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Marx-Engels Correspondence 1869

Marx To Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW, Volume 43, p. 363;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.

London, 30 October 1869

Dear Fred,

Please return to me after reading the enclosed letters from Bonhorst and the Goeggiana.

That Serno should have expedited himself from life into death is only natural, but that Bakunin, with whom he stood on bad terms right to the end, should immediately have seized his papers, is an unnatural discovery.

Apropos. The secretary of our French Genevan committee is utterly fed up with being saddled with Bakunin, and complains that he disorganises everything with his ‘tyranny’. In the Égalite, Monsieur Bakunin indicates that the German and English workers have no desire for individuality, so accept our communisme autoritaire. In opposition to this, Bakunin represents le collectivisme anarchique. The anarchism is, however, in his head, which contains only one clear idea — that Bakunin should play first fiddle.

For a complete understanding of Goegg’s and Bonhorst’s letters, you should know that the bumpkins’ (or rather their representatives') party in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, are screaming blue murder about the resolution of the Basle Congress on propriété foncière.

The foolishness and weakness (exploited by the cleverer Schweitzer) with which Wilhelm and his consorts reply to the howls by Schwabenmayer and the rest of their anti-People’s Party supporters, make one’s hair stand on end. It has not even occurred to one of these jackasses to ask the liberal howlers if there does not, perhaps, exist in Germany, side by side with small peasant property, also large landed property, which forms the basis of the surviving feudal economy; whether it will not be necessary to put an end to this in the course of a revolution, if only to put an end to the present economy of the state; and whether this can be done in the antiquated manner of 1789? Quod non. The jackasses believe Schwabenmayer’s statement that the land question is only of direct practical interest for England!

The creation of the Land and Labour League (incidentally, directly inspired by the General Council) should be regarded as an outcome of the Basle Congress; here, the workers’ party makes a clean break with the bourgeoisie, nationalisation of land [being] the starting point. Eccarius has been appointed active secretary (in addition to Boon as honorary one), and is being paid for it<"ireland">.

I have been instructed by the General Council to write a few words to the English working class about the Irish prisoners’ demonstration last Sunday. Being so busy, I have no inclination to do it, but must be done. The demonstration was quite incorrectly reported in the London papers. It was capital.

Best greetings to Mrs Lizzie and the Sunday guests.

K. M.

The Prussians closed my letter to you from Hanover so badly partly out of shortage of time, and partly out of anger at finding nothing in it.