Works of Karl Marx 1847

Minutes of Marx’s Report to the London German Workers’ Educational Society on November 30,1847

From Belgium I have to report that a workers’ society has been formed there which at present has 105 members.[374] The German workers in Brussels, who formerly were quite isolated, are now already a power, and whereas formerly they were not asked to take part in anything, this year they have already been requested to send a representative of the society to the celebration of the Polish revolution being arranged in Brussels by the city to speak in the name of this society. Should the government press for the suppression of the society, because it is certainly bound to exercise an influence on the Belgian workers themselves, the society has decided to hand over its library, which consists of 300 volumes, and other objects to the London society.

I will now add a few remarks on literature. Louis Blanc now proves in one of his works that in the French Revolution, at the same moment when the proletariat stormed the Bastille, the prison for the bourgeois, the bourgeoisie took decisions against those who bought the victory for them with their blood. All the leading figures of the revolution are now presented in their true character, a mass of leaflets are being written in the spirit of the proletariat, which are exercising considerable influence on society. The French work more in the interest of a party than for gain. Before the July revolution leaflets circulated in the spirit of the bourgeoisie just as they do now in the spirit of the proletariat.

Of all that has been achieved by German philosophy the critique of religion is the most important thing; this critique, however, has not proceeded from social development. Everything that has been written hitherto against the Christian religion has limited itself to proving that it rests on false principles; how, for example, the authors have used one another; what had not yet been examined was the practical cult of Christianity. We know that the supreme thing in Christianity is human sacrifice. Daumer now proves in a recently published work that Christians really slaughtered men and at the Holy Supper ate human flesh and drank human blood. He finds here the explanation why the Romans, who tolerated all religious sects, persecuted the Christians, and why the Christians later destroyed the entire pagan literature directed against Christianity. Paul himself zealously argued against the admission to the Holy Supper of people who were not completely initiated into the mysteries. It is then also easy to explain where, for example, the relics of the 11,000 virgins came from; there is a document dating from the Middle Ages in which the nuns of a French convent made a contract with the Abbess to the effect that without the consent of all no further relics must be found. The occasion for this was given by a monk who was constantly travelling from Cologne to Paris and back and every time left relics behind. Everything that happened in this respect has been regarded as a fraud of the priests, but that would be to attribute to them a skill and cleverness far beyond the time in which they lived. Human sacrifice was sacred and has really existed. Protestantism merely transferred it to the spiritual man and mitigated the thing a little. Hence there are more madmen among Protestants than in any other sect. This story, as presented in Daumer’s work, deals Christianity the last blow; the question now is, what significance this has for us. It gives us the certainty that the old society is coming to an end and that the edifice of fraud and prejudice is collapsing.