Karl Marx in the New York Daily Tribune 1853

A Universal Combination Against Capital


Source: Marx and Engels on the Trade Unions, Edited by Kenneth Lapides;
Written: by Marx;
First Published: in the New York Daily Tribune, August 23 1853;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

The great colliers’ strikes in South Wales not only continue, but out of them have arisen new strikes among the men employed at the iron mines. A general strike among the British sailors is anticipated for the moment when the Merchant Shipping bill will come into operation, the foreigners being, as they say, admitted only for the purpose of lowering their wages.

The importance of the present strikes, to which I have repeatedly called the attention of your readers, begins now to be understood even by the London middle-class press. Thus, the Weekly Times of last Saturday remarks:

The relations between employer and employed have been violently disturbed. Labor throughout the length and breadth of the land has bearded capital, and it may safely be asserted that the quarrel thus evoked has only just commenced. The working classes have been putting forth strong feelers to try their position.[...] The agitation at present is limited to a series of independent skirmishes, but there are indications that the period is not very distant when this desultory warfare will be turned into a systematic and universal combination against capital. ...