Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860


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Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Volume 92 , Issue July Pages Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Old Password. New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed. Returning user. Request Username Can't sign in? His influence is felt through other personalities.

Revolutionary Refugees by Christine Lattek (ebook)

Rich men made him editor, voila tout there you have it all, tr. Indeed, rich men who make sacrifices have a right to see or have investigations made into what they want to support. They have the power to assert this right, but the writer also has this power, no matter how poor he is, not to sacrifice his convictions for money. I am capable of sacrificing my conviction for the sake of unity.

I put aside my work on my system when I received protests against it from all directions. But when I heard in Brussels that the opponents of my system intended to publish splendid systems in well-financed translations, I completed mine and made an effort to bring it to the man Karl Marx. If this is not supported, then it is entirely in order to make an examination.

Jackass that I was, I had hitherto believed that it would be better if we used all our own qualities against our enemies and encouraged especially those that bring forth persecutions in the struggle.

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I had thought it would be better to influence the people, and, above all, to organise a portion of them for the propagation of our popular writings. But Marx and Engels do not share this view, and in this they are strengthened by their rich supporters. All right! Very good! Weitling soon left for the United States, from where he was not to return till the Revolution.

Engels had at first put great faith in Kriege and had recommended him to Marx. When Kriege arrived in London shortly after he had joined the League of the Just. He brought out a paper called Volks-Tribun to support this move. There he wrote of a vague communism based on brotherly love. On hearing of this Marx and Engels were quite rightly appalled. What was disturbing about this was the viciousness of the attack, which was highly vitriolic and personalised. Kriege is still young and can still learn. Another member of the League, Joseph Weydemeyer wrote that there was 'widespread regret that you have again got involved in such polemics'.

Marx and Engels now set up a Workers Educational Society in Brussels, modelled on the London organisation of the same name animated by Schapper. They gradually built up contacts in Britain, Germany, France and Switzerland, gathering those of like mind round them. They then decided to set up an international organisation, to create cells in Brussels, Paris and London. It seems likely that this, the second attempt at an international, was at the initiative of the London group around Schapper.

These groups were to set up correspondence committees to maintain links with other communist groups. These became known as the Communist Correspondence Committees. It would appear that the preparatory work for these committees had already been put into place by the middle of and that Joseph Moll, who came to Brussels to invite Marx and Engels to join the League of the Just, was acting as a representative of the Communist Correspondence Committee in London.

The London group of the League of the Just had answered favourably to the idea of increased communication between communists and made clear that they had broken with the conspiratorial tactics of the Blanquists and the outlook of Weitling, which sought to rouse the masses through spiritual inspiration.

However, they warned against the vicious denunciations that Marx had made against Weitling and Kriege and emphasised that correspondence between communists was to encourage ideas not to curb political debate. Later they wrote another letter where they stated:. After Marx had been persuaded by Moll that most of the London group had broken with the ideas of Weitling, a Congress was decided upon at the initiative of the Brussels Committee. For his part, Engels, active in the Paris Committee, used all the wiles of a politician to persuade those who had not broken completely with Weitling.

He was accused of embezzling francs on flimsy grounds by Marx and Engels. As a result only 30 members of the League were left in Paris. Only two members survived in one Paris group of the League. The campaign against Hess did not proceed so well in Paris. The League of the Just had been decimated. The projected Congress convened in London in , without the presence of Marx, but with the participation of Engels. There were few delegates.

The Communist League was a new organisation. These made up into districts with their own committees. These leading districts answered to a central committee. The central committee itself was not elected by the conference of the League. Its powers were delegated to the district committee of any city appointed by the conference as the seat of the central committee. So a district thus designated would elect a central committee of at least 5 members.

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Marx and Engels suggest that the Communist League was the direct successor of the League of the Just, and its predecessor the League of Outlaws. We have seen that this is not completely true. They also give the impression that the lineage of these organisations was one of centralist organisation. But the central committee of the League of the Just was not just elected but broadly controlled by the membership as a whole.

This arrangement was convenient for the perpetuation of a ruling clique. The congress also decided to work on a programme for the League, and each district was to offer its own project at the next congress. Further, a paper was to be produced. Only one pioneer edition appeared. It was the first paper that openly proclaimed itself communist on the masthead. It was mostly written by London members of the League.

It quite correctly argued against Cabet, who was encouraging people to emigrate to America to found communist colonies there.


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It urged people to remain in Europe and fight for the establishment of communism there. The paper also distinguished its communism from those of Weitling and the French groups. A second congress was held, at the end of with Marx present this time. There were days of violent disagreement over a programme it appears both Engels and Marx had drafted separate proposals.

The Paris groups had commissioned Hess to write a text, approving this by a large majority. It should be remarked upon that the Manifesto commissioned by the League took a considerable time to write.

Christine Lattek, Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840–1860

Marx and Engels argue in the Manifesto for a working class revolution in stages. Political power would be captured, all banks would be amalgamated into one State bank, and the means of production, transport and credit would also be controlled by the State. As Bakunin was to later comment: This revolution will consist of the expropriation, either successive or violent of the actual landowners and capitalists, and in the appropriation of all the lands and all of capital by the State, which, so that it can fulfil its great economic as well as political mission, must necessarily be very powerful and very strongly concentrated.

The State will administer and direct the cultivation of the land by means of its appointed engineers commanding armies of rural workers, organised and disciplined for this cultivation. During the first months of Marx was an enthusiastic supporter of the section of the bourgeoisie that was struggling for democratic rights. At the same time, he had contempt for the democratic leaders, unlike some other members of the League, who admired their heroism and military capabilities see Lattek. He clashed with Doctor Andreas Gottschalk and his grouping the Workers Association in Cologne for separating the proletariat from the democratic bourgeois camp.

Gottschalk and co. He accused this group of isolating itself from the struggle. The agitation of Gottschalk and his circle had increased the size of the Workers Society to 5, members.


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Finding himself in a minority, Marx first of all dissolved the Central Committee. Despite the Cologne group being a section of the Communist League, he set up a rival organisation, the Democratic Association and launched an electoral campaign for the Frankfurt Parliament, supporting a dubious left candidate. In June of the same year, he and Engels set up a daily paper the Neue Rheinische Zeitung: organ of democracy.

There was not a word of the antagonism between the democracy of the bourgeoisie and the communism of the proletariat, and nothing about the immediate economic problems of the workers as the paper of the Workers Society was quick to point out. During all of this, the Communist League was dropped and allowed to fizzle out.

The misery of the worker, the hunger of the poor has for you only a scientific, a doctrinaire interest You do not believe in the revolt of the working people, whose rising flood begins already to prepare the destruction of capital, you do not believe in the permanence of the revolution, you do not even believe in the revolution. Devoid of notions of class struggle, he believed in a peaceful transition to communism.

The German bourgeoisie signally failed in its endeavours to bring about a revolution for democracy and Marx was obliged to break with the bourgeois democrats in April and resurrect the Communist League. It had been a complete debacle for Marx and Engels. The Poles were only useful as long as they fought against Russian despotism. After they had fulfilled this task, they would have to be relegated to the second division of nations doomed to extinction. In a totally inaccurate prediction, Engels foresaw the extinction of the Czechs and Slovaks and the South Slavs. Chillingly, he saw these nations as backwards and obsolete.

The Magyar struggle, 13th January He was to support a war against Denmark by Germany in because it would strengthen the German nation and German democracy. Ending up in London later in the year, Marx formed an alliance with French Blanquist exiles and the revolutionary wing of Chartism to set up a Universal Society of Revolutionary Communists. The idea had come from Julian Harney, the communist Chartist leader. With Engels, he drafted an Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League in refuting the opportunistic tactic of , wrongly believing that a proletarian social revolution was about to break out, and developing the need for a Permanent Revolution until communism had been achieved.

They linked to this the need for a dictatorship of the proletariat, a concept which had been invented by Blanqui inspired by the Babouvists. But soon Marx took a turn away from revolutionary activity, stating that no revolution was possible for the present because of the economic recovery. Further, a coming revolution did not just depend on another trade crisis, which he had seen as the cause of the Revolutions, but a massive development of the productive forces. Worse was to follow. Schramm attacked him with the coarsest invective, and finally challenged him to a duel…. If this happens, then the disgusting intrigues and the mean gossip which Marx and Co.

The duel was fought and Schramm was injured. This resulted in outrage against Marx. He was expelled from the German aid committee and from the Workers Educational Association. Harney had originally insisted that Willich be involved in the Universal Society. He refused to take sides now.

Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860 Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860
Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860 Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860
Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860 Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860
Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860 Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860
Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860 Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860
Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860 Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860
Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860 Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860
Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860 Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860
Revolutionary Refugees: German Socialism in Britain, 1840-1860

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