The “treachery” of Karl Marx
Of the many mental vacillations of the pseudo-Socialists the latest gem is a work (reviewed in the “New Witness”): “The Treachery of Marx,” (“Il Tradimento of Marx,”) by Arturo Solucci.
We are told in the review that the author nearly seven years ago wrote that: “the only hope of creating the United States of Europe, to be followed by a world-republic, lay in the acceptance of anti-military, anti-patriotic, internationalist sentiments by all the proletariats of the world ; but that while French Socialists accepted them, German Socialists held very different views.”
If the “creation of the United States of Europe, to be followed by a world-republic” is a desirable objective—which we Socialists deny—something more than the recognition of the aforesaid sentiments will be required ; for no revolution has yet been successful until those desiring it had conquered the political machine. But Socialists deny the necessity to the welfare of the workers of the proposed objective, because it negates democracy ; for government of any kind spells slavery for those who are governed ; and States—”United” or otherwise—presuppose government, which, whether it be “Republican” or any other variety, will be an instrument of oppression for the subjection of the proletariats of the world. There are the “United States” of America, but is the position there any better than anywhere else ?
Salucci accuses Marx of ridiculing a manifesto issued by some Parisian Internationalists, on the proclamation of the French Republic.
Marx may have ridiculed the Republic as a Republic, but his position can best be seen by a perusal of his addresses to the International and “The Civil War in France,”—which relates to the Commune. But the author knows so much of his subject that apparently he has never heard of these splendid works.
Our scribe devotes considerable space to showing that German “Socialists” supported the action of the German Government in entering into war. The fact that they did so is sufficient to show that they either do not understand the principles which they profess to be out for (in which case they are fools), or, if they do understand these principles, then they stand convicted as rogues ; in either case they are no use to the working class.
We are told that “Mazzini summed Marx up well as a man . . . without strong philosophic or religious beliefs.” An acquaintance with the epoch-making work of Marx will knock the stuffing out of this statement as far as it applies to philosophic belief.
“It (Marx’s system) has only now been demolished (!) by criticism : his theory of values having been exploded by modern ‘economists,’ and his anticipation of the ‘increasing misery,’ which was to prepare the supreme class conflict, having been belied by facts.”
All this is a pretty array of words, but what are the facts ?
The Marxian examination of the economics of Capitalist Production holds the field to-day, and his Theory of Value is becoming every day more widely recognised by the working class, and ever more surely the basis of working-class economic and political action.
Why does the price of labour-power vary in different countries, aye, even in different localities of a single country ? To prove that it does so it is only necessary to compare wages in London with those in the Provinces or any other part of the world. Why are women’s wages less than those of men ? or a child’s less than those of a woman ?
Obviously, the only answer that will bear the test of analysis is, that in the cases quoted the cost of production governs the price of the commodity, labour-power, as of all other commodities, demolished ! Don’t they wish it was ; but apparently, with some people, the continual repetition of a statement is sufficient to prove its truth.
Many alleged critics and would-be experts have attempted to smash (read criticise, analyse, revise, etc.) Marx, but the work of Marx and his collaborator, Frederick Engels, will live long in the memory of man, while the puny efforts of their traducers will speedily sink into the limbo of oblivion.
All sorts of terrible things have been said of Marx, but it has been left to a “Socialist” (Mr. Cecil Chesterton) to publish—apparently with approval—an accusation of “treachery” against him, by an obscure Italian penny-a-liner, reviewed by a well known Co-operator and Profit-Sharist, Herbert Vivian, in a journal published at the “democratic” price of 6d. Weekly.