Volume II of The German Ideology by Marx and Engels


Die Rheinischen Jahrbücher
The Philosophy of True Socialism

A. “Communismus, Socialismus, Humanismus"
Rheinische Jahrbücher, 1. BD., P. 167 et seq.

We begin with this essay [by Hermann Semmig] because it displays quite consciously and with great self-confidence the national German character of true socialism.

Page 168: “It seems that the French do not understand their own men of genius. At this point German science comes to their aid and in the shape of socialism presents the most reasonable social order, if one can speak of a superlative degree of reasonableness.”

“German science” here, therefore, presents a social order, in fact “the most reasonable social order”, “in the shape of socialism”. Socialism is reduced to a branch of that omnipotent, omniscient, all-embracing German science which is even able to set up a society. It is true that socialism is French in origin, but the French socialists were “essentiallyGermans, for which reason the real Frenchmen “did not understand” them. Thus the writer can say:

Communism is French, socialism is German; the French are lucky to possess so apt a social instinct, which will serve them one day as a substitute for scientific investigation. This result has been determined by the course of development of the two nations; the French arrived at communism by way of politics” (now it is clear, of course, how the French people came to communism); “the Germans arrived at socialism” (namely “true socialism”) “by way of metaphysics, which eventually changed into anthropology. Ultimately both are resolved in humanism.”

After having transformed communism and socialism into two abstract theories, two principles, there is, of course, nothing easier than to excogitate at will any Hegelian unity of these, two opposites and to give it any vague name one chooses. One has thereby not only submitted “the course of development of the two nations” to a piercing scrutiny but has also brilliantly demonstrated the superiority of the speculative individual over both Frenchmen and Germans.

Incidentally, the sentence is copied more or less literally from Püttmann’s Bürgerbuch, p. 43 and elsewhere [This refers to the article “Ueber die Noth in unserer Gesellschaft und deren Abhülfe” by Moses Hess published in Deutsches Bürgerbuch für 1845]; the writer’s “scientific investigation” of socialism is likewise limited to a reinterpretative reproduction of ideas contained in this book, in the Einundzwanzig Bogen and in other writings dating from the early days of German communism.

We will only give a few examples of the objections raised to communism in this essay:

Page 168: “Communism does not combine the atoms into an organic whole.”

The demand that the “atoms” should be combined into an organic whole” is no more realistic than the demand for the squaring of the circle.

“Communism. as it is actually advocated in France, its main centre, takes the form of crude opposition to the egoistical dissipation of the shopkeeper’s state; it never transcends this political opposition; it never attains to unconditional, unqualified freedom” (ibid.).

Voilà the German ideological postulate of “ unconditional, unqualified freedom”, which is only the practical formula for “unconditional, unqualified thought”. French communism is admittedly “crude” because it is the theoretical expression of a real opposition; however, according to the writer, French communism ought to have transcended this opposition by imagining it to be already overcome. Compare also Bürgerbuch, p. 43, etc.

“Tyranny can perfectly well persist within communism, since the latter refuses to permit the continuance of the species” (p. 168).

Hapless species! “Species” and “tyranny” have hitherto existed simultaneously; but it is precisely because communism abolishes the “species” that it can allow “tyranny” to persist. And how, according to our true socialist, does communism set about abolishing the “species"? It “has the masses in view” (ibid.).

“In communism man is not conscious of his essence ... his dependence is reduced by communism to the lowest, most brutal relationship, to dependence on crude matter — the separation of labour and enjoyment. Man does not attain to free moral activity.”

To appreciate the “scientific investigation” which has led our true socialist to this proposition, it is necessary to consider the following passage:

“French socialists and communists ... have by no means theoretically understood the essence of socialism ... even the radical” (French) “communists have still by no means transcended the antithesis of labour and enjoyment ... have not yet risen to the idea of free activity.... The only difference between communism and the world of the shopkeeper is that in communism the complete alienation of real human property is to be made independent of all fortuity, i.e., is to be idealised” (Bürgerbuch, p. 43).

That is to say, our true socialist is here reproaching the French for having a correct consciousness of their actual social conditions, whereas they ought to bring to light “Man’s” consciousness of “his essence”. All objections raised by these true socialists against the French amount to this, that they do not consider Feuerbach’s philosophy to be the quintessence of their movement as a whole. The writer proceeds from the already existing proposition of the separation of labour and enjoyment. Instead of starting with this proposition, he ideologically turns the whole thing upside-down, begins with the missing consciousness of man, deduces from it “dependence on crude matter” and assumes this to be realised in the “separation of labour and enjoyment”. Incidentally we shall see later on where our true socialist gets to with his independence “from crude matter”.

In fact, all these gentlemen display a remarkable delicacy of feeling. Everything shocks them, especially matter; they complain everywhere of crudity. Earlier we have already had a “crude antithesis”, now we have “the most brutal relationship” of “dependence on crude matter”.

With gaping jaws the German cries:
Too crude love must not be
Or you'll get an infirmity.
[Modified quotation from Heine’s poem “Sie sassen und tranken am Teetisch...” in Lyrisches Intermezzo. The first line of Heine’s poem reads: With gaping jaws the canon cries]

German philosophy in its socialist disguise appears, of course, to investigate “crude reality”, but it always keeps at a respectable distance and, in hysterical irritation, cries: noli me tangere!’ [touch me not! — John 20:17]

After these scientific objections to French communism, we come to several historical arguments, which brilliantly demonstrate the “free moral activity” and the “scientific investigation” of our true socialist and his independence of crude matter.

On page 170 he arrives at the “result” that the only communism which “exists” is “crude French communism” (crude once again). The construction of this truth a priori is carried out with great “social instinct” and shows that “man has become conscious of his essence”. Listen to this:

“There is no other communism, for what Weitling has produced is only an elaboration of Fourierist and communist ideas with which he became acquainted in Paris and Geneva.”

“There is no” English communism, “for what Weitling”, etc. Thomas More, the Levellers,[124] Owen, Thompson, Watts, Holyoake, Harney, Morgan, Southwell, Goodwyn Barmby, Greaves, Edmonds, Hobson, Spence will be amazed, or turn in their graves, when they hear that they are no communists “for” Weitling went to Paris and Geneva.

Moreover, Weitling’s communism does seem to be different in kind from the “crude French” variety, in vulgar parlance, from Babouvism, since it contains some of “Fourier’s ideas” as well.

“The communists were particularly good at drawing up systems or even complete social orders (Cabet’s Icarie, La Félicité, Weitling). All systems are, however, dogmatic and dictatorial” (p. 170).

By this verdict on systems in general true socialism has, of course, saved itself the trouble of acquainting itself at first hand with the communist systems. With one blow it has overthrown not only Icarie but also every philosophical system from Aristotle to Hegel, the Système de la nature [Paul Henri Holbach], the botanical systems of Linné and Jussieu and even the solar system. Incidentally, as to the systems themselves they nearly all appeared in the early days of the communist movement and had at that time propaganda value as popular novels, which corresponded perfectly to the still undeveloped consciousness of the proletarians, who were then just beginning to play an active part. Cabet himself calls his Icarie a “roman philosophique” and he should on no account be judged by his system but rather by his polemical writings, in fact his whole activity as a party leader. In some of these novels, e.g., Fourier’s system, there is a vein of true poetry; others, like the systems of Owen and Cabet, show not a shred of imagination and are written in a business-like calculating way or else with an eye to the views of the class to be influenced, in sly lawyer fashion. As the party develops, these systems lose all importance and are at best retained purely nominally as catchwords. Who in France believes in Icarie, who in England believes in the plans of Owen, which he preached in various modifications with an eye to propaganda among particular classes or with respect to the altered circumstances of the moment? Fourier’s orthodox disciples of the Démocratie pacifique show most clearly how little the real content of these systems lies in their systematic form; they are, for all their orthodoxy, doctrinaire bourgeois, the very antipodes of Fourier. All epoch-making systems have as their real content the needs of the time in which they arose. Each one of them is based on the whole of the antecedent development of a nation, on the historical growth of its class relations with their political, moral, philosophical and other consequences. The assertion that all systems are dogmatic and dictatorial gets us nowhere with regard to this basis and this content of the communist systems. Unlike the English and the French, the Germans did not encounter fully developed class relations. The German communists could, therefore, only base their system on the relations of the class from which they sprang. It is, therefore, perfectly natural that the only existing German communist system should be a reproduction of French ideas in terms of a mental outlook which was limited by the petty circumstances of the artisan.

“The madness of Cabet, who insists that everybody should subscribe to his Populaire”, p. 168, is proof of the tyranny that persists within communism. If our friend first distorts the claims which a party leader makes on his party, impelled by particular circumstances and the danger of failing to concentrate limited financial means, and then evaluates them in terms of the “essence of man”, he is indeed bound to conclude that this party leader and all other party members are “mad” whereas purely disinterested figures, like himself and the “essence of man”, are of sound intellect. But let him find out the true state of affairs from Cabet’s Ma ligne droite.

The whole antithesis of our author, and of German true socialists and ideologists in general, to the real movements of other nations is finally epitomised in one classic sentence. The Germans judge everything sub specie aeterni [from the standpoint of eternity — cf. Spinoza, Ethics] (in terms of the essence of Man), foreigners view everything practically, in terms of actually existing men and circumstances. The thoughts and actions of the foreigner are concerned with temporariness, the thoughts and actions of the German with eternity. Our true socialist confesses this as follows:

“The very name of communism, the contrary of competition, reveals its one-sidedness., but is this bias, which may very well have value now as a party name, to last for ever?

After having thus thoroughly disposed of communism, the writer proceeds to its contrary, socialism.

“Socialism establishes that anarchic system which is an essential characteristic of the human race and the universe” (p. 170) and for that very reason has hitherto never existed for “the human race”.

Free competition is too “crude” to be regarded by our true socialist as an “anarchic system”.

“Relying entirely on the moral core of mankind, socialism” decrees that “the union of the sexes is and should be merely the highest intensification of love; for only what is natural is true and what is true is moral” (p. 171).

The reason why “the union, etc., etc. is and should be,” can be applied to everything. For example, “socialism, relying entirely on the moral core” of the apes, might just as well decree that the masturbation which occurs naturally among them “is, and should be, merely the highest intensification of” self- “love; for only what is natural is true and what is true is moral”.

It would be hard to say by what standard socialism judges what is natural”.

“Activity and enjoyment coincide in the peculiar nature of man; they are determined by this and not by the products external to us.”

“But since these products are indispensable for activity, that is to say, for true life, and since by reason of the common activity of mankind as a whole they have, so to speak, detached themselves from mankind, they are or should be the common substratum of further development for all (community of goods).”

“Our present-day society has indeed relapsed into savagery to such an extent that some individuals fall upon the products of another’s labour with beastly voracity and at the same time they indolently allow their own essence to decay (rentiers); as a necessary consequence, others are driven to mechanical labour; their property (their own human essence) has been stunted, not by idleness, but by exhausting exertion (proletarians).... The two extremes of our society, rentiers and proletarians, are, however, at the same stage of development. Both are dependent upon things external to them” or are “Negroes”, as Saint Max would say (pp. 169, 170).

The “results” reached above by our “Mongol” concerning “our Negroism” are the most perfect achievements which true socialism has, “so to speak, detached from itself, as a product indispensable for true life”; our Mongol, by reason of “the peculiar nature of man”, believes that “mankind as a whole” is bound to “fall upon” them with “beastly voracity”.

The four concepts — “rentiers”, “proletarians”, “mechanical” and community of goods” — are for our Mongol at any rate “products external to him”; as far as they are concerned, his “activity” and his “enjoyment” consist in representing them simply as anticipated terms for the results of his own “mechanical labour”.

Society, we learn, has relapsed into savagery and consequently the individuals who form this very society suffer from all kinds of infirmities. Society is abstracted from these individuals, it is made independent, it relapses into savagery on its own, and the individuals suffer only as a result of this relapse. The expressions — beast of prey, idler and possessor of “one’s own decaying essence” — are the first result of this relapse; whereupon we learn to our horror that these expressions define the “rentier”. The only comment necessary is that this “allowing one’s own essence to decay” is nothing but a philosophically mystified manner of speaking used in an endeavour to comprehend “idleness”, the actual character of which seems to be very little known.

The two expressions, “stunted growth of their own human essence as a result of exhausting exertion” and “being driven to mechanical labour”, are the second “necessary consequence” of the first result of the relapse into savagery. These two expressions are a “necessary consequence of the fact that the rentiers allow their own essence to decay”, and are known in vulgar parlance, we learn, once more to our horror, as “proletarians”.

The sentence, therefore, contains the following sequence of cause and effect: It is a fact that proletarians exist and that they work mechanically. Why are proletarians driven to “mechanical labour"? Because the rentiers “allow their own essence to decay”. Why is it that the rentiers allow their own essence to decay? Because “our present-day society has relapsed into savagery to such an extent”. Why has it relapsed into savagery? Ask thy Maker.

It is characteristic of our true socialist that he sees “the extremes of our society” in the opposition of rentiers and proletarians. This opposition has pretty well been present at all fairly advanced stages of society and has been belaboured by all moralists since time immemorial; it was resurrected right at the beginning of the proletarian movement, at a time when the proletariat still had interests in common with the industrial and petty bourgeoisie. Compare, for example, the writings of Cobbett and P. L. Courier or Saint-Simon, who originally numbered the industrial capitalists among the travailleurs as opposed to the oisiffs [idlers], the rentiers. Stating this trivial antithesis, which moreover it expresses, not in ordinary language, but in the sacred language of philosophy, presenting this childish discovery, in abstract, sanctified and quite inappropriate terms — this is what here, as in all other cases, the thoroughness of that German science which has been perfected by true socialism amounts to. The conclusion puts the finishing touch to this kind of thoroughness. Our true socialist here merges the totally dissimilar stages of development of the proletarians and the rentiers into “one stage of development”, because he ignores their real stages of development and subsumes them under the philosophic phrase: “dependence upon things external to them”. True socialism has here discovered the stage of development at which the dissimilarity of all the stages of development in the three realms of nature, in geology and history, vanishes into thin air.

Although he detests “dependence upon things external to him”, our true socialist nevertheless admits that he is dependent upon them, “since products”, i.e., these very things, “are indispensable for activity” and for “true life”. He makes this shamefaced admission so that he can clear the road for a philosophical construction of the community of goods — a construction that lapses into pure nonsense so that we need merely draw the reader’s attention to it.

We now come to the first of the passages quoted above. Here again, “independence from things” is claimed in respect of activity and enjoyment. Activity and enjoyment “are determined” by “the peculiar nature of man”. Instead of tracing this peculiar nature ‘ in the activity and enjoyment of the men who surround him — in which case he would very soon have found how far the products external to us have a voice in the matter, too — he makes activity and enjoyment “coincide in the peculiar nature of man”. Instead of visualising the peculiar nature of men in their activity and their manner of enjoyment, which is conditioned by their activity, he explains both by invoking “the peculiar nature of man”, which cuts short any further discussion. He abandons the real behaviour of the individual and again takes refuge in his indescribable, inaccessible, peculiar nature. We see here, moreover, what the true socialists understand by “free activity”. Our author imprudently reveals to us that free activity is activity which “is not determined by things external to us”, i.e., actus purus, pure, absolute activity, which is nothing but activity and is in the last instance tantamount to the illusion of “pure thought”. It naturally sullies the purity of this activity if it has a material basis and a material result; the true socialist deals only reluctantly with impure activity of this kind; he despises its product, which he terms “a mere refuse of man”, and not “a result” (p. 169). The subject from whom this pure activity proceeds cannot, therefore, be a real sentient human being; it can only be the thinking mind. This “free activity”, thus translated into German, is nothing but the foregoing “unconditional, unqualified freedom” expressed in a different way. Incidentally, that this talk of “free activity”, which merely serves the true socialists to conceal their ignorance of real production, amounts in the final analysis to “pure thought” is also shown by the fact that the writer gives us as his last word the postulate of true cognition.

“This separation of the two principal parties of this age” (namely, French crude communism and German socialism) “is a result of the developments of the last two years, which started more particularly, with Hess’ Philosophie der That, in Herwegh’s Einundzwanzig Bogen. Consequently it was high time to throw a little more light on the shibboleths of the social parties” (p. 173).

Here we have, on the one hand, the actually existing communist party in France with its literature and, on the other, a few German pseudo-scholars who are trying to comprehend the ideas of this literature philosophically. The latter are treated just as much as the former as a “principal party of this age”, as a party, that is to say, of infinite importance not only to its immediate antithesis, the French communists, but also to the English Chartists and communists, the American national reformers[125] and indeed to every other party “of this age”. It is unfortunate that none of these know of the existence of this “principal party”. But it has for a considerable time been the fashion among German ideologists for each literary faction, particularly the one that thinks itself “most advanced”, to proclaim itself not merely “one of the principal parties”, but actually “the principal party of this age”. We have among others, “the principal party” of critical criticism, the “principal party” of egoism in agreement with itself and now the “principal party” of the true socialists. In this fashion Germany can boast a whole horde of “principal parties”, whose existence is known only in Germany and even there only among the small set of scholars, pseudo-scholars and literati. They all imagine that they are weaving the web of world history when, as a matter of fact, they are merely spinning the long yarn of their own imaginings.

This “principal party” of the true socialists is “a result of the developments of the last two years, which started more particularly with Hess’ Philosophie”. It is “a result”, that is to say, of the developments “of the last two years” when our author first got entangled in socialism and found it was “high time” to enlighten himself “a little more”, by means of a few “shibboleths”, on what he considers to be “social parties”.

Having thus dismissed communism and socialism, our author introduces us to the higher unity of the two, to humanism. Now we are entering the domain of “Man” and the entire true history of our true socialist will be enacted in Germany alone.

“All quibbles about names are resolved in humanism; wherefore communists, wherefore socialists’, We are human beings” (p. 172) — tous frères, tous amis.

Swim not, brothers, against the stream,
That’s only a useless thing!
Let us climb up on to Templow hill
And cry: God save the King!
[From Heine’s poem “Verkehrte Welt” in his verse cycle Zeitgedichte]

Wherefore human beings, wherefore beasts, wherefore plants, wherefore stones? We are bodies!

There follows an historical discourse which is based upon German science and which “will one day help to replace the social instinct” of the French. Antiquity — naïveté, the Middle Ages — Romanticism, the Modern Age — Humanism. By means of these three trivialities, the writer has, of course, constructed his humanism historically and showed it to be the truth of the old Humaniora.[126] Compare “Saint Max” in the first volume for constructions of this kind; he manufactures such wares in a much more artistic and less amateurish way.

On page 172 we are informed that

“the final result of scholasticism is that cleavage of life which was abolished by Hess”.

Here then, the cause of the “cleavage of life” is shown to be theory. It is difficult to see why these true socialists mention society at all if they believe with the philosophers that all real cleavages are caused by conceptual cleavages. On the basis of this philosophical belief in the power of concepts to make or destroy the world, they can likewise imagine that some individual “abolished the cleavage of life” by “abolishing” concepts in some way or other. Like all German ideologists, the true socialists continually mix up literary history and real history as equipotential. This habit is, of course, very understandable among the Germans, who conceal the abject part they have played and continue to play in real history by equating the illusions, in which they are so rich, with reality.

And now to the “last two years”, during which German science has so thoroughly disposed of all problems that nothing remains to the other nations but to carry out its decrees.

“Feuerbach only partially completed, or rather only began, the task of anthropology, the regaining by man of his estranged essence” (the essence of man or the essence of Feuerbach?); “he destroyed the religious illusion, the theoretical abstraction, the God-Man, whereas Hess annihilates the political illusion, the abstraction of his ability [Vermögen], of his activity” (does this refer to Hess or to man?), “that is, he annihilates wealth. It was the work of Hess which freed man from the last of the forces external to him, and made him capable of moral activity — for all the unselfishness of earlier times” (before Hess) “was only an illusory unselfishness — and raised him once more to his former dignity; for was man ever previously” (before Hess) “esteemed for what he actually was? Was he not judged by what he possessed? He was esteemed for his money” (p. 171).

It is characteristic of all these high-sounding phrases about liberation, etc., that it is always “man” who is liberated. Although it would appear from the pronouncements made above that “wealth”, “money”, and so on, have ceased to exist, we nevertheless learn in the following sentence:

“Now that these illusions” (money, viewed sub specie aeterni, is, indeed, an illusion, 1'or n'est qu'une chimère [Gold is but a chimera. From Giacomo Meverbeer’s opera Robert le Diable]) “have been destroyed, we can think about a new, human order of society” (ibid.).

But this is quite superfluous since

“the recognition of the essence of man has as a necessary and natural result a life which “is truly human” (p. 172).

To arrive at communism or socialism by way of metaphysics or politics, etc., etc. — these phrases beloved of true socialists merely indicate that such and such a writer has adopted communist ideas (which have reached him from without and have arisen in circumstances quite different from his) translating them into the mode of expression corresponding to his former standpoint, and formulating them in accordance with this standpoint. Which of these points of view is predominant in a nation, whether its communist outlook has a political or metaphysical or any other tinge depends, of course, upon the whole development of the nation. The fact that the attitude of most French communists has a political complexion — this is, on the other hand, countered by the fact that very many French socialists have abstracted completely from politics — causes our author to infer that the French “have arrived at communism by way of politics”, by way of their political development. This proposition, which has a very wide circulation In Germany, does not imply that the writer has any knowledge either of politics, particularly of French political developments, or of communism; it only shows that he considers politics to be an independent sphere of activity, which develops in its own independent way, a belief he shares with all ideologists.

Another catchword of the true socialists is “true property”, “true, personal property”, “real”, “social”, “living”, “natural”, etc., etc., property, whereas it is very typical that they refer to private property as “so-called property”. The Saint-Simonists were the first to adopt this manner of speaking, as we have already pointed out in the first volume; but they never lent it this German metaphysical-mysterious form; it was with them at the beginning of the socialist movement to some extent justified as a counter to the stupid clamour of the bourgeoisie. The end to which most of the Saint-Simonists came shows at any rate the ease with which this “true property” is again resolved into “ordinary private property”.

If one takes the antithesis of communism to the world of private property in its crudest form, i.e., in the most abstract form in which the real conditions of that antithesis are ignored, then one is faced with the antithesis of property and lack of property. The abolition of this antithesis can be viewed as the abolition of either the one side or the other; either property is abolished, in which case universal lack of property or destitution results, or else the lack of property is abolished, which means the establishment of true property. In reality, the actual property-owners stand on one side and the propertyless communist proletarians on the other. This opposition becomes keener day by day and is rapidly driving to a crisis. If, then, the theoretical representatives of the proletariat wish their literary activity to have any practical effect, they must first and foremost insist that all phrases are dropped which tend to dim the realisation of the sharpness of this opposition, all phrases which tend to conceal this opposition and may even give the bourgeois a chance to approach the communists for safety’s sake on the strength of their philanthropic enthusiasms. All these bad qualities are, however, to he found in the catchwords of the true socialists and particularly in “true property”. Of course, we realise that the communist movement cannot be impaired by a few German phrase-mongers. But in a country like Germany — where philosophic phrases have for centuries exerted a certain power, and where, moreover, communist consciousness is anyhow less keen and determined because class contradictions do not exist in as acute a form as in other nations — it is, nevertheless, necessary to resist all phrases which obscure and dilute still further the realisation that communism is totally opposed to the existing world order.

This theory of true property conceives real private property, as it has hitherto existed, merely as a semblance, whereas it views the concept abstracted from this real property as the truth and reality of the semblance; it is therefore ideological all through. All it does is to give clearer and more precise expression to the ideas of the petty bourgeois; for their benevolent endeavours and pious wishes aim likewise at the abolition of the lack of property.

In this essay we have had yet further evidence of the narrowly national outlook which underlies the alleged universalism and cosmopolitanism of the Germans.

The land belongs to the Russians and French,
The English own the sea.
But we in the airy realm of dreams
Hold sovereign mastery.

Our unity is perfect here,
Our power beyond dispute;
The other folk in solid earth
Have meanwhile taken root.
[Heinrich Heine, Deutschland, ein Wintermärchen]

With infinite self-confidence the Germans confront the other peoples with this airy realm of dreams, the realm of the “essence of man”, claiming that it is the consummation and the goal of all world history; in every sphere they regard their dreamy fantasies as a final verdict on the actions of other nations; and because everywhere their lot is merely to look on and be left high and dry they believe themselves called upon to sit in judgment on the whole world while history attains its ultimate purpose in Germany. We have already observed several times that the complement of this inflated and extravagant national pride is practical activity of the pettiest kind, worthy of shopkeepers and artisans. National narrow-mindedness is everywhere repellent. In Germany it is positively odious, since, together with the illusion that the Germans are superior to nationality and to all real interests, it is held in the face of those nations which openly confess their national limitations and their dependence upon real interests. It is, incidentally, true of every nation that obstinate nationalism is now to be found only among the bourgeoisie and their writers.

B. “Socialistische Bausteine"
["Cornerstones of Socialism” — title of an article by Rudolph Matthäi]

Rheinische Jahrbücher, p. 155 et seq.

In this essay the reader is first of all prepared for the more difficult truths of true socialism by a belletristic and poetic prologue. The prologue opens by proclaiming “happiness” to be the “ultimate goal of all endeavour, all movements, of all the arduous and untiring exertions of past millenniums”. In a few brief strokes, so to speak, a history of the struggle for happiness is sketched for us:

“When the foundations of the old world crumbled, the human heart with all its yearning took refuge in the other world, to which it transferred its happiness” (p. 156).

Hence all the bad luck of the terrestrial world. In recent times man has bidden farewell to the other world and our true socialist now asks:

“Can man greet the earth once more as the land of his happiness? Does he once more recognise earth as his original home? Why then should he still keep life and happiness apart? Why does he not break down the last barrier which cleaves earthly life into two hostile halves’,” (ibid.).

“Land of my most blissful feelings!” etc.

He now invites “Man” to take a walk, an invitation which “Man” readily accepts. “Man” enters the realm of “free nature” and utters, among other things, the following tender effusions of a true socialist’s heart [from title of Wilhelm Wackenroder’s book Herzensergiessungen eines kunstliebenden Klosterbruders]:

“.!. gay flowers ... tall and stately oaks ... their satisfaction, their happiness lie in their life, their growth and their blossoming ... an infinite multitude of tiny creatures in the meadows ... forest birds ... a mettlesome troop of young horses ... I see” (says “man” ) “that these creatures neither know nor desire any other happiness than that which lies for them in the expression and the enjoyment of their lives. When night falls, my eyes behold a countless host of worlds which revolve about each other in infinite space according to eternal laws. I see in their revolutions a unity of life, movement and happiness” (p. 157).

“Man” could also observe a great many other things in nature, e.g., the bitterest competition among plants and animals; he could see, for example, in the plant world, in his “forest of tall and stately oaks”, how these tall and stately capitalists consume the nutriment of the tiny shrubs, which might well complain: terra, aqua, aere et igni interdicti sumus [we are banned from earth, water air and fire] ; he could observe the parasitic plants, the ideologists of the vegetable world, he could further observe that there is open warfare between the “forest birds” and the “Infinite multitude of tiny creatures”, between the grass of his “meadows” and the “mettlesome troop of young horses”. He could see in his “countless host of worlds” a whole heavenly feudal monarchy complete with tenants and satellites, a few of which, e.g., the moon, lead a very poor life aere et aqua interdicti; a feudal system in which even the homeless vagabonds, the comets, have been apportioned their station in life and in which, for example, the shattered asteroids bear witness to occasional unpleasant scenes, while the meteors, those fallen angels, creep shamefaced through the “Infinite space”, until they find somewhere or other a modest lodging. In the further distance, he would come upon the reactionary fixed stars.

“All these beings find their happiness, the satisfaction and the enjoyment of their life in the exercise and manifestation of the vital energies with which nature has endowed them.”

That is, “man” considers that in the interaction of natural bodies and the manifestation of their forces these natural bodies find their happiness, etc.

“Man” is now reproached by our true socialist with his discord:

“Did not man too spring from the primeval world, is he not a child of nature, like all other creatures? Is he not formed of the same materials, is he not endowed with the same general energies and properties that animate all thin ? Why does he still seek his earthly happiness in an earthly beyond?” (p. 158).

The same general energies and properties” which man has in common with “all things”, are cohesion, impenetrability, volume, gravity, etc., which can be found set out in detail on the first page of any textbook of physics. It is difficult to see how one can construe this as a reason why man should not “seek his happiness in an earthly beyond”. However, he admonishes man as follows:

“Consider the lilies of the field.”

Yes, consider the lilies of the field, how they are eaten by goats, transplanted by “man” into his buttonhole, how they are crushed beneath the immodest embraces of the dairymaid and the donkey-driver!

“Consider the lilies of the field, they toil not, neither do they spin: and thy Heavenly Father feedeth them.” [cf. Matthew 6: 28, 26]

Go thou and do likewise!

After learning in this fashion of the unity of “man” with “all things”, we now learn how he differs from “all things”.

“But man knows himself, he is conscious of himself. Whereas in other beings, the instincts and forces of nature manifest themselves in isolation and unconsciously, they are united in man and become conscious ... his nature is the mirror of all nature, which recognises itself in him. Well then! If nature recognises itself in me, then I recognise myself in nature. I see in its life my own life [... ]. We are thus giving living expression to that with which nature has imbued us” (p. 158).

This whole prologue is a model of ingenuous philosophic mystification. The true socialist proceeds from the thought that the dichotomy of life and happiness must cease. To prove this thesis he summons the aid of nature presupposing that this dichotomy does not exist in nature and from this he deduces that since man, too, is a natural body and has the properties which such bodies generally possess, this dichotomy ought not to exist for him either. Hobbes had much better reasons for invoking nature as a proof of his bellum omnium contra omnes [Hobbes, De Cive] and Hegel, on whose construction our true socialist depends, for perceiving in nature the cleavage, the slovenly period of the Absolute Idea, and even calling the animal the concrete anguish of God. After shrouding nature in mystery, our true socialist shrouds human consciousness in mystery too, by making it the “mirror” of this mystified nature. Of course, when the manifestation of consciousness ascribes to nature the mental expression of a pious wish about human affairs, it is self-evident that consciousness will only be the mirror in which nature contemplates itself. That “man” has to abolish in his own sphere the cleavage, which is assumed to be non-existent in nature, is now proved by reference to man in his quality as a mere passive mirror in which nature becomes aware of itself; just as it was earlier proved by reference to man as a mere natural body. But let us inspect the last proposition more closely; all the nonsense of these arguments is concentrated in it.

The first fact asserted is that man possesses self-consciousness. The instincts and energies of individual natural beings are transformed into the instincts and forces of “Nature”, which then, as a matter of course, “are manifested” in isolation in these individual beings. This mystification was needed in order later to effect a unification of these instincts and forces of “Nature” in the human self-consciousness. Thereby the self-consciousness of man is, of course, transformed into the self-consciousness of nature within him. This mystification is apparently resolved in the following way: in order to pay nature back for finding its self-consciousness in man, man seeks his, in turn, in nature — a procedure which enables him, of course, to find nothing in nature except what he has imputed to it by means of the mystification described above.

He has now arrived safely at the point from which he originally started, and this way of turning round on one’s heel is now called in Germany — development.

After this prologue comes the real exposition of true socialism.

First Cornerstone

Page 160: “Saint-Simon said to his disciples on his death-bed: ‘My whole life can be expressed in one thought: all men must be assured the freest development of their natural capacities.’ Saint-Simon was a herald of socialism.”

This statement is now treated according to the true socialist method described above and combined with that mystification of nature which we saw in the prologue.

“Nature as the basis of all life is a unity which proceeds from itself and returns to itself, which embraces the immense multifariousness of its phenomena and apart from which nothing exists” (p. 158).

We have seen how one contrives to transform the different natural bodies and their mutual relationships into multifarious “phenomena” of the secret essence of this mysterious “unity”. The only new element in this sentence is that nature is first called “the basis of all life”, and immediately afterwards we are informed that “apart from it nothing exists”; according to this it embraces “life” as well and cannot merely be its basis.

After these portentous words, there follows the pivotal point of the whole essay:

“Every one of these phenomena, every individual life, exists and develops only through its antithesis, its struggle with the external world, and it is based upon its interaction with the totality of life, with which it is in turn by its nature linked in a whole, the organic unity of the universe” (pp. 158, 159).

This pivotal sentence is further elucidated as follows:

“The individual life finds, on the one hand, its foundation, its source and its subsistence in the totality of life; on the other hand, the totality of life in continual struggle with the individual life strives to consume and to absorb it” (p, 159).

Since this statement applies to every individual life, “therefore”, it can be, and is, applied to men as well:

“Man can therefore only develop in and through the totality of life” (No. 1, ibid.).

Conscious individual life is now contrasted with unconscious individual life; human society with natural life in general; and then the sentence which we quoted last is repeated in the following form:

“By reason of my nature, it is only in and through community with other men that I can develop, achieve self-conscious enjoyment of my life and attain happiness” (No. II, ibid.).

This development of the individual in society is now discussed in the same way as “individual life” in general was treated above:

“In society, too, the opposition of individual life and life in general becomes the condition of conscious human development. It is through perpetual struggle, through perpetual reaction against society, which confronts me as a restricting force, that I achieve self-determination and freedom, without which there is no happiness. My life is a continuous process of liberation, a continuous battle with and victory over the conscious and unconscious external world, in order to subdue it and use it to enjoy my life. The instinct of self-preservation, the striving for my own happiness, freedom and satisfaction, these are consequently natural, i.e., reasonable, expressions of life” (ibid.).


“I demand, therefore, from society that it should afford me the possibility of winning from it my satisfaction, my happiness, that it should provide a battlefield for his bellicose spirit. just as the individual plant demands soil, warmth and sun, air and rail) for its growth, so that it may bear leaves, blossoms and fruit, man too desires to find it] society the conditions for the all-round development and satisfaction of all his needs, inclinations and capacities. It must offer him the possibility of winning his happiness. How he will use that chance, what he will make of himself, of his life, depends upon him, upon his individuality. I alone can determine my happiness” (pp. 159, 160).

There follows, as the conclusion of the whole argument, the statement by Saint-Simon which is quoted at the beginning of this section. The Frenchman’s idea has thus been vindicated by German science. What does this vindication consist in?

The true socialist has already earlier imputed various Ideas to nature which he would like to see realised in human society. While formerly it was the individual human being, whom he made the mirror of nature, it is now society as a whole. A further conclusion can now be drawn about human society from the ideas imputed to nature. Since the author does not discuss the historical development of society, contenting himself with this meagre analogy, it remains incomprehensible why society should not always have been a true image of nature. The phrases about society, which confronts the individual in the shape of a restricting force, etc., are therefore relevant to every form of society. it is quite natural that a few inconsistencies should have crept into this interpretation of society. Thus he must now admit that a struggle is waged in nature, ill contrast to the harmony described in the prologue. Society, the totality of life”, is conceived by our author riot as the interaction of the constituent Individual lives”, but as a distinct existence, and this moreover separately interacts with these “individual lives”. If there is any reference to real affairs in all this it is the illusion of the independence of the state in relation to private life and the belief in this apparent independence as something absolute. But as a matter of fact, neither here nor anywhere in the whole essay is it a question of nature and society at all; it is merely a question of the two categories, individuality and universality, which are given various names and which are said to form a contradiction, the reconciliation of which would be highly desirable.

From the vindication of “individual life” as opposed to the “totality of life” it follows that the satisfaction of needs, the development of capacities, self-love, etc., are “natural, reasonable expressions of life”. From the conception of society as an image of nature, it follows that in all forms of society existing up to now, the present included, these expressions of life have attained full maturity and are recognised as justified.

But we suddenly learn on page 159 that “in our present-day society” these reasonable, natural expressions of life are nevertheless “so often repressed” and “usually only for that reason do they degenerate into an unnaturalness, malformation, egoism, vice, etc.”

And so, since society does not, after all, correspond to its prototype. nature, the true socialist “demands” that it should conform to nature and justifies his claim by adducing the plant as an example — a most unfortunate example. In the first place, the plant does not “demand” of nature all the conditions of existence enumerated above; unless it finds them already present it never becomes a plant at all; it remains a grain of seed. Moreover, the state of the “leaves, blossoms and fruit” depends to a great extent on the “soil”, the “warmth” and so on, the climatic and geological conditions of its growth. Far from “demanding” anything, the plant is seen to depend utterly upon the actual conditions of existence; nevertheless, it is upon this alleged demand that our true socialist bases his own claim for a form of society which shall conform to his individual “peculiarity”. The demand for a true socialist society is based on the imaginary demand of a coconut palm that the “totality of life” should furnish it with “soil, warmth, sun, air and rain” at the North Pole.

This claim of the individual on society is not deduced from the real development of society but from the alleged relationship of the metaphysical characters — individuality, and universality. You have only to interpret single individuals as representatives, embodiments of individuality, and society as the embodiment of universality, and the whole trick is done. And at the same time Saint-Simon’s .statement about the free development of the capacities has been correctly expressed and placed upon its true foundation. This correct expression consists in the absurd statement that the individuals forming society want to preserve their “peculiarity”, want to remain as they are, while they demand of society a transformation which can only proceed from a transformation of themselves.

Second Cornerstone

“You've forgotten the rest of the charming refrain?
Well, just give it up and start over again!

“Infinite in their variety, all individual...
Beings as unity taken together are ‘World Organism” (p. 160).

And so we find ourselves thrown back again to the beginning of the essay and have to go through the whole comedy of individual life and totality of life for the second time. Once more we are initiated into the deep mystery of the interaction of these two lives, restauré a neuf by the introduction of the new term “polar relationship’ and the transformation of the individual life into a mere symbol, an “image” of the totality of life. Like a kaleidoscopic picture this essay is composed of reflections of itself, a method of argument common to all true socialists. Their approach to their arguments is similar to that of the cherry-seller who was selling her wares below cost price, working on the correct economic principle that it is the quantity sold that matters. As regards true socialism, this is the more essential because its cherries were rotten before they were ripe.

A few examples of this self-reflection follow:

Cornerstone No. I, pp. 158, 159.

Cornerstone No. II, pp. 160, 161.

Every individual life exists and develops only through its antithesis ... is based upon its interaction with the totality of life,

Every individual life exists and develops in and through the totality of life; the totality of life only exists and develops in and through the individual life.” (Interaction.)

“With which it is in turn, by its nature, linked in a whole.

“The individual life develops ... as a part of life in general.

“Organic unity of the universe.

“The world organism is combined unity.

“The individual life finds, on the one hand, its foundation, its source and its subsistence in the totality of life,

“Which” (the totality of life) “becomes the soil and substance of its” (the individual life’s) “development ... that each is founded upon the other....

“On the other hand, the totality of life in continual struggle with the individual life strives to consume it.

“That they struggle against one another and oppose one another.

Therefore (p. 159):

It follows (p. 161):

“Human society is to conscious ... life what unconscious universal life in general is to the unconscious individual life.

“That conscious individual life is also conditioned by the conscious totality of life and” ... (vice versa).

I can only develop in and through community with other men.... In society, coo, the opposition of individual life and life in general becomes”, etc....

The individual human being develops only in and through society, society”, vice versa, etc....

“Nature ... is a unity... which embraces the immense multifariousness of its phenomena.”

“Society is a unity which embraces and comprises the multifariousness of individual human development.”

But our author is not satisfied with this kaleidoscopic display. He goes on to repeat his artless remarks about individuality and universality in yet another form. He first puts forward these few and abstractions as absolute principles and then concludes that the same relationship must recur in the real world. Even this gives him the chance of saying everything twice under the guise of making deductions, in abstract form and, when he is drawing his conclusion, in seemingly concrete form. Then, however, he sets about varying the concrete names which he has given to his two categories. Universality appears variously as nature, unconscious totality of life, conscious ditto, life in general, world organism, all-embracing unity, human society, community, organic unity of the universe, universal happiness, common weal, etc., and individuality appears under the corresponding names of unconscious and conscious individual life, individual happiness, one’s own welfare, etc. In connection with each of these names we are obliged to listen to the selfsame phrases which have already been applied often enough to individuality and universality.

The second cornerstone contains, therefore, nothing which was not already contained in the first. But since the words égalité, solidarité, unité des intérêts are used by the French socialists, our author attempts to fashion them into “cornerstones” of true socialism by turning them into German.

“As a conscious member of society I recognise every other member as a being different from myself, confronting me and at the same time supported by and derived from the primary common basis of existence and equal to me. I recognise every one of my fellow-men as opposed to me by reason of his particular nature, yet equal to me by reason of his general nature. The recognition of human equality, of the right of every man to existence, depends therefore upon the consciousness that human nature is common to all; in the same way, love, friendship, justice and all the social virtues are based upon the feeling of natural human affinity and unity. If up to now these have been termed obligations and have been imposed upon men, then in a society founded upon the consciousness of man’s inward nature, i.e., upon reason and not upon external compulsion, they will become free, natural expressions of life. In society which conforms to nature, i.e., to reason, the conditions of existence must accordingly be equal for all its members, i.e., must be general” (pp. 161, 162).

The author displays a marked ability for first putting forward a proposition in assertive fashion and then legitimising it as a consequence of itself by inserting an accordingly, a consequently, etc. He is equally skilful at incidentally smuggling into his peculiar deductions traditional socialistic statements by the use of “if they have”, “if it is” — “then they must”, “then it will become”, etc.

In the first cornerstone, we saw, on the one hand, the individual and, on the other, universality which confronted him as society. This antithesis now reappears in another form, the individual now being divided within himself into a particular and a general nature. From the general nature of the individual, conclusions are drawn about “human equality” and community. Those conditions of life which are common to men thus appear here as a product of “the essence of man”, of nature, whereas they, just as much as the consciousness of equality, are historical products. Not content with this, the author substantiates this equality by stating that it rests entirely “on the primary common basis of existence”. We learned in the prologue, p. 158, that man “is formed of the same materials and is endowed with the same general energies and properties that animate all things”. We learned in the first cornerstone that nature is “the basis of all life”, and so, the “primary common basis of existence”. Our author has, therefore, far outstripped the French since, being “a conscious member of society”, he has not only demonstrated the equality of men with one another; he has also demonstrated their equality with every flea, every wisp of straw, every stone.

We should be only too pleased to believe that “all the social virtues” of our true socialist are based “upon the feeling of natural human affinity and unity”, even though feudal bondage, slavery and all the social inequalities of every age have also been based upon this “natural affinity”. Incidentally, “natural human affinity” is an historical product which is daily changed at the hands of men; it has always been perfectly natural, however inhuman and contrary to nature it may seem, not only in the judgment of “Man”, but also of a later revolutionary generation.

We learn further, quite by chance, that present-day society is based upon “external compulsion”. By “external compulsion” the true socialists do not understand the restrictive material conditions of life of given individuals. They see it only as the compulsion exercised by the state, in the form of bayonets, police and cannons, which far from being the foundation of society, are only a consequence of its structure. This question has already been discussed in Die heilige Familie and also in the first volume of this work.

The socialist opposes to present-day society, which is “based upon external compulsion”, the ideal of true society, which is based upon the “consciousness of man’s inward nature, i.e., upon reason”. It is based, that is, upon the consciousness of consciousness, upon the thought of thought. The true socialist does not differ from the philosophers even in his choice of terms. He forgets that the “inward nature” of men, as well as their “consciousness” of it, “i.e.”, their “reason”, has at all times been an historical product and that even when, as he believes, the society of men was based “upon external compulsion”, their “inward nature” corresponded to this “external compulsion”.

There follow, on page 163, individuality and universality with their usual retinue, in the form of individual and public welfare. You may find similar explanations of their mutual relationship in any handbook of political economy under the heading of competition and also, though better expressed, in Hegel.

For example, Rheinische Jahrbücher, p. 163:

“By furthering the public welfare, I further my own welfare, and by furthering my own welfare, I further the public welfare.”

Cf. Hegel’s Rechtsphilosophie, p. 248 (1833):

“In furthering my ends, I further the universal, and this in turn furthers my ends.”

Compare also Rechtsphilosophie, p. 323 et seq., about the relation of the citizen to the state.

“Therefore, as a final consequence, we have the conscious unity of the individual life with the totality of life, harmony” (Rheinische Jahrbücher, p. 163).

“As a final consequence”, that is to say, of

“this polar relationship between the individual and the general life, which consists in the fact that sometimes the two clash and oppose one another, while at other times, the one is the condition and the basis of the other”.

The “final consequence” of this is at most the harmony of disharmony with harmony; and all that follows from the constant repetition of these familiar phrases is the author’s belief that his fruitless wrestling with the categories of individuality and universality is the appropriate form in which social questions should be solved.

The author concludes with the following flourish:

Organic society has as its basis universal equality and develops, through the opposition of the individuals to the universal, towards unrestricted concord, towards the unit of individual with universal happiness, towards social” (!) “harmony of society,” (!!), “which is the reflection of universal harmony” (p. 164).

It is modest, indeed to call this sentence a “cornerstone”. It is the primal rock upon which the whole of true socialism is founded.

Third Cornerstone

“Man’s struggle with nature is based upon the polar opposition of my particular life to, and its interaction with, the world of nature in general. When this struggle appears as conscious activity, it is termed labour” (p. 164).

Is not, on the contrary, the idea of “polar opposition” based upon the observation of a struggle between men and nature? First of all, an abstraction is made from a fact; then it is declared that the fact is based upon the abstraction. A very cheap method to produce the semblance of being profound and speculative in the German manner.

For example:

Fact: The cat eats the mouse.

Reflection: Cat — nature, mouse — nature, consumption of mouse by cat = consumption of nature by nature = self-consumption of nature.

Philosophic presentation of the fact: Devouring of the mouse by the cat is based upon the self-consumption of nature.

Having thus obscured man’s struggle with nature, the writer goes on to obscure man’s conscious activity in relation to nature, by describing it as the manifestation of this mere abstraction from the real struggle. The profane word labour is finally smuggled in as the result of this process of mystification. It is a word which our true socialist has had on the tip of his tongue from the start, but which he dared not utter until he had legitimised it in the appropriate way. Labour is constructed from the mere abstract idea of Man and nature; it is thereby defined in a way which is equally appropriate and inappropriate to all stages in the development of labour.

Therefore, labour is any conscious activity on the part of man whereby he tries to acquire dominion over nature in an intellectual and material sense, so that he may utilise it for the conscious enjoyment of his life and for his intellectual or bodily satisfaction” (ibid.).

We shall only draw attention to the brilliant deduction:

“When this struggle appears as conscious activity, it is termed labour — therefore labour is any conscious activity on the part of man”, etc.

We owe this profound insight to the “polar opposition”.

The reader will recall Saint-Simon’s statement concerning libre développement de toutes les facultis [free development of all capacities] mentioned above, and also remember that Fourier wished to see the present travail répugnant replaced by travail attrayant. [repellent labour” replaced by “attractive labour” — Charles Fourier, Nouveau monde industriel] We owe to the “polar opposition” the following philosophic vindication and explanation of these propositions:

But since” (the “but” is meant to indicate that there is no connection here) “for life every manifestation, exercise and expression of its forces and faculties should be a source of enjoyment and satisfaction, it follows that labour should itself be a manifestation and development of human capacities and should be a source of enjoyment, satisfaction and happiness. Consequently, labour must itself become a free expression of life and so a source of enjoyment” (ibid.).

Here we are shown what we were promised in the preface to the Rheinische Jahrbücher, namely, “how far German social science differs in its development up to the present from French and English social science” and what it means “to present the doctrine of communism in a scientific form”.

It would be a lengthy and boring procedure to expose every logical lapse which occurs in the course of these few lines. But let us first consider the offences against formal logic.

To prove that labour, an expression of life, should be a source of enjoyment, it is assumed that life should afford enjoyment in all its expressions. From this the conclusion is drawn that life should be a source of enjoyment also in its expression as labour. Not satisfied with this periphrastic transformation of a postulate into a conclusion, the author draws a false conclusion. From the fact that “for life every manifestation should be a source of enjoyment”, he deduces that labour, which is one of these manifestations of life, “should itself be a manifestation and development of human capacities”, that is to say, of life once again. Hence it ought to be what it already is. How could labour ever be anything but a “manifestation of human capacities"? But he does not stop there. Because labour should be so, it “must consequently” be so, or still better: because labour “should be a manifestation and development of human capacities”, it must consequently become something completely different, namely, “a free expression of life”, which did not enter into the question at all before this. And whereas earlier the postulate of labour as enjoyment was directly deduced from the postulate of the enjoyment of life, the former postulate is now put forward as a consequence of the new postulate of “free expression of life in labour”.

As far as the content of the proposition is concerned, one cannot quite see why labour has not always been what it ought to be, why it must now become what it ought to be, or why it should become something which up to now it was not bound to be. But, of course, up to now the essence of man and the polar opposition of man and nature were not property, explained.

A “scientific vindication” of the communist view about the common ownership of the products of labour follows:

But” (the recurrent “but” has the same meaning as the previous one) “the product of labour must serve at one and the same time the happiness of the individual, of the labouring individual, and the general happiness. This is effected by reason of the fact that all social activities are complementary and reciprocal” (ibid.).

This statement is merely a copy of what any political economy has to say in praise of competition and the division of labour; except that the argument has been weakened by the introduction of the word “happiness”.

Finally, we are given a philosophic vindication of the French organisation of labour:

“Labour as a free activity, which is enjoyable, affords satisfaction and at the same time serves the common weal, is the basis of the organisation of labour” (p. 165).

But since labour should and must become a free activity “which is enjoyable”, etc., and therefore this state of affairs has not yet been reached, one would have expected on the contrary the organisation of labour to be the basis of “labour as an enjoyable activity”. But the concept of labour as such an activity is quite sufficient [for the writer].

At the end of the essay the author believes to have reached results”.

These “cornerstones” and “results”, together with those other granite boulders which are to be found in the Einundzwanzig Bogen, the Bürgerbuch and the Neue Anekdota[127] form the rock upon which true socialism, alias German social philosophy, will build its church. [cf. Matthew 16:18]

We shall have occasion to listen to a few of the hymns, a few of the fragments of the cantique allégorique hébraïque et mystique [Evariste Parny, La guerre des dieux. Chant premier] Which are chanted in this church.