Marx-Engels Correspondence 1878
Source: MECW Volume 45, p. 304;
First published: in Marx and Engels, Works, 2nd Russian Edition, Moscow, 1981.
I have, though somewhat belatedly, obtained Volume IV (Industrieactien) of the Saling, to which you so kindly drew my attention. I did not wish to reply to your letter until I had at length had time to run through the thing, and have found it very useful.
I have tried, without success, to obtain via the booksellers the second volume of Glagau (it has probably been banned), and also Rudolph Meyer’s book [Politische Gründer und die Corruption in Deutschland] on account of which he has been prosecuted. Since the said Meyer has cited me in court as a competent witness to the ‘scholarship’ of his work he ought, if only for decency’s sake, to have sent it me to look at.
Finally, I have one more thing to ask of you, namely to be so kind, provided it is not too time-consuming, as to let me have a list of the names of Perrot’s published writings on the subject of joint-stock companies, etc.
From Petersburg Mr Kaufman has sent me (Russian text) his bulky tome on the Theory and Practice of Banks, likewise his History of the Bank of England etc. So far I have only read the first-named. Written in a ‘high-falutin’ style, with considerable self-important pretensions to absolute ‘scholarship’, it is an enthusiastic apology for the economy of Gründung and swindling. Yet such writings are most beneficial, for the apology, in so far as it has any real content, and all unbeknown to its author, ends up by demonstrating for good or ill, and contrary to the moralising philistine, the correlation between the necessary product of the present system of production itself and what your philistine condemns as ‘abuse’, ‘malpractice’, etc.
I used to subscribe to the Frankfurter Zeitung, but do so no longer because of its ‘Swiss’ standpoint which alone can account for its lunatic flights of fancy on the subject of the oriental imbroglio. But now a friend of mine in Germany is persecuting me by occasionally sending me what he believes to be an interesting issue of the paper. From what little (but nevertheless still ‘over-much’) that has thus come my way, it seems to me that a marked change isoccurring in the line taken by the paper. Is this the case, or is it not? Has Mr Sonnemann shifted further to the ‘right’?
I trust that you are having better weather than we are. Since my return from Germany in mid-September I have suffered from a permanent cough, etc.
With kindest regards I am, Sir,