Wilhelm Liebknecht 1896
Source: (letter) Justice, 11 July 1896, p.6;
Transcribed: Ted Crawford;
Public Domain: this document is free of copyright restriction.
DEAR COMRADE, – You would oblige me by publishing the following lines :
After having got over the effects of the broiling heat on my way back, and over the first rush of work that awaited me here, I feel that it would be most ungrateful on my part did I omit to express, through the medium of the press, comprehensively my thanks to all those who, during my recent stay in England and Scotland gave me such touching proofs of their fraternal sympathy.
Everywhere I was received as a brother and a comrade; and everywhere I was at home, I saw your enthusiasm for our cause and your devoted labour. And I saw that English Social-Democracy is not, as our enemies say, an army of officers without soldiers, but a good fighting army.
For the first time since the downbreak of the Chartist movement the masses of the English workingmen are stirring to fight in their own cause. The grand meetings which I had the honour of addressing in Manchester, Glasgow, the East End of London, and other centres of industry, have proved that the masses are flocking to the standard of International Social-Democracy. And I have no doubt the English Corps d'Armée will, in the tremendous struggle between labour and capital, which grows fiercer and fiercer from day to day, do its duty at the side of the French, the German, and the other Corps d'Armée, who are all parts of one and the same army; the great Army of Emancipation.
All soldiers of this great army are brothers and sisters – for woman is fighting, in our ranks and they all have one common fatherland – the world, and one common family- mankind.
I did not come to England to teach you Socialism. I came to tell you how the Socialist movement has developed itself and has grown in Germany, France, and other countries of continental Europe. My object was to disperse misunderstandings, to propagate truth, to strengthen the ties of solidarity amongst the oppressed of the different countries, and to promote that unity which is necessary for the working men of all nations as well as for the working men of each nation.
If my lectures have been of some use in this direction, I am contented.
One word more. I looked for Jingoism in England, and I did not find it amongst the working classes, who there, as everywhere else, represent the future. It is in England as it is in Germany, France, and other countries, Jingoism or Chauvinism is the invention and monopoly of the capitalist classes, whose interest it is to keep the working classes asunder, and to perpetuate international discord – the last hope of capitalism.
And now I must take leave of you, English, Scotch, and Irish brethren. Once more I thank you for the reception you gave me. I do not mention names. This would be an injustice to those not mentioned. I have only one exception to make, and that is in favour not of a person, but of a committee. I mean the Executive Committee for the preparation of our International Congress. Without the excellent arrangements of this committee my journey could not have succeeded.
Farewell and au revoir in Hyde Park at the International Peace meeting of July 26.
With fraternal greetings,