Letter to Ludwig Kugelmann, December 12, 1868

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To Ludwig Kugelmann in Hanover

London, 12 December 1868[edit source]

Dear Friend,

I wanted to write to you at greater length, but am prevented from doing so by unforeseen external ‘business’. But do not let this keep you from taking up your pen again soon.

The letter from Freund (returned enclosed, with thanks) interested me greatly. It is high time for other people to come forward in Germany than the present ‘pillars’ of science.

I also return the portrait of Dietzgen. His biography is not quite what I had thought. But I always had a feeling he was ‘not a worker like Eccarius’. In fact, the sort of philosophical outlook he has worked out for himself demands a certain calmness and disposable time that the everyday workman does not enjoy. I have two very good workers living in New York, A. Vogt, a shoemaker, and Sigfrid Meyer, a mining engineer, both formerly from Berlin. A third worker who could give lectures on my book [Capital] is Lochner, a joiner (common working man), who has been here in London about 15 years.

Tell your dear wife that I never ‘suspected’ her of serving under Madame General Geck. I queried only in jest. Incidentally, the ladies cannot complain about the ‘International’, since it has appointed a lady, Madame Law, as a member of the General Council. Joking aside, very great progress was demonstrated at the last congress of the American ‘Labor Union’, inter alia, by the fact that it treated the women workers with full parity; by contrast, the English, and to an even greater extent the gallant French, are displaying a marked narrowness of spirit in this respect. Everyone who knows anything of history also knows that great social revolutions are impossible without the feminine ferment. Social progress may be measured precisely by the social position of the fair sex (plain ones included).

As far as the ‘settlement’ is concerned, there could never, from the outset, have been any question of my taking over a business before my book was finished. Otherwise I could long have extricated myself from any embarrassing situation. The fact is simply this — but strictly between us that, on the one hand, I made an arrangement with my family; on the other, Engels, without my knowledge, through agreement with his partner about his own income (he is leaving the business in June), has made a settlement for me, as a result of which, from next year, I shall be able to work in peace.

With best greetings.

K. M.