Karl Marx On The Suffrage
(Reprinted from “Labour Monthly,” Dec., 1929.)
“We now come to the Chartists, the politically active portion of the British working class. The six points of the Charter which they contend for, contain nothing but the demand of universal suffrage, and of the conditions without which universal suffrage would be illusory for the working class : such as the ballot, payment of members, annual general elections. But universal suffrage is the equivalent for political power for the working class of England, where the proletariat form the large majority of the population, where, in a long, though underground, civil war, it has gained a clear consciousness of its position as a class, and where even the rural districts know no longer any peasants, but landlords, industrial Capitalists (farmers) and hired labourers. The carrying of universal suffrage in England would, therefore, be a far more socialistic measure than anything which has been honoured with that name on the Continent.
“Its inevitable result here, is the political supremacy of the working class.”
—(“N.Y. Tribune,” Aug. 25th, 1852.)