Letter to Karl Kautsky, April 1, 1895

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To Kautsky in Stuttgart

London, April 1, 1895[edit source]

Dear Baron,

Postcard received. To my astonishment I see in Votwärts! today an extract from my “Introduction,” printed without my prior knowledge[1] and trimmed in such a fashion that I appear as a peaceful worshipper of legality quand même[2]. So much the better that the whole thing is to appear now in the Neue Zeit so that this disgraceful impression will be wiped out. I shall give Liebknecht a good piece of my mind on that score and also, no matter who they are, to those who gave him the opportunity to misrepresent my opinion without even telling me a word about it.

Platter received with thanks. Of very minor importance, though the man is coming increasingly into line. If things go on like this, we soon shan’t be able to stir for all these professors. It is absolutely capital that J. Wolf should also have replied. I shall lay him alongside the others, together with Stiebeling and Loria. Sic transit gloria mundi.[3]

Kindest regards from one household to the other.


F. E.

We get two copies of Deutsche Worte, one for Freyberger and one for myself.

  1. On 30 March 1895 the newspaper Vorwärts carried the leading article ‘Wie man heute Revolutionen macht’ which cited, without prior consent from Engels, selected excerpts from his ‘Introduction’ to Marx’s work The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to 1850. The aim was to represent Engels as a protagonist of an exclusively peaceful takeover of political power by the working class.
    Shortly before the appearance of this work in a separate edition, the ‘Introduction’ had been published in the journal Die Neue Zeit (13. Jg., 1894/95, 2. Bd., Nr. 27, 28) in the same form as in the separate edition. The original version did not see print even after the threat of a new Anti-Socialist Law in Germany had been over.
  2. at any price
  3. Thus passes away the glory of the world (words from the ritual of the Pope’s inauguration.)