Letter to Adolf Cluss, September 15, 1853

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Author(s) Karl Marx
Written 15 September 1853


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Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 39, p. 366;
First published: in full in: Marx and Engels, Works, 1962;
Printed according to: letter from Cluss to Weydemeyer of 3 October 1853.

To Adolf Cluss in Washington

[London,] 15 September 1853[edit source]

I have today received the latest number of the Reform containing your piece from Quebec, and Kellner’s apology of the self-same Poesche whose insipid would-be jokes about the ‘cranky’ proponents of the ‘class struggle’ appeared in the Neu-England-Zeitung of 3 September, which reached me at the same time. You started sending me extra copies of the Reform at the very time I began to get them again regularly; on the other hand, I haven’t been receiving the Tribune regularly and it is important that I should. For example, I haven’t got the article in which I refer to the exchange of diplomatic notes on Denmark or the article in which I characterise the relationships of landed property....

I think it is time you made a fresh start in the polemic and picked a few holes in the jejune arguments of Goepp-Poesche, discoverers of the material view though their materialism is that of the man-in-the-street. Our opponents are becoming uppish, something which could not have happened at least in the days of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung. That pedant Schläger, who more or [less] took to his heels at the time of the ’48 revolution and hawked his genius in America, still regularly sends me his N.-E.-Z, no doubt in order to demonstrate ad oculos [unmistakably] what fine fellows they are. Has there ever before been a rag in which stupidity and vanity were so nicely coupled with presumption?

Kellner is too much of a slow-coach, he seems unable to understand that polemics are essential to any journal as long as it has to struggle. On top of that he has an unfortunate proclivity always to praise his enemies 2 days before they regale him with kicks. Thus Heinzen and Poesche; the latter, by the by, used his sorry article on the circulation of money to convey the sort of information one gets from encyclopedias...

At any rate I find that things have begun to move sooner than I should have liked (I think the commercial downfall will begin in the spring as in 1847). I had always hoped that, before that happened, I might somehow contrive to withdraw into solitude for a few months and work at my Economy. It seems that this isn’t to be. I find perpetual hackwork for the newspapers tiresome. It is time-consuming, distracting and, in the end, amounts to very little. However independent one may think oneself, one is tied to the newspaper and its readers, especially when, like myself, one is paid in cash. Purely learned work is something totally different, and the honour of figuring beside an A.P.C., a lady correspondent and an archbishop is certainly not to be envied.

Carl Wilh. Klein (of Solingen, a working man) has asked me to put you in touch with him. His address is — - — He’s a capable chap. He set up a Working Men’s Association and, from what he tells me in his letter, the Gradaus has come under its influence. Pieper writes to him from here and, if you can possibly find the time, you must give him support from Washington.

Papa Blind is continuing his ...[Insertion by Cluss: illegible] articles with much fervour in the N.-E.-Z. and congratulates himself and his editor and vice versa on the unexampled achievements which cannot fail to inspire respect in Brüggemann of the Kölnische Zeitung.

Only a few lines today. Events there have been none, if you except the onset of cholera morbus in London.

Your
K. M.