Marx-Engels Correspondence 1864
Source: MECW Volume 42, p. 58;
First published: in Deutsche Zeitung, 16 October 1920.
A Happy New Year!
You will perhaps have seen that Engels and I have agreed to become contributors to the Berlin Social-Demokrat. Nevertheless — this entre nous — either that paper will have to dissociate itself from the apotheosis of Lassalle, or we shall dissociate ourselves from it. But the poor devils have a lot to contend with.
You will have received the ‘Addresses’ sent to you and have no doubt guessed I am the author. For the sake of the movement here, it is important for us that German workers’ associations should join the Central Committee here. (As has happened in many cases with the Italians and the French.) Now Liebknecht has written to me that the Berlin printers’ association will be joining, but that it is very doubtful whether the ‘General Association of German Workers’ will join, on account of the intrigues of Mr Bernhard Becker, whose importance was ‘invented’ by Lassalle. (Entre nous this is perhaps Lassalle’s only invention.)
Today I wrote the old Hatzfeldt woman a kind of threatening letter, sub rosa, of course.
Now it would be highly desirable for you to pay a brief visit to Solingen to explain on my behalf to the cutler, Klings, how exceedingly important it is that the Association of German Workers should decide to join the International Association at its congress in Düsseldorf on 27 December of this year. You might surreptitiously hint that, for such nonentities as B. Becker, etc., what matters is, naturally, not the cause but the ‘infiniment petit’, i.e., their own persons. But such a hint must be dropped diplomatically, without implicating rite.
You understand that it is necessary that the General Association of German Workers should join only for a start, on account of our opponents here. At a later date, the whole organisation of this association will have to be broken up, as its basis is fundamentally wrong.
If you do not now at last write me a few lines, I shall presume that you have become totally disloyal to me, and will proclaim you excommunicated.