Hal Draper


Marx on Democratic Forms of Government


From Socialist Register 1974, pp.101-124.
The article is available in PDF format at Socialist Register Website.
Starred [*] notes are footnotes, the others give sources.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Proofread by Zdravko Saveski (June 2010).

THIS is one chapter in a work on Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution which will be published in the near future. Many questions connected with the subject of this chapter and which are only briefly mentioned here are of course discussed in detail in other parts of the work.

In a general way, Marx’s socialism (communism) as a political programme may be most quickly defined, from the Marxist standpoint, as the complete democratization of society, not merely of political forms. [1*] But the democratic movement of the 19th century began by putting the struggle for advanced political forms in the forefront; and so did Marx, in a different programmatic context. For Marx, the fight for democratic forms of government – democratization in the state – was a leading edge of the socialist effort; not its be-all and end-all but an integral part of it all.

Throughout the history of the socialist/communist movements, one of the persistent problems has been to establish the relation, in theory and practice, between the struggle for socialism and for democracy (or democratic rights), between socialist issues and democratic issues. Every distinctive socialist current or school has had its own characteristic answer to this problem. On one extreme end of the spectrum is the view (held consciously in theory or expressed in practice) which puts the advocacy of democratic forms in the forefront, for their own sake, and subjoins the advocacy of socialistic ideas as an appurtenance. (From the Marxist standpoint, this is merely the leftmost wing of bourgeois-democratic liberalism extruding into the socialist spectrum.) On the other extreme is the type of radical ideology which counterposes socialistic ideas – in the sense of anti-capitalist views – against concern with democratic struggles, considering the latter as unimportant or harmful. Every conceivable mixture of the two approaches has cropped up too, but they all form a single family insofar as they are mixtures, (For example: in the tension between socialist aims and democratic means, is your concern 50-50, 60-40, 30-70, etc.?)

Marx’s approach is qualitatively different from this sort of eclecticism, and does not attempt to establish a sliding scale of concern with the two sides of the duality. For him, the task of theory is to integrate the two objectively. The characteristic answer to the problem emerging from Marx’s theory was already heralded in his notebook critique of Hegel’s philosophy of right [2], where he sought to show that “true democracy” requires a new social content – socialism; and it will be rounded off with his analysis of the Paris commune, which showed that a state with a new social content entailed truly democratic forms. Marx's theory moves in the direction of defining consistent democracy in socialist terms, and consistent socialism in democratic terms. The task of theory, then, is not to adjudicate a clash between the two considerations (a hopeless job once the problem is seen in that light), but rather to grasp the social dynamics of the situation under which the apparent contradiction between the two is resolved.

Marx did not work this out simply within his skull; progress toward a solution came only in the course of the first historical experience which he went through in which this problem was concretely posed. This was the period of the 1848-9 revolution, when democratic demands and socialist aims seemed to be at swords’ point. One of the results was his so-called theory of permanent revolution: we will follow this process in some detail in a later part, and the problem will remain with us throughout.

Against “The Old Thesis”

From the start there was the problem of self-styled radicals who held the same attitude of hostility and contempt for democratic forms that emanated from the old régime, though presumably from an opposite direction. This is an aspect of the almost unanimous anti-democracy of pre-Marxist socialism. [3] When Marx referred to it in The German Ideology, he already called it contemptuousIy “the old thesis”: “The old thesis, which has often been put forward both by revolutionaries and reactionaries, that in a democracy individuals only exercise their sovereignty for a moment, and then at once retreat from their rule ...” [4] (The polemic here is against the anarchoid Stirner.) This was only one favourite anti-democratic argument among many, one which flourishes today as lustily as two centuries ago. Marx gave them all short shrift, in the apparent belief (wrong, as it turned out) that they were simply vestiges of the past and had no future. [2*]

This rejection of anything connected with bourgeois democracy would later become associated mainly with ultra-left radicalism, but its beginnings were another matter. Engels described a case in a letter to Marx from Paris, where he was trying to work with one K.L. Bernays, an editor of the Paris Vorwärts, the German émigré paper. Bernays insists on writing anti-bourgeois articles for a Berlin paper which is anti-bourgeois from a reactionary (absolutist) standpoint.

“He writes in the Berliner Zeitungs-Halle and rejoices like a child to see his soi-disant communist expectorations against the bourgeoisie printed there. Naturally the editors and the censorship let stand whatever is simply against the bourgeois and strike out the few allusions that could be offensive to themselves too. He rails against the jury system, ‘bourgeois freedom of the press’, the representative system, etc. I explain to him that this means working literally pour le roi de Prusse and indirectly against our party ... I make clear that the Zeitungs-Halle is in the pay of the government ...” [6]

“Working pour le roi de Prusse [for the king of Prussia]” meant, in French idiom, working for nothing; but Engels argued that Bernays was unwittingly working for the Prussian regime literally, since publishing attacks on democratic institutions in absolutist Prussia only helped the regime discredit the democratic movement. But, continued Engels, Bernays, a-gush with sentimentality, could understand none of this; he could not comprehend, he said, an approach which went easy on people he had always hated, viz. the bourgeoisie. Engels added:

“I have read umpteen of these Paris-datelined articles [by Bernays]; they are on ne peut plus [to the fullest extent possible] in the interest of the government and in the style of True-Socialism.”

Marx and Engels’ approach to the question of democratic forms (rights, liberties, institutions, etc.) was completely different. The reason a type like Bernays could not comprehend their approach was that his socialism, such as it was, was merely anti-capitalist and not pro-proletarian; it was not a theory about a class movement but simply a predilection for a certain social reorganization. It had nothing to do with putting power in the hands of the masses of people, but rather looked to any men of good will who wanted to make the changes envisaged. For such a man, popular control over government could be a danger, since the Stupid Masses might well be more hostile to his schemes than enlightened souls.

Popular control over government: in the middle of the 19th century it was much clearer than it is today that the problem of democracy was the effective establishment of full popular control over government, for the simple reason that no government (except perhaps the American) pretended that this happy state of affairs already existed. It had not yet become necessary or fashionable to redefine democracy out of existence; it was therefore quite common, in those benighted days, for enemies of popular sovereignty to attack the democratic idea openly and forthrightly, instead of embracing it in a crushing vice. For the “democratic extremist,” popular control meant unlimited popular control, the elimination of all juridical, structural and socio-economic restraints on or distortions of popular control from below. For Marx, this is why popular control pointed to socialism.

But in a country which had not yet had its 1789, like Germany, the extension of popular control still had to pass through its bourgeois phase; under semi-feudal absolutism, the bourgeoisie was a part of the “popular masses” too, even if a limited and privileged part. For Marx, the problem resolved itself into this: how to pass through this phase – through and out – in such a way as to shift power to the underlying working strata of the population as expeditiously as possible. This is what will define the problem of the “permanent revolution”.

At any rate, from the standpoint of this theoretical approach Bernays’ inability to see more than his “hatred” of the bourgeois system did not mean that he hated the bourgeoisie more than Marx; it was a reflection of his non-class point of view. Marx did not have to weigh “hatred of the bourgeoisie” against the advantages of bourgeois democracy – an impossible calculus. It was rather a matter of making a class analysis of the elements of bourgeois democracy: sorting out what was specifically bourgeois (e.g. property qualifications for voting) from what furthered the widest extension of popular control. [3*]

For Revolution and Democracy

The revolutions of 1848-9 temporarily established bourgeois-democratic governments in both France and Germany, the two countries with which Marx was mainly concerned. These governments were thoroughly bourgeois and more or less democratic as compared with the previous regimes; they therefore raised innumerable concrete problems of what political forms should clothe democratization. In the case of Germany, Marx and Engels’ articles in their Neue Rheinische Zeitung had to deal with many problems day by day, not merely in historical hindsight; hence they took up smaller-scale questions than are usually found in their synoptic analyses of the events in France.

The overall criterion is: what will maximize the influence exercised from below by the masses-in-movement, on the political forces above? These political forces were two above all: the monarchist regime and its government, which was still the executive, though now on the defensive; and the representatives of the people in the assemblies established by the revolutionary upsurge. The latter represented the potentiality of “popular sovereignty”, i.e. democratic control by the people. But when the National Assembly, elected from the various German states, met in Frankfurt on 18 May, it showed that the bourgeois-democratic delegates shrank from a clash with the monarchy. In the first issue of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, on 1 June, Engels summarized the situation:

“Since two weeks ago, Germany has a national constituent assembly which is the product of a vote by the whole German people.

“The German people had won its sovereignty in the streets of almost all the big and little cities of the country, especially on the barricades of Vienna and Berlin. It had exercised this sovereignty in the elections for the National Assembly.

“The first act of the National Assembly had to be to proclaim this sovereignty of the German people loudly and publicly.

“Its second act had to be to work out a German constitution on the basis of the sovereignty of the people, and to get rid of everything in the actually existing state of affairs in Germany which contradicts the principle of the sovereignty of the people.

“All during its session it had to take the necessary measures to thwart all efforts by the reaction, to maintain the revolutionary grounds on which it stands, to secure the revolution’s conquest, the sovereignty of the people, against all attacks.

“The German National Assembly has now already held a dozen sessions and has done nothing of all this.” [7]

Instead, continued Engels, the authorities still violate the rights of citizens with impunity, while the Assembly pays more attention to its dinner hours than to its democratic tasks. [8]

As the year wore on, even the Frankfurt “Left”, the consciously liberal wing, showed what little stomach it had for a fight with the real state power headed by the Crown. In a later article on the assembly’s deliberations, Engels quotes the liberal deputy Ruge [4*] as an example of empty rhetoric: “We do not want to quarrel, gentlemen,” Ruge told the Assembly, “over whether we aim at a democratic monarchy, a democratized monarchy [!] or a pure democracy; on the whole we want the same thing, liberty, popular liberty, the rule of the people!” (The emphasis and interpolated exclamation are by Engels.) With much disgust Engels comments that this speaks volumes about a so-called Left which says it wants the same thing as the Right, and “Which forgets everything as soon as it hears a couple of hollow catchwords like ‘popular liberty’ and ‘rule of the people’.” [10]

The difference between hollow rhetoric about “liberty” and a real revolutionary-democratic struggle could only be spelled out in terms of concrete issues. One of the most elementary and basic was the issue that had been the first subject of Marx’s political pen, freedom of the the press. From the first number of the NRZ Marx and Engels made this a major battle-cry. [11]

The government, wrote Marx, is trying to apply the Penal Code provisions against so-called “slander” in order to prevent any criticism of the régime. Indeed, if a paper protests that the government is curbing freedom of the press, that is punishable as a “slander” even if it is true. [5*] This application of the Penal Code means

“the real, definitive finish-blow to the 19th of March [the revolution], to the clubs, and to freedom of the press! What is a club without freedom of speech? And what is freedom of speech with §§ 367, 368, 370 of the Penal Code? And what is the 19th of March without clubs and freedom of speech?” [13]

As this already indicates, freedom of the press could hardly be separated from freedom of expression in all its forms. The whole existence of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung was a battle for survival against government suppression. Haled into court, Marx, Engels and others of the group were acquitted by a Cologne jury, after defence speeches that were mainly political expositions; but when the counterrevolution gained confidence, the paper was suppressed by simple decree. In the court case – as Engels wrote much later – they attacked “the monstrous notion that anyone can place himself outside the common law by maintaining an opinion. This is the pure police-state ...” [14]

As the NRZ began its third week, Engels asked what the revolution had won, besides bringing the big bourgeoisie to governmental power: “It gave the people the weapon of freedom of the press without security-bonds, the right of organization [6*], and partly at least also the material weapon, the musket,” he answered. [15] Marx and Engels saw freedom of the press as a barometer of governmental arbitrariness, among other things. When the Hansemann ministry submitted an “interim law” to regulate the press, i.e. to muzzle criticism, Marx wrote that “in short, we again meet the most classic monuments to the Napoleonic despotism over the press”, and –

“From the day this law goes into effect, government officials can with impunity commit any arbitrary act, any tyranny, any illegality; they can calmly administer or permit floggings, or make arrests, or hold without trial; the only effective control, the press, is rendered ineffectual. On the day this law goes into effect, the bureaucracy can hold a celebration: it becomes more powerful and unrestrained, stronger than it was before March.” [16]

As the government tried “to cheat the revolution of its democratic fruits” [17], the NRZ was the loudest voice raised in Germany. In July the government suppressed the club movement in two cities; Engels warned:

“You believe you have finished with the police-state? Delusion! – You believe you possess the right of free assembly, freedom of the press, arming of the people, and other fine slogans that were shouted from the March barricades? Delusion, nothing but delusion!” [18]

As the government was in process of chopping off the “democratic fruits” of the revolution, a militia bill was proposed which would restrict the rights of its citizen members to nearly nothing. Marx asked: What does this mean for the citizen militiaman?

“The worthy man has gotten arms and uniform on the condition of renouncing above all his prime political rights, the right to organize, etc. His task of protecting ‘constitutional liberty’ will be fulfilled in accordance with the ‘spirit of his destiny’ when he blindly executes the orders of the authorities, when he exchanges the customary civil liberty that was tolerated even under the absolute monarchy for the passive, will-less and self-less obedience of the soldier. A fine school in which to bring up the republicans of the future! ... What has our citizen been made into? A thing somewhere between a Prussian gendarme and an English constable ... Instead of disbanding the army into the people, wasn’t it an original idea to disband the people into the army?

“It is truly a bizarre spectacle, this transformation of constitutional phrases into Prussian realities.” [19]

The NRZ carried on other campaigns for democratic rights against government pressure, including the Frankfurt Left’s programme for “immediate establishment, proclamation and guarantee of the fundamental rights of the German people against all possible attacks by the individual governments [of the German states]”. It criticized the Assembly liberals for being too vague on the issue of direct suffrage versus indirect suffrage, and denounced all anti-democratic forms of elections. [20]

For Marx and Engels, the right of assembly also meant the right of the people to exercise pressure against their “own” representatives. This came into question when the right-wing press denounced the pressure put on the Prussian Assembly in Berlin by the presence of thousands at its deliberations. Marx wrote:

“The right of the democratic mass of the people to exert a moral influence on the attitude of the constituent assembly is an old revolutionary right of the people which, since the English and French revolutions, could not be dispensed with in any period of stormy action. It is to this right that history owes almost all energetic steps taken by such assemblies. If ... the fainthearted and philistine friends of ‘freedom of deliberations’ wail against it, the only basis they have is that they don’t want any energetic decisions taken anyway.”

This alleged “freedom of deliberations” is infringed, argued Marx, on the one side by the pressures from the existing state and its army, courts, etc. And likewise “the ‘freedom of deliberations’ is infringed by freedom of the press, by freedom of assembly and speech, by the right of the people to bear arms” on the other side, since these too exercise unwanted pressure on the representatives. Between the two species of “intimidation”, the representatives have only this choice: “Intimidation by the unarmed people or intimidation by the armed soldiery: let the Assembly choose.” [21]

The Maximization of Democratic Control

But should a government permit activities, even such as are sanctified by democratic rights, which may result in its own overthrow? Marx and Engels’ answer was: If the exercise of the people’s rights endangers the government, then so much the worse for the government. Governments have a habit of believing that activities dangerous to them are infringements on “liberty” ;- namely, their own “liberty” to exist. Marx did not believe that the people were called on to sacrifice their own rights in order to relieve the government’s problem:

“The ‘Ministry of Action’ [Hansemann ministry] seems to espouse peculiar oriental-mystical notions, a kind of Moloch cult. In order to protect the ‘constitutional liberty’ of presidents, burgomasters, police chiefs [a long list of government officials follows here] ... in order to protect the ‘constitutional liberty’ of this elite of the nation, all the rest of the nation must let its constitutional liberties, up to and including personal liberty, die a bloody death as a sacrifice on the altar of the fatherland. Pends-toi, Figaro! Tu n’aurais pas inventé cela![7*] [22]

The next day’s NRZ had a similar comment by Engels on another issue. A motion by the left liberal deputy Jacoby had proposed that the Assembly’s decisions have the force of law without anyone else’s consent: a crucial issue of the revolution. Deputy Berg had denounced this as the attempt by a parliamentary minority to win outside support, an attempt whose consequences “must lead to civil war”. But, replied Engels, the “outsiders” who must not be appealed to – who were they? “The voters, i.e. the people who make the legislative body.”

“In a word: Herr Berg’s principle would lead to the abolition of all political agitation. Agitation is nothing more than the application of representatives’ immunity, freedom of the press, right to organize – i.e. the liberties now juridically in existence in Prussia. Whether these liberties do or do not lead to civil war is not our concern; it is enough that they exist, and we shall see where it ‘leads’ if the attack on them continues.” [23]

A week later, the question came up again, on an even more fateful issue. Local Democratic Associations were being suppressed by the governments, first in Stuttgart and Heidelberg, now in Baden; this made a mockery of the Assembly’s phrases about the right to organize. “The basic condition [wrote Engels] of the free right of organization is that no association or society can be dissolved or prohibited by the police, that this can take place only as a result of a judicial verdict establishing the illegality of the association or of its acts and aims and punishing the authors of these acts.” [24]

What was the government’s ground?

“The motivations given for this new act of police violence are extremely edifying. The Associations wanted to affiliate to the organization of Democratic Associations for all Germany, set up by the Democratic Congress at Frankfurt. This congress ‘set a democratic republic as its goal’ (as if that is forbidden!) ‘and the means envisaged to attain this goal flow, among other things, from the sympathy expressed in those resolutions in favour of the agitators’ (since when is ‘sympathy’ an illegal ‘means’?) ...

“According to Herr Mathy [liberal Baden politician], the Associations in Baden are therefore responsible for the resolutions of the Central Committee [of the Democratic Associations] even if they have not put them into practice.”

Mathy had argued further that it “seems inadmissible and pernicious for the foundation of the constitution to be undermined and thus the whole state structure shaken by the Associations’ power”. Engels commented:

“The right to organize, Herr Mathy, exists precisely so that one can ‘undermine’ the constitution with impunity – in legal form, of course. And if the Associations’ power is greater than that of the state, so much the worse for the state!” [25]

Another vital issue on which the NRZ hit hard was a corollary of the “sovereignty of the people”, viz. the sovereignty of the Assembly elected by the people, as against the power of the government set up by the Crown. The revolution had given rise to two lines of power which were diverging, wrote Engels:

“The results of the revolution were, on one hand, the arming of the people, the right of organization, the de facto achievement of popular sovereignty; on the other, the maintenance of the monarchy and the Camphausen-Hansemann ministry, i.e. the government of the representatives of the big bourgeoisie.

“The revolution thus had two series of results which necessarily had to diverge. The people had been victorious, they had won freedoms of a decisively democratic nature; but the immediate ruling power passed not into their hands but into the big bourgeoisie’s.

“In short, the revolution was not completed.” [26]

Marx and Engels’ line was strongly for all power to the Assembly as the representation of popular sovereignty, as against the Assembly majority’s goal of a deal with the Crown. The Jacoby motion, previously mentioned, that the Assembly’s decisions should have the force of law without further ado, was a sine qua non. It would be incredible to other peoples, wrote Engels, that the German assembly had to debate a motion asserting that it is sovereign with respect to the government. “But we are in the land of the oak and linden, and so we should not be easily astonished by anything.” The Assembly was “irresolute, flabby and lackadaisical”. [27]

Marx presented the revolutionary-democratic proposal in terms of the concentration of both legislative and governmental (executive) power in the hands of the people’s elected representatives. The Radical wing of the Assembly, he wrote, was calling for a governmental executive “elected for a period determined by the National Assembly and responsible to it”. But that was not enough. This executive power must be selected out of the ranks of the Assembly itself, as was demanded by the left-wingers among the Radicals. Since the National Assembly was a constituent body – i.e. no constitution as yet existed – there could be no government except the Assembly itself: “it is the National Assembly itself that must govern”. [28] Above all, it must take the initiative away from the governments of the German states:

“A national constituent assembly must above all be an activist, revolutionary-activist assembly. The assembly in Frankfurt does parliamentary school-exercises and lets the governments act. Supposing that this learned council succeeds after the maturest deliberations in figuring out the best agenda and the best constitution, what were the good of the best agenda and the constitution if in the meantime the governments put the bayonet on the agenda?” [29]

This course was driven home as the NRZ analysed the Assembly debates. [30] If the Assembly declined to take over all the powers of the state, if in particular it was even deprived of the right to exercise control over the executive through its commissions of inquiry, then this amounted to “a renunciation of the sovereignty of the people.” [31] The issue of the deputies’ immunity from arrest by the government was one very concrete aspect of the question of sovereignty: the NRZ campaigned for full and unabridged immunity with no loopholes. [32]

But in fact, instead of the Assembly’s taking over executive power, it was the governmental power that used every means to strengthen itself. Marx used the Militia Bill as an example: the idea of a popular militia was converted into a plan for a bureaucratic force.

“Prussian perspicacity has nosed out that every new constitutional institution offers a most interesting occasion for new penal laws, new regulations, new disciplinary measures, new surveillance, new chicanery, and a new bureaucracy.” [33]

This reflects a leitmotiv of Marx’s attitude toward the problems of democratization: minimization of the executive power, the state bureaucracy – maximization of the weight in the governmental structure of the representative system. And not only in the period of revolution.

Analysis of a Constitution

It was in the decade following the defeat of the 1848-9 revolutions that Marx wrote most extensively on specific problems of constitutional democratic forms. What emerged particularly was this principle: one of the chief marks of a truly democratic constitution was the degree to which it limited and restrained the independent scope of the executive power.

This follows naturally from the view that democracy is genuine insofar as it means popular control from below. Let us see how the point is made in a number of rather detailed criticisms which Marx made of particular constitutions.

The first such constitutional analysis by Marx, written in 1851, dealt with The Constitution of the French Republic Adopted November 4, 1848. [8*] The main fraud in this constitution, repeatedly pointed out by Marx, is that it leaves room for its alleged democratic guarantees to be nullified by subsequent laws put through by the governmental power.

Here is his first example of the type of provision which pretends to establish a democratic right but vitiates itself by allowing for “exceptions made by law”.

“‘§ 3. The residence of everyone on French territory is inviolable – and it is not allowed to enter it otherwise than in the forms prescribed by law.’

“Observe here and throughout that the French constitution guarantees liberty, but always with the proviso of exceptions made by law, or which may STILL BE MADE!” [35]

Another provision ensures freedom of association, opinion, press, etc. but it adds, “The enjoyment of these rights has no other limit, than the equal rights of others, and the public safety”. Marx points to the last phrase as the joker:

“That the limitation made by the ‘public safety’, takes away the enjoyment of the right altogether, is clearly shewn by the following facts ... [Marx then cites what actually happened in France.]”

Again, the constitution says “The right of tuition is free.”

“Here the old joke is repeated. ‘Tuition is free’, but ‘under the conditions fixed by law’, and these are precisely the conditions that take away the freedom altogether.” [36]

And so on. Marx sums up the character of this constitution:

“... from beginning to end it is a mass of fine words, hiding a most treacherous design. From its very wording, it is rendered impossible to violate it, for every one of its provisions contains its own antithesis – utterly nullifies itself. For instance: ‘the vote is direct and universal’ – ‘excepting those cases which the law shall determine’.”

The repeated formula is that this or that freedom shall be determined by an “organic law” to be adopted – “and these ‘organic laws’ ‘determine’ the promised freedom by destroying it”. [37]

The following year Marx incorporated the substance of this review of the French constitutional device in his Eighteenth Brumaire. After making the point and giving some examples, Marx writes that the “organic laws” regulated all the liberties granted “in such manner that the bourgeoisie in its enjoyment of them finds itself unhindered by the equal rights of the other classes”. For anything that contravenes its own safety is obviously not “in the interest of public safety”.

“In the sequel, both sides accordingly appeal with complete justice to the Constitution: the friends of order, who abrogated all these liberties, as well as the democrats, who demanded all of them. For each paragraph of the Constitution contains its own antithesis, its own Upper and Lower House, namely, liberty in the general phrase, abrogation of liberty in the marginal note. Thus, so long as the name of freedom was respected and only its actual realization prevented, of course in a legal way, the constitutional existence of liberty remained intact, inviolate, however mortal the blows dealt to its existence in actual life.” [38]

In the 1851 article, Marx also included a powerful denunciation of another device by which the government bureaucracy exercised de facto control over the liberties of the individual regardless of constitutional or other façades. This device is the internal passport and “labour book”.

“The excess of despotism reached in France will be apparent by the following regulations as to working men.

“Every working man is supplied with a book by the police – the first page of which contains his name, age, birthplace, trade or calling, and a description of his person. He is therein obliged to enter the name of the master for whom he works, and the reasons why he leaves him. But this is not all: the book is placed in the master’s hands, and deposited by him in the bureau of the police with the character of the man by the master. When a workman leaves his employment, he must go and fetch this book from the police office; and is not allowed to obtain another situation without producing it. Thus the workman’s bread is utterly dependent on the police. But this again, is not all: this book serves the purpose of a passport. If he is obnoxious, the police write ‘bon pour retourner chez lui’ in it, and the workman is obliged to return to his parish! No comment is needed on this terrific revelation! Let the reader picture to himself its full working, and trace it to its actual consequences. No serfdom of the feudal ages – no pariahdom of India has its parallel. What wonder if the French people pant for the hour of insurrection. What wonder if their indignation take the aspect of a storm.” [39]

Twenty years later Marx denounced the use of the same system by the Versaillese government; one of his counts against the police-state methods of the Thiers régime was “the reintroduction of passports for travelling from one place to another.” [40] In both cases the French government used the internal-passport system for population control in the wake of a revolutionary upsurge.

Minimization of the Executive Power

In 1853 Marx analyzed the provisions in the new draft constitutions for Schleswig and Holstein, noting their undemocratic character. In addition, he notes that one of the “most remarkable paragraphs ... deprives the courts of law of their ancient right of cancelling administrative decrees ...” [41]

Such provisions are bad because it is the “power of the bureaucracy” which has to be kept down: this is also spelled out in Marx’s analysis, written in 1858, of the Prussian constitution of 1850. Once again he sees constitutional rights nullified by the freedom of action accorded to the executive power:

“The question of ministerial responsibility possesses in Prussia, as it did in the France of Louis Philippe, an exceptional importance, because it means, in fact, the responsibility of bureaucracy. The ministers are the chiefs of that omnipotent, all-intermeddling parasitic body, and to them alone, according to article 106 of the Constitution, have the subaltern members of the administration to look, without taking upon themselves to inquire into the legality of their ordinances, or incurring any responsibility by executing them. Thus, the power of the bureaucracy, and by the bureaucracy, of the executive, has been maintained intact, while the constitutional ‘Rights of the Prussians’ have been reduced to a dead letter.” [42]

The Prussian reality, writes Marx, shows the gulf between constitutional theory and actual practice:

“Every step of yours, simple locomotion even, is tampered with by the omnipotent action of bureaucracy, this second providence of genuine Prussian growth. You can neither live nor die, nor marry, nor write letters, nor think, nor print, nor take to business, nor teach, nor be taught, nor get up a meeting, nor build a manufactory, nor emigrate, nor do any thing without ‘obrigkeitliche Erlaubnis’ – permission on the part of the authorities. As to the liberty of science or religion, or abolition of patrimonial jurisdiction, or suppression of caste privileges, or the doing away with entails and primogeniture, it is all mere bosh.”

Marx explains why this is so in the same way as he explained the self-vitiation of the French constitution of 1848: all the liberties are granted only within “the limits of the law”, which in this case means the absolutist law predating the Constitution.

“Thus there exists a deadly antagonism between the law of the Constitution and the constitution of the law, the latter reducing, in fact, the former to mere moonshine. On the other hand, the Charter in the most decisive points refers to organic laws ... They [the organic laws now adopted] have done away with guarantees even existing at the worst times of the absolute Monarchy, with the independence, for instance, of the Judges of the executive Government. Not content with these combined dissolvents, the old and the new-fangled laws, the Charter preserves to the King the right of suspending it in all its political bearings, whenever he may think proper.” [43]

This is the second time that we have seen Marx upholding the independence of the courts against the executive power. It is clear, however, that this is only one aspect of his advocacy of every possible means of minimizing the autonomous power of the executive. In 1859 Marx wrote an analysis of the Hessian constitution of 1831 which praised it as “the most liberal fundamental law ever proclaimed in Europe”, except for its undemocratic method of electing representatives. Naturally, this praise was relative to the times; but what stirred this enthusiastic description?

“There is no other Constitution which restrains the powers of the executive within limits so narrow, makes the Administration more dependent on the Legislature, and confides such a supreme control to the judicial benches.” [44]

The article spells out the detailed reasons for this tribute, including the fact that “the Courts of law, empowered to decide definitively upon all the acts of the Executive, were rendered omnipotent”. The courts also have the final say “in all questions of bureaucratic discipline”. The representatives can remove any minister declared guilty of misinterpreting its resolutions; the Prince’s “right of grace” is shorn, and also his control over members of the Administration. “The Representative Chamber selects out of its members a permanent committee, forming a sort of Areopagus, watching and controlling the Government, and impeaching the officials for violation of the Constitution, no exception being granted on behalf of orders received by subalterns from their superiors in rank. In this way, the members of the bureaucracy were emancipated from the Crown.” Military officers are similarly bound to the Constitution, not to the Crown. “The representation, consisting of one single Chamber, possesses the right of stopping all taxes, imposts and duties, on every conflict with the executive.” Later, mentions Marx, the revolution of 1848-9 democratized the election forms and made two other improvements. Both of the latter were likewise directed against the power of the executive: “by putting the nomination of the members of the Supreme Court into the hands of the legislature, and, lastly, by taking out of the hands of the Prince the supreme control of the army, and making it over to the Minister of War, a personage responsible to the representatives of the people”.

In the same article Marx points to another democratic feature of this constitution: “Communal councillors, nominated by popular election, had to administer not only the local, but also the general police.” Over a decade later, Marx pointed to the Paris Commune’s system of community control of the police as a democratic achievement. [45] In general, Marx’s views on the minimization, or thorough subordination, of the executive power reached fullest expression in his analysis of the Paris Commune.

Safety-Valves for the Bourgeoisie

Comments on various aspects of democratic rights are, of course, scattered through the later writings of Marx and Engels, though not the subject of any systematic work. Examples of aspects not yet mentioned may have some interest:

(1) Freedom of opinion. Discussing the Bonapartization of France in 1851, even before the coup d’état, Marx commented that the very last straw was the 1850 law which restored censorship of the drama. “Thus freedom of opinion was banished from its last literary refuge.” [46]

(2) Restrictions on voter eligibility. In the same connection – the anti-democratic swing in France after the 1848 defeat – Marx noted two infringements dealing with voting limitations. The law of 31 May 1850 not only excluded political offenders “but it actually established domiciliary restrictions, by which TWO-THIRDS of the French people are incapable of voting”! A little further there is a related point: “By the law of August 7, 1848, all those who cannot read and write are erased from the jury list, thus disqualifying two-thirds of the adult population!” [47]

In his article on the Schleswig and Holstein constitutions, Marx also noted a related question: among the undemocratic restrictions is the provision “making the right of election dependent on the holding of landed property, and limiting its exercise by the condition of ‘domicile’ in the respective electoral districts”. [48] In his already mentioned article on the Prussian constitution of 1850, he remarked that although it allows payment of deputies and voting rights from the age of 25, “The electoral rights, however, and the machinery of election, have been managed in such a way as to exclude not only the bulk of the people, but to subject the privileged remnant to the most unbridled bureaucratic interference. There are two degrees of election.” [49]

(3) Gerrymandering. The “unbridled bureaucratic interference” in the Prussian electoral system included more than the complicated system of grouping voters by the amount of tax paid, etc.

“As if this complicated process of filtering was not sufficient, the bureaucracy has, moreover, the right to divide, combine, change, separate and recompose the electoral districts at pleasure. Thus, for instance, if there exists a town suspected of liberal sympathies, it may be swamped by reactionary country votes, the Minister, by simple ordinance, blending the liberal town with the reactionary country into the same electoral district.”

Marx concludes: “Such are the fetters which shackle the electoral movement, and which, only in the great cities, can exceptionally be broken through.” [50]

(4) Unicameralism. In general, Marx was for a single representative assembly, not the bicameral system devised to check the exuberance of popular sovereignty. In his article on the Hessian constitution, he noted approvingly that “The representation, consisting of one single Chamber, possesses the right of stopping all taxes, imposts and duties, on every conflict with the executive.” [51]

(5) Right to demonstrate. The following case in point has a special interest. In 1872 a Hyde Park demonstration was organized by Irish members of the International, to demand a general amnesty. But at the last session of Parliament the government had put through a law regulating public meetings in parks: it required two days’ prior notification to the police, including the speakers’ names. Engels wrote:

“This regulation carefully kept hidden from the London press destroyed with one stroke of the pen one of the most precious rights of London’s working people – the right to hold meetings in parks when and how they please. To submit to this regulation would be to sacrifice one of the people’s rights.

“The Irish, who represent the most revolutionary element of the population, were not men to display such weakness. The committee unanimously decided to act as if it did not know of the existence of this regulation and to hold their meeting in defiance of the Government’s decree.” [52]

The police decided not to intervene after all.

(6) The informer system. The use of informers, spies and stool-pigeons (mouchards in French and also in Marx and Engels most of the time) was, of course, the common instrument of the governments and a constant plague in the radical and labour movements. Here, however, is an important variant.

The Austrian commander in Milan, after suppressing an insurrection, decreed that anyone who failed to denounce another’s illegal act was himself guilty. Marx reported this bitterly:

“Whoever will not become a spy and informer for the Hapsburg shall be liable to become the lawful prey of the Croat [Austrian troops]. In a word, Radetsky proclaims a new system of wholesale plunder.” [53]

(7) Freedom in wartime. After the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, Bebel and Liebknecht were arrested by the Bismarck government on charges of high treason –

“simply because they dared to fulfil their duties as German national representatives, viz. to protest in the Reichstag against the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine, vote against new war subsidies, express their sympathy with the French Republic, and denounce the attempt at the conversion of Germany into one Prussian barrack.”

So Marx, in a protest published in the London press. His letters also described the governmental repression of other anti-war socialists, and added:

“The few independent German journals existing outside Prussia are forbidden admission into the Hohenzollern estates. German workmen’s meetings in favour of a peace honourable for France are daily dispersed by the police. According to the official Prussian doctrine ... every German ‘trying to counteract the prospective aims of the Prussian warfare in France’, is guilty of high treason.” [54]

He compares the liberty existing in France (where the Empire had just been overthrown – it is the interlude between Sedan and the Paris Commune):

“The French soil is infested by about a million of German invaders. Yet the French Government can safely dispense with that Prussian method of ‘rendering possible the free expression of opinion’. Look at this picture and at that!” [55]

In truth, the French republican government could hardly do otherwise; it had come into being through a mass upsurge in the streets after Sedan, and a revolution loomed before it. Revolutionary pressures ensured its democratic distinction from Prussianism.

In England, pressure against freedom in wartime was political. During the Crimean war, John Bright accused the government of undermining “the Parliamentary system of this country” by its intolerance of criticism. Marx commented:

“It may be asked of what use this system is? Domestic questions must not be agitated because the country is at war. Because the country is at war, war must not be discussed. Then why remains Parliament? Old [William] Cobbett has revealed the secret. As a safety-valve for the effervescing passions of the country.” [56]

It could be put more generally: for bourgeois democracy, not only a parliament but the whole structure of democratic rights and institutions was, in good part, “a safety-valve for the effervescing passions of the country”. Or, as we put it in another connection in another part of the work, it was used as a means of containing popular pressures, not expressing them.

The “Democratic Swindle”

As in the case of most political problems, it is not possible to extract from Marx and Engels’ writings a systematic account of what Marx called the “democratic swindle” – the methods whereby the bourgeoisie utilized (used and abused) democratic forms for the purpose of stabilizing its socio-economic rule; besides the present and preceding chapters, aspects of the subject will emerge subsequently. But a couple of basic points may be made here.

The “democratic swindle” was a swindle not insofar as it was democratic but, on the contrary, insofar as it utilized democratic forms to frustrate genuine democratic control from below. The phrase itself comes from a reference by Marx to the country which, he well understood, was the most democratic in constitutional form at this time: the United States. It was, indeed, “the model country of the democratic swindle” [57] not because it was less democratic than others but for precisely the opposite reason. The fact that the US had developed the formal structure of the constitutional republic in the most democratic forms meant that its bourgeoisie likewise had to develop to its highest point the art of keeping the expression of popular opinion within channels satisfactory to its class interests.

In Marx’s time there was no problem about putting the finger on the main method of this enterprise: the system of rank political corruption mentioned in the preceding chapter. As long as it was possible to work it, within the cadre of a country that was expanding economically and geographically, social explosions could be avoided. The expense was worth while to gain “a safety-valve for the effervescing passions of the country”.

The expense of buying up public opinion, however, should not be confused with the expensiveness on a social scale of a democratic structure as against an authoritarian one. Other things being equal, a democratic state form is cheaper to operate than a despotism; as long as it is possible, it is a bargain for a ruling class interested in keeping down overhead costs. This is true not only in terms of hard cash outlay (necessary for any swollen state apparatus) but also in terms of intangibles, such as the willing interest of the mass of the population in cooperating in their own exploitation. Marx pointed to the difference in his polemic against the liberal Heinzen:

“The monarchy involves great expenses. No doubt. Just take a look at governmental finances in North America and compare them with what our 38 duodecimo fatherlands [the German states] have to pay for being administered and kept under discipline!” [58]

In England the main representatives of the bourgeoisie in politics aim ideally at bargain-rate government, and therefore –

“to these champions of the British Bourgeoisie, to the men of the Manchester School, every institution of Old England appears in the light of a piece of machinery as costly as it is useless, and which fulfills no other purpose but to prevent the nation from producing the greatest possible quantity at the least possible expense, and to exchange its products in freedom. Necessarily their last word is the Bourgeois Republic, in which free competition rules supreme in all spheres of life; in which there remains altogether that minimum only of government which is indispensable for the administration, internally and externally, of the common class interest and business of the Bourgeoisie; and where this minimum of government is as soberly, as economically organized as possible. Such a party, in other countries, would be called democratic.” [59]

Time and again Marx or Engels analysed bourgeois-democratic politics as an exercise in convincing a maximum of the people that they were participating in state power, by means of a minimum of concessions to democratic forms. On the eve of the 1848 revolution – the preceding November, to be exact – Engels took up the programmatic manifesto issued by Lamartine, the poet-politician who headed the moderate republican party.

“What, then, is the meaning of the political measures proposed by M. de Lamartine? To give the government into the hands of the inferior bourgeoisie, but under the semblance of giving it to the whole people (this, and nothing else, is the meaning of his universal suffrage, with his double system of elections).” [60]

The century saw a plethora of clever electoral systems devised to insert a manipulative factor into the forms of a more or less universal suffrage, beginning with the American Constitution. As Engels indicated in the case of Lamartine, the mechanisms were calibrated to achieve a single type of effect: How far down in the social scale, in the hands of what class or class stratum, was political power expected to reside? This was the link between the class struggle and often technical-sounding questions of constitutional forms; that is, between a political programme in the narrow sense and a social programme. A movement that aimed to place political power in the hands of the working-class masses could afford to press for complete democratization with no twists.

Toward the Socialization of Democracy

Lamartine, wrote Engels, might be able to inspire poets and philosophers with enthusiasm for “his system of graduated election, poor rate, and philanthrophic charity”, but not the people.

“The principles, indeed, of social and political regeneration have been found fifty years ago. Universal suffrage, direct election, paid representation – these are the essential conditions of political sovereignty ... What we want, is not English middle-class expediency, but quite a new system of social economy, to realize the rights and satisfy the wants of all.” [61]

This was published in a Chartist paper and written for the eyes of Chartist workers, who were indeed already battling for what was then the political programme of the democratic extremists. But Engels’ friends in the left wing of Chartism, Harney and Jones above all, were fighting for “the Charter and Something Else”, i.e. for the extension of the democratic idea to a social programme. This, of course, had been what Engels had also urged since his arrival in England. As we have seen [62], he began by counterposing “communism” against democracy, in the wake of Proudhon and Weitling. By 1844 he had corrected this to advocating going over from mere political democracy to a more basic social transformation.

In an 1844 article which Engels wrote for a German paper in Paris, he analysed the constitutional forms of British democracy in this spirit. [9*] Conceding that “England is undoubtedly the freest, that is, the least unfree country in the world, North America not excepted”, he undertook an examination of the methods and forms of the political system “on purely empirical lines”, to show how the structure is designed toward “making concessions merely in order to preserve this derelict structure as long as possible”, and maintaining the rule of the middle class in partnership with the progressive-minded aristocracy. [63] Since the representative chamber, the House of Commons, wielded all power (he thought), it followed that “England should be a pure democracy, if only the democratic element itself were really democratic”. It is the latter condition that he subjects to detailed analysis, measuring constitutional and formal pretensions against the “empirical” facts of class power. His conclusion is that “The Englishman is not free because of the law, but despite the law, if he can be considered free at all” [64], for it is the constant threat from below that ensures the recognition of democratic rights in practice.

It is, he argues, likewise the struggle of classes which will move matters still further:

“The struggle is already on. The constitution has been shaken in its foundations. How things will turn out in the near future can be seen from what has been said. The new alien elements in the constitution are of a democratic nature; public opinion too, as time will show, develops in accordance with the democratic side; England’s near future is democracy.

“But what a democracy! Not that the French Revolution, whose antithesis was the monarchy and feudalism, but that democracy whose antithesis is the middle class and property. This is evident from the entire preceding development. The middle class and property are in power; the poor man is bereft of rights, oppressed and sweated; the constitution disowns him, the law maltreats him; the struggle of democracy against the aristocracy in England is the struggle of the poor against the rich. The democracy which England is heading for is a social democracy.

“But mere democracy is unable to remedy social evils. Democratic equality is a chimera, the struggle of the poor against the rich cannot be fought out on the ground of democracy or politics in general. Hence this stage too is only a transition, the last purely political measure that still is to be tried and from which a new element must immediately develop, a principle transcending everything political.

“This principle is the principle of socialism.” [65]

“Mere democracy” is merely political democracy, democracy which stops with governmental forms and does not extend to the “social question”, to the democratization of socio-economic life.

In sum: Marx and Engels always saw the two sides of the complex of democratic institutions and rights which arose under bourgeois democracy. The two sides corresponded to the two classes which fought it out within this framework. One side was the utilization of democratic forms as a cheap and versatile means of keeping the exploited masses from shaking the system, of providing the illusion of participation in the state while the economic sway of the ruling class ensured the real centres of power. This was the side of the “democratic swindle”. The other side was the struggle to give the democratic forms a new social (class) content, above all by pushing them to the democratic extreme of popular control from below, which in turn entailed extending the application of democratic forms out of the merely political sphere into the organization of the whole society.

In any case, the key was popular control from below. This phrase was best translated by Marx in a comment on a slippery slogan, the Lassallean catchword of a “free state”. Taking it literally, Marx replied that we do not want a state that is free, but rather a state that is completely subordinate to society.

“Free state – what is this?

“It is by no means the aim of the workers, who have got rid of the narrow mentality of humble subjects, to set the state free. In the [Bismarckian] German Empire the ‘state’ is almost as ‘free’ as in Russia. Freedom consists in converting the state from an organ superimposed upon society into one completely subordinate to it, and today, too, the forms of state are more or less free to the extent that they restrict the ‘freedom of the state’.” [66]

This proposes a basic test for, and measure of, freedom in the sense of popular control from below, and it applies equally before and after the social revolution.


1*. As a liberal Marx-critic, A.D. Lindsay, put it from his own viewpoint: “the Liberal, if to be a Liberal is to believe in democracy, must explain why he will not extend democracy to the government of the collective labourer and become a socialist. Socialism is for Marx essentially the democratization of the collective labourer. Because it was that, he regarded it as inevitable; for a society in which ‘the notion of human equality has already acquired the fixity of a popular prejudice’, and in which the prevailing form of production is social and involves government, is already in principle committed to it.” [1]

2*. An example: Among the backward-looking anti-democrats that Marx ran into was the maverick David Urquhart, against whom Marx warned in an article: “there is another clique of ‘wise men’ emerging in England, who are discontented with the Government and the ruling classes as much as with the Chartists. What do the Chartists want? they exclaim. They want to increase and extend the omnipotence of Parliament by elevating it to people’s power. They are not breaking up parliamentarism but are raising it to a higher power. The right thing to do is to break up the representative system! A wise man from the East, David Urquhart, heads that clique.” [5] Marx goes on to explain that Urquhart wants to turn the clock back on civilization, to return to the old Anglo-Saxon conditions, “or, better still, to the Oriental state”, to localism, to economic conditions prior to the modern division of labour and concentrated capital. The subject of social tendencies hostile to both capitalism and the proletariat is reserved for separate consideration.

3*. In this explanation we have used “democracy” and “democratic” in their modern sense; but in mid-19th century, especially on the Continent before 1848, the democratic forms involved were more commonly labelled “liberties”, specific “freedoms” (e.g. freedom of press, expression, etc.), specific “rights” (right of organization or assoclation, etc.), “popular” institutions, including “popular sovereignty”, and so on.

4*. This is the same Arnold Ruge who, five years before, had been Marx’s co-editor of the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, complaining that the German people were hopelessly apathetic and could never make a revolution. He was prominent among those who helped to fulfil his prophecy. By the 1870s he wound up on the pension rolls of the far-from-apathetic Bismarck. [9]

5*. Marx was also acquainted with the government device of allegedly suppressing only “false” statements by the press. This became prominent under the Bonaparte dictatorship in France, which claimed to be for freedom of the press to tell the “truth” but not its freedom to tell “lies”. In an 1858 article Marx derisively quoted the Bonapartist press: “The duty of the press is to enlighten the public, and not deceive it,” and demonstrated that this was only a façade for the principle that the duty of the press is to obey the government’s orders on how to deceive the public. [12]

6*. Lit., the “right of association”; so throughout.

7*. This catch-line, adapted from Beaumarchais, amounts to a sarcastic “What a brilliant idea!”

8*. This article was written by Marx for Ernest Jones’ paper as part of a series on The Constitutions of Europe. It is therefore very specifically concerned with the exact provisions of the document, thus providing a supplement to the broader political analysis of this constitution which Marx had written the year before, in his Class Struggles in France. [34] A year later, Man, reviewing the same history in The Eighteenth Brumaire, included the constitutional points too, as discussed below.

9*. This was before Engels teamed up with Marx, and while he was still denouncing “all state forms” in principle, in anarchoid language which can be found in the same article. The contradiction is striking.


MEW = Marx-Engels Werke, Berlin, Dietz, 1961-8. (Vol. and page no. abbreviated in colon form; e.g. 2:363 = Vol.2, p.363.)

ME:SW = Marx-Engels, Selected Works in three volumes, Moscow, Progress Pub., 1969-70.
ME: Art. Brit. = Marx-Engels, Articles on Britain, Moscow, Progress Pub., 1971.
NRZ = Neue Rheinische Zeitung.
NYT New York (Daily) Tribune.
ME = Marx and Engels.
M/E = Marx or Engels.

1. A.D. Lindsay, Karl Marx’s Capital (London, 1937,), 105.

2. This refers to Marx’s 1843 manuscript; in the O’Malley translation (the only complete one available, Cambridge University Press, 1970), pp.30-1 are especially relevant.

3. See my The Two Souls of Socialism (Berkeley, 1966; or in New Politics, Winter 1966, 5744).

4. ME: The German Ideology (Moscow, P.P., 1964), 362.

5. M: The Association for Administrative Reform, in ME: Art. Brit., 236-7.

6. E. to M., 9 March 1847, MEW27:78.

7. E. in NRZ, 1 June 1848, MEW5:14.

8. Ibid., 15-17.

9. For Ruge’s political evolution, see W.J. Brazill, The Young Hegelians (Yale U.P., 1970), 256-9.

10. E. in NRZ, 3 September 1848, MEW5:358.

11. For the first number, see M/E in NRZ, 1 June 1848, MEW5: 18; besides the passages quoted further along, there was constant emphasis on the issue, e.g. E. in NRZ, 20 July 1848, MEW5:238.

12. M: France, in NYT, 30 April 1858.

13. M. in NRZ, 11 July 1848, MEW5:200.

14. E: Preface to Karl Marx vor den Kölner Geschworenen (1885), in MEW21:201.

15. E. in NRZ, 15 June 1848, MEW5:68-9.

16. M. in NRZ, 20 July 1848, MEW5:241.

17. M/E in NRZ, 23 June 1848, MEW5:97.

18. E. in NRZ, 20 July 1848, MEW5:238.

19. M. in NRZ, 21 July 1848, MEW5:244-5.

20. M/E in NRZ, 7 June 1848, MEW5:39; M. in NRZ, 2 June 1848, MEW5:23; M/E in NRZ, 4 June 1848, MEW5:30.

21. M/E in NRZ, 17 September 1848, MEW5:406-7.

22. M. in NRZ, 21 July 1848, MEW5:251.

23. E. in NRZ, 22 July 1848, MEW5:229.

24. E. in NRZ, 28 July 1848, MEW5:276.

25. Ibid., 276-7.

26. E. in NRZ, 14 June 1848, MEW5:64-5.

27. E. in NRZ, 18 June 1848, MEW5:222-3.

28. M/E in NRZ, 7 June 1848, MEW5:39-40.

29. Ibid., 40.

30. E.g. in E. in NRZ, 8 June 1848, MEW5:49,52.

31. M/E in NRZ, 8 June 1848, MEW5:53.

32. M/E in NRZ, 19 June 1848, MEW5:83; ditto 21 June 1848, MEW5:90-3.

33. M. in NRZ, 21 July 1848, MEW5:245.

34. M: Class Struggles in France, in ME:SW1:233-6.

35. M: The Constitution of the French Republic [etc.], in Notes to the People, No.7, June 1851, Vol.1, p.125.

36. Ibid., p.126.

37. Ibid., p.129.

38. M: Eighteenth Brumaire of L.B., in ME:SW1:409.

39. M: The Constitution of the French Republic ..., 129.

40. M: Civil War in France, First Draft, in ME: Writings on the Paris Commune, ed. Draper (NY 1971), 134.

41. M. in NYT, 5 November 1853 (untitled article).

42. M: Affairs in Prussia, NYT, 8 November 1858.

43. M: Affairs in Prussia, NYT, 3 November 1858.

44. M: Trouble in Germany, NYT, 2 December 1859.

45. M: Civil War in France, First Draft, in ME: Writings on the Paris Commune, 152; and Second Draft, Ibid., 200. For the final version, see ME:SW2:220.

46. M: The Constitution of the French Republic ..., 126.

47. Ibid., 127, 128. See also M: Eighteenth Brumaire, in ME:SW1:408.

48. M. in NYT, 5 November 1853 (untitled article).

49. M: Affairs in Prussia, NYT, 8 November 1858.

50. Ibid.

51. M: Trouble in Germany, NYT, 2 December 1859.

52. E: Letters from London, 3, in ME: Art. Brit., 364.

53. M: The Attack on Francis Joseph [etc.], NYT, 8 March 1853.

54. M: Letter to Daily News, 19 January 1871, in ME: Selected Corr., 2nd ed. (Moscow, P.P., 1965), 254-55.

55. Ibid., 255.

56. M. in NYT, 12 June 1854 (untitled).

57. Letter, M. to E., 7 September 1864, in ME: The Civil War in the US, 3rd ed. (NY, Citadel Press, 1961), 271.

58. M: Die moralisierende Kritik [etc.], 1847, in MEW4:348.

59. M: The Chartists, NYT, 25 August 1852, in ME: Art. Brit., 117-18.

60. E: The Manifesto of M. de Lamartine, in MEGA I, 6:339.

61. Ibid., 340.

62. [In a previous chapter.]

63. E: The Condition of England: 2. The English Constitution, in ME: Art. Brit., 32, 33, 34, 41.

64. Ibid., 38, 57.

65. Ibid., 57-8, revised after ME:W1:592.

66. M: Critique of the Gotha Programme, in ME:SW3:25.

Last updated on 11 June 2010