Marx-Engels Correspondence 1893

Engels to Sorge


Source: Marx Engels On Britain, Progress Publishers 1953;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

London, November 11, 1893

Read on the front page of to-day’s Workman’s Times the article by Autolycus (Burgess) about the Fabian Manifesto. These gentlemen, after having declared for years that the emancipation of the working-class can only be accomplished through the Great Liberal Party, after having decried all independent election activity of the workers in respect to Liberal candidates also as disguised Toryism and after having proclaimed the permeation of the Liberal Party by socialist principles as the sole life task of the Socialists, now declare that the Liberals are traitors, that nothing can be done with them and that in the next elections the workers should put up candidates of their own, regardless of Liberals or Tories, with the aid of 30,000 to be made available in the meantime by the Trade Unions, if these do the Fabians that favour, which they certainly won’t. It is a complete confession of sins committed by these overweening bourgeois, who would graciously deign to emancipate the proletariat from above if it would only be sensible enough to realise that such a raw, uneducated mass cannot alone emancipate itself and cannot achieve anything except by the grace of these clever lawyers, writers and sentimental old women. And now the first attempt of these gentry, which was announced with beating of drums and sounding of trumpets as destined to Cause the earth to tremble, has ended in so dismal a failure that they have to admit it themselves. That is the funny side of the story.