Letter to Friedrich Engels, July 22, 1859

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Author(s) Karl Marx
Written 22 July 1859


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Source: Marx-Engels Collected Works, Volume 40, p. 472;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.
Keywords : Letter, War, Proudhonism

To Engels in Manchester

[London,] 22 July 1859[edit source]

Dear Engels,

£3 received. Immediately paid out £2 to Hollinger and 15/- to Lessner. Out-of-town subscriptions are increasing (there are already 60) but are not payable until the end of the quarter and call for a weekly outlay on stamps. I am now convinced, 1. that there was a debt of about £7 of which I was not told before I left for Manchester; 2. that the advertisements (instead of £5, receipts were about 20/-) and Mr Scherzer’s London subscriptions — I have sacked him — were just a piece of private skulduggery. With proper management, which is now under way but whose results won’t make themselves felt for weeks to come, the advertisements alone will pay for the little sheet. Since more money is needed immediately, write to Dronke. If you tell the little man that for the time being the paper can only exist by party sacrifices and hence we are asking all party members to make such sacrifices, he can, if he wishes, get the letter printed. I am convinced that, within 6 weeks, the thing will be on a solid footing. But there can be no question of giving it up now that Gagern and Co., in short the entire 1848 gang, are again taking the stage. Thimm has asked us to put his name in the paper as our distributor in Manchester. I could not carry out my intention this week, for I was overcome by a kind of cholera as a result of the heat and was vomiting from morning till night. Being able to write again today, I have written for the Tribune, a glorious vindication of your military article, basing it on Francis Joseph’s and Bonaparte’s manifestos. The paper had been so much intimidated that it suppressed all your articles for a time. During my absence Blind was scheming to gain control of the Volk. I wrote him an exceedingly rude letter, which was followed by an interview. After that, however, there'll be no dunning the man for money for a while. Philistine Freiligrath hasn’t even paid his subscription, although pressed twice. Instead, when speaking to Mr Juch, he deprecated the ‘undignified’ tone of the Volk although he tells us that he is ‘delighted’ with it. *By and by we shall take our revenge upon these diplomatical fellows.*

You forgot to let me know whether you wish to do a review of my piece [Contribution to Political Economy]. There is great rejoicing among the fellows here. They imagine the thing’s a failure because they are ignorant of the fact that Duncker hasn’t even advertised it yet. Should you write something, don’t forget, 1. that it extirpates Proudhonism root and branch, 2. that the specifically social, by no means absolute, character of bourgeois production is analysed straight away in its simplest form, that of the commodity. Mr Liebknecht informed Biskamp that ‘never has a book disappointed him so much’, and Biskamp himself told me that he didn’t see ‘à quoi bon’ [what use it was]. Is Lupus back?

In your second article on the war you will not, I am sure, forget to stress the inadequate strength of the pursuit after victory had been won, and the pitiful whining of Bonaparte, who had at last got to the point where Europe did not, as hitherto, out of fear of revolution, permit him to play the old Napoleon within given limits. In this connection it would be pertinent to recall the 1796-97 campaign, when France was not able to take her time preparing all her resources for ‘a localised war’ but, with her finances completely disrupted, had to fight not only beyond the Rhine, but also beyond the Mincio and the Adige. Bonaparte is actually complaining that his ‘succès d'estime’ are now begrudged him.

Salut.

Your
K. M.

Can’t anything be got out of Heckscher?

Have you written to Duncker?

Ask Dronke to write for us as well.