Marx-Engels Correspondence 1887

Engels to Sorge (Excerpt)

Source: Science and Society Volume II, Number 3, 1938;
Translated and Edited: by Leonard E. Mins.

4 Cavendish Place, Eastbourne, August 8, 1887.

Dear Sorge:

...Affairs are on the move over there at last, and I must know my Americans badly if they do not astonish us all by the vastness of their movement, but also by the gigantic nature of the mistakes they make, through which they will finally work out their way to clarity. Ahead of everyone else in practice and still in swaddling-clothes in theory — that’s how they are, nor can it be otherwise. But it is a land without tradition (except for the religious), which has begun with the democratic republic, and a people full of energy as no other. The course of the movement will by no means follow the classic straight line, but travel in tremendous zigzags and seem to be moving backward at times, but that is of much less importance there than with us. Henry George was an unavoidable evil, but he will soon be obliterated, like Powderly or even McGlynn, whose popularity at the moment is quite understandable in that God-fearing country. In Autumn much will be — I won’t say cleared up, but more and more complicated, and the crisis will come closer. The annual elections, which force the masses to unite over and over again, are really most fortunate....

F. Engels