Works of Engels 1889

If They Can Combine...


Source: Marx and Engels on the Trade Unions, Edited by Kenneth Lapides;
Written: by Engels, in The Labour Elector, August 26, 1889;
First Published: Articles on Britain, Progress Publishers 1871;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

I envy you your work in the Dock Strike. It is the movement of the greatest promise we have had for years, and I am proud and glad to have lived to see it. If Marx had lived to witness this! If these poor downtrodden men, the dregs of the proletariat, these odds and ends of all trades, fighting every morning at the dock gates for an engagement, if they can combine, and terrify by their resolution the mighty Dock Companies, truly then we need not despair of any section of the working class. This is the beginning of real life in the East End, and if successful will transform the whole character of the East End. There — for want of self-confidence, and of organisation among the poor devils grovelling in stagnant misery — lasciate ogni speranza. ... If the dockers get organised, all other sections will follow. ... It is a glorious movement and again I envy those that can share in the work.