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259 Karl Marx TO THE COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC WORKERS' PARTY123 London, August 2, 1870 Friends, First my thanks for the detailed report on the Workers' Party in Germany. I immediately communicated it to the General Council. The work which I was asked to write on the relations of land ownership in Germany had to be put to one side for the time being owing to sheer lack of time.124 As you will have seen from the Address of the General Council which I sent to you last week, I have incorporated into this address parts of the appeal issued at the Brunswick MEETING (of 16th July, 1870)a ... According to article 3 of the Rules'3 the General Council cannot defer the date of the Congress. In the present, exceptional, circumstances, however, it would accept responsibility for such a step, if the necessary support from the sections was forthcoming. It would therefore be desirable for a reasoned application to this effect to be sent to us officially from Germany. First published in an abbreviated form in Printed according to W. Bracke's the book: C. Koch, Der Process gegen den book Der Braunschweiger Ausschuss Ausschuss der social-demokratischen Arbeiter- der socialdemokratischen Arbeiterpartei ..., Braunschweig, 1871 Partei in Lätzen und vor dem Gericht, Braunschweig, 1872 Published in English for the first time a See this volume, p. 6. The appeal was published in the column "Politische Uebersicht" in Der Volksstaat, No. 58, July 20, 1870.— Ed. b See present edition, Vol. 20, p. 15.— Ed. 260 Karl Marx and Frederick Engels [LETTER TO THE COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIALDEMOCRATIC WORKERS' PARTY]125 ...The military camarilla, professors, middle-class people and public-house politicians are pretending thisa is the way to protect Germany from war with France forever. On the contrary, it is the most tried and tested way of turning war into a European institution. It is, in fact, the surest means of perpetuating military despotism in the rejuvenated Germany, as a necessity for maintaining a western Poland—Alsace and Lorraine. It is the most infallible way of turning the imminent peace into a mere armistice, until France is sufficiently recovered to demand the lost territory back. It is the most infallible way of ruining Germany and France through internecine strife. The villains and fools, who have discovered these guarantees for eternal peace, should surely know from Prussian history, from Napoleon's drastic remedy in the Peace of Tilsit,126 how such coercive measures to silence a viable people have precisely the opposite effect to that intended. And what is France, even after losing Alsace and Lorraine, compared with Prussia after the Peace of Tilsit! If French chauvinism had some material justification, as long as the old state relations persisted, in the fact that since 1815 the capital, Paris, and thus France itself, were exposed after a few lost battles—will it not derive new vigour once the eastern border runs along the Vosges and northern at Metz? Not even the most rabid b Teuton dares to claim that the people of Alsace and Lorraine desire the blessings of German governa The reference is to the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine.— Ed. b "Most rabid" was written down in Engels' hand in his copy instead of the dots in the printed text.— Ed. To the Committee of Social-Democratic Workers' Party 2 6 1 ment. It is the principle of pan-Germanism and "secure" borders which is being proclaimed here, and which would lead to fine results for Germany and Europe from the eastern sidea ! Anyone who is not deafened by the clamour of the hour, and has no interest in deafening the German people, must realise that the war of 1870 just as necessarily carries within it the seed of a war between Germany and Russia, as the war of 1866 does the war of 1870. I say necessarily, inevitably, except in the unlikely event of revolution in Russia breaking out first. Should this unlikely event not occur, the war between Germany and Russia must already be treated as a fait accompli (an accomplished fact). It depends entirely on the present conduct of the German victors whether the war will prove useful or harmful. If they take Alsace and Lorraine, France will join with Russia to wage war on Germany. There is no need to point out the disastrous consequences. If they conclude an honourable peace with France, that war will emancipate Europe from the Muscovite dictatorship, make...


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