Marx - Engels

ON WAR AND PEACE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Marx and Engels

ON WAR AND PEACE

SELECTION OF WORKS

 

Marx

The Civil War in France

 

 

Frederick Engels

The Peasants' War in Germany

1850

 

 

Frederick Engels

Conditions and Prospects of a War of the Holy Alliance Against France in 1852

 

 

Marx and Engels

THE CRIMEAN WAR

1853 - 1855

 

 

 

MARX ON CHINA

1853 - 1860

 

 

Marx

Notes on Indian History

1853 - 1860

 

 

Karl Marx

Revolutionary Spain

1854

 

 

 

Frederick Engels

The Armies of Europe

1855

 

 

Frederick Engels

Afghanistan

1857

 

Frederick Engels

Mountain Warfare in the Past and Present

between January 1 and 10, 1857

 

 

Karl Marx

New York Daily Tribune


Articles On China, 1853-1860

Whose Atrocities?

April 10, 1857;
 

A FEW YEARS since, when the frightful system of torture in India was exposed in Parliament, Sir James Hogg, one of the Directors of the Most Honourable East India Company, boldly asserted that the statements made were unfounded. Subsequent investigation, however, proved them to be based upon facts which should have been well known to the Directors, and Sir James had left him to admit either "willful ignorance" or "criminal knowledge" of the horrible charge laid at the Company's doors. Lord Palmerston, the present Premier of England, and the Earl of Clarendon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, seem just now to be placed in a similar unenviable position. At the late Lord Mayor's banquet, the Premier said, in his speech, while attempting to justify the atrocities committed upon the Chinese:

"If the Government had, in this case, approved of unjustifiable proceedings, they had undoubtedly followed a course which deserved to incur the censure of Parliament and of the country. We were persuaded, however, on the contrary, that these proceedings were necessary and vital. We felt that a great wrong had been inflicted on our country. We felt that our fellow countrymen in a distant part of the globe had been exposed to a series of insults, outrages and atrocities which could not be passed over in silence (Cheers). We felt that the treaty rights of this country had been broken, and that those locally charged with the defence of our interests in that quarter of the world were not only justified, but obliged to resent those outrages, so far as the power in their hands would enable them to do so. We felt that we should be betraying the trust which the citizens of the country had reposed in us if we had not approved of the proceedings which we thought to be right, and which we, if placed in the same circumstances, should have deemed it our duty to have pursued (Cheers)."

Now, however much the people of England and the world at large may be deceived by such plausible statements, his Lordship himself certainly does not believe them to be true, of if he does, he has betrayed a wilful ignorance almost as unjustifiable as "criminal knowledge." Ever since the first report reached us of English hostilities in China, the Government journals of England and a portion of the American Press have been heaping wholesale denunciations upon the Chinese — sweeping charges of violation of treaty obligations — insults to the English flag — degradation of foreigners residing on their soil, and the like; yet not one single distinct charge has been made or a single fact instanced in support of these denunciations, save the case of the lorcha Arrow, and, with respect to this case, the circumstances have been so misrepresented and glossed over by Parliamentary rhetoric as utterly to mislead those who really desire to understand the merits of the question.

The lorcha Arrow was a small Chinese vessel, manned by Chinese, but employed by some Englishmen. A licence to carry the English flag had been temporarily granted to her, which licence had expired prior to the alleged "insult". She is said to have been used to smuggle salt, and had on board of her some very bad characters — Chinese pirates and smugglers — whom, being old offenders against the laws, the authorities had long been trying to arrest. While lying at anchor in front of Canton — with sails furled, and no flag whatever displayed — the police became aware of the presence on board of these offenders, and arrested them — precisely such an act as would have taken place here had the police along our wharves known that river-thieves and smugglers were secreted in a native or foreign vessel near by. But, as this arrest interfered with the business of the owners, the captain went to the English Consul and complained. The Consul, a young man recently appointed, and, as we are informed, a person of a quick and irritable disposition, rushes on board in propria persona, gets into an excited parley with the police, who have only discharged their simple duty, and consequently fails in obtaining satisfaction. Thence he rushes back to the Consulate, writes an imperative demand for restitution and apology to the Governor-General of the Kwangtung Province, and a note to Sir John Bowring and Admiral Seymour at Hong Kong, representing that he and his country's flag have been insulted beyond endurance, and intimating in pretty broad terms that now is the time for a demonstration against Canton, such as had long been waited for.

Gov. Yeh politely and calmly responds to the arrogant demands of the excited young British Consul'. He states the reason of the arrest, and regrets that there should have been any misunderstanding in the matter; at the same time he unqualifiedly denies the slightest intention of insulting the English flag, and sends back the men, whom, although lawfully arrested, he desired not to detain at the expense of so serious a misunderstanding. But this is not satisfactory to Mr. Consul Parkes-he must have an official apology, and a more formal restitution, or Gov. Yeh must abide the consequences. Next arrives Admiral Seymour with the British fleet, and then commences another correspondence, dogmatic and threatening on the side of the Admiral; cool, unimpassioned, polite, on the side of the Chinese official. Admiral Seymour demands a personal interview within the walls of Canton. Gov. Yeh says this is contrary to all precedent, and that Sir George Bonham had agreed that it should not be required. He would readily consent to an interview, as usual, outside the walled town if necessary, or meet the Admiral's wishes in any other way not contrary to Chinese usage and hereditary etiquette. But this did not suit the bellicose representative of British power in the East.

Upon the grounds thus briefly stated — and the official accounts now before the people of England fully bear out the statement — this most unrighteous war has been waged. The unoffending citizens and peaceful tradesmen of Canton have been slaughtered, their habitations battered it to the ground, and the claims of humanity violated, on the flimsy pretence that "English life and property are endangered by the aggressive acts of the Chinese!" The British Government and the British people — at least, those who have chosen to examine the question — know how false and hollow are such charges. An attempt has been made to divert investigation from the main issue, and to impress the public mind with the idea that a long series of injuries, preceding the case of the lorcha Arrow, form of themselves a sufficient causus belli. But these sweeping assertions are baseless. The Chinese have at least ninety-nine injuries to complain of to one on the part of the English.

How silent is the press of England upon the outrageous violations of the treaty daily practiced by foreigners living in China under British protection! We hear nothing of the illicit opium trade, which yearly feeds the British treasury at the expense of human life and morality. We hear nothing of the constant bribery of sub-officials, by means of which the Chinese Government is defrauded of its rightful revenue on incoming and outgoing merchandise. We hear nothing of the wrongs inflicted "even unto death" upon misguided and bonded emigrants sold to worse than Slavery on the coast of Peru, and into Cuban bondage. We hear nothing of the bullying spirit often exercised against the timid nature of the Chinese, or of the vice introduced by foreigners at the ports open to their trade. We hear nothing of all this and of much more, first, because the majority of people out of China care little about the social and moral condition of that country; and secondly, because it is the part of policy and prudence not to agitate topics where no pecuniary advantage would result. Thus, the English people at home, who look no further than the grocer's where they buy their tea, are prepared to swallow all the misrepresentations which the Ministry and the Press choose to thrust down the public throat.

Meanwhile, in China, the smothered fires of hatred kindled against the English during the opium war have burst into a flame of animosity which no tenders of peace and friendship will be very likely to quench. For the sake of Christian and commercial intercourse with China, it is in the highest degree desirable that we should keep out of this quarrel, and that the Chinese should not be led to regard all the nations of the Western World as united in a conspiracy against them.

 

 

 

Frederick Engels

The British Army in India

New-York Daily Tribune, June 26, 1858

 

Our indiscreet friend, Mr. William Russell of The London Times, has recently been induced, by his love of the picturesque, to illustrate, for the second time, the sack of Lucknow, to a degree which other people will not think very flattering to the British character. It now appears that Delhi, too, was “looted” to a very considerable extent, and that besides the Kaiserbagh, the city of Lucknow generally contributed to reward the British soldier for his previous privations and heroic efforts. We quote from Mr. Russell:

“There are companies which can boast of privates with thousands of pounds worth in their ranks. One man I heard of who complacently offered to lend an officer whatever sum he wanted if he wished to buy over the Captain. Others have remitted large sums to their friends. [...] Ere this letter reaches England, many a diamond, emerald and delicate pearl will have told its tale in a very quiet, pleasant way, of the storm and sack of the Kaiserbagh. It is as well that the fair wearers ... saw not how the glittering baubles were won, or the scenes in which the treasure was trove.... Some of these officers have made, literally, their fortunes... There are certain small caskets in battered uniform cases which contain estates in Scotland and Ireland, and snug fishing and shooting boxes in every game-haunted or salmon-frequented angle of the world.”

This, then, accounts for the inactivity of the British army after the conquest of Lucknow. The fortnight devoted to plunder was well spent. Officers and soldiers went into the town poor and debt-ridden, and came out suddenly enriched. They were no longer the same men; yet they were expected to return to their former military duty, to submission, silent obedience, fatigue, privation and battle. But this is out of the question. The army, disbanded for the purpose of plunder, is changed for ever; no word of command, no prestige of the General, can make it again what it once was. Listen again to Mr. Russell:

“It is curious to observe how riches develop disease; how one’s liver is affected by loot, and what tremendous ravages in one’s family, among the nearest and dearest, can be caused by a few crystals of carbon. ... The weight of the belt round the private’s waist, full of rupees and gold mohurs, assures him the vision” (of a comfortable independency at home) “can be realized, and it is no wonder he resents the ‘fall in, there, fall in!’ ... Two battas, two shares of prize-money, the plunder of two cities, and many ‘pickings by the way’, have made some of our men too rich for easy soldiering.”

Accordingly, we hear that above 150 officers have sent in their resignations to Sir Colin Campbell — a very singular proceeding indeed in an army before the enemy, which in any other service would be followed up in twenty-four hours by cashiering and severest punishment otherwise, but which, we suppose, is considered in the British army as a very proper act for “an officer and a gentleman” who has suddenly made his fortune. As to the private soldiers, with them the proceeding is different. Loot engenders the desire for more; and if no more Indian treasures are at hand for the purpose, why not loot those of the British Government? Accordingly, says Mr. Russell:

“There has been a suspicious upsetting of two treasure tumbrils under a European guard, in which some few rupees were missing, and paymasters exhibit a preference for natives in the discharge of the delicate duty of convoy!”

Very good, indeed. The Hindoo or Sikh is better disciplined, less thieving, less rapacious than that incomparable model of a warrior, the British soldier! But so far we have seen the individual British only employed. Let us now cast a glance at the British army, “looting” in its collective capacity:

“Every day adds to the prize property, and it is estimated that the sales will produce £600,000. [...] The town of Cawnpore is said to be full of the plunder of Lucknow, and if the damage done to public buildings, the destruction of private property, the deterioration in value of houses and land, and the results of depopulation could be estimated, it would be found that the capital of Oude has sustained a loss of five or six millions sterling.

The Calmuck hordes of Jenghiz Khan and Timur, falling upon a city like a swarm of locusts, and devouring everything that came in their way, must have been a blessing to a country, compared with the irruption of these Christian, civilized, chivalrous and gentle British soldiers. The former, at least, soon passed away on their erratic course; but these methodic Englishmen bring along with them their prize-agents, who convert loot into a system, who register the plunder, sell it by auction, and keep a sharp look-out that British heroism is not defrauded of a tittle of its reward. We shall watch with curiosity the capabilities of this army, relaxed as its discipline is by the effects of wholesale plunder, at a time when the fatigues of a hot weather campaign require the greatest stringency of discipline.

The Hindoos must, however, by this time be still less fit for regular battle than they were at Lucknow, but that is not now the main question. It is far more important to know what shall be done if the insurgents, after a show of resistance, again shift the seat of war, say to Rajpootana, which is far from being subdued. Sir Colin Campbell must leave garrisons everywhere; his field army has melted down to less than one-half of the force he had before Lucknow. If he is to occupy Rohilcund what disposable strength will remain for the field? The hot weather is now upon him, in June the rains must have put a stop to active campaigning, and allowed the insurgents breathing time. The loss of European soldiers through sickness will have increased every day after the middle of April, when the weather became oppressive; and the young men imported into India last Winter must succumb to the climate in far greater numbers than the seasoned Indian campaigners who last Summer fought tinder Havelock and Wilson. Rohilcund is no more the decisive point than Lucknow was, or Delhi. The insurrection, it is true, has lost most of its capacity for pitched battles; but it is far more formidable in its present scattered form, which compels the English to ruin their army by marching and exposure. Look at the many new centers of resistance. There is Rohilcund, where the mass of the old Sepoys are collected; there is North-eastern Oude beyond the Gogra, where the Oudians have taken up position; there is Calpee, which for the present serves as a point of concentration for the insurgents of Bundelcund. We shall most likely hear in a few weeks, if not sooner, that both Bareilly and Calpee have fallen. The former will be of little importance, inasmuch as it will serve to absorb. nearly all, if not the whole of Campbell’s disposable forces. Calpee, menaced now by General Whitlock, who has led his column from Nagpoor to Banda, in Bundelcund, and by, General Rose, who approaches from Jhansi, and has defeated the advanced guard of the Calpee forces, will be a more important conquest; it will free Campbell’s base of operations, Cawnpore, from the only danger menacing it, and thus perhaps enable him to recruit his field forces to some extent by troops set at liberty thereby. But it is very doubtful whether there will be enough to do more than to clear Oude.

Thus, the strongest army England ever concentrated on one point in India is again scattered in all directions, and had more work cut out than it can conveniently do. The ravages of the climate, during the Summer’s heats and rains, must be terrible; and whatever the moral superiority of the European over the Hindoos, it is very doubtful whether the physical superiority of the Hindoos in braving the heat and rains of an Indian Summer will not again be the means of destroying the English forces. There are at present but few British troops on the road to India, and it is not intended to send out large re-enforcements before July and August. Up to October and November, therefore, Campbell has but that one army, melting down rapidly as it is, to hold his own with. What if in the mean time the insurgent Hindoos succeed in raising Rajpootana and Mahratta country in rebellion? What if the Sikhs, of whom there are 80,000 in the British service, and who claim all the honor of the victories for themselves, and whose temper is not altogether favorable to the British, were to rise?

Altogether, one more Winter’s campaign, at least, appears to be in store for the British in India, and that cannot be carried on without another army from England.

 

The Indian Army

New-York Daily Tribune, July 21, 1858

The war in India is gradually passing into that stage of desultory guerrilla warfare, to which, more than once, we have pointed as its next impending and most dangerous phase of development. The insurgent armies, after their successive defeats in pitched battles, and in the defense of towns and entrenched camps, gradually dissolve into smaller bodies of from two to six or eight thousand men, acting, to a certain degree, independently of each other, but always ready to unite for a short expedition against any British detachment which may be surprised singly. The abandonment of Bareilly without a blow, after having drawn the active field force of Sir C. Campbell some eighty miles away from Lucknow, was the turning point, in this respect, for the main army of the insurgents; the abandonment of Calpee had the same significance for the second great body of natives. In either case, the last defensible central base of operations was given up, and the warfare of an army thereby becoming impossible, the insurgents made eccentric retreats by separating into smaller bodies. These movable columns require no large town for a central base of operations. They can find means of existence, of re-equipment, and of recruitment in the various districts in which they move; and a small town or a large village as a center of reorganization may be as valuable to each of them as Delhi, Lucknow, or Calpee to the larger armies. By this change, the war loses much of its interest; the movements of the various columns of insurgents cannot he followed up in detail and appear confused in the accounts; the operations of the British commanders, to a great extent, escape criticism, from the unavoidable obscurity enveloping the premises on which they are based; success or failure remain the only criterion, and they are certainly of all the most deceitful.

This uncertainty respecting the movements of the natives is already very great. After the taking of Lucknow, they retreated eccentrically — some south-east, some north-east, some north-west. The latter were the stronger body, and were followed by Campbell into Rohilcund. They had concentrated and re-formed at Bareilly; but when the British came up, they abandoned the place without resistance, and again retreated in different directions. Particulars of these different lines of retreat are not known. We only know that a portion went toward the hills on the frontiers of Nepaul, while one or more columns appear to have marched in the opposite direction, toward the Ganges and the Doab (the country between the Ganges and the Jumna). No sooner, however, had Campbell occupied Bareilly, than the insurgents, who had retreated in an easterly direction, effected a junction with some bodies on the Oude frontier and fell upon Shahjehanpore, where a small British garrison had been left; while further insurgent columns were hastening in that direction. Fortunately for the garrison, Brigadier Jones arrived with re-enforcements as early as the 11th of May, and defeated the natives; but they, too, were re-enforced by the columns concentrating on Shahjehanpore, and again invested the town on the 15th. On this day, Campbell, leaving a garrison in Bareilly, marched to its relief; but it was not before the 24th of May that he attacked them and drove them back, the various columns of insurgents which had cooperated in this maneuver again dispersing in different directions.

While Campbell was thus engaged on the frontiers of Rohilcund, Gen. Hope Grant marched his troops backward and forward in the South of Oude, without any result, except losses to his own force by fatigue under an Indian Summer’s sun. The insurgents were too quick for him. They were everywhere but where he happened to look for them, and when he expected to find them in front, they had long since again gained his rear. Lower down the Ganges, Gen. Lugard was occupied with a chase after a similar shadow in the district between Dinapore, Jugdespore and Buxar. The natives kept him constantly on the move, and, after drawing him away from Jugdespore, all at once fell upon the garrison of that place. Lugard returned, and a telegram reports his having gained a victory on the 26th. The identity of the tactics of these insurgents with those of the Oude and Rohilcund columns is evident. The victory gained by Lugard will, however, scarcely be of much importance. Such bands can afford to be beaten a good many times before they become demoralized and weak.

Thus, by the middle of May, the whole insurgent force of Northern India had given up warfare on a large scale, with the exception of the army of Calpee. This force, in a comparatively short time, had organized in that town a complete center of operations; they had provisions, powder and other stores in profusion, plenty of guns, and even founderies and musket manufactories. Though within 25 miles of Cawnpore, Campbell had left them unmolested: he merely observed them by a force on the Doab or western side of the Jumna. Generals Rose and Whitlock had been on the march to Calpee for a long while; at last Rose arrived, and defeated the insurgents in a series of engagements in front of Calpee. The observing force on the other side of the Jumna, in the mean time, had shelled the town and fort, and suddenly the insurgents evacuated both, breaking up this their last large army into independent columns. The roads taken by them are not at all clear, from the accounts received; we only know that some have gone into the Doab, and others toward Gwalior.

Thus the whole district from the Himalaya to the Bihar and Vindhya mountains, and from Gwalior and Delhi to Joruckpore and Dinapore, is swarming with active insurgent bands, organized to a certain degree by the experience of a twelve months war, and encouraged, amid a number of defeats, by the indecisive character of each, and by the small advantages gained by the British. It is true, all their strongholds and centers of operations have been taken from them; the greater portion of their stores and artillery are lost; the important towns are all in the hands of their enemies. But on the other hand, the British, in all this vast district, hold nothing but the towns, and of the open country, nothing but the spot where their movable columns happen to stand; they are compelled to chase their nimble enemies without any hope of attaining them; and they are under the necessity of entering upon this harassing mode of warfare at the very deadliest season of the year. The native Indian can stand the mid-day heat of his Summer with comparative comfort, while mere exposure to the rays of the sun is almost certain death to the European; he can march forty miles in such a season, where ten break down his northern opponent; to him even the hot rains and swampy jungles are comparatively innocuous, while dysentery, cholera, and ague follow every exertion made by Europeans in the rainy season or in swampy neighborhoods. We are without detailed accounts of the sanitary condition of the British army; but from the comparative numbers of those struck by the sun and those hit by the enemy in Gen. Rose’s army, from the report that the garrison of Lucknow is sickly, that the 38th regiment arrived last Autumn above 1,000 strong, now scarcely numbers 550, and from other indications we may draw the conclusion that the Summer’s heat, during April and May, has done its work among the newly-imported men and lads who have replaced the bronzed old Indian soldiers of last year’s campaign. With the men Campbell has, he cannot undertake the forced marches of Havelock nor a siege during the rainy season like that of Delhi. And although the British Government are again sending off strong re-enforcements, it is doubtful whether they will be sufficient to replace the wear and tear of this Summer’s campaign against an enemy who declines to fight the British except on terms most favorable to himself.

The insurgent warfare now begins to take the character of that of the Bedouins of Algeria against the French; with the difference that the Hindoos are far from being so fanatical, and that they are not a nation of horsemen. This latter is important in a flat country of immense extent. There are plenty of Mohammedans among them who would make good irregular cavalry; still the principal cavalry nations of India have not joined the insurrection so far. The strength of their army is in the infantry, and that arm being unfit to meet the English in the field, becomes a drag in guerrilla warfare in the plain; for in such a country the sinew of desultory warfare is irregular cavalry. How far this want may be remedied during the compulsory holiday the English will have to take during the rains, we shall see. This holiday will, altogether, give the natives an opportunity of reorganizing and recruiting their forces. Beside the organization of cavalry, there are two more points of importance. As soon as the cold weather sets in, guerrilla warfare alone will not do. Centers of operation, stores, artillery, intrenched camps or towns, are required to keep the British busy until the cold season is over; otherwise the guerrilla warfare might be extinguished before the next Summer gives it fresh life. Gwalior appears to be, among others, a favorable point, if the insurgents have really got hold of it. Secondly, the fate of the insurrection is dependent upon its being able to expand. If the dispersed columns cannot manage to cross from Rohilcund into Rajpootana and the Mahratta country; if the movement remains confined to the northern central district, then, no doubt, the next Winter will suffice to disperse the bands, and to turn them into dacoits, which will soon be more hateful to the inhabitants than even the palefaced invaders.

 

 

 

Frederick Engels

Po and Rhine

in late February and early March 1859

 

 

Marx - Engels

Lessons of the U.S. Civil War

1861

(thanks to MIA)

 

 

Frederick Engels

The International Workingmen's Association

The Prussian Military Question and the German Workers' Party

between the end of January and February 12, 1865

 

NOTES

On The Franco-Prussian War

1870/71

 

Engels to Marx
In London

September 4, 1870;
Source: Marx and Engels Correspondence, International Publishers (1968)

 

September 4, 1870

“Was schert mich Weib, was schert mich Kind,
Ich trage höhres Verlangen;
Lass sie betteln gehn, wenn sie hungrig sind-
Mein Kaiser, mein Kaiser gefangen!”

[What care I for wife or child,
I have higher yearnings;
if they are hungry let them go and beg –
My Emperor, my Emperor is a captive!]

World history is surely the greatest of poets, it has even succeeded in parodying Heine. My Emperor, my Emperor a captive! And of the “stinking Prussians,” what is more. And poor William stands by and assures everybody for the hundredth time that he is really quite innocent of the whole business and that it is a pure act of God. William appears just like the schoolboy: “Who created the world?” “Please teacher, I did – but indeed I will never do it again.”

And then the miserable Jules Favre comes along with the proposal that Palikao, Trochu and a few Arcadians shall form the government. There never was such a lousy crew. But all the same it is to be expected now that when this becomes known in Paris something or other will happen. I cannot believe that this douche of news, which must surely be known to-day or to-morrow, will produce no effect. Perhaps a government of the Left, which after some show of resistance will conclude peace.

The war is at an end. There is no more army in France. As soon as Bazaine has capitulated, which will no doubt happen this week, half the German army will move in front of Paris and the other half across the Loire to sweep the country of all armed detachments....

The Alsace swindle – apart from its purely Teutonic features – is mainly of a strategical nature and aims at getting the line of the Vosges and German Lorraine as border-country. (Language frontier: If you draw a straight line from Donon or Schirmeck in the Vosges to one hour east of Longwy, where the Belgian – Luxemberg and French frontiers meet, it is almost exactly the language frontier; and from Donon down the Vosges to the Swiss frontier.) Northwards from Donon the Vosges are not so high and steep as in the South. Only the asses of the Staatsanzeiger and Brass and Co. could suppose that France will be “throttled” by the snipping off of this narrow strip with its one and a quarter million or so inhabitants. The screams of the philistines for “guarantees” are altogether absurd, but they tell because they suit the rubbish of the Court people.... In Saarbrücken the French did as much damage as they could. Of course the bombardment only lasted a few hours and not as in Strasbourg day and night for weeks. ...

Herewith I return Cacadou’s[1] letter with thanks. Very interesting.

... The defence of Paris, if nothing extraordinary happens in the course of it, will be an entertaining episode. These perpetual little panics of the French – which all arise from fear of the moment when they will really have to learn the truth – give one a much better idea of the Reign of Terror. We think of this as the reign of people who inspire terror; on the contrary, it is the reign of people who are themselves terrified. Terror consists mostly of useless cruelties perpetrated by frightened people in order to reassure themselves. I am convinced that the blame for the Reign of Terror in 1793 lies almost exclusively with the over-nervous bourgeois, demeaning himself as a patriot, the small petty bourgeois beside themselves with fright and the mob of riff-raff who know how to profit from the terror. These are just the classes in the present minor terror too.

... Best regards to all of you from all of us, including Jollymeyer [2] and Moore. [3]

Yours
FE

_______

Notes

1. A jocular nickname of Laura Lafargue – Progress Publishers.

2. A jocular nickname of Karl Schorlemmer (1834-1892), a prominent German chemist, adherent of dialectical materialism, professor at Manchester, member of German Social-Democratic Party, friend of Marx and Engels – Progress Publishers.

3. Samuel Moore (1830-1912) – English lawyer, member of First International, helped translate Capital into English, friend of Marx and Engels – Progress Publishers.

 

 

Engels to Marx
In London

September 12, 1870

 

If anything at all could be done in Paris, a rising of the workers before peace is concluded should be prevented. Bismarck will soon be in a position to make peace, either by taking Paris or because the European situation obliges him to put an end to the war. However the peace may turn out, it must be concluded before the workers can do anything at all. If they were victorious now--in the service of national defence--they would have to inherit the legacy of Bonaparte and of the present lousy Republic, and would be needlessly crushed by the German armies and thrown back another twenty years. They themselves can lose nothing by waiting. The possible changes of frontier are in any case only provisional and will be reversed again. To fight for the bourgeoisie against the Prussians would be madness. Whatever the government may be which concludes peace, the fact that it has done so will eventually make its existence impossible, and in internal conflicts there will not be much to fear from the army, returned home after imprisonment. After the peace all the chances will be more favourable to the workers than they ever were before. But will they not let themselves be carried away again under the pressure of the external attack, and proclaim the Social Republic on the eve of the storming of Paris? It would be appalling if as their last act of war the German armies had to fight out a battle with the Parisian workers at the barricades. It would throw us back fifty years and delay everything so much that everybody and everything would get into a false position--and the national hatred and the domination by phrases which would then arise among the French workers!

It is a damnably bad thing that in the present situation there are so few people in Paris who are ready to dare to see things as they really are. Where is one man there who even dares to think that France's active power of resistance is broken where this war is concerned, and that with it the prospects of repelling the invasion by a revolution fall to the ground too! Just because people do not want to hear the real truth I am afraid that things may still come to this. For the apathy of the workers before the fall of the Empire will no doubt have changed by now.

 

Frederick Engels

The Role of Force in History

1887

 

Marx and Engels

Letters On War and Military Science

1851 - 1891

Selected Correspondence

1846-1895

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

 



Engels to Marx. 3 April 1851

Engels to Joseph Weydemeyer. 19 June 1851

Marx to Engels. 23 September 1851

Engels to Marx. 26 September 1851

Engels to Marx. 7 May 1852

Engels to Joseph Weydemeyer. 12 April 1853

Marx to Engels. 2 June 1853

Marx to Engels. 14 December 1853

Marx to Engels. 25 January 1854

Engels to the Editor of The Daily News. 30 March 1854

Engels to Marx. 20 April 1854

Marx to Engels. 3 May 1854

Marx to Engels. 17 October 1854

Marx to Engels. 5 March 1856

Marx to Engels. 26 September 1856

Engels to Marx. 17 November 1856

Engels to Marx. 22 April 1857

Marx to Engels. 6 July 1857

Engels to Marx. 24 September 1857

Marx to Engels. 25 September 1857

Marx to Engels. 31 October 1857

Marx to Engels. 13 November 1857

Marx to Engels. 7 January 1858

Marx to Engels. 11 January 1858

Marx to Engels. 2 April 1858

Marx to Ferdinand Lassalle 4 February 1859

Marx to Ferdinand Lassalle 25 February 1859

Marx to Engels 25 February 1859

Marx to Engels 6 May 1859

Engels to Marx. 31 January 1860

Marx to Engels. May 7 1861

Engels to Marx. 12 June 1861

Marx to Engels. 1 July 1861

Marx to Engels. 6 March 1862

Marx to Engels. 28 April 1862

Engels to Marx. 5 May 1862

Engels to Marx. 23 May 1862

Marx to Engels. 27 May 1862

Engels to Marx. 30 July 1862

Marx to Engels. 2 August 1862

Marx to Engels. 7 August 1862

Marx to Engels. 10 September 1862

Engels to Marx. 17 February 1863

Marx to Engels. 6 July 1863

Marx to Engels. Aug 15 1863

Marx to Engels. 7 September 1864

Engels to Joseph Weydemeyer. 24 November 1864

Marx to Lion Philips. 29 November 1864

Engels to Rudolf Engels. 10 January 1865

Engels to Marx. 7 February 1865

Engels to Marx. 3 March 1865

Engels to Joseph Weydemeyer. 10 March 1865

Engels to Bebel. Dec 11 1884

Engels to Laura Lafargue. September 13 1886

Engels to Ion Nadejde. 4 January

Engels to Sorge. 7 January 1888

Engels to Victor Adler. 4 December 1889

Engels to Bebel. Sep 29 1891

Engels to Bebel. Oct 24 1891