this polemic in order to be able to proclaim himself, as the antithesis of the antagonists, their higher unity, the Holy Spirit.

Saint Bruno opens his “campaign” with a burst of artillery fire against Feuerbach, that is to say, with a revised and enlarged reprint of an article which had already appeared in the Norddeutsche Blätter. [Bruno Bauer’s article “Ludwig Feuerbach"] Feuerbach is made into a knight of “substance” in order that Bauer’s self-consciousness” shall stand out in stronger relief. In this trans-substantiation of Feuerbach, which is supposed to be proved by all the writings of the latter, our holy man jumps at once from Feuerbach’s writings on Leibniz and Bayle [The reference is to the following works of Feuerbach: Geschichte der neuern Philosophie. Darstellung, Entwirklung und Kritik der Leibnitzischen Philosophie and Pierre Bayle] to the Wesen des Christenthmus, leaving out the article against the “positive philosophers”,[41] in the Hallische Jahrbücher. [Ludwig Feuerbach, “Zur Kritik der ‘positiven Philosophie'"] This “oversight” is “in place”. For there Feuerbach revealed the whole wisdom of “selfconsciousness” as against the positive representatives of “substance”, at a time when Saint Bruno was still indulging in speculation on the immaculate conception.


It is hardly necessary to mention that Saint Bruno still continues to prance about on his old-Hegelian war horse. Listen to the first passage in his latest revelations from the Kingdom of God:

“Hegel combined into one Spinoza’s substance and Fichte’s ego; the unity of both, the combination of these opposing spheres, etc., constitutes the peculiar interest but, at the same time, the weakness of Hegel’s philosophy. [... ] This contradiction in which Hegel’s system was entangled had to be resolved and destroyed. But he could only do this by making it impossible for all time to put the question: what is the relation of self-consciousness to the absolute spirit.... This was possible in two ways. Either self-consciousness had to be burned again in the flames of substance, i.e., the pure substantiality relation had to be firmly established and maintained, or it had to be shown that personality is the creator of its own attributes and essence, that it belongs to the concept of personality in general to posit itself” (the “concept” or the personality"?) “as limited, and again to abolish this limitation which it posits by its universal essence, for precisely this essence is only the result of its inner self-distinction of its activity” (Wigand, pp. 86, 87, 88). [Bruno Bauer, “Charakteristik Ludwig Feuerbachs"]

In Die Heilige Familie (p. 220 ) Hegelian philosophy was represented as a union of Spinoza and Fichte and at the same time the contradiction involved in this was emphasised. The specific peculiarity of Saint Bruno is that, unlike the authors of Die Heilige Familie, he does not regard the question of the relation of selfconsciousness to substance as “a point of controversy within Hegelian speculation”, but as a world-historic, even an absolute question. This is the sole form in which he is capable of expressing the conflicts of the present day. He really believes that the triumph of selfconsciousness over substance has a most essential influence not only on European equilibrium but also on the whole future development of the Oregon problem. As to the extent to which the abolition of the Corn Laws in England depends on it, very little has so far transpired.[42]


The abstract and nebulous expression into which a real collision is distorted by Hegel is held by this “critical” mind to be the real collision itself. Bruno accepts the speculative contradiction and upholds one part of it against the other. A philosophical phrase about a real question is for him the real question itself. Consequently, on the one hand, instead of real people and their real consciousness of their social relations, which apparently confront them as something independent, he has the mere abstract expression: self-consciousness, just as, instead of real production, he has the activity of this self-consciousness, which has become independent. On the other hand, instead of real nature and the actually existing social relations, he has the philosophical summing-up of all the philosophical categories or names of these relations in the expression: substance; for Bruno, along with all philosophers and ideologists, erroneously regards thoughts and ideas — the independent intellectual expression of the existing world — as the basis of this existing world. It is obvious that with these two abstractions, which have become senseless and empty, he can perform all kinds of tricks without knowing anything at all about real people and their relations. (See, in addition, what is said about substance in connection with Feuerbach and concerning “humane liberalism” and the “holy” in connection with Saint Max.) Hence, he does not forsake the speculative basis in order to solve the contradictions of speculation; he manoeuvres while remaining on that basis, and he himself still stands so much on the specifically Hegelian basis that the relation of “self-consciousness” to the “absolute spirit” still gives him no peace. In short, we are confronted with the philosophy of self-consciousness that was announced in the der Synoptiker, carried out in Das entdenckte Christenthum and which, unfortunately, was long ago anticipated in Hegel’s Phänomenologie. This new philosophy of Bauer’s was completely disposed of in Die Heilige Familie on page 220 et seq. and on pages 304-07. Here, however, Saint Bruno even contrives to caricature himself by smuggling in “personality”, in order to be able, with Stirner, to portray the single individual as “his own product”, and Stirner as Bruno’s product. This step forward deserves a brief notice.


First of all, let the reader compare this caricature with the original, the explanation given of self-consciousness in Das entdeckte Christenthum, page 113, and then let him compare this explanation with its prototype, with Hegel’s Phänomenologie, pages 575, 583 and so on. (Both these passages are reproduced in Die Heilige Familie, pages 221, 223, 224.) But now let us turn to the caricature! “Personality in general"! “Concept"! “Universal essence"! “To posit itself as limited and again to abolish the limitation"! “Inner self-distinction"! What tremendous “results"! “Personality ‘it general” is either nonsense “in general” or the abstract concept of personality. Therefore, it is part of the “concept” of the concept of personality to “posit itself as limited”. This limitation, which belongs to the “concept” of its concept, personality directly afterwards posits “by its universal essence”. And after it has again abolished this limitation, it turns out that “precisely this essence” is “the result of its inner self-distinction”. The entire grandiose result of this intricate tautology amounts, therefore, to Hegel’s familiar trick of the self-distinction of man in thought, a self-distinction which the unfortunate Bruno stubbornly proclaims to be the sole activity of “personality in general”. A fairly long time ago it was pointed out to Saint Bruno that there is nothing to be got from a “personality” whose activity is restricted to these, by now trivial, logical leaps. At the same time the passage quoted contains the naive admission that the essence of Bauer’s “personality” is the concept of a concept, the abstraction of an abstraction.

Bruno’s criticism of Feuerbach, insofar as It is new, is restricted to hypocritically representing Stirner’s reproaches against Feuerbach and Bauer as Bauer’s reproaches against Feuerbach. Thus, for example, the assertions that the “essence of man is essence in general and something holy”, that “man is the God of man”, that the human species is “the Absolute”, that Feuerbach splits man “into an essential and an inessential ego” (although Bruno always declares that the abstract is the essential and, in his antithesis of criticism and the mass, conceives this split as far more monstrous than Feuerbach does), that a struggle must be waged against the “predicates of God”, etc. On the question of selfish and selfless love, Bruno, polemising with Feuerbach, copies Stirner almost word for word for three pages (pp. 133-35) just as he very clumsily copies Stirner’s phrases: “every man is his own creation”, “truth is a ghost”, and so on. In addition, in Bruno the “creation” is transformed into a “product”. We shall return to this exploitation of Stirner by Saint Bruno.


Thus, the first thing that we discovered in Saint Bruno was his continual dependence on Hegel. We shall not, of course, dwell further on the remarks he has copied from Hegel, but shall only put together a few more passages which show how firmly he believes in the power of the philosophers and how he shares their illusion that a modified consciousness, a new turn given to the interpretation of existing relations, could overturn the whole hitherto existing world. imbued with this faith, Saint Bruno also has one of his pupils certify — in issue IV of Wigand’s quarterly, p. 327 — that his phrases on personality given above, which were proclaimed by him in issue III, were “world-shattering ideas”. ["Ueber das Recht des Freigesprochenen..."]

Saint Bruno says (Wigand, p. 95) [Bruno Bauer, “Charakteristik Ludwig Feuerbachs"]

“Philosophy has never been anything but theology reduced to its most general form and given its most rational expression.”

This passage, aimed against Feuerbach, is copied almost word for word from Feuerbach’s Philosophie der Zukunft (p. 2):

“Speculative philosophy is true, consistent, rational theology.”

Bruno continues:

“Philosophy, in alliance with religion, has always striven for the absolute dependence of the individual and has actually achieved this by demanding and causing the absorption of the individual life in universal life, of the accident in substance, of man in the absolute spirit.”

As if Bruno’s “philosophy”, “in alliance with” Hegel’s, and his still continuing forbidden association with theology, did not “demand”, if not “cause”, the “absorption of man” in the idea of one of his “accidents”, that of self-consciousness, as “substance"! Moreover, one sees from this whole passage with what joy the church father with his “pulpit eloquence” continues to proclaim his “world-shattering” faith in the mysterious power of the holy theologians and philosophers. Of course, in the interests of the “good cause of freedom and his own cause”. [ironical allusion to Bauer’s book Die gute Sache der Freiheit und meine eigene Angelegenheit]

On page 105 our god-fearing man has the insolence to reproach Feuerbach:

“Feuerbach made of the individual, of the depersonalised man of Christianity, not a man, not a true” (!) “real” (!!) “personal” (!!!) “man” (these predicates owe their origin to Die Heilige Familie and Stirner), “but an emasculated man, a slave” —

and thereby utters, inter alia, the nonsense that he, Saint Bruno, can make people by means of the mind.

Further on in the same passage he says:

“According to Feuerbach the individual has to subordinate himself to the species, serve it. The species of which Feuerbach speaks is Hegel’s Absolute, and it, too, exists nowhere.”


Here, as in all the other passages, Saint Bruno does not deprive himself of the glory of making the actual relations of individuals dependent on the philosophical interpretation of these relations. He has not the slightest inkling of the correlation which exists between the concepts of Hegel’s “absolute spirit” and Feuerbach’s “species” on the one hand and the existing world on the other.

On page 104 the holy father is mightily shocked by the heresy with which Feuerbach transforms the holy trinity of reason, love and will into something that “is in individuals and over individuals”, as though, in our day, every inclination, every impulse, every need did not assert itself as a force “in the individual and over the individual”, whenever circumstances hinder their satisfaction. If the holy father Bruno experiences hunger, for example, without the means of appeasing it, then even his stomach will become a force “in him and over him”. Feuerbach’s mistake is not that he stated this fact but that in idealistic fashion he endowed it with independence instead of regarding it as the product of a definite and surmountable stage of historical development.

Page 111: “Feuerbach is a slave and his servile nature does not allow him to fulfil the work of a man, to recognise the essence of religion” (what a fine “work of a man"!)....... He does not perceive the essence of religion because he does not know the bridge over which he can make his way to the source of religion.”

Saint Bruno still seriously believes that religion has its own “essence”. As for the “bridge”, “over which” one makes one’s way to the “source of religion”, this asses’ bridge [a pun in the original: Eselsbrücke — asses’ bridge — an expedient used by dull or lazy people to understand a difficult problem] must certainly be an aqueduct. At the same time Saint Bruno establishes himself as a curiously modernised Charon who has been retired owing to the building of the bridge, becoming a toll-keeper who demands a halfpenny from every person crossing the bridge to the spectral realm of religion.

On page 120 the saint remarks:

“How could Feuerbach exist if there were no truth and truth were only a spectre” (Stirner, help!') “of which hitherto man has been afraid?”

The “man” who fears the “spectre” of “truth” is no other than the worthy Bruno himself. Ten pages earlier, on p. 110, he had already let out the following world-shattering cry of terror at the sight of the “spectre” of truth:


“Truth which is never of itself encountered as a ready-made object and which develops itself and reaches unity only in the unfolding of personality.”

Thus, we have here not only truth, this spectre, transformed into a person which develops itself and reaches unity, but in addition this trick is accomplished in a third personality outside it, after the manner of the tapeworm. Concerning the holy man’s former love affair with truth, when he was still young and the lusts of the flesh still strong in him — see Die Heilige Familie, p. 115 et seq.'

How purified of all fleshly lusts and earthly desires our holy man now appears is shown by his vehement polemic against Feuerbach’s sensuousness. Bruno by no means attacks the highly restricted way in which Feuerbach recognises sensuousness. He regards Feuerbach’s unsuccessful attempt, since it is an attempt to escape ideology, as — a sin. Of course! Sensuousness is lust of the eye, lust of the flesh and arrogance [cf. 1 John 2:16] — horror and abomination [cf. Ezekiel 11:18] in the eyes of the Lord! Do you not know that to be fleshly minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace; for to be fleshly, minded is hostility to criticism, and everything of the flesh is of this world. And do you not know that it is written: the works of the flesh are manifest, they are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, obscenity, idolatry, witchcraft, enmity, strife, envy, anger, quarrelsomeness, discord, sinful gangs, hatred, murder, drunkenness, gluttony and the like. [cf. Galatians 5:19-21] I prophesy to you, as I prophesied before, that those who do such works will not inherit the kingdom of criticism; but woe to them for in their thirst for delights they are following the path of Cain and are falling into the error of Balaam, and will perish in a rebellion, like that of Korah. These lewd ones feast shamelessly on your alms, and fatten themselves. They are clouds without water driven by the wind; bare, barren trees, twice dead and uprooted; wild ocean waves frothing their own shame; errant stars condemned to the gloom of darkness for ever. [cf. Jude 11-13] For we have read that in the last days there will be terrible times, people will appear who think much of themselves, lewd vilifiers who love voluptuousness [cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-4] more than criticism, makers of sinful gangs, in short, slaves of the flesh. Such people are shunned by Saint Bruno, who is spiritually minded and loathes the stained covering of the flesh [cf. Jude 23] and for this reason he condemns Feuerbach, whom he regards as the Korah of the gang, to remain outside together with the dogs, the magicians, the debauched and the assassins. [cf. Revelation 22:15] “Sensuousness” — ugh! Not only does it throw the saintly church father into the most violent convulsions, but it even makes him sing, and on page 121 he chants the “song of the end and the end of the song”. Sensuousness — do you know, unfortunate one, what sensuousness is? Sensuousness is — a “stick” (p. 130). Seized with convulsions, Saint Bruno even wrestles on one occasion with one of his own theses, just as Jacob of blessed memory wrestled with God, with the one difference that God twisted Jacob’s thigh, while our saintly epileptic twists all the limbs and ties of his own thesis, and so, by a number of striking examples, makes clear the identity of subject and object:


“Feuerbach may say what he likes ... all the same he destroys” (!) “man... for he transforms the word man into a mere phrase ... for he does not wholly makeand create” (!) “man, but raises the whole of mankind to the Absolute, for in addition he declares not mankind, but rather the senses to be the organ of the Absolute, and stamps the sensuous — the object of the senses, of perception, of sensation — as the Absolute, the indubitable and the immediately certain. Whereby Feuerbach — such is Saint Bruno’s opinion — “can undoubtedly shake layers of the air, but he cannot smash the phenomena of human essence, because his innermost” (!) “essence and his vitalising spirit [...] already destroys the external” (!) “sound and makes it empty and jarring” (p. 121).

Saint Bruno himself gives us mysterious but decisive disclosures about the causes of his nonsensical attitude:

“As though my ego does not also possess just this particular sex, unique, compared with all others, and these particular, unique sex organs,” (Besides his “unique sex organs”, this noble-minded man also possesses a special “unique sex"!)

This unique sex is explained on page 121 in the sense that:

“sensuousness, like a vampire, sucks all the marrow and blood from the life of man; it is the insurmountable barrier against which man has to deal himself a mortal blow”.

But even the saintliest man is not pure! They are all sinners and lack the glory that they should have before “self-consciousness”. Saint Bruno, who in his lonely cell at midnight struggles with “substance”, has his attention drawn by the frivolous writings of the heretic Feuerbach to women and female beauty. Suddenly his sight becomes less keen; his pure self-consciousness is besmirched, and a reprehensible, sensuous fantasy plays about the frightened critic with lascivious images. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. [cf. Matthew 26:41] Bruno stumbles, he falls, he forgets that he is the power that “with its strength binds, frees and dominates the world”, [cf. ibid. 16:19] he forgets that these products of his imagination are “spirit of his spirit”, he loses all “self-control” and, intoxicated, stammers a dithyramb to female beauty, to its “tenderness, softness, womanliness”, to the “full and rounded limbs” and the “surging, undulating, seething, rushing and hissing, wave-like structure of the body” of woman. Innocence, however, always reveals itself — even where it sins. Who does not know that a “surging, undulating, wave-like structure of the body” is Something that no eye has ever seen, or ear heard? Therefore — hush, sweet soul, the spirit will soon prevail over the rebellious flesh and set an insurmountable “barrier” to the overflowing, seething lusts, “against which” they will soon deal themselves a “mortal blow”.


“Feuerbach” — the saint finally arrives at this through a critical understanding of Die Heilige Familie — “is a materialist tempered with and corrupted by humanism, i.e., a materialist who is unable to endure the earth and its being” (Saint Bruno knows the being of the earth as distinct from the earth itself, and knows how one should behave in order to “endure the being of the earth"!) “but wants to spiritualism himself and rise into heaven; and at the same time he is a humanist who cannot think and build a spiritual world, but one who is impregnated with materialism”, and so on (p. 123).

Just as for Saint Bruno humanism, according to this, consists in thinking” and in “building a spiritual world”, so materialism consists in the following:

“The materialist recognises only the existing, actual being, matter” (as though man with all his attributes, including thought, were not an “existing, actual being”), “and recognises it as actively extending and realising itself in multiplicity, nature” (p. 123).

First, matter is an existing, actual being, but only in itself, concealed; only when it “actively extends and realises itself in multiplicity” (an “existing, actual being” “realises itself"!!), only then does it become nature. First there exists the concept of matter, an abstraction, an idea, and this latter realises itself in actual nature. Word for word the Hegelian theory of the pre-existence of the creative categories. From this point of view it is understandable that Saint Bruno mistakes the philosophical phrases of the materialists concerning matter for the actual kernel and content of their world outlook.


2. Saint Bruno’s Views on the Struggle Between Feuerbach and Stirner

Having thus admonished Feuerbach with a few weighty words, Saint Bruno takes a look at the struggle between Feuerbach and the unique. The first evidence of his interest in this struggle is a methodical, triple smile.


“The critic pursues his path irresistibly, confident of victory, and victorious. He is slandered — he smiles. He is called a heretic — he smiles. The old world starts a crusade against him — he smiles.”

Saint Bruno — this is thus established — pursues his path but he does not pursue it like other people, he follows a critical course, he accomplishes this important action with a smile.

“He does smile his face into more lines than are in the new map, with the augmentation of the Indies. 1 know my lady will strike him: if she do, he'll smile and take it for a great art, [Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act III, Scene 2. Marx and Engels quote these lines front the German translation by August Wilhelm von Schlegel. But they have substituted the word Kunst (art) for the word Gunst (favour)] — like Shakespeare’s Malvolio.

Saint Bruno himself does not lift a finger to refute his two opponents, he knows a better way of ridding himself of them, he leaves them — divide et impera — to their own quarrel. He confronts Stirner with Feuerbach’s man (p. 124), and Feuerbach with Stirner’s unique (p. 126 et seq.); he knows that they are as incensed against each other as the two Kilkenny cats in Ireland, which so completely devoured each other that finally only their tails remained. [43] And Saint Bruno passes sentence on these tails, declaring that they are “substance” and, consequently, condemned to eternal damnation.

In confronting Feuerbach with Stirner he repeats what Hegel said of Spinoza and Fichte, where, as we know, the punctiform ego is represented as one, and moreover the most stable, aspect of substance. However much Bruno formerly raged against egoism, which he even considered the odor specificus of the masses, on page 129 he accepts egoism from Stirner — only this should be “not that of Max Stirner”, but, of course, that of Bruno Bauer. He brands Stirner’s egoism as having the moral defect “that his ego for the support of its egoism requires hypocrisy, deception, external violence”. For the rest, be believes (see p. 124) in the critical miracles of Saint Max and sees in the latter’s struggle (p. 126) “a real effort to radically destroy substance”. Instead of dealing with Stirner’s criticism of Bauer’s “pure criticism”, he asserts on p. 124 that Stirner’s criticism could affect him just as little as any other, “because he himself is the critic”.

Finally Saint Bruno refutes both of thein, Saint Max and Feuerbach, applying almost literally to Feuerbach and Stirner the antithesis drawn by Stirner between the critic Bruno Bauer and the dogmatist.

Wigand, p. 138: “Feuerbach puts himself in opposition to, and thereby” (!) “stands in opposition to, the unique. He is a communist and wants to be one. The unique is an egoist and has to he one; he is the holy one, the other the profane one, he is the good one, the other the evil one, he is God, the other is man. Both are dogmatists.


The point is, therefore, that he accuses both of dogmatism.

Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum, p. 194: “The critic is afraid of becoming dogmatic or of putting forward dogmas. Obviously, he would then become the opposite of a critic, a dogmatist; he who as a critic was good, would now become evil, or from being unselfish” (a Communist) “would become an egoist, etc. Not a single dogma! — that is his dogma.”


3. Saint Bruno Versus the Authors of Die Heilige Familie

Saint Bruno, who has disposed of Feuerbach and Stirner in the manner indicated and who has “cut the unique off from all progress”, now turns against the apparent “consequences of Feuerbach”, the German Communists and, especially, the authors of Die Heilige Familie. The expression “real humanism”, which he found in the preface to this polemic treatise, provides the main basis of his hypothesis. He will recall a passage from the Bible:

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal” (in our case it was just the opposite), “even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it” (1 Corinthians, 3: 1-2).

The first impression that Die Heilige Familie made on the worthy church father was one of profound distress and serious, respectable sorrow. The one good side of the book is that it

“showed what Feuerbach had to become, and the position his philosophy can adopt, if it desires to fight against criticism” (p. 138),

that, consequently, it combined in an easy-going way “desiring” with “what can be” and “what must he”, but this good side does not out-weigh its many distressing sides. Feuerbach’s philosophy, which strangely enough is presupposed here,

dare not and cannot understand the critic, dare not and cannot know and perceive criticism in its development, dare not and cannot know that, in relation to all that is transcendental, criticism is a constant struggle and victory, a continual destruction and creation, the sole” (!) “creative and productive principle. It dare not and cannot know how the critic has worked, and still works, to posit and to make” (!) “the transcendental forces, which up to now have suppressed mankind and not allowed it to breathe and live, into what they really are, the spirit of the spirit, the innermost of the innermost, a native thing” (!) “out of and in the native soil, products and creations of self-consciousness. It dare not and cannot know that the critic and only the critic has smashed religion in its entirety, and the state in its various manifestations, etc.” (pp. 138,139).


Is this not an exact copy of the ancient Jehovah, who runs after his errant people who found greater delight in the cheerful pagan gods, and cries out:

“Hear me, Israel, and close not your ear, Judah! Am I not the Lord your God, who led you out of the land of Egypt into the land flowing with milk and honey, and behold, from your earliest youth you have done evil in my sight and angered me with the work of my hands and turned your back unto me and not your face towards me, though 1 invariably tutored you; and you have brought abominations into my house to defile it, and built the high places of Baal in the valley of the son of Himmon, which 1 did not command, and it never entered my head that you should do such abominations; and 1 have sent to you my servant Jeremiah, to whom I did address my word, beginning with the thirteenth year of the reign of King Josiah, son of Amon, unto this day — and for twenty-three years now he has been zealously preaching to you, but ye have not harkened. Therefore says the Lord God: Who has ever heard the like of the virgin of Israel doing such an abomination. For rain water does not disappear so quickly as my people forgets me. 0 earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord!” [cf. Jeremiah 2:6, 32:22, 30, 33-35, 25:3, 19:3, 18:13, 14, 22:29]

Thus, in a lengthy speech on “to dare” and “to be able”, Saint Bruno asserts that his communist opponents have misunderstood him. The way in which he describes criticism in this recent speech, the way in which he transforms the former forces that suppressed ‘,the life of mankind” into “transcendental forces”, and these transcendental forces into the “spirit of the spirit”, and the way in which he presents “criticism” as the sole branch of production proves that the apparent misconception is nothing but a disagreeable conception. We proved that Bauer’s criticism is beneath all criticism, owing to which we have inevitably become dogmatists. He even in all seriousness reproaches us for our insolent disbelief in his ancient phrases. The whole mythology of independent concepts, with Zeus the Thunderer — self-consciousness — at the head, is paraded here once again to the “jingling of hackneyed phrases of a whole janissary band of current categories”. (Literatur-Zeitung, cf. Die Heilige Familie, p. 234). First of all, of course, the myth of the creation of the world, i.e., of the hard “1abour” of the critic, which is “the sole creative and productive principle, a constant struggle and victory, a continual destruction and creation”, “working” and “having worked”. Indeed, the reverend father even reproaches Die Heilige Familie for understanding “criticism” in the same way as he understands it himself in the present rejoinder. After taking back “substance” “into the land of its birth, self-consciousness, the criticising and” (since Die Heilige Familie also) “the criticised man, and discarding it” (self-consciousness here seems to take the place of an ideological lumber-room), he continues:


“It” (the alleged philosophy of Feuerbach) “dare not know that criticism and the critics, as long as they have existed” (!)"have guided and made history, that even their opponents and all the movements and agitations of the present time are their creation, that it is they alone who hold power in their hands, because strength is in their consciousness, and because they derive power from themselves, from their deeds, from criticism, from’ their opponents, from their creations; that only by the act of criticism is man freed. and thereby men also, and man is created” (!) “and thereby mankind as well”.

Thus, criticism and the critics are first of all two wholly different subjects, existing and operating apart from each other. The critic is a subject different from criticism, and criticism is a subject different from the critic. This personified criticism, criticism as a subject, is precisely that “ critical criticism” against which Die Heilige Familie was directed. “Criticism and the critics, as long as they have existed, have guided and made history.” It is clear that they could not do so “as long as they” did not “exist”, and it is equally clear that “as long as they have existed” they “made history” in their own fashion. Finally, Saint Bruno goes so far as to “dare and be able” to give us one of the most profound explanations about the state-shattering power of criticism, namely, that “criticism and the critics hold power in their hands, because” (a fine “because"!) “strength is in their consciousness”, and, secondly, that these great manufacturers of history “hold power in their hands”, because they “derive power from themselves and from criticism” (i.e., again from themselves) — whereby it is still, unfortunately, not proven that it is possible to “derive” anything at all from there, from “themselves”, from “criticism”. On the basis of criticism’s own words, one should at least believe that it must be difficult to “derive” from there anything more than the category of “substance” “discarded” there. Finally, criticism also “derives” “from criticism” “power” for a highly monstrous oracular dictum. For it reveals to us a secret that was hidden [cf. Colossians 1 :26] from our fathers and unknown to our grandfathers, the secret that “only by the act of criticism is man created, and thereby mankind as well” — whereas, up to now, criticism was erroneously regarded as an act of people who existed prior to it owing to quite different acts. Hence it seems that Saint Bruno himself came “into the world, from the world, and to the world” through “criticism”, i.e., by generatio aequiioca [spontaneous generation]. All this is, perhaps, merely another interpretation of the following passage from the Book of Genesis: And Adam knew, i.e., criticised, Eve his wife: and she conceived, [cf. Genesis 4: 1] etc.


Thus we see here the whole familiar critical criticism, which was already sufficiently characterised in Die Heilige Familie, confronting us again with all its trickery as though nothing had happened. There is no need to be surprised at this, for the saint himself complains, on page 140, that Die Heilige Familie “cuts criticism off from all progress”. With the greatest indignation Saint Bruno reproaches the authors of Die Heilige Familie because, by means of a chemical process, they evaporated Bauer’s criticism from its “fluid” state into a crystalline” state.

It follows that “institutions of mendicancy”, the “baptismal certificate of adulthood”, the “regions of pathos and thunder-like aspects”, the “Mussulman conceptual affliction” (Die Heilige Familie, pp. 2, 3, 4 according to the critical Literatur-Zeitung) — all this is nonsense only if it is understood in the “crystalline” manner. And the twenty-eight historical howlers of which criticism was proved guilty in its excursion on “Englische Tagesfragen” [article by Julius Faucher] — are they not errors when looked at from the “fluid” point of view? Does criticism insist that, from the fluid point of view, it prophesied a priori the Nauwerck conflict [44] — long after this had taken place before its eyes — and did not construct it post festum? Does it still insist that the word marichal could mean “farrier” from the “crystalline” point of view, but from the “fluid” point of view at any rate must mean marshal"? Or that although in the “crystalline” conception “un fait physique” may mean “a physical fact”, the true “fluid” translation should be “a fact of physics"? Or that “la malveillance de nos bourgeois juste-milieux[the ill will of our middle-of-the-road bourgeois] in the “fluid” state still means “the care-freeness of our good burghers"? Does it insist that, from the “fluid” point of view, “a child that does not, in its turn, become a father or mother is essentially a daughter"? That someone can have the task “of representing, as it were, the last tear of grief shed by the past"? That the various concierges, lions, grisettes, marquises, scoundrels and wooden doors in Paris in their “fluid” form are nothing but phases of the mystery “in whose concept in general it belongs to posit itself as limited and again to abolish this limitation which is posted by its universal essence, for precisely this essence is only the result of its inner self-distinction, its activity"[Bruno Bauer, “Charakteristik Ludwig Feuerbachs"]? That critical criticism in the “fluid” sense “pursues its path irresistibly, victorious and confident of victory”, when in dealing with a question it first asserts that it has revealed its “true and general significance” and then admits that it “had neither the will nor the right to go beyond criticism”, and finally admits that “it had still to take one step but that step was impossible because — it was impossible” (Die Heilige Familie, p. 184)? That from the “fluid” point of view “the future is still the work” of criticism, although “fate may decide as it will” [B. Bauer, “Neueste Schriften Über die Judenfrage"]? That from the fluid point of view criticism achieved nothing superhuman when it “came into contradiction with its true elements — a contradiction which had already found its solution in these same elements [ B. Bauer, “Was ist jetzt der Gegenstand der Kritik?"]?


The authors of Die Heilige Familie have indeed committed the frivolity of conceiving these and hundreds of other statements as statements expressing firm, “crystalline” nonsense — but the synoptic gospels should be read in a “fluid” way, i.e., according to the sense of their authors. and on no account in a “crystalline” way, e., according to their actual nonsense, in order to arrive at true faith and to admire the harmony of the critical household.

“Engels and Marx, therefore, know only the criticism of the Literatur-Zeitung[Bruno Bauer, “Charakteristik Ludwig Feuerbachs"]

— a deliberate lie, proving how “fluidly” our saint has read a book in which his latest works are depicted merely as the culmination of all the “work he has done”. But the church father lacked the calm to read in a crystalline way, for he fears his opponents as rivals who contest his canonisation and “want to deprive him of his sanctity, in order to make themselves sanctified”.

Let us, incidentally, note the fact that, according to Saint Bruno’s present statement, his Literatur-Zeitung by no means aimed at founding “social society” or at “representing, as it were, the last tear of grief” shed by German ideology, nor did it aim at putting mind in the sharpest opposition to the mass and developing critical criticism in all its purity, but only — at “depicting the liberalism and radicalism of 1842 and their echoes in their half-heartedness and phrase-mongering”, hence at combating the “echoes” of what has long disappeared. Tant de bruit pour une omelette! [Much ado about an omelette! An exclamation which Jacques Vallé, Sieur des Barreaux, is supposed to have made when a thunderstorm occurred while he was eating an omelette on a fast-day] Incidentally, it is just here that the conception of history peculiar to German theory is again shown in its “purest” light. The year 1842 is held to be the period of the greatest brilliance of German liberalism, because at that time philosophy took part in politics. Liberalism vanishes for the critic with the cessation of the Deutsche Jahrbücher and the Rheinische Zeitung, the organs of liberal and radical theory. After that, apparently, there remain only the “echoes” — whereas in actual fact only now, when the German bourgeoisie feels a real need for political power, a need produced by economic relations, and is striving to satisfy has liberalism in Germany an actual existence and thereby 1 the chance of some success.


Saint Bruno’s profound distress over Die Heilige Familie did not allow him to criticise this work “out of himself, through himself and with himself”. To be able to master his pain he had first to obtain the work in a “fluid” form. He found this fluid form in a confused review, teeming with misunderstandings, in the Westphälische Dampfboot, May issue, pp. 206-14 All his quotations are taken from passages quoted in the Westphälische Dampfboot and he quotes nothing that is not quoted there.

The language of the saintly critic is likewise determined by the language of the Westphalian critic. In the first place, all the statements from the Foreword which are quoted by the Westphalian (Dampfboot, p. 206) are transferred to the Wigand’sche Vierteljahrsschrift (pp. 140, 141). This transference forms the chief part of Bauer’s criticism, according to the old principle already recommended by Hegel:

“To trust common sense and, moreover, in order to keep up with the times and advance with philosophy, to read reviews of philosophical works, perhaps even their prefaces and introductory paragraphs; for the latter give the general principles on which everything turns, while the former give, along with the historical information, also an appraisal which, because it is an appraisal, even goes beyond that which is appraised This beaten track can be followed in one’s dressing-gown; but the elevated feeling of the eternal, the sacred, the infinite, pursues its path in the vestments of a high priest, a path” which, as we have seen, Saint Bruno also knows how to “pursue” while “striking down” (Hegel, Phänomenologie, p. 54).

The Westphalian critic, after giving a few quotations from the preface, continues:

“Thus the preface itself leads to the battlefield of the book”, etc. (p. 206).


The saintly critic, having transferred these quotations into the Wigand’sche Vierteljahrsschrift, makes a more subtle distinction and says:

“Such is the terrain and the enemy which Engels and Marx have created for battle.

From the discussion of the critical proposition: “the worker creates nothing”, the Westphalian critic gives only the summarising conclusion.

The saintly critic actually believes that this is all that was said about the proposition, copies out the Westphalian quotation on page 141 and rejoices at the discovery that only “assertions” have been put forward in opposition to criticism.

Of the examination of the critical outpourings about love, the Westphalian critic on page 209 first writes out the corpus delicti in part and then a few disconnected sentences from the refutation, which he desires to use as an authority for his nebulous, sickly-sweet sentimentality.

On pages 141-42 the saintly critic copies him out word for word, sentence by sentence, in the same order as his predecessor quotes.

The Westphalian critic exclaims over the corpse of Herr Julius Faucher: “Such is the fate of the beautiful on earth!”. [Schiller. Wallenstein’s Tod, Act IV, Scene 12]

The saintly critic cannot finish his “hard work” without appropriating this exclamation to use irrelevantly on page 142.

The Westphalian critic on page 212 gives a would-be summary of the arguments which are aimed against Saint Bruno himself in Die Heilige Familie.

The saintly critic cheerfully and literally copies out all this stuff together with all the Westphalian exclamations. He has not the slightest idea that nowhere in the whole of this polemic discourse does anyone reproach hint for “transforming the problem of political emancipation into that of human emancipation”, for “wanting to kill the Jews”, for “transforming the Jews into theologians”, for “transforming Hegel into Herr Hinrichs”, etc. Credulously, the saintly critic repeats the Westphalian critic’s allegation that in Die Heilige Familie Marx volunteers to provide some sort of little scholastic treatise “in reply to Bauer’s silly self-apotheosis”. Yet the words “silly self-apotheosis”, which Saint Bruno gives as a quotation, are nowhere to be found in the whole of Die Heilige Familie, but they do occur with the Westphalian critic. Nor is the little treatise offered as a reply to the “self-apology” of criticism on pages 150-63 of Die Heilige Familie, but only in the following section on page 165, in connection with the world-historic question: “Why did Herr Bauer have to engage in politics?”


Finally on page 143 Saint Bruno presents Marx as an “amusing comedian”, here again following his Westphalian model, who resolved the “world-historic drama of critical criticism”, on page 213, into a “most amusing comedy”.

Thus one sees how the opponents of critical criticism “dare and can” “know how the critic has worked, and still works"!


4. Obituary For “M. Hess”

“What Engels and Marx could not yet do, M. Hess has accomplished.”

Such is the great, divine transition which — owing to the relative “can” and “cannot” be done of the evangelists — has taken so firm a hold of the holy man’s fingers that it has to find a place, relevantly or irrelevantly, in every article of the church father.

“What Engels and Marx could not yet do, M. Hess has accomplished.” But what is this “what” that “Engels and Marx could not yet do"? Nothing more nor less, indeed, than — to criticise Stirner. And why was it that Engels and Marx “could not yet” criticise Stirner? For the sufficient reason that — Stirner’s book had not yet appeared when they wrote Die Heilige Familie.

This speculative trick — of joining together everything and bringing the most diverse things into an apparent causal relation — has truly taken possession not only of the head of our saint but also of his fingers. With him it has become devoid of any contents and degenerates into a burlesque manner of uttering tautologies with an important mien. For example, already in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1, 5) we read:

“The difference between my work and the pages which, for example, a Philippson covers with writing” (that is, the empty pages on which, “for example, a Philippson” writes) “must, therefore, be so constituted as in fact it is"!!! [Bauer, “Neueste Schriften über die Judenfrage"]

“M. Hess”, for whose writings Engels and Marx take absolutely no responsibility, seems such a strange phenomenon to the saintly critic that he is only capable of copying long excerpts from Die letzten Philosophen and passing the judgment that “on some points this criticism has not understood Feuerbach or also” (O theology!) “the vessel wishes to rebel against the potter”. Cf. Epistle to the Romans, 9: 20-21. Having once more performed the “hard work” of quoting, our saintly critic finally arrives at the conclusion that Hess copies from Hegel, since he uses the two words “united” and “development”. Saint Bruno, of course, had in a round-about way to try to turn against Feuerbach the proof given in Die Heilige Familie of his own complete dependence on Hegel.


“See, that is how Bauer had to end! He fought as best he could against all the Hegelian categories”, with the exception of selfconsciousness — particularly in the glorious struggle of the Literatur-Zeitung against Herr Hinrichs. How he fought and conquered them we have already seen. For good measure, let us quote Wigand, page 110, where he asserts that

the “true” (1) “solution” (2) “of contradictions” (3) “in nature and history” (4), the “true unity” (5) “of separate relations” (6), the “genuine” (7) “basis” (8) “and abyss” (9) “of religion, the truly infinite” (10), “irresistible, self-creative” (11) “personality” (12) “has not yet been found”.

These three lines contain not two doubtful Hegelian categories, as in the case of Hess, but a round dozen of “true, infinite, irresistible” Hegelian categories which reveal themselves as such by ‘,the true unity of separate relations” — “see, that is how Bauer had to end"! And if the holy man thinks that in Hess he has discovered a Christian believer, not because Hess “hopes” — as Bruno says — but because he does not hope and because he talks of the “resurrection”, then our great church father enables us, on the basis of this same page 1 10, to demonstrate his very pronounced Judaism. He declares there

“that the true, living man in the flesh has not yet been born"!!! (a new elucidation about the determination of the “unique sex”) “and the mongrel produced” (Bruno Bauer?!?) “is not yet a le to master all dogmatic formulas”, etc.

That is to say, the Messiah is not yet born, the son of man has first to come into the world and this world, being the world of the Old Testament, is still under the rod of the law, of “dogmatic formulas”.

Just as Saint Bruno, as shown above, made use of “Engels and Marx” for a transition to Hess, so now the latter serves him to bring Feuerbach finally into causal connection with his excursions on Stirner, Die heilige Familie and Die letzten Philosophen.

“See, that is how had to end!” “Philosophy had to end piously”, etc. (Wigand, p. 145.)

The true causal connection, however, is that this exclamation is an imitation of a passage from Hess’ Die letzten Philosophen aimed against Bauer, among others (Preface, p. 4):

“Thus, [... ] and in no other way had the last offspring of the Christian ascetics to take farewell of the world.”


Saint Bruno ends his speech for the prosecution against Feuerbach and his alleged accomplices with the reproach to Feuerbach that all he can do is to “trumpet”, to “blow blasts on a trumpet”, whereas Monsieur B. Bauer or Madame la critique, the “mongrel produced”, to say nothing of the continual “destruction”, “drives forth in his triumphal chariot and gathers new triumphs” (p. 125), “hurls down from the throne” (p. 119), “slays” (p. 111), “strikes down like thunder” (p. 115), “destroys once and for all” (p. 120), “shatters” (p. 121), allows nature merely to “vegetate” (p. 120), builds “stricter” (!) “prisons” (p. 104) and, finally, with “crushing” pulpit eloquence expatiates, on p. 105, in a brisk, pious, cheerful and free ["Brisk, pious, cheerful and free” (“frisch, fromm, fröhlich und frei”) — the initial words of a students’ saying, which were turned by Ludwig Jahn into the motto of the sport movement he initiated] fashion on the “stably-strongly-firmly-existing”, hurling “rock-like matter and rocks” at Feuerbach’s head (p. 110) and, in conclusion, by a side thrust vanquishes Saint Max as well, by adding “the most abstract abstractness” and “the hardest hardness” (on p. 124) to “critical criticism”, “social society” and “rock-like matter and rocks”.

All this Saint Bruno accomplished “through himself, in himself and with himself”, because he is “He himself”; indeed, he is “himself always the greatest and can always be the greatest” (is and can be!) “through himself, in himself and with himself” (p. 136). That’s that.

Saint Bruno would undoubtedly be dangerous to the female sex, for he is an “irresistible personality”, if “in the same measure on the other hand” he did not fear “sensuousness as the barrier against which man has to deal himself a mortal blow”. Therefore, “through himself, in himself and with himself” he will hardly pluck any flowers but rather allow them to wither in infinite longing and hysterical yearning for the “irresistible personality”, who “possesses this unique sex and these unique, particular sex organs”.

[The following passage is crossed out in the manuscript:]


5. Saint Bruno in His “Triumphal Chariot”

Before leaving our church father “victorious and confident of victory”, let us for a moment mingle with the gaping crowd that comes up running just as eagerly when he “drives forth in his triumphal chariot and gathers new triumphs” as when General Tom Thumb with his four ponies provides a diversion. It is not surprising that we hear the humming of street-songs, for to be welcomed with street-songs “belongs after all to the concept” of triumph “in general”.