Karl Marx in The Eastern Post 1871
Source: The Eastern Post, July 1, 1871;
Transcribed: for marxists.org by Tony Brown.
A Council consisting of more than thirty members cannot, of course, draw up its own documents. It must entrust that task to some one or other of its members, reserving to itself the right of rejecting or amending. The address on the “Civil War in France,” drawn up by myself, was unanimously adopted by the General Council of the International, and is therefore the official embodiment of its own views. With regard, however, to the personal charges brought forward against Jules Favre and Co., the case stands otherwise. On this point the great majority of the Council had to rely upon my trustworthiness. This was the very reason why I supported the motion of another member of the Council that Mr. John Hales, in his answer to Mr. Holyoake should name me as the author of the address. I hold myself alone responsible for those charges, and hereby challenge Jules Favre and Co. to prosecute me for libel. In his letter Mr. Llewellyn Davies says,
“ It is melancholy to read the charges of personal baseness so freely flung by Frenchmen at one another.”
Does this sentence not somewhat smack of that pharisaical self-righteousness with which William Cobbett had so often taunted the British mind? Let me ask Mr. Llewellyn Davies which was worse, the French petite Presse, fabricating in the service of the police the most infamous slanders against the Communals, dead, captive, or hidden, or the English press reproducing them to this day, despite its professed contempt for the Petite Presse. I do not consider it a French inferiority that such serious charges for instance as those brought forward against the late Lord Palmerston, during a quarter of a century, by a man like Mr. David Urquhart, could have been burked in England but not in France.