Marx-Engels Correspondence 1868

Marx To Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW, Volume 43, p. 89;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913 and in full in MEGA, Berlin, 1931.

London, 26 August 1868

Dear Fred,

Still no ‘supplies’ from Germany. It is, of course, idiotic to depend completely upon half-promises. But if you are drowning you clutch at every straw. On Friday the bill of exchange for 12, about which I wrote to you, is due. Since nothing had arrived by today, and to have no protest in the house, I just visited my baker, who told me he could ‘perhaps’ get the money by tomorrow evening, but only for a few days. At the same time, I have received the enclosed scrawl from My landlord. That everything should happen to one just at this time. It is enough to drive one mad.

Bring me back or send me the screed by Becker. His theoretical-political-economic criticisms of Lassalle have been copied from your pamphlet on the military question.

This Becker has done us a great service with his Seileriana. He deserves to be Lassalle’s ‘testamentary successor’.

The invitation which I received to the congress of the General Association of German Workers (Hamburg, 22-25 August) is signed by Schweitzer as President and by more than 20 workers from different districts of Germany (members of the Executive Committee). I had to take the latter into consideration in my reply. I explained that I could not come because of the work of the Central Council of the International Working Men’s Association, and said I was glad to see that the starting points of any ‘serious’ workers’ movement — agitation for complete political freedom, regulation of the working day and international co-operation of the working class — were emphasised in their programme for the congress. That is to say, in other words, I congratulated them on having abandoned Lassalle’s programme. Whether they will notice the point remains to be seen. Schweitzer, the only man with brains in the whole Lassalle gang, will certainly detect it. But whether he will think it advisable to show this or to pretend to be dense, nous verrons.

K. M.