Marx-Engels Correspondence 1894

Engels to Sorge


Source: Marx Engels On Britain, Progress Publishers 1953;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

Eastbourne, February 23, 1894

Complete disintegration prevails among the official politicians here, both Liberal and Conservative. The Liberals can keep going only by means of new political and social concessions to the workers; but for that they lack the courage. So they try an election cry against the House of Lords, instead of proposing payment of members, payment of election expenses by the Government, and a second ballot. That is, instead of offering the workers more power against the bourgeois and the Lords, they only want to give the bourgeois more power against the Lords; but the workers no longer fall for such bait. At any rate there will be a general election here this summer and if the Liberals do not summon all their courage and make real concessions to the workers they will be beaten and go to pieces. At present they are held together only by Gladstone, who may die any day now. Then there will be a bourgeois-democratic party favourably disposed to the workers and the rest of the Liberals will go over to Chamberlain. And all this by mere pressure of a working-class that is still internally split and only half politically conscious. Should it gradually gain consciousness things will take a quite different turn.