E. Belfort Bax

A Personal Explanation

(20 September 1902)

A Personal Explanation, Justice, 20th September 1902, p.6 (letter).
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Dear Comrade,

I do not wish to prolong this unpleasant discussion, and will, therefore, confine myself to one or two remarks:–

  1. I cannot help thinking Askew convicts himself of remissness in not reprinting my original article, when he says, what I had forgotten, that I had myself called his attention to the English version.
  2. As to the expression Gedankenreflex I think I had a right to expect that the context should have sufficed of itself to show that the proper translation of this phrase here was not “reflex thoughts” but “thought-reflexion” viz., thought-reflection of the material conditions – “in the social consciousness.”

I am sorry if Askew felt hurt at anything in my letter. The fact is a quasi-philosophical controversy of this sort is very difficult to render accurately in another language, and it is no disparagement of Askew if I express the view that in my humble judgment he has not quite succeeded in all respects; or of Beer, if one suggests that in the work of comparison which he kindly undertook, he has, perhaps, through inadvertence, missed one or two of the finer nuances.


Yours fraternally,
      E. Belfort Bax


Last updated on 11.6.2004