Marx-Engels Correspondence 1870

Marx to Engels
In Manchester


Written: July 20, 1870;
Source: Marx and Engels Correspondence;
Publisher: International Publishers (1968);
First Published: Gestamtausgabe;
Translated: Donna Torr;
Transcribed: Sally Ryan in 1999;
HTML Markup: Sally Ryan.

[London,] 20 July 1870

But the paper [Le Réveil, a democratic French newspaper] is also interesting on account of the leading article by old Delescluze. Despite his opposition to the government, the most complete expression of chauvinism--because France alone is the home of ideas--(of the ideas it has got about itself). The only thing that annoys these republican chauvinists is that the real expression of their idol--L. Bonaparte the long-nosed Stock Exchange shark--does not correspond to their fancy picture. The French need a thrashing. If the Prussians win, the centralisation of the state power will be useful for the centralisation of the German working class. German predominance would also transfer the centre of gravity of the workers' movement in Western Europe from France to Germany, and one has only to compare the movement in the two countries from 1866 till now to see that the German working class is superior to the French both theoretically and organisationally. Their predominance over the French on the world stage would also mean the predominance of our theory over Proudhon's, etc.

Finally, I am also enclosing the criticism of my book [Capital Vol I] in Hildebrand's Journal of Economy and Statistics. My physical state scarcely disposes me to merriment, but I have cried with laughter over this essay--bona fide tears of mirth. With the reaction and the downfall of the heroic age of philosophy in Germany the "petty bourgeois", inborn in every German citizen, has again asserted himself--in philosophic drivel worthy of Moses Mendelssohn, would-be clever and superior peevish nagging. And so now even political economy is to be dissolved into twaddle about "conceptions of justice!"