Marx-Engels Correspondence 1868

Letter from Marx to Engels
In Manchester


Written: October 10, 1868;
Source: Marx and Engels Correspondence;
Publisher: International Publishers (1968);
First Published: Gestamtausgabe;
Translated: Donna Torr;
Transcribed: Sally Ryan in 1999;
HTML Markup: Sally Ryan.

When you were here last you saw the Blue Book on the land situation in Ireland 1844-45. By accident I have found in a small second-hand shop the Report and Evidence on Irish Tenant Right, 1867 (House of Lords). This was a real find. While Messrs. the Economists treat the question whether ground rent is payment for natural differences in the land, or merely interest on the capital invested in the land, as a pure conflict of dogmas, we have here an actual life and death struggle between farmer and landlord on the question of how far the rent should also include, in addition to payment for the difference in the land, interest on the capital invested in it--not by the landlord but by the tenant. It is only by substituting for conflicting dogmas the conflicting facts and real contradictions which form their hidden background that we can transform political economy into a positive science.