Marx-Engels Correspondence 1867
Source: MECW Volume 42, p. 386;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913
Sheets [of the first volume of Capital] up to and incl. 12 received with thanks, though have not yet read beyond No. 8. Thus far, the chapters on the transformation of money into capital and the production of surplus-value are the best, as far as presentation and content are concerned. Yesterday I did a rough translation of them for Moore, who understood them correctly and was most astonished that conclusions could be arrived at so simply. At the same time, I have solved the question of who should translate your book into English: Moore himself. He has enough German now to read Heine fairly fluently and will soon work his way into your style (except for the form of value and the terminology, where I shall have to give him considerable assistance). It is, of course, understood that the whole task will be performed under my immediate supervision. As soon as you have a publisher, who nota bene will pay him something for his work, he is quite ready to do it. The fellow is diligent and reliable, and, at the same time, has as much prior understanding of the theory as one can expect of an Englishman. I have told him that you would rewrite the analysis of commodities and the section on money in English yourself. For the rest, however, we also need a terminology (English) now to translate the Hegelian expressions, and you might be giving some thought to the matter in the meantime, as it is not easy, but there is no way round it.
I have quite lost track of how many sheets have now in fact been type-set — it must surely be half the book by now, mustn’t it? I am looking forward to the embarrassment of the economists when they reach the two above-mentioned passages. The development of the form of value is, of course, the quintessence of all the bourgeois trash, but the revolutionary consequences are not yet fully evident, and people can more easily get round these abstractions and confine themselves to clichés. But an end is put to that here, the issue is so crystal clear that I do not see what they can say to it.
I hope you will succeed in tripping up our bourgeois gentlemen with their new Enquiry. Just a few days ago, I heard one of the iron-founders and engineering manufacturers bemoaning the impending danger. Meanwhile, it is very good that the Commission has permanently frustrated the Sheffield star-chamber organisation. It was precisely this local terrorism and its great success that deterred the fellows from joining the great national movement, and confirmed them in their parochialism. The cries of horror emanating from the bourgeoisie are comical. As though our bourgeois gentlemen had not had their own star-chambers, their vigilance committees in Australia and California, etc., which acted in exactly the same fashion, but claimed far more victims.
I shall be sending you the wine, and another £10 before the end of this month. I would have preferred it if you had set a later date than 2 July for your party. You will understand that I cannot draw £100 on the very first day of the financial year without exciting considerable comment, and I shall have to prevent the people in the office wondering too much about what I may be up to with such a sum all at once.
Regarding the molecular theory, Schorlemmer tells me that Gerhardt and Kekulé are the chief figures involved, and that Wurtz has only popularised and elaborated it. He is going to send you a book setting out the historical development of the subject.
Are there not old pre-Baconian, pre-Lockeian philosophical writings in English, in which we might be able to find material for the terminology? I have a feeling that something of that kind exists. And how about English attempts at reproducing Hegel?
Kindest regards to your wife and the girls.