Marx-Engels Correspondence 1867

Karl Marx to Ludwig Kugelmann, 7 December 1867

Source: Karl Marx, Letters to Dr Kugelmann (Martin Lawrence, London, undated). Scanned and prepared for the Marxist Internet Archive by Paul Flewers.

Dear Kugelmann

Were there six people of your calibre in Germany, the resistance of the philistine mass and the conspiration de silence [1] of the experts and newspaper crowd would have been so far broken down that at least some serious discussion would have begun. Mais il faut attendre! [2] In these words lies the whole secret of Russian policy. I am enclosing a letter (please return it) from a German-Russian worker (a tanner). [3] Engels remarks, quite rightly, that the autodidactic philosophy – pursued by workers themselves – has made great progress in the case of this tanner in comparison with the cobbler Jakob Böhm; [4] also that only ‘German workers’ are capable of such cerebral work.

Borkheim [5] asked me yesterday who had written the article in the Zukunft (he is a subscriber). It must come from one of our people, since you had sent him a copy of it. I said I did not know. Nota bene! One should not put all one’s cards on the table.

My most cordial thanks to your dear wife for the trouble she took in copying the letter. You should not exploit her so much for ‘surplus labour’.

Bucher, [6] as, if I am not mistaken, I have already told you, has himself asked me to be the economic correspondent of the Royal Prussian Staatszeitung. So you see that if I wanted to make use of such sources, I could do so without the mediation of a third person.

My illness is the old one – nothing dangerous, but troublesome.

With best greetings to your dear wife and Fränzchen.

K Marx


1. Conspiracy of silence – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.

2. But it is necessary to wait – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.

3. Joseph Dietzgen (1828-1888) – German socialist and self-educated philosopher; leather tanner by trade. A dialectical materialist although an inconsistent one. Later lived in the USA where he took part in the socialist movement. See the letter from Joseph Dietzgen to which Marx refers.

4. Jakob Bohm (1575-1624) – German mystical philosopher, a cobbler by trade – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.

5. Sigismund Borkheim (1825-1885) – German merchant and publicist who took an active part in the 1848 Revolution. Fled to Switzerland and later settled in London, where in the 1860s he became a close friend of Marx and Engels – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.

6. Lothar Bucher (1817-1892) – German publicist and politician. A radical democrat in 1848. In the 1860s he entered Bismarck’s service – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.