Karl Marx in the New York Daily Tribune 1854

Only the Beginning


Source: Marx and Engels on the Trade Unions, Edited by Kenneth Lapides;
Written: by Marx;
First Published: in the New York Daily Tribune, August 1 1854;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

The eyes of the working classes are now fully opened: they begin to cry: “Our St. Petersburg is at Preston!” Indeed, the last eight months have seen a strange spectacle in the town — a standing army of 14,000 men and women subsidized by the trades unions and workshops of all parts of the United Kingdom, to fight out a grand social battle for mastery with the capitalists, and the capitalists of Preston, on their side, held up by the capitalists of Lancashire.

Whatever other shapes this social struggle may hereafter assume, we have seen only the beginning of it. It seems destined to nationalize itself and present phases never before seen in history; for it must be borne in mind that though temporary defeat may await the working classes, great social and economical laws are in operation which must eventually insure their triumph.