Sunday, November 12, 2017

Carrillo spells it out (1977)

From the October 1977 issue of the Socialist Standard

The Socialist Standard of August 1918 dealt with the Bolshevik seizure of power by making quite clear that this was not—and could not be—a Socialist revolution. Both the essential prerequisites—social production for abundance of wealth and a majority of the people understanding and wanting Socialism — were lacking. We were almost alone in this view. Sixty years later, after incalculable damage has been done to the cause of Socialism a report in the Guardian (June 30) quotes the leader of the Spanish Communist Party as saying: “Russia is not socialist and the Communist Party is not Marxist”.

We are asking the working class to learn the lesson of history, which is to reject the advice of “superior intellectuals” and act on the principle enunciated by Marx before Lenin was born: “The emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself.” How much more will the workers endure before they “do their own thing”? For whatever Carrillo and the other so-called Euro-communists like Marchais of France and Berlinguer of Italy may admit in their current schism with Russia, the last thing they will suggest is that the workers should reject all leaders—including them. And although Carillo tries to keep the Stalinist witch La Pasionaria out of sight she has been made the titular President of the party and is now MP for Oviedo.

Carrillo now actually calls the Kremlin a Church and the CP of the USSR the Inquisition—and in Spain that passes for a damning criticism. But what is it all worth? The real crux of the matter is that Carrillo's supporters have no raison d’etre if they cut themselves off from the Kremlin (could their British comrades run the Morning Star if the Kremlin stops paying for many thousand copies a day for export to the dustbins of Eastern Europe?). The largest leftist party in Spain, which ran a manifesto appealing to all classes of society including industrialists, stands for all the reforms and nationalization programmes that any non-Socialist could wish for. While Carrillo, publicly proclaims his loyalty to the Bourbon king and the capitalist flag.
L. E. Weidberg

Russia: Socialism or State Capitalism? (1977)

From the November 1977 issue of the Socialist Standard

One of the permanent discussions within the “left” has been about Russia. Is it socialist? or is it the same sort of society as exists elsewhere? Since the Russian Revolution of 1917 the Socialist Party of Great Britain has always argued that what had to happen in Russia was the development of capitalism. It has been capitalism with the difference that, unlike in Western Europe and the USA where capital is largely owned and controlled by a minority of private capitalists, in Russia it is owned by the State. There is state capitalism.

What is the State? It is the machinery for imposing the rule of one class over another, i.e. government, law, armed forces, police, prisons etc. Where there are no classes dividing society, where there is freedom, there will be no State. The existence of a Slate in Russia means that it is a class-divided society.

Socialist society will be very different. There will be no State, because social relationships will be based on mutual cooperation and not on coercion. It will be a world society free of the problems and limitations of the profit economy. This is the Marxist conception of Socialism. The common, mistaken idea of Socialism is a sort of utopian capitalism where the working class control their own exploitation. Such an idea is absurd, as the essence of capitalism is the subordination of wage-labour to capital. It is because of this misconception that the “left” have experienced such difficulties in understanding what has taken place in Russia.

The Communist Party of Great Britain, though it is now falling apart, still holds on to the claim that Russia is an example of Socialism in practice. On another side, the Socialist Workers’ Party asserts that there was Socialism in Russia until Stalin came to power, but then it suddenly took a turn for the worse and went back to being capitalism. Others, such as the International Marxist Group, argue that Russia did have Socialism, but it degenerated under Stalin and is now neither Socialism nor capitalism but a “degenerate workers’ state”—which can only be defined by saying what it isn’t. If the CP line that Russia is socialist is hard to understand in the light of the last sixty years, it is even harder to grasp the Trotskyist line that suddenly in 1926 Stalin came along and changed Russia overnight from a socialist democracy to a capitalist dictatorship. In fact, the history of Russia does not bear out such a theory.

Capitalism in the Soviet Union was not a “Stalin phenomenon", as it has been called, but an inevitable result of the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917. Marx, by whose theories some of the leading revolutionaries are supposed to have been influenced, wrote in the Preface to The Critique of Political Economy:
No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces, for which there is room in it, have been developed; and new, higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society.
This is why the Mensheviks argued before 1917 that Socialism could not be established in Russia but that capitalism had to be developed first.

It can be argued that such a formulation was too simple. Marx’s statement applied to the world system of international capitalism and not to a single backward country in isolation. Until the death of Lenin it was assumed in Russia that
in one country it is impossible to accomplish such a work as a socialist revolution. (Lenin, November 1920.)
Even Stalin, in 1925, laid down that
for the definitive triumph of socialism the organisation of socialist production, the efforts of one country alone are not enough, particularly of an essentially rural country like Russia; the efforts of the proletarians of several advanced countries are needed . . . (The Theory and Practice of Leninism.)
Because the revolution had taken place in a backward country with a small working class there was only one course: to develop capitalism. But here was a problem. The Bolsheviks had won their support from the proletariat of Moscow and Petrograd and claimed to stand for its interest. Marxism argues that capitalism cannot be made to operate in the interests of the workers. And so the Bolsheviks began to tread the path already taken by the Labour Party in Britain, which led to trying to be the friend of the workers and their exploiter at the same time. How true was Engels’s statement:
The worst that can befall the leader of an extremist party is to be compelled to take over the government at a time when the moment is not yet ripe for the rule of the class he represents . . .  He finds himself necessarily in an insoluble political dilemma: what he can do is in conflict with his entire previous attitudes, his principles, and the immediate interests of the party; what he is supposed to do cannot be done . . .  he is compelled to represent not his party, his class, but the class for the rule of which the movement happens to be ripe. For the sake of that movement he must act for the interests of an alien class, and must feed his own class with phrases and promises along with the assertion that the interests of that alien class are really their own. He who gets himself into that false position is irredeemably lost.
(The Peasant War in Germany)
When the Bolsheviks first gained power they attempted to establish what is today known as “workers’ participation” by means of the Troika. Socialists see schemes to "give workers a say in management” as efforts to mask the class struggle. The builders of capitalism in Russia in the 1920s found trade-union interference inconvenient, and by 1935 the Troika had given way to industrial management similar to that which existed in the rest of Europe. Indeed, one text-book on Soviet industrial law stated:
One-man management is the most important principle of the organisation of socialist economy.
(Gintsburg & Pashukanis)
Soon after the suppression of the Troika came the legal prohibition of effective trade-unionism in Russia. Trade-union organization for the defence of wages and working conditions has existed in Britain since the last century, and socialists have always acknowledged its importance in the industrial class struggle. In state-capitalist Russia trade unions exist, but as extensions of State power over the workers. Immediately after the Revolution strikes were permissible: in 1922 there were 192,000 workers on strike in state-owned enterprises, in 1923 165,000, in 1924 43,000, in 1925 34,000, in 1926 32,900, in 1927 20,000 and in 1928 8,900. Since 1929 no official strike has ever taken place in the Soviet Union. Between 1932 and 1949 the Russian Trade Union Congress did not even convene.

When these facts are presented to members of the Russia-idolizing Communist Party of Great Britain they are likely to admit that it is all quite true, but deceptive. The fact of the matter, they will say, is that Russian workers have no need to go on strike against the State because they control it through the Soviets. Do they?

One of the Bolshevik revolutionary slogans was “All power to Soviets”. The Soviets were local councils through which delegates of the village or workplace were to be democratically accountable to the local people. The Soviets were headed nationally, until 1937, by the Congress of Soviets, which met five times in 1918, yearly from 1919 to 1932, and then not until 1935. After 1937 it was replaced by the Supreme Soviet. From 1937 to 1953 every decision of the Supreme Soviet was carried unanimously, nor was there ever a single abstention or a speech in opposition. In fact the Supreme Soviet is merely a rubber-stamp for the dictatorial leadership of the Russian Communist Party. For example, the first Five Year Plan began in October 1928 but was not given permission to go ahead by “the highest authority in the land” until April 1929.

Since there is no democracy in organization at the top in Russia, what about the bottom? Not much democracy there either. The local Soviets are totally dominated by Communist Party officials (usually full-time party bureaucrats) who are there to ensure that the Soviets approve all decisions which are made at a higher level. Elections to the Soviets are undemocratic: there is never more than one candidate standing for each place. The vote for that one candidate is invariably in the region of 98 per cent. Indeed, one book describes how in 1947 a candidate polled 104 per cent, in the election to his local Soviet by gaining 2,122 votes in a constituency which had only 1,617 voters. That candidate was Joseph Stalin!

Democratic Soviets never have and never will run capitalist Russia. “The dictatorship of the proletariat” is a myth. There is the dictatorship of the Communist Party. That is what the CP stands for in Britain. The Russian rulers use political power in the interests of capitalism.

In supporting and excusing a capitalist dictatorship, the Communist Party shows quite clearly which side of the class struggle it is on. The Trotskyists, while sensibly refusing to accept Russia as an example of Socialism, try to find ways of showing that it is not capitalism either. The reason for this is that they are taking the same road as the Bolsheviks took: calling for armed struggle, believing that workers are unable to understand Socialism, committing themselves to conspiratorial leadership rather than the democratic struggle. And the same road inevitably leads to the same destination. That is the dilemma of the left. For the Socialist Party of Great Britain, which rejects Leninist Bolshevism, the road to Socialism is not littered with nasty examples of past mistakes.
Steve Coleman

Obituary: Dick Jacobs (1977)

Obituary from the December 1977 issue of the Socialist Standard

It is with deep regret that we report the death on 11th October of Comrade Dick Jacobs. For four and a half years he had suffered a debilitating illness, which he bore bravely with the help of his wife and family. During his moments of lucidity he would sing old Party songs, and he still remembered many members by name.

He first came in contact with the Party during the Great Depression, in East London. He moved to South Wales at the outbreak of the 1939-45 war, and put in years of work to get a branch established at Swansea. In the 1960s he returned to south-east England and became secretary of the Southend branch. Eventually he and his family moved to Poole, where he died.

The writer first met Dick Jacobs during the war years at the Mannesmann Tube Works in Swansea. His comments were in line with my own thoughts; one realized that his outlook and knowledge were something different from those of workers moulded in the orthodox political ideologies. In a bombing raid we sat together in a shelter, and in a lengthy discussion I was given some understanding of the socialist case. The next stage was a series of discussions at Dick’s home, and I realized that there was an established political party which stood for the principles I had held for many years. These informal discussions led to my joining the Party. Later we contacted others, and the first SPGB branch in Wales was formed.

As a person Dick was kind and compassionate, a gentle-man in the best sense of the term. Like all socialists he had a number of political enemies, but he did not have a personal one: it was impossible to dislike him. He will be missed by all the Swansea and London comrades who knew him in earlier years. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife and family.
Phil Mellor


Exhibition Review: Wyndham Lewis - Life, Art, War (2017)

Exhibition Review from the November 2017 issue of the Socialist Standard
Vorticism is sometimes seen as Britain’s only avant-garde art movement. It was founded in 1914 by Wyndham Lewis (1882–1957), who is now the subject of a sizeable retrospective at the Imperial War Museum North in Salford Quays, on until the end of the year.
The First World War inevitably limited the spread and impact of Vorticism, and Lewis himself fought in an artillery regiment before becoming an official war artist. After the war he produced a variety of art works, together with a series of books (novels, criticism, polemics), most long out of print. He seems to have been a contrarian with a rather prickly personality, and he disliked privileged cliques such as the Bloomsbury Set. He was vehemently against Bolshevism, and his experiences in WW1 made him very much opposed to war. Unfortunately, these considerations led him to some sympathies for Nazi Germany and to describing Hitler as ‘a man of peace’. He changed his mind on these matters after visiting Germany in 1937, but by that time he had already made himself rather unpopular in many cultural circles.
Many of Lewis’s paintings from WW1, however, contain significant and perceptive comments on the fighting. Drawings from 1918 show violence and death, with soldiers reduced to the status of machines. His 1919 picture ‘A Battery Shelled’ is an impressive work which depicts dehumanised figures running for cover as the shells rain down, while three more realistically-depicted men watch or simply ignore what is going on. This was considered too controversial to be an appropriate memorial painting, and it was passed from the Imperial War Museum to the Tate.

A Battery Shelled (1919)
‘The Surrender of Barcelona’ (1936) refers to the city being captured by Spanish forces in the fifteenth century, but surely relates to the Spanish Civil War as well. ‘Inferno’, dating from 1937, is a pessimistic presentation of corpses and the flames of hell, as Lewis combines his hatred of war with an expectation that another large conflagration is approaching.
The IWM publicity describes Lewis as ‘Britain’s original rebel artist’, and he did set up the short-lived Rebel Art Centre. Despite his  – to say the least – dubious political views, many of his paintings undermine the role of official war artist and reveal both the boredom and the horror of war.           
Paul Bennett


A Letter from Russia (1936)

From the January 1936 issue of the Socialist Standard
(The letter below is translated from “Here sulo," an Esperanto journal published in Paris. The letter is dated November 15th, 1935, and is written from Russia. Owing to the savage repression of Socialist and other opponents of the Communist Party, the name and address of the writer are not given. The letter is useful as a reminder that independent views still gain expression in spite of the Dictatorship.')
Although I do not doubt that you certainly have sent me “heretical" literature, yet, if by chance this letter reaches you, it will show that I have received nothing from you for the past two months— absolutely nothing. I should like to pour out my indignation concerning this grave-like home of orthodoxy in which I am compelled to live—with a mask over my face. You will understand that the more indignant one may be, the more necessary it is outwardly to exhibit approval of the regime, and to cry loudly on every occasion, “Long Live Stalin the Great!” But this pouring out of indignation would avail nothing, and I know that you prefer concrete, exact facts and figures.

Therefore, you will find on the other side a table, which I compiled from the most trustworthy sources and which relates to prices at the beginning of October. You can prepare a similar table of prices in Paris, and in that way will be able to judge the standard of living of the Soviet working-class as it is eighteen years after its “emancipation.” [This table, and a similar one compiled for France, are excluded for reasons of space. They show that average wages in Russia will buy much less food than can be bought by average wages in France. The comparison is, however, incomplete, because it does not take into account the low rents in Russia and the services provided free of cost.— Editorial Committee.]

However, I cannot refrain from saying that this low standard of living is not the worst side of our “socialist" regime; at least, so far as I myself am concerned. In the main, I long for freedom of speech and of meeting; I am sick to death with. “officialism." But— and that possibly will be the most terrible news to you — more and more people here lose the desire for liberty: the new generation does not even understand what liberty means to you and me. Its chief care and desire is only to follow precisely the instructions from the Kremlin.

In the schools they are shamelessly reintroducing the old, traditional method of teaching, with strict discipline for the scholars. And it will appear to you very characteristic that there is great agitation to put all the scholars into uniforms. Soon our schools will be like barracks. In the Army also, discipline becomes more and more strict. Recently, they even re-established the old ranks, so that “Comrade" Vorosilov is now a Marshal! In every way they popularise him by means of articles and pictures. On the specimen postcard accompanying this letter you can admire his fat, jovial and self-satisfied face, and his breast decorated with eight orders.

What also characterises our present rĂ©gime is the widespread campaign of so-called “udamiks," whose task is to speed-up production and secure a record output.

The new kind of exploitation under our State capitalism has reached such a degree that in some places workers, in their resentment, have attacked these record-breakers. Of course, the result has been that the suppression has been intensified. I knew working conditions in Czarist times, and can assure you that the working-class were less driven then than now (literally “their sweat was more precious then than now ”).

Not only was their sweat more precious, but their lives also. With regard to that, judge for yourself from the following information, which is printed in black and white in Izvestia, on November 10th, 1935. Nozdrin, a railway conductor, was condemned to death and executed because he caused a collision between two trains. Note that no lives were lost, and that the accident occurred between goods trains. Under the Czarist regime such a monstrous punishment would not have been possible, nor, I am sure, would it be possible in any other country. Our technical experts are more heartless than aristocrats or plutocrats.

Possibly it would be wiser for me to forget these things, ignore what is around me, and simply enjoy the privileged situation which I personally happen to have. But I just cannot forget that we made a revolution in order to stop the exploitation of men by men, and that the result is quite different from what we aimed at. If only our experience could teach the Western working-class! But it seems not so, as our exploiters are still considered by you to be revolutionaries.

Dear comrade, pardon the bitter tone of my letter, and only remember this: on no account and at no time should workers resign the right of free speech and of meeting freely; under no excuse and in no circumstances ought they to consent to their trade unions and co-operative movements becoming part of the State apparatus, and consequently instruments in the hands of exploiting leaders; no-how should they permit the re-establishment, under any kind of guise whatsoever, of that which aims at destroying the revolution.

The British Labour Movement (1936)

Pamphlet Review from the February 1936 issue of the Socialist Standard

The British Labour Movement. By Frederick Engels. (Published by Martin Lawrence, Ltd. 1s.)

The above booklet contains eleven articles written by Engels and published in the Labour Standard during 1881. This journal was an attempt of the London Trades Council to provide a working-class organ in this country. The people in control of the paper were not, however, Socialists, but tended to support Gladstone, the Liberal. Hence it is not surprising that soon Engels’ contributions to the Labour Standard caused concern to these champions of the working class, and he was requested to tone down his writings. This Engels refused to do. As a result, he ceased to contribute articles to the Labour Standard.

The first four articles deal with the wages system and the trade unions. Engels shows how, under capitalism, there is a class struggle between the working class and capitalist class, between those “people deprived of all property in the means of production, owners of nothing but their own working power ” and “the monopolisers of the whole of the means of production, land, raw materials, machinery” (p. 12).

Engels shows how the trade unions have helped their members to maintain their standard of life in this struggle, but it is pointed out that, despite their fight of sixty years against capital, the trade unions have been unable to raise the working class above the situation of wage slaves (p. 12), and that any advantage gained by the workers through their unions is brought to nothing by the crises which occur periodically. Then, the fight has to be undertaken again. In this never-ending struggle with the capitalist class, the workers are at a disadvantage. First, the army of unemployed help to keep down wages: workers compete for jobs, and this enables the capitalist class to enforce lower wages. Again, if the employer and his workpeople do not agree over wages, and there is a strike, the former have the advantage, for they “can afford to wait, and live on their capital. The workman cannot. He has but wages to live upon, and must therefore take work when, where, and at what terms he can get it.. . . He is fearfully handicapped by hunger ” (p. 10).

In face of this, Engels’ advice to the working class is clear. It cannot hope for an end to its misery and striving under capitalism. It must abolish capitalism and establish Socialism; it must “become the owner of all the means of work—land, raw material, machinery, etc.—and, thereby, owner of the whole of the produce of its own labour.” To do this, the workers must organise politically, because “a struggle between two great classes of society necessarily becomes a political struggle," and they must win political power “to become enabled to change existing laws in conformity with their own interests and requirements."

Of the other articles, “Social Classes—Necessary and Superfluous" calls for special mention. This article contains the reply to those who do not study Socialism, because, as they say, we cannot do without capitalists. Here Engels shows what has been the historical mission of the capitalist class, to develop the means of production to the point they have reached to-day, i.e., so that they are capable of producing goods in abundance. But as the means of production are developed, the capitalist becomes unnecessary—a parasite, drawing profits without doing any kind of work. In the early days of capitalism, he worked with his employees, he supervised their work. Now, the formation of large companies has put an end to this state of affairs. Paid employees run industry from top to bottom. “The capitalist owners of these immense establishments have no other function left with regard to them, but to cash the half-yearly dividend warrants" (p. 44).

Opponents of Fascism would do well to read Engels’ article, “Bismarck and the German Working-men's Party.” Here they will learn that Hitler’s methods were used as far back as 1880. Bismarck outlawed the Working-men’s Party, suppressed its fifty newspapers, seized its funds, broke up its societies and clubs and dissolved its meetings. Workers suspected of carrying on propaganda were kept in prison without trial. In one year (October 6th, 1879, to October, 1880) there were more than eleven thousand political prisoners. Still, these methods did not stamp out the ideas of the movement. We may add that Bismarck failed to keep the workers quiet because he did not abolish capitalism—a system of society which, thanks to its very nature, forces the workers to turn to Socialism as the way out of their poverty. Incidentally, Socialism alone will save the workers’ from the ever-recurring brutalities of capitalism, then called Bismarckism, now Hitlerism
Clifford Allen

“Labour’s Way with the Commonwealth." (1936)

Book Review from the March 1936 issue of the Socialist Standard

Labour’s Way with the Commonwealth (Labour Shows the Way Series) Methuen, 2s. 6d. By George Lansbury

There are difficulties in criticising Mr. Lansbury's writing. He writes in the first person and what he says could, in some instances, perhaps, be disclaimed by the official Labour Party.

The book under review, though it bears Mr. Lansbury’s name as author, has been written in collaboration with Raymond Postgate, Major Graham Pole and C. R. Buxton—the last-named alone wrote the chapter on the Colonies. The preface is characteristically Lansbury (so much so that the rest of the book appears to be mainly the work of the collaborators) and bristles with Biblical phraseology. He sees things "as in a vision the Kingdom of Heaven is within us ” . . . “ the rich young man went away sorrowful ’ . . . “ what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul.” Nice sentiments, of course, but very irritating to the reader looking for the facts and details of Labour Party policy.

Instead of details there are broad generalisations. The Labour Party believes in emigration, not pre-war emigration, but a new kind, the details and differences of which are left unstated. On Colonial policy there is similar vagueness and confusion of ideas. To quote from page 95: "What is it, then, that makes Labour policy distinctive? First of all, it is that Labour is alive to the historical fact of the part played by capitalist exploitation in the growth of the British Empire, and is determined to resist that capitalist exploitation to the utmost in the future . . .  A Labour Government will, therefore, make no compromise with policies which aim at accelerating the economic development of backward areas by methods which undermine the independence, the social institutions and the morale of their inhabitants, and which thus are injurious to both of them.”

Despite this the reader is told on page 93 that the Labour Party ”realises clearly that to go back on the past is impossible, that to disturb the structure unduly might cause far more harm than good to the people for whose welfare we are responsible,” There you have it both ways. The Labour Party are "determined to resist capitalist exploitation,” but the "structure” must not be "unduly disturbed.”

It looks as though the next Labour Government, like the last, will introduce a policy of "continuity.” Disappointment is in store for natives in the Crown Colonies and mandated territories who are expecting much from them.
Harry Waite

The "Haves" and "Have-Nots" (1936)

Editorial from the April 1936 issue of the Socialist Standard

References to the “Haves” and “Have- Nots” have suddenly sprung into prominence during the past 12 months, and all sorts of people are demanding that an international conference be called to remove this cause of world unrest immediately. As Socialists have used the same phrases for upwards of half a century at least, we should be glad that we have been heard at last. It turns out, however, that it isn’t our problem they are worrying about, but the problem of the older and fatter bandits again, in their relationship to the lean and hungry ones. Poor Germany and Poland and Japan and Italy have no colonies, or none to speak of, while England, France, Holland, Belgium and Portugal are glutted. So Mr. Lansbury, in the House of Commons on February 5th moved a resolution which asked that a new international conference be called owing to the widespread preparations for war.
  To deal with the economic factors which are responsible, such as the necessity for access to raw materials and to markets and for the migration of peoples, with a view to arriving at an international agreement which will remove from the nations the incentive to pile up armaments and establish the peace of the world on a sure foundation.—(Times, February 6th.)
The intention behind the resolution may be good and it is conceivable that international nego-. tiations between the capitalist powers behind which would be the threat of war, might secure some transfers of territory or access to markets without an actual outbreak of war on a large scale. Nevertheless, the scheme itself is a hopeless one from the point of view of removing friction and world unrest. It is capitalism itself which breeds rivalries and hatreds at home and abroad, not the fact that some countries have much and the others no colonial territory. The problem of finding markets is the same in little as in large countries, and the solution is not to be sought abroad at Geneva, but at home in London, Paris, Tokio and New York.

Are we opposed to the have-nots entering into possession? By no means. On the contrary, it is only the Socialists who are in favour of it, while all the Powers which shed tears of self-pity about their wrongs are as firmly opposed to it as the big colonial Powers. The have-nots who must take over are the dispossessed masses of all countries. Having done so the world will no more be troubled by the ambitions, hatreds and war-threats of the capitalists and their military machines.

Mr. Lansbury wants "poor” Germany and Italy to have “access to raw materials." Great Britain has such access already, and Germany had it before 1914, but the British and German workers had not and have not. British workers have no more right to work the raw materials in British territories than German workers have. The cultivable territory and all the mineral wealth underground is owned and controlled by the capitalists and their Governments.

In short, Mr. Lansbury’s proposal is to redistribute the loot among the world’s brigands. Our proposal is to end the brigandage, that is capitalism, at home and abroad.

The Partnership of Marx and Engels (1936)

From the May 1936 issue of the Socialist Standard

In our March issue, in the review of the life of Frederick Engels, reference was made to the articles appearing under Marx's name or attributed to him, which were realty written for him by his friend, Engels. In the interests of accuracy it is desirable that Engels' share in the great life partnership should be properly estimated, and it is evident that Gustav Mayer, Riazanov and others, have all erred in greater or less degree.

There is, of course, no question of belittling Marx's great work for the Socialist movement, but only of placing on record that Engels’ help entitles him to greater credit than has been allowed by many who have written on the subject in the past. We are indebted to Moses Baritz for the information below, based on a full examination of the correspondence that passed between Marx and Engels. This shows that the articles published in the New York Tribune and republished under the title Revolution and Counter-Revolution were all written by Engels at Marx’s request. Some of these, and later articles, were sent off by Marx — quite unaltered.

Engels wrote articles for the New York Tribune in this fashion from 1851 to 1862, and none of them appeared in Engels’ name. The last article (on the Civil War in America) was asked for by Marx in a letter written on March 3rd, 1862. Marx says: “The Tribune will print it as a letter from a Foreign Officer." It is evident, therefore, that Riazanov is wrong in suggesting that Marx wrote his own articles from 1852 onwards. It is true that Marx wrote to Engels on January 29th, 1853, saying that he had for the first time on the previous day risked writing an article in English for Dana of the New York Tribune, but of some 50 requests for articles that have been traced the majority are after that date. Eleanor Marx was quite wrong in attributing the Revolution and Counter-Revolution articles to her father, and it is strange that she should have given currency to this error. According to a statement made by Engels to Danielson (in a letter as yet unpublished in the original form) she was engaged on typing copies of her father's original letters addressed to various correspondents throughout the world, and can hardly have missed his numerous requests to Engels.

Adoratski, director of the Marx-Engels Institute of Moscow, states in a footnote to "Karl Marx: Ausgewahlte Schriften," that Engels wrote the Revolution and Counter-Revolution articles between September, 1851, and September, 1852. While the error here is not great, another publication for which the Institute is responsible, "Karl Marx; "Chronik Seines Lebens" contains many errors and should be revised. Scores of articles attributed to Marx in the N.Y. Tribune, Neue Oder Zeitung and Die Presse, Vienna, should be attributed to Engels.

Riazanov appears to have blundered when he asserts concerning the articles republished as "The Eastern Question," that Engels was responsible for the military articles and Marx for the ones on diplomatic and economic questions. Eleanor Marx-Aveling and Edward Aveling, in their preface, say the same. The correspondence indicates that Engels did more than that. Marx writes, for example, in a letter dated March 10th, 1853, saying to Engels : “Above all, this question is military and geographical and, therefore, not in my department. You must once again write this. The Turkish question is 'Spanish' to me. I cannot give you any standpoint (on this subject)." Marx went on to ask Engels to write on the encroachments of Russia in Turkey, the treachery of Austria, the ambition of France, the interests of England, and the commercial and military importance of the conflict.

Engels replied on March 12th, promising the article in a couple of days. Marx wrote on March 22nd acknowledging the article: “Your article on Turkey. Splendid. It has been sent.” Moses Baritz points out, in conclusion, that this very article on Turkey is the first one which Eleanor Marx says was written by her father!
Editorial Committee.