Marx Engels Correspondence 1891

Friedrich Engels to José Mesa

Source: Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Correspondence (Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1975). Scanned and prepared for the Marxist Internet Archive by Paul Flewers.

24 March 1891 [1]

My dear Mesa

We have learned with great pleasure from your letter of the 2nd inst that your Spanish translation of Marx’s Misère de la Philosophie [2] is about to be published. Of course we readily approve of this enterprise. It will certainly have a most favourable effect on the development of socialism in Spain.

The Proudhonian theory, whose foundations were demolished by Marx’s book, disappeared from the scene after the fall of the Paris Commune. But it is still the great arsenal from which the middle-class radicals and pseudo-socialists of Western Europe procure the phrases with which they lull the workers to sleep. And as the workers of these countries have inherited similar Proudhonist phrases from their predecessors the phraseology of the radicals still strikes a responsive chord among many of them. That is the case in France where the only Proudhonists still in existence are the middle-class radicals or republicans who call themselves Socialists. And if I am not mistaken you too have in your Cortés and in your press republicans of this type who call themselves Socialists because they see in the Proudhonian ideas a quite suitable means of opposing an adulterated middle-class socialism to true socialism, the rational and valid expression of the aspirations of the proletariat.

Fraternal greetings
F Engels


1. José Mesa y Leompart (1840-1904) – Spanish printing worker, prominent figure in working-class and socialist movement of Spain, one of organisers of First International’s Section in Spain, active fighter against anarchism, one of founders of Spanish Socialist Workers Party (1879), translated a number of Marx and Engels’ works into Spanish – Progress Publishers.

2. Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy.