Marx-Engels Correspondence 1867
Source: MECW Volume 42, p. 419;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.
The £5 received with thanks.
Borkheim wrote to me a few days ago from Berne and sent me ‘for comment if you would be so kind’ the brouillon [draft] for the speech, which he is intending to give at the Peace Congress in Geneva. He also wanted your assistance. I wrote to him, as we had agreed, that you had not yet returned. You can, however, send the money to his associate Schyler, 65 Fenchurch Street. But it is £50, not 45. When I looked, I found that the bill was on £48, and Borkheim then told me that he could probably give me the full sum of £50. I did not tell you of this before, as I was expecting the money I had been promised any day, and then wanted to pay the £50 myself.
1. the last sheets of the proofs [of Capital].
2. 2 Diplomatic Reviews and 1 number of Courrier français.
Regarding the final sheets, they have put the Addendum to the Notes in large print, and the Appendix on the Form of Value in small print, despite my instructions. They probably did this so that the book should be neither over nor under 50 sheets in length. In my opinion, Meissner has made a serious blunder in increasing the purchase-price from 3 talers to 3 talers 10 silver groschen. It is, however, possible as well that he has subsequently received so many more firm orders that this was commercially the correct thing to do.
A word of explanation concerning the article in the Courrier français (which you must send back to me after you have read it through): ‘Les Conditions de la Paix’:
You know that on the General Council I expressed my opposition to our joining the peace-at-any-price party. My speech lasted about ½ hour. As minute-secretary, Eccarius reported on it in The Bee-Hive, giving only a few sentences of what I said. The reprint in the Courrier even omits the sentences about the necessity for armies vis-à-vis Russia and about the cowardice of these fellows. The affair has, nevertheless, created quite a stir. The jackasses from the Peace Congress, whose agent in London is M. de Colleville, completely changed their original programme and even smuggled into the new one, which is much more democratic, the words ‘The harmonizing of economic interests with liberty’, which could mean almost anything, including just freetrade. They have been bombarding me with letters and even had the impertinence to send me the enclosed scrap of paper with the new programme. Their impertinence consists in nominating me as a ‘Member of the Geneva, etc., Congress’ in the address. The Courrier, which was their most vociferous advocate in Paris, is deserting them, as you will see. The same Courrier has changed its policy in respect of Russia, following a private letter that I wrote to Vermorel about a fortnight ago (we are not acquainted).
The main point was that these fine gentlemen from the peace congress, Victor Hugo, Garibaldi, L. Blanc, etc., had kept themselves supremely aloof from our International Association. I have now obliged them to acknowledge us as a real force.
From Naples I have received the first 2 numbers of a paper Liberta e Giustizza. In No. I they declare themselves to be our organ. I have passed it to Eccarius to place before the congress.
No. II, which I shall send you, contains a very good attack on Mazzini. I suspect that Bakunin has a hand in it.
With regard to the confiscation and prohibition of my book, there is a world of difference between prohibiting electoral pamphlets and a book of 50 sheets which has such an air of erudition and even contains notes in Greek. Admittedly, that might be of little avail if I had chosen 12 administrative districts in Prussia instead of 12 counties in England to describe the conditions of the agricultural workers. I also feel that Mr Bismarck will think twice about the matter before provoking me into attacking his regime in London and Paris.
What conditions are like in Prussia, incidentally, is shown by the following statement by O. Hübner, Director of the Central Statistical Archive, in a message to his electors:
‘The people are already overburdened. Apart from the armament factories, almost every trade is depressed, hundreds of hungry men are applying for the humblest positions, in the cities the number of empty dwellings and of citizens, who cannot afford to pay rent, is growing, a whole host of estates and houses are being subjected to compulsory auction, the poor-houses are being besieged by our maimed victors and by the unemployed, everywhere there is a lack of confidence in the present and the future, and the budgets of the poorest are beset by the realisation that they are already paying more for the services of the state than they are worth.’
In Berlin, neither the government nor the National-Liberal Party... has got a single candidate through. But just what utter blockheads those men of Progress are who now form the extreme left, is shown amongst other things by the following extract from their ‘most radical’ organ, the Zukunft:
‘The whole English nation is permeated by a snobbery which treats all alike and to which all personal industry is anathema. [...] It is this same snobbery which is for ever urging reduction of working hours and prohibits overtime on account of the unions!'
Would you credit it! Even now the Parisian press is truly a giant compared with the German press!