Works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels 1852
We next meet Kinkel again in London, and this time, thanks to his prison fame and the sentimentality of the German Philistines, he has become the greatest man in Germany. Mindful of his sublime mission Friend Gottfried was able to exploit all the advantages of the moment. His romantic escape gave new impetus to the Kinkel cult in Germany and he adroitly directed this onto a path that was not without beneficial material consequences. At the same time London provided the much venerated man with a new, complex arena in which to receive even greater acclaim. He did not hesitate: he would have to be the new lion of the season. With this in mind he refrained for the time being from all political activity and withdrew into the seclusion of his home in order to grow a beard, without which no prophet can succeed. After that he visited Dickens, the English liberal newspapers, the German businessmen in the City and especially the aesthetic Jews in that place. He was all things to all men: to one a poet, to another a patriot in general, professor of fine arts to a third, Christ to the fourth, the patiently suffering Odysseus to the fifth. To everyone, however, he appeared as the gentle, artistic, benevolent and humanitarian Gottfried. He did not rest until Dickens had eulogised him in the Household Words, until the Illustrated News had published his portrait. He induced the few Germans in London who had been involved in the Kinkel mania even at a distance to allow themselves to be invited to lectures on modern drama. Once he had organised them in this way tickets to these lectures flooded into the homes of the local German population. No running around, no advertisement, no charlatanism, no importunity was beneath him; in return, however, he did not go unrewarded. Gottfried sunned himself complacently in the mirror of his own fame and in the gigantic mirror of the Crystal Palace of the world. And we may say that he now felt tremendously content.
There was no lack of praise for his lectures (see Kosmos).
"While looking once at Dobler's paintings of misty landscapes, I was surprised by the whimsical question of whether it was possible to produce such chaotic creations in words, whether it was possible to utter misty images. It is no doubt unpleasant for the critic to have to confess that in this case his critical autonomy will vibrate against the galvanized nerves of an external reminiscence, as the fading sound of a dying note echoes in the strings. Nevertheless I would prefer to renounce any attempt at a bewigged and boring analysis of pedantic insensitivity than to deny that tone which the charming muse of the German refugee caused to resonate in my sensibility. This ground note of Kinkel's paintings, this sounding board of his chords is the sonorous, creative, formative and gradually shaping 'word' — 'modern thought'. To 'judge' this thought is to lead truth out of the chaos of mendacious traditions, to constitute it as the indestructible property of the world and as such to place it under the protection of spiritually active, logical minorities who will educate the world leading it from a credulous ignorance to a state of more sceptical science. It is the task of the science of doubt to profane the mysticism of pious deceit, to undermine the absolutism of an atrophied tradition. Science must employ scepticism, that ceaselessly labouring guillotine of philosophy, to decapitate accepted authority and to lead the nations out of the misty regions of theocracy by means of revolution into the luscious meadows of democracy" (of nonsense). "The sustained, unflagging search in the annals of mankind and the understanding of man himself is the great task of all revolutionaries and this had been understood by that proscribed poet rebel who on three recent Monday evenings uttered his subversive views before a bourgeois audience in the course of his lectures on the history of the modern theatre."
It is generally claimed that this worker is a very close relation of Kinkel's — namely Mockel — as indeed seems likely from the use of such expressions as "sounding-board", "fading sound", "chords" and "galvanized nerves".
However, even this period of hard-earned pleasure was not to last forever. The Last Judgement on the existing world-order, the democratic day of judgement, namely the much celebrated May 1852  was drawing ever closer. In order to confront this day all booted and spurred Kinkel had to don his political lionskin once more: he had to make contact with the "Emigration".
So we come to the London "Emigration", this hotchpotch of former members of the Frankfurt Parliament, the Berlin National Assembly, and Chamber of Deputies, of gentlemen from the Baden Campagne, Gargantuas from the Comedy of the Imperial Constitution,  writers without a public, loudmouths from the democratic clubs and congresses, twelfth-rate journalists and so forth.
The heroes of the 1848 revolution in Germany had been on the point of coming to a sticky end when the victory of ''tyranny'' rescued them, swept them out of the country and made saints and martyrs of them. They were saved by the counter-revolution. The course of continental politics brought most of them to London which thus became their European centre. It is evident that something had to happen, something had to be arranged to remind the public daily of the existence of these world-liberators. At all costs it must not become obvious that the course of universal history might be able to proceed without the intervention of these mighty men. The more this refuse of mankind found itself hindered by its own impotence as much as by the prevailing situation from undertaking any real action, the more zealously did it indulge in spurious activity whose imagined deeds, imagined parties, imagined struggles and imagined interests have been so noisily trumpeted abroad by those involved. The less able they were to bring about a new revolution the more they discounted the importance of such an eventuality in their minds, while they concentrated on sharing out the plum jobs and enjoying the prospect of future power. The form taken by this self-important activity was that of a mutual insurance club of the heroes-to-be and the reciprocal guarantee of government posts.
The first attempt to create such an "organisation" took place as early as the Spring of 1850. A magniloquent "draft circular to German democrats" was hawked around London in manuscript form together with a “Covering Letter to the Leaders”. It contained an exhortation to found a united democratic church. Its immediate aim was to form a Central Office to deal with the affairs of German émigrés, to set up a central administration for refugee problems, to start a printing press in London, and to unite all patriots against the common enemy. The Emigration would then become the centre of the internal revolutionary movement, the organisation of the Emigration would be the beginning of a comprehensive democratic organisation, the outstanding personalities among the members of the Central Office would be paid salaries raised by taxes levied on the German people. This tax proposal seemed all the more appropriate as “the German Emigration had gone abroad not merely without a respectable hero but what is even worse, without common assets”. It is no secret that the Hungarian, Polish and French committees already in existence provided the model for this “organisation” and the whole document is redolent of envy of the privileged position of these prominent allies.
The circular was the joint production of Messrs. Rudolph Schramm and Gustav Struve, behind whom lay concealed the merry figure of Mr. Arnold Ruge, a corresponding member living in Ostend at the time.
Mr. Rudolph Schramm — a rowdy, loudmouthed and extremely confused little mannikin whose life-motto came from Rameau's Nephew: “I would rather be an impudent windbag than be nothing at all.”
When at the height of his power, Mr. Camphausen  would gladly have given the young forward Crefelder an important post, had it been permissible to elevate a junior official. Thanks to bureaucratic etiquette Mr. Schrarnm found only the career of a democrat open to him. And in this profession he really did advance at one point to the post of President of the Democratic Club in Berlin and with the support of some left-wing Members of Parliament he became the Deputy for Striegau in the Berlin National Assembly. Here the normally so loquacious Schramm distinguished himself by his obstinate silence, which was accompanied, however, by an uninterrupted series of grunts. After the Assembly had been dissolved  our democratic man of the people wrote a pamphlet in support of a constitutional monarchy but this did not suffice to get him re-elected. Later, at the time of the Brentano government he appeared momentarily in Baden and there in the “Club for Resolute Progress” he became acquainted with Struve. On his arrival in London he declared his intention of withdrawing from all political activity for which reason he then published the circular referred to above. Essentially a bureaucrat Mr. Schramm imagined that his family relations qualified him to represent the radical bourgeoisie in exile and he did indeed present a fair caricature of the radical bourgeois.
Gustav Struve is one of the more important figures of the emigration. At the very first glimpse of his leathery appearance, his protuberant eyes with their sly, stupid expression, the matt gleam on his bald pate and his half Slav, half Kalmuck [a western mongol people] features one cannot doubt that one is in the presence of an unusual man. And this first impression is confirmed by his low, guttural voice, his oily manner of speaking and the air of solemn gravity he imparts to his gestures. To be just it must be said that faced with the greatly increased difficulties of distinguishing oneself these days, our Gustav at least made the effort to attract attention by using his diverse talents — he is part prophet, part speculator, part bunion healer — centring his activities on all kinds of peripheral matters and making propaganda for the strangest assortment of causes. For example, he was born a Russian but suddenly took it into his head to enthuse about the cause of German freedom after he had been employed in a minor capacity in the Russian embassy to the Federal Diet and had written a little pamphlet in defence of the Diet. Regarding his own skull as normal he suddenly developed an interest in phrenology and from then on he refused to trust anyone whose skull he had not yet felt and examined. He also gave up eating meat and preached the gospel of strict vegetarianism; he was, moreover, a weather-prophet, he inveighed against tobacco and was prominent in the interest of German Catholicism and water-cures. In harmony with his thoroughgoing hatred of scientific knowledge it was natural that he should be in favour of free universities in which the four faculties would be replaced by the study of phrenology, physiognomy, chiromancy and necromancy. It was also quite in character for him to insist that he must become a great writer simply because his mode of writing was the antithesis of everything that could be held to be stylistically acceptable.
In the early Forties Gustav had already invented the Deutscher Zuschauer, a little paper that he published in Mannheim, that he patented and that pursued him everywhere as an idée fixe. He also made the discovery at around this time that Rotteck's History of the World and the Rotteck-Welcker Lexicon of Politics, the two works that had been his Old and New Testaments, were out of date and in need of a new democratic edition. This revision Gustav undertook without delay and published an extract from it in advance under the title The Basic Elements of Political Science. He argued that the revision had become "an undeniable necessity since 1848 as the late-lamented Rotteck had not experienced the events of recent years".
In the meantime there broke out in Baden in quick succession the three "popular uprisings" that Gustav has placed in the very centre of the whole modern course of world history. Driven into exile by the very first of these revolts (Hacker's) and occupied with the task of publishing the Deutscher Zuschauer once again, this time from Basel, he was then dealt a hard blow by fate when the Mannheim publisher continued to print the Deutscher Zuschauer under a different editor. The battle between the true and the false Deutscher Zuschauer was so bitterly fought that neither paper survived. To compensate for this Gustav devised a constitution for the German Federal Republic in which Germany was to be divided into 24 republics, each with a president and two chambers; he appended a neat map on which the whole proposal could be clearly seen. In September 1848 the second insurrection began in which our Gustav acted as both Caesar and Socrates. He used the time granted him on German soil to issue serious warnings to the Black Forest Peasantry about the deleterious effects of smoking tobacco. In Lörrach he published his Moniteur with the title of Government Organ — German Free State — Freedom, Prosperity, Education. This publication contained inter alia the following decree:
"Article 1. The extra tax of 10 per cent on goods imported from Switzerland is hereby abolished;
Article 2. Christian Müller, the Customs Officer is to be given the task of implementing this measure."
He was accompanied in all his trials by his faithful Amalia who subsequently published a romantic account of them. She was also active in administering the oath to captured gendarmes, for it was her custom to fasten a red band around the arm of every one who swore allegiance to the German Free State and to give him a big kiss. Unfortunately Gustav and Amalia were taken prisoner and languished in gaol where the imperturbable Gustav at once resumed his republican translation of Rotteck's History of the World until he was liberated by the outbreak of the third insurrection. Gustav now became a member of a real provisional government and the mania for provisional governments was now added to his other idées fixes. As President of the War Council he hastened to introduce as much muddle as possible into his department and to recommend the "traitor" Mayerhofer for the post of Minister for War (vice Goegg, Retrospect, Paris 1850). Later he vainly aspired to the post of Foreign Minister and to have 60,000 Florins placed at his disposal. Mr. Brentano soon relieved Gustav of the burdens of government and Gustav now entered the "Club of Resolute Progress" from which he became leader of the opposition. He delighted above all in opposing the very measures of Brentano which he had hitherto supported. Even though the Club too was disbanded and Gustav had to flee to the Palatinate this disaster had its positive side for it enabled him to issue one further number of the inevitable Deutscher Zuschauer in Neustadt an der Haardt — this compensated Gustav for much undeserved suffering. A further satisfaction was that he was successful in a by-election in some remote corner of the uplands and was nominated member of the Baden Constituent Assembly which meant that he could now return in an official capacity. In this Assembly Gustav only distinguished himself by the following three proposals that he put forward in Freiburg: (1) On June 28th: everyone who enters into dealings with the enemy should be declared a traitor. (2) On June 30th: a new provisional government should be formed in which Struve would have a seat and a vote. (3) On the same day that the previous motion was defeated he proposed that as the defeat at Rastatt had rendered all resistance futile the uplands should be spared the terrors of war and that therefore all officials and soldiers should receive ten days' wages and members of the Assembly should receive ten days' expenses together with travelling costs after which they should all repair to Switzerland to the accompaniment of trumpets and drums. When this proposal too was rejected Gustav set out for Switzerland on his own and having been driven from thence by James Fazy's stick he retreated to London where he at once came to the fore with yet another discovery, namely the Six scourges of mankind. These six scourges were: the princes, the nobles, the priests, the bureaucracy, the standing army, mammon and bedbugs. The spirit in which Gustav interpreted the lamented Rotteck can be gauged from the further discovery that mammon was the invention of Louis Philippe. Gustav preached the gospel of the six scourges in the Deutsche Londoner Zeitung [German London News] which belonged to the ex-Duke of Brunswick. He was amply rewarded for this activity and in return he gratefully bowed to the ducal censorship. So much for Gustav's relations with the first scourge, the princes. As for his relationship with the nobles, the second scourge, our moral and religious republican had visiting cards printed on which he figured as "Baron von Struve". If his relations with the remaining scourges were less amicable this cannot be his fault. Gustav then made use of his leisure time in London to devise a republican calendar in which the saints were replaced by right-minded men and the names "Gustav" and "Amelia" were particularly prominent. The months were designated by German equivalents of those in the calendar of the French Republic and there were a number of other commonplaces for the common good. For the rest, the remaining idées fixes made their appearance again in London: Gustav made haste to revive the Deutscher Zuschauer and the Club of Resolute Progress and to form a provisional government. On all these matters he found himself of one mind with Schramm and in this way the circular came into being.
The third member of the alliance, the great Arnold Ruge with his air of a sergeant-major living in hopes of civilian employment outshines in glory the whole of the emigration. It cannot be said that this noble man commends himself by his notably handsome exterior; Paris acquaintances were wont to sum up his Pomeranian-Slav features with the word "ferret-face" (figure de fouine). Arnold Ruge, the son of peasants of the isle of Rugen, had endured seven years in Prussian prisons for democratic agitation. He embraced Hegelian philosophy as soon as he had realised that once he had leafed through Hegel's Encyclopaedia he could dispense with the study of all other science. He also developed the principle (described in a Novelle and which he attempted to practice on his friends — poor Georg Herwegh can vouch for the truth of this), of profiting from marriage and he early acquired a "substantial property" in this manner.
Despite his Hegelian phrases and his substantial property he did not advance beyond the post of porter to German philosophy. In the Hallische-Jahrbücher [Halle Annals] and the Deutsche-Jahrbücher [German Annals] it was his task to announce and to trumpet the names of the great philosophers of the future and he showed that he was not without talent in exploiting them for his own purposes. Unfortunately, the period of philosophical anarchy soon supervened, that period when science no longer had a universally acknowledged king, when Strauss, Bruno Bauer and Feuerbadh fought among themselves and when the most diverse alien elements began to disrupt the simplicity of classical doctrine. Ruge looked on helplessly, he no longer knew which path to take; his Hegelian categories had always operated in a vacuum, now they ran completely amok and he suddenly felt the need for a mighty movement in which exact thought and writing were not indispensable.
Ruge played the same role in the Hallische Jahrbücher as the late bookseller Nicolai had done in the old Berliner Monatsschrft [Berlin Monthly Magazine]. Like the latter his ambition was to print the works of others and in so doing, to derive material advantage and also to quarry literary sustenance for the effusions of his own brain. The only difference was that in this literary digestive process with its inevitable end product Ruge went much further than did his model in rewriting his collaborators' articles. Moreover, Ruge was not the porter of German Enlightenment, he was the Nicolai of modern German philosophy and thus was able to conceal the natural banality of his genius behind a thick hedge of speculative jargon. Like Nicolai he fought valiantly against Romanticism because Hegel had demolished it philosophically in the aesthetics and Heine had done the same thing from the point of view of literature in The Romantic School. Unlike Hegel he agreed with Nicolai in arrogating to himself the right as an anti-Romantic to set up a vulgar Philistinism and above all his own Philistinic self as an ideal of perfection. With this in mind and so as to defeat the enemy on his own ground Ruge went in for making verses. No Dutchman could have achieved the dull flatness of these poems which Ruge hurled so challengingly into the face of Romanticism.
And in general our Pomeranian thinker did not really feel at ease in Hegelian philosophy. Able as he was in detecting contradictions he was all the more feeble in resolving them and he had a very understandable horror of dialectics. The upshot was that the crudest possible contradictions dwelt peaceably together in his dogmatic brain and that his powers of understanding, never very agile, were nowhere more at home than in such mixed company. It is not unknown for him to read simultaneously two articles by two different writers and to conflate them into a single new product without noticing that they had been written from two opposing viewpoints. Always riding firmly between his own contradictions he sought to extricate himself from condemnation by the theorists by declaring his faulty theory to be "practical", while at the same time he would disarm the practical by interpreting his practical clumsiness and inconsequentiality as theoretical expertise. He would end by sanctifying his own entanglement in insoluble contradictions, his chaotically uncritical faith in popular slogans by regarding them as proof that he was a man of "principle".
Before we go on to concern ourselves with the further career of our Maurice of Saxony, as he liked to style himself in his intimate circle or friends, we would point to two qualities which made their appearance already in the Jahrbücher. [Deutsche Jahrbücher, edited by Ruge] The first is his mania for manifestos. No sooner had someone hatched a novel opinion that Ruge believed to have a future than he would issue a manifesto. As no-one reproaches him with ever having given birth to an original thought of his own, such manifestos were always suitable opportunity to claim this novel idea as his own property in a more or less declamatory fashion. This would be followed by the attempt to form a party, a "mass" which would stand behind him and to whom he could act as sergeant-major. We shall see later to what unbelievable heights of perfection Ruge had developed the art of fabricating manifestos, proclamations and pronunciamentos. The second quality is the particular diligence in which Arnold excels. As he does not care to study overmuch, or as he puts it “to transfer ideas from one library into another”, he prefers to gain his knowledge “fresh from life”. He means by this to note down conscientiously every evening all the witty, novel or bright ideas that he has read, heard or just picked up during the day. As opportunity arises these materials are then made to contribute to Ruge's daily stint which he labours at just as conscientiously as at his other bodily needs. It is this that his admirers refer to when they say that he cannot hold his ink. The subject of his daily literary production is a matter of complete indifference; what is vital is that Ruge should be able to immerse every possible topic in that wonderful stylistic sauce that goes with everything just like the English who enjoy their Soyer's relish or Worcester Sauce equally with fish, fowl, cutlets or anything else. This daily stylistic diarrhoea he likes to designate the “all-pervading beautiful form” and he regards it as adequate grounds for passing himself off as an artist.
Contented as Ruge was to be the Swiss guard of German philosophy he still had a secret sorrow gnawing at his innermost vitals. He had not written a single large book and had daily to envy the happy Bruno Bauer who had published 18 fat volumes while still a young man. To reduce the discrepancy Ruge had one and the same essay printed three times in one and the same volume under different titles and then brought out the same volume in a number of different formats. In this way Arnold Ruge's Complete Works came into being and even today he derives much pleasure from counting them every morning volume by volume as they stand there neatly bound in his library, whereupon he exclaims joyfully: “And anyway, Bruno Bauer is a man without principles!”
Even though Arnold did not manage to comprehend the Hegelian system of philosophy, he did succeed in representing one Hegelian category in his own person. He was the very incarnation of the “honest consciousness” and was strengthened in this when he made the pleasant discovery in the Phenomenology — a book that was otherwise closed to him and bound with seven seals — that the honest consciousness “always has pleasure in itself”. Though he wears his integrity on his sleeve the honest consciousness uses it to conceal the petty malice and crotchetiness of the Philistine; he has the right to allow himself every kind of base action because he knows that his baseness springs from honest motives. His very stupidity becomes a virtue because it is an irrefutable proof that he stands up for his principles. Despite every arrière pensée he is firmly convinced of his own integrity and however base or filthy an intended act may be it does not prevent him from appearing sincere and trusting. Beneath the halo of good intentions all the petty meannesses of the citizen become transformed into as many virtues; sordid self-interest appears as an innocent babe when dressed up to look like a piece of self-sacrifice; cowardice appears disguised as a higher form of courage, baseness becomes magnanimity, and the coarse manners of the peasant become ennobled, and indeed transfigured into the signs of decency and good humour. This is the gutter into which the contradictions of philosophy, democracy and the cliché industry all pour; such a man is moreover richly endowed with all the vices, the mean and petty qualities, with the slyness and the stupidity, the greed and the clumsiness, the servility and the arrogance, the untrustworthiness and the bonhomie of the emancipated serf, the peasant; Philistine and ideologist, atheist and slogan worshipper, absolute ignoramus and absolute philosopher all in one — that is Arnold Ruge as Hegel foretold him in 1806.
After the Deutsche Jahrbücher were suppressed Ruge transported his family to Paris in a carriage specially designed for the purpose. Here, his unlucky star brought him into contact with Heine who honoured him as the man who "had translated Hegel into Pomeranian". Heine asked him whether Prutz was not a pseudonym of his which Ruge could deny in good conscience. However, it was not possible to make Heine believe that anyone but Arnold was the author of Prutz's poems. Heine also discovered very soon that even though Ruge had no talent he knew very well how to give the appearance of being a man of character. Thus it came about that Friend Arnold gave Heine the idea for his Atta Troll. If Ruge was not able to immortalise his sojourn in Paris by writing a great work he at least deserves our thanks for the one Heine produced for him. In gratitude the poet wrote for him this well-known epitaph:
Atta Troll, Tendenzbär; sittlich
Religiös; als Gatte brünstig;
Durch Verführtsein von dem Zeitgeist
Sehr schlecht tanzend, doch Gesinnung
Tragend in der zott'gen Hochbrust;
Manchmal auch gestunken habend;
Kein Talent, doch ein Charakter!
[Atta Troll, performing bear,
Pure and pious; a passionate husband,
By the Zeitgeist led astray
A backwoods sansculotte,
Dances badly but ideals
Dwell within his shaggy breast
Often stinking very strongly —
Talent none, but Character]
In Paris our Arnold experienced the misfortune of becoming involved with the Communists. He published articles by Marx and Engels in the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher that contained views running directly counter to those he had himself announced in the Preface, an accident to which the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung drew his attention but which he bore with philosophical resignation.
To overcome an innate social awkwardness Ruge has collected a small number of curious anecdotes that could be used on any occasion. He calls these anecdotes jokes. His preoccupation with these jokes, sustained over many years, finally led to the transformation of all events, situations and circumstances into a series of pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad, important or trivial, interesting or boring jokes. The Paris upheavals, the many new impressions, socialism, politics, the Palais-Royal, the cheapness of the oysters — all these things wrought so powerfully on the mind of this unhappy wretch that his head went round and round in a permanent and incurable whirl of jokes and Paris itself became an unlimited storehouse of jokes. One of the brightest of these jokes was the idea of using wood shavings to make coats for the proletariat and in general he had a foible for industrial jokes for which he could never find enough share-holders.
When the better known Germans were expelled from France Ruge contrived to avoid this fate by presenting himself to the minister, Duchâtel, as a savant sérieux. He evidently had in mind the scholar in Paul de Kock's Amant de la lune, who established himself as a savant by means of an original device for propelling corks through the air. Shortly afterwards Arnold went to Switzerland where he joined forces with a former Dutch NCO, Cologne writer and Prussian tax subinspector, called Heinzen. Both were soon bound together by the bonds of the most intimate friendship. Heinzen learnt philosophy from Ruge, Ruge learnt politics from Heinzen. From this time on we detect in Ruge a growing necessity to appear as a philosopher par excellence only among the coarser elements of the German movement, a fate that led him down and down until at last he was accepted as a philosopher only by non-conformist parsons (Dulon), German catholic parsons (Ronge) and Fanny Lewald. At the same time anarchy was growing apace in German philosophy. Stirner's The Self and its Own, Stein's Socialism, Communism, etc., all recent intruders, drove Ruge's sense of humour to breaking-point: a great leap must be ventured. So Ruge escaped into humanism, the slogan with which all Confusionists in Germany from Reuchlin to Herder have covered up their embarrassment. This slogan seemed all the more appropriate as Feuerbach had only recently "rediscovered man" and Arnold fastened on to it with such desperation that he has not let go of it to this day. But while still in Switzerland Arnold made yet another, incomparably greater discovery. This was that "the ego by appearing frequently before the public proves itself a character". From this point on a new field of activity opened for Arnold. He now erected the most shameless meddling and interfering into a principle. Ruge had to poke his nose into everything. No hen could lay an egg without Ruge "commenting on the reason underlying the event". Contact had to be maintained at all cost with every obscure local paper where there was a chance of making frequent appearances. He wrote no newspaper articles without signing his name and, where possible, mentioning himself. The principle of the frequent appearance had to be extended to every article; an article had first to appear in letter form in the European papers (and after Heinzen's emigration, in the American papers also), it was then reprinted as a pamphlet and appeared again finally in the collected works.
Thus equipped Ruge could now return to Leipzig to obtain definitive recognition of his character. But once arrived all was not a bed of roses. His old friend Wigand, the bookseller, had very successfully replaced him in the role of Nicolai and as no other post was vacant Ruge fell into gloomy reflections on the transitoriness of all jokes. This was his situation when the German Revolution broke out.
For him too it came in the hour of need. The mighty movement in which even the clumsiest could easily swim with the current had finally got underway and Ruge went to Berlin where he intended to fish in troubled waters. As a revolution had just broken out he felt that it would be appropriate for him to come forward with proposals for reform. So he founded a paper with that name. The pre-revolutionary Réforme of Paris had been the most untalented, illiterate and boring paper in France. The Berlin Reform demonstrated that it was possible to surpass its French model and that one need not blush at offering German public such an incredible journal even in the “metropolis of intelligence”. On the assumption that Ruge's defective grasp of style contained the best guarantee for the profound content lying behind and beneath it Arnold was elected to the Frankfurt Parliament as Member for Breslau. Here he saw his chance as editor of the democratic Left-wing to come forward with an absurd manifesto. Apart from that he distinguished himself only by his passion for issuing manifestos for European People's Congresses, and hastened to add his voice to the general wish that Prussia should be absorbed into Germany. Later, on his return to Berlin he demanded that Germany should be swallowed up by Prussia and Frankfurt by Berlin and when he finally decided to become a peer of Saxony he proposed that Prussia and Germany should both be swallowed up by Dresden.
His parliamentary activity brought him no laurels other than the fact that his own party despaired at so much folly. At the same time his Reform was going downhill, a situation that could only be remedied, as he thought, by his personal presence in Berlin. As an “honest consciousness” it goes without saying that he also discovered an urgent political reason for taking such a step and in fact he demanded that the whole of the Left should accompany him there. Naturally, they refused and Ruge went to Berlin alone. Once there, he discovered that modern conflicts can best be resolved by the "Dessau method" as he termed the small state, a model of constitutional democracy. Then during the siege [of Vienna] he again drew up a manifesto in which General Wrangel was exhorted to march against Windischgraetz and free Vienna. He even obtained the approval of the democratic Congress for this curious document by pointing out that the type had been set up and that it was already being printed. Finally, when Berlin itself came under siege, Ruge went to Manteuffel and made proposals concerning the Reform, which were, however, rejected. Manteuffel told him that he wished all opposition papers were like the Reform, the Neue Preussische Zeitung  was much more dangerous to him — an utterance which the naive Ruge, with a tone of triumphant pride, hastened to report through the length and breadth of Germany. Arnold became an enthusiastic advocate of passive resistance which he himself put into practice by leaving his paper, editors and everything in the lurch and running away. Active flight is evidently the most resolute form of passive resistance. The counter-revolution had arrived and Ruge fled before it all the way from Berlin to London without stopping.
At the time of the May uprising in Dresden  Arnold placed himself at the head of the movement in Leipzig together with his friend Otto Wigand and the city council. He and his allies issued a vigorous manifesto to the citizens of Dresden urging them to fight bravely; Ruge, Wigand and the city fathers, it went on, were sitting watching in Leipzig and whoever did not desert himself would not be deserted by Heaven. Scarcely had the manifesto been published than our brave Arnold took to his heels and fled to Karlsruhe.
In Karlsruhe he felt unsafe even though the Baden troops were standing on the Neckar and hostilities were a long way from breaking out. He asked Brentano to send him to Paris as ambassador. Brentano permitted himself the joke of giving him the post for 12 hours and then revoking it just when Ruge was about to depart. Undaunted, Ruge still went to Paris together with Schutz and Blind, the official representatives of the Brentano government, and once there made such a spectacle of himself that his former editor announced in the official Karlsruhe Zeitung that Mr. Ruge was not in Paris in any official capacity but merely “on his own initiative”. Having once been taken along by Schutz and Blind to see Ledru-Rollin Ruge suddenly interrupted the diplomatic negotiations with a terrible diatribe against the Germans in the presence of the Frenchmen so that his colleagues finally had to withdraw discomfited and compromised. June 13th  came and dealt our Arnold such a severe blow that he took to his heels and did not pause to take breath again until he found himself in London, on free British soil. Referring to this fight later he compared himself to Demosthenes.
In London Ruge first attempted to pass himself off as the Baden provisional ambassador. He then tried to gain acceptance in the English press as a great German writer and thinker but was turned away on the grounds that the English were too materialistic ever to understand German philosophy. He was also asked about his works — a request which Ruge could answer only with a sigh while the image of Bruno Bauer once again rose up before his eyes. For even his Collected Works, what were they but reprints of pamphlets? And they were not even pamphlets but merely newspaper articles in pamphlet form, and basically they were not even newspaper articles but only the muddled fruits of his reading. Action was necessary and so Ruge wrote two articles for the Leader in which under the pretext of an analysis of German democracy he declared that in Germany "humanism" was the order of the day as represented by Ludwig Feuerbach and Arnold Ruge, the author of the following works: (1) The Religion of our Age, (2)Democracy and Socialism, (3)Philosophy and the Revolution. These three epoch-making works which have not appeared in the bookshops to this day are, it goes without saying, nothing more than new titles arbitrarily applied to old essays of Ruge's. Simultaneously he resumed his daily stints when for his own edification, for the benefit of the German public and to the horror of Mr. Brüggemann  he began to retranslate articles into German that had somehow got out of the Kölnische Zeitung and into the Morning Advertiser. Not exactly burdened with laurels he withdrew to Ostend where he found the leisure necessary to his preparations for the role of universal sage, the Confucius of the German Emigration.
Just as Gustav was the vegetable and Gottfried the sensibility of the German petty-bourgeois Philistine, Arnold is representative of its understanding or rather its non-understanding. Unlike Arnold Winkelried  he does not open up a path to freedom [der Freiheit eine Gasse]; he is in his own person the gutter of freedom [der Freiheit eine Gosse]; Ruge stands in the German revolution like the notices seen at the corner of certain streets: It is permitted to pass water here.
We return at last to our circular with its covering letter. It fell flat and the first attempt to create a united democratic church came to nought. Schramm and Gustav later declared that failure was due solely to the circumstance chat Ruge could neither speak French nor write German. But then the heroes again set to work.
Che ciascun oltra moda era possente,
Come udirete nel canto seguente.
[For puissant were they all beyond compare,
As in our next canto you shall hear.]