Marx-Engels Correspondence 1867

Karl Marx to Friedrich Engels in Manchester, 11 September 1867

Source: Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Correspondence (Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1975). Scanned and prepared for the Marxist Internet Archive by Paul Flewers.

... At the next Congress in Brussels I shall personally deliver a knock-out blow to these Proudhonist jackasses. [1] I have managed the whole thing diplomatically and did not want to come out personally until my book was published and our Association had struck root. I will moreover give them a hiding in the Official Report of the General Council (despite all their efforts, the Parisian babblers could not prevent our re-election). [2]

Meanwhile our Association has made great progress. The wretched Star, which wanted to ignore us entirely, has announced in a leading article published yesterday that we are more important than the Peace Congress. [3] Schulze-Delitzsch was not able to prevent his ‘Workers Association’ in Berlin from joining us. [4] The scoundrels among the English trade unionists, who thought we went too ‘far’, now come running to us. In addition to the Courrier français, the Liberté of Girardin, the Siècle, the Mode, the Gazette de France, etc, have printed reports on our Congress. Things are moving. And in the next revolution, which is perhaps nearer than it appears, we (that is, you and I) will have this powerful engine in our hands. Compare this with the results of the operations conducted by Mazzini, etc, during the last thirty years! And moreover without any financial means! Considering the intrigues of the Proudhonists in Paris, the Mazzinis in Italy, the jealous Odgers, [5] Cremers [6] and Potters [7] in London, and the Schulze-Delitzschists and Lassalleans in Germany! – We can be very well satisfied...


1. The Brussels Congress of the First International was held in September 1868. Thanks to the thorough preparatory work carried out by Marx and his associates the decisions of the Brussels Congress greatly reduced the influence of the Proudhonists in the International Working Men’s Association – Progress Publishers.

2. Marx is alluding to the fact that the Lausanne Congress of the First International held in 1867 re-elected Marx and most of the other former Council members to the new General Council – Progress Publishers.

3. The reference is to the Inaugural Congress of the League of Peace and Freedom, which took place in Switzerland in September 1867 – Progress Publishers.

4. The Workers Association in Berlin was set up in January 1863 with the active participation of Schulze-Delitzsch and remained under the influence of the Progressive Party. It advocated trade unionism and bourgeois cooperative societies. After the creation of the International Working Men’s Association the foremost members of the Workers Association gravitated towards the International. Franz Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch (1808-1883) – German political figure, vulgar economist, attempted to divert workers from revolutionary struggle by organising cooperative societies – Progress Publishers.

5. George Odger (1820-1877) – reformist leader of British trade unions, member of General Council of First International (1864-71) but resigned after attacking Paris Commune – Progress Publishers.

6. William Randall Cremer (1838-1908) – reformist leader of British trade unions, member of General Council of First International (1864-67), later Liberal – Progress Publishers.

7. George Potter (1832-1893) – carpenter, reformist leader of British trade unions, advocated a policy of compromise with liberal bourgeoisie – Progress Publishers.