The Holy Family Chapter VI 3)

e) Final Defeat of Socialism

“The French set up a series of systems of how the mass should be organised, but they had to resort to fantasy because they considered the mass, as it is, to be usable material.”

Actually, the French and the English have proved, and proved in great detail, that the present social system organises the “mass as it is” and is therefore its organisation. Criticism, following the example of the Allgemeine Zeitung, disposes of all socialist and communist systems by means of the fundamental word “fantasy”. [57] Having thus shattered foreign socialism and communism, Criticism transfers its war-like operations to Germany.

“When the German Enlighteners suddenly found themselves disappointed in their hopes of 1842 and, in their embarrassment, did not know what to do, news of the recent French systems came in the nick of time. They were henceforth able to speak of raising the lower classes of the people and at that price they were able to dispense with the question whether they did not themselves belong to the mass, which is to be found not only in the lowest strata.”

Criticism has obviously so exhausted its entire provision of well meaning motives in the apologia for Bauer’s literary past that it can find no other explanation for the German socialist movement than the “embarrassment” of the Enlighteners in 1842. “Fortunately they received news of the recent French systems.” Why not of the English? For the decisive Critical reason that Herr Bauer received no news of the recent English systems through Stein’s book: Der Communismus und Socialismus des heutigen Frankreichs. This is also the decisive reason why only French systems ever exist for Criticism in all its talk about socialist systems.

The German Enlighteners, Criticism goes on to explain, committed a sin against the Holy Ghost. They busied themselves with the “lower classes of the people”, already in existence in 1842, in order to get rid of the question, which did not yet exist then, as to what rank they were destined to occupy in the Critical world system that was to be instituted in anno 1843: sheep or goat, Critical Critic or impure Mass, Spirit or Matter. But above all they should have thought seriously of the Critical salvation of their own souls, for of what profit is it to me if I gain the whole world, including the lower classes of the people, and suffer the loss of my own soul?

“But a spiritual being cannot be raised to a higher level unless it is altered, and it cannot be altered before it has experienced extreme resistance.”

Were Criticism better acquainted with the movement of the lower classes of the people it would know that the extreme resistance that they have experienced from practical life is changing them every day. Modern prose and poetry emanating in England and France from the lower classes of the people would show it that the lower classes of the people know how to raise themselves spiritually even without being directly overshadowed by the Holy Ghost of Critical Criticism.

“They,” Absolute Criticism continues to indulge in fancy, “whose whole wealth is the word ‘organisation of the mass'”, etc.

A lot has been said about “organisation of labour”, although even this “catchword” came not from the Socialists themselves but from the politically radical party in France, which tried to be an intermediary between politics and socialism.[58] But nobody before Critical Criticism spoke of “organisation of the mass” as of a question yet to be solved. It was proved, on the contrary, that bourgeois society, the dissolution of the old feudal society, is this organisation of the mass.

Criticism puts its discovery in quotation marks [Gänsefüsse (=goose-feet) is a German word for quotation marks]. The goose that cackled to Herr Bauer the watchword for saving the Capitol[59] is none but his own goose, Critical Criticism. It organised the mass anew by speculatively constructing it as the Absolute Opponent of the Spirit. The antithesis between spirit and mass is the Critical “organisation of society”, in which the Spirit, or Criticism, represents the organising work, the mass — the raw material, and history — the product.

After Absolute Criticism’s great victories over revolution, materialism and socialism in its third campaign, we may ask: What is the final result of these Herculean feats? Only that these movements perished without any result because they were still criticism adulterated by mass or spirit adulterated by matter. Even in Herr Bauer’s own literary past Criticism discovered manifold adulterations of criticism by the mass. But here it writes an apologia instead of a criticism, “places in safety” instead of surrendering; instead of seeing in the adulteration of the spirit by the flesh the death of the spirit too, it reverses the case and finds in the adulteration of the flesh by the spirit the life even of Bauer’s flesh. On the other hand, it is all the more ruthless and decisively terroristic as soon as imperfect criticism still adulterated by mass is no longer the work of Herr Bauer but of whole peoples and of a number of ordinary Frenchmen and Englishmen; as soon as imperfect criticism is no longer entitled Die Judenfrage, or Die gute Sache der Freiheit, or Staat, Religion und Parthei, but revolution, materialism, socialism or communism. Thus Criticism did away with the adulteration of spirit by matter and of criticism by mass by sparing its own flesh and crucifying the flesh of others.

One way or the other, the “spirit adulterated by flesh” or “Criticism adulterated by mass” has been cleared out of the way. Instead of this un-Critical adulteration, there appears absolutely Critical disintegration of spirit and flesh, criticism and mass, their pure opposition. This opposition in its world-historic form in which it constitutes the true historical interest of the present time, is the opposition of Herr Bauer and Co., or the Spirit, to the rest of the human race as Matter.

Revolution, materialism and communism therefore have fulfilled their historic mission. By their downfall they have prepared the way for the Critical Lord. Hosanna!