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A Squashed Philosophers Complete Text

The Complete text of: The Holy Family, or, Critique of Critical Critique
By: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Year: 1844
Translated by: The Moscow Institute of Marxism-Leninism
This SquaPo version is adapted from the version at archive.org
Ths version is adapted from an OCR scan and, though it has been partially edited by Glyn Hughes, still contains significant errors.

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Moscow 1936



From the Institute of Marxism-Leninism




1) "Flora Tristan's Union Ouvriere"
2) Beraud on Prostitutes ...
3) Love 1
4) Proudhon
Characterizing Translation No. 1
Critical Gloss No. 1
Critical Gloss No. 2
Characterizing TrarsUition No. 2
Critical Gloss No. 3
Characterizing Translation No. 3
Critical Gloss No. 4
Characterizing Translation No. 4
Critical Gloss No. 5

1) "The Mystery of Degeneracy in Civilization" and "the Mystery of Rightlessness in the State"
2) The Mystery of Speculative Construction
3) "The Mystery of Educated Society"
4) "The Mystery of Probity and Piety"
5) "Mystery, a Mockery"
6) Turtle-Dove (Rigolette)
7) The World System of the Mysteries of Paris

1) Absolute Criticism's First Campaign by Marx
a) "Spirit" and "Mass"
b) The Jewish Question, No. 1. Setting of the Question .
c) Hinrichs No. 1. Mysterious Hints on Politics, Socialism and Philosophy
2) Absolute Criticism's Second Campaign
a) Hinrichs No. 2. "Criticism" and "Feuerbach." Damnation
of Philosophy by Engels
b) The Jewish Question No. 2. Critical Discoveries on Socialism, Jurisprudence and Politics (Nationality) by Marx .
3) Absolute Criticism's Third Campaign by Marx ....
a) Absolute Criticism's Self-Apology. Its "Political" Past .
b) The Jewish Question No. 3
c) Critical Rattle against the French Revolution
d) Critical Battle against French Materialism
e) Final Defeat of Socialism
f) The Speculative Circular Motion of Absolute Criticism and the Philosophy of Self-Consciousness

1) The Critical Mass by Marx
2) The Un-Crilical Mass and "Critical Criticism"
a) The Obdurate Mass and the Unsatisfied Mass by Marx .
b) The Soft-Hearted Mass "Pining for Salvation" by Engeh .
c) Mercy Pours Forth on the Mass by Marx
3) The Un-Critically Critical Mass, or "Criticism" and the "Berlin Couleur" by Marx

1) Critical Transformation of a Butcher into a Dog, or Chourineur
2) Revelation of the Mystery of Critical Religion, or Fleiir " de Marie
a) The Speculative "Daisy"
b) Fleur de Marie
3) Revelation of the Mysteries of Law
c) The Gang Leader, or the New Penal Theory. The Myartery of the Cell System Revealed. Medical Mysteries ....
b) Reward and Punishment. Double Justice (with a Table) .
c) Abolition of Degeneracy within Civilization and of Riglitles' ness in the State
4) The Revealed "Standpoint" Mystery
5) Revelation of the Mystery of the Utilization of Human Impulses, or Clemence d'Harville
6) Revelation of the Mystery of the Emancipation of Women, or Louise Morel
7) Revelation of Political-Economic Mysteries
a) Theoretical Revelation of Political-Economic Mysteries .
h) "The Bank for the Poor"
c) Model Farm at Bouqueval
8) Rudolph, "the Revealed Mystery of all Mysteries" ...


Historical Epilogue
Index of Authorities [Omitted]
Name Index [Omitted]


The Holy Family, or Critique of Critical Critique. Against Bruno Bauer and Co. is the first joint work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. At the end of August 1844 Marx and Engels met in Paris and their meeting was the beginning of their joint creative work in all fields of theoretical and practical revolutionary activity. By this time Marx and Engels had completed the transition from idealism to materialism and from revolutionary democratism to communism.

The polemic The Holy Family was written in Paris in autumn 1844. It reflects the progress in the formation of Marx and Engels's revolutionary materialistic world outlook.

In The Holy Family Marx and Engels give a devastating criticism of the subjectivist views of the Young Hegelians from the position of militant materialists. They also criticize Hegel's own idealistic philosophy: giving credit for the rational element in his dialectics, they criticize the mystic side of it.

The Holy Family formulates a number of fundamental theses of dialectical and historical materialism. In it Marx already approaches the basic idea of historical materialism/ - the decisive role of the mode of production in the devel-' opment of society. Refuting the idealistic views of history/ which had dominated up to that time, Marx and Engels prove that of themselves progressive ideas can lead society only beyond the ideas of the old system and that "in order to carry out ideas men are needed who dispose of a certain practical force." (See p. 160 of the present edition.) The proposition put forward in the book that the mass, the people, is the real maker of the history of mankind is of paramount importance. Marx and Engels show that the wid er and the more prof ound a ch ange taking place in society~is, t he more numerous the mass effecting that changew ill be.

Lenin especially stressed the importance of this thought and described it as one of the most profound and most im'portant theses of historical materialism.

The Holy Family contains the almost mature view of the historic role of the proletariat as the class which, by virtue of its position in capitalism, "can and must free itself" and at the same time abolish all the inhuman conditions of life of bourgeois society, for "not in vain does" the proletariat "go through the stern but steeling school of labour. The question is not what this or that proletarian, or even the whole of the proletariat at the moment considers as its aim.

The question is what the proletariat is, and what, consequent on that being, it will be compelled to do." (Pp. 52-53.)

A section of great importance is "Critical Battle against French Materialism" in which Marx, briefly outlining the development of materialism in West-European philosophy, shows that communism is the logical conclusion of materialistic philosophy.

The Holy Family was written largely under the influence of the materialistic views of Ludwig Feuerbach, who was responsible to a great extent for Marx's and Engels's transition from idealism to materialism; the work also contains elements of the criticism of Feuerbach's metaphysical and contemplative materialism given by Marx in spring 1845 in his Theses on Feuerbach. Engels later defined the place of The Holif Family in the historv of Marxism when he wrote: "The cult of abstract man, which formed the kernel of Feuerbach's new religion, had to be replaced by the science of real men and of their historical development. This further development of Feuerbach's standpoint beyond Feuerbach was inaugurated by Marx in 1845 in The Holy Family (F. Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy.)

The Holy Family formulates some of the basic principles of Marxist political economy. In contrast to the Utopian Socialists Marx bases the objective inevitability of the victory of communism on the fact that private property in its economic motion drives itself towards its downfall.

The Holy Family dates from a period when the process of the formation of Marxism was not yet completed. This is reflected in the terminology used by Marx and Engels.

Marxist scientific terminology was gradually elaborated and defined by Marx and Engels as the formation and development of their teaching progressed.

Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.C., C.P.S.U.


Real Humanism has no more dangerous enemy in Germany than spiritualism or speculative Idealism which substitutes '' self -consciousness'' or the "splrlC for the real Individual man and teaches with the evangeUst "that the spirit quickeneth everything and that the flesh profiteth not." Needless to say, this fleshless spirit is spiritual only in his imagination. What we are combating in Bauer's criticism is speculation reproducing itself as a caricature. We see in it the most complete expression of the Christian-Germanic principle which, in a last effort, transforms "criticism" itself into a transcendent power.

Our exposition deals first and foremost with Bruno Bauer's Allgemeine Llteratur-Zeltung- the first eight numbers are here before us - because in it Bauer's criticism, and with it the nonsense of German speculation In general, has reached its peak. The more completely Critical Criticism - the criticism of Llteratur-Zeltung - distorts reality into an obvious comedy through philosophy, the more instructive it is. For examples see Faucher and Szellga. Llteratur-Zeltung offers material by which even the broad public can be enlightened on the illusions of speculative philosophy. That is the aim of this book.

Our exposition is naturally determined by its subject. Critical Criticism is in all respects below the level already attained by German theoretical development. The nature of our subjects therefore justifies our refraining from further discussion of that development itself here.

Critical Criticism makes it necessary, on the other hand, to assert in contrast to it the already achieved results as such.

We therefore give this polemic as a preliminary to the independent works in which we - eaci» for himself, of course - shall present our positive view and thereby our positive attitude to more recent philosophical and social doctrines.

Paris, September 1844
Engels. Marx


Critical Criticism, liowever superior to the mass it deems itself, has infinitive pity for the mass. And therefore Criticism has so loved the mass that it sent it its only begotten son, that all who believe in him may not be lost, but that they may have Critical life. Criticism was made mass and dwelt amongst us land we beheld its glory, the glory of the only begotten of the father. In other words. Criticism becomes socialistic and speaks of "works on pauperism." It considers it not a crime to be equal to God but empties itself and takes the form of a bookbinder and humbles itself even to nonsense, yea, even to Critical nonsensein foreign languages. It, whose heavenly virginal purity shrank from contact with the sinful leprous mass, overcame itself to the extent of taking notice of Boz and "a// original writers on pauperism" and "has for years been following the complaint of the century step by step"; it scorns writing for experts, it writes for the general public, banning all outlandish expressions, all "Latin intricacies, all professional cant." It bans all that from the works of others, for it would be too much to expect Criticism itself to submit to "that regulation." And yet it does partly, renouncing with astonishing ease if not the words themselves at least their content. And who will reproach it for using "the great number of unintelligible foreign words"



when it repeatedly proves that it does not understand those words itself? Here are a few samples:

"That is why the Institutions of mendicity inspire them with horror."

"A doctrine of responsibility in which every motion of human thought becomes an image of Lot's wife."

"On the keystone of this really profound edifice of arty "This is the main content of Stein's political legacy, which the great statesman handed in before retiring from the active service of the government and from ail its actions

"This people had not yet any dimensions at that time for such extensive freedom."

''Conferring with fair assurance at the end of his publicistic work that only confidence was still lacking."

"To a reason worthy of a state-elevating man, above routine and pusillanimous fear, reared on history and nurtured with a vivacious conception of foreign public and state system."

"The education of general national welfare."

"Freedom lay dead in the breast of the Prussian national mission under the control of the authorities."

''Popular-organic publicism."

"The people to whom even Herr Brüggemann delivers a baptism certificate of majority. "

"A fairly sharp lantithesis of all the other certitudes which have been expressed in the work on professional capacities of the people."

"Pitiful self-interest quickly dispels all the chimaeras of the national will.''

"Passion for great gains, etc., was the spirit that pervaded the whole of the Restoration period and which, with a fair quantity of indifference, adhered to the new age."

"The vague idea of political significance noticeable in the Prussian countrymanship nationality rests on the memory of a great history.''


"The antipathy disappeared and turned into a completely exalted condition."

"In this wonderful transition each one in his own way still held forth the prospect of his own special uiHsh."

"A catechism with unctuous Solomon-like language the words of which - chirp! chirp! - rise gently like a dove to the regions of pathos and thunder-like aspects.''

"All the dilettantism of thirty-five years of negligence."

"The too sharp thundering at the citizens by one of their former town authorities could have been suffered with the calmness characteristic of our representatives if Benda's view of the Town Charter of 1808 had not laboured under a Mussulman affectation of the concept of the essence and the application of the Charter."

In Herr Reichardt, bold style always goes with bold thought. He miakes transitions like the following:

"Herr Briiggemann . . . 1843 . . . state theory . . . every outspoken man ... the great modesty of our socialists . . . natural marvels . . . demands to be made on Germany . . . supernatural marvels . . . Abraham . . . Philadelphia . . . manna . . .

baker . . . but as we are speaking of marvels. Napoleon brought," etc.

After these samples it is no wonder that Critical Criticism gives us another "explanation" of a sentence which it describes as a "popular way of speaking," for it "arms its eyes with organic power to penetrate chaos." And here it must be said that even a "popular way of speaking" cannot remain unintelligible to Critical Criticism. It admits that the way of the writer must necessarily be a crooked one if the individual who sets out on it is not strong enough to make it straight; and therefore it naturally ascribes "mathematical operations" to the author.

It goes without saying - and history, which proves everything which goes without saying, also proves this - that Criticism does not become mass in order to remain mass, but to



redeem the mass from its massy massiness, that is, to raise the popular way of speaking to the critical language of Critical Criticism. It is the lowest degree of humiliation for Criticism to learn the popular language of the mass and transfigure that vulgar jargon into the transcendent intricacy of the dialectics of Critical Criticism.




Having humbled itself to nonsense in foreign languages and thus rendered the most substantial services to self-consciousness, and at the same time freed the world from pauperism, Criticism humbles itself even to nonsense in practice and history. It masters ''English questions of the day'' and gives us a genuinely critical Outline of the History of English Industry.

Self-suffici ent Criticism, complete and perfect in itself, na turally must not recognize history as it really took place, for that woul d mean recognizing the base mass in all its massy mas siness. whereas the problem is to redeem the mass from massmess . History is therefore freed from its massiness, and Criticism, which has a free attitude to its object, calls to history, saying: 'Tow ought to have happened In such and such a wayT All tl:e laws of Criticism have retroactive force: history behaved quite differently before the decrees of Criticism than it did a/er them. Hence massy history, the so-called rea/ history, deviates considerably from Critical history, as is the case in No. VII of Llteratur-Zeltung from page 4 onwards.

In massy history there were no Industrial towns before there were factories; but in Critical history, in which the son begets his father, as already in Hegel, Manchester, Bolton and Preston were flourishing industrial towns before factories were even thought of. In real history the cotton In-,


dustry was founded on Hakgreaves's jenny and Arkwright's throstle, Crompton's male being only an improvement on the spinning jenny according to a new principle discovered by Arkwright. But Critical history knows how to distinguish between things: it scorns the one-sidedness of the jenny and the throstle and gives the crown to the mule as the speculative identity of the extremes. In reality, the invention of the throstle and the mule made possible the immediate application of water power to those machines, but Critical Criticism sorts out principles mixed up by vulgar history and makes this application come only later, as something quite special. In reality the invention of the steam-engine preceded all the above-mentioned inventions; according to Criticism it is the crowning of them all, the last.

In reality the business ties between Liverpool and Manchester in their present scope were the result of the export of English goods; according to Criticism they are the cause of the export and both are the result of the proximity of the two towns. In reality nearly all goods go from Manchester to the continent via Hull, according to Criticism via Liverpool.

In reality lall grades of wages exist in English factories, from Is 6d to 40s land more; but according to Criticism there is only one rate - 1 Is. In reality the machine replaces manual labour; according to Criticism it replaces thought. In reality the association of workers for wage rises is allowed in England, but according to Criticism it is prohibited, for when the mass wants to allow itself anything it must first ask Criticism. In reality factory work is extremely exhausting and gives rise to peculiar diseases - there are even special medical works on them; according to Criticism "extreme exertion cannot hinder labour, for the power is provided by the machine." In reality the machine is a machine, according to Criticism it has la will, for as it does not rest, neither can the worker: He is subordinated to the will of another.


But all that is nothing. Criticism cannot be content with the massy parties in England: it creates new ones, including a "Factory Party" for which history may be thankful to it.

On the other hand, it throws together in one massy heap the manufacturers land the factory workers - why bother about such details! - and decrees that the factory workers refused to contribute to the Anti-Corn-Law League not out of ill-will or in support of Chartism, as the stupid factory-owners maintain, but solely because they were poor. It further decrees that with the repeal of the English Corn Laws agricultural labourers will have to put up with a drop in wages, to which, however, we must most submissively observe that that destitute class cannot be deprived of another penny without the risk of absolute starvation. It decrees that the working day in English factories is sixteen hours, although a silly un-Critical English law has fixed a maximum of twelve hours. It decrees that England is to become a huge workshop for the world, although the un-Critical massy Americans, Germans and Belgians are spoiling one market after another for the English through competition. Lastly, it decrees that neither the propertied nor the non-propertied classes in England are aware of the centralization of property and its consequences for the working classes, although the stupid Chartists think they are well aware of them, the Socialists maintain that they expounded those consequences in detail long ago, and Tories and Whigs like Carlyle, Alison and Gaskell have proved their knowledge in their books.

Criticism decrees that Lord Ashley's Ten-Hour Bilh is a half-hearted juste milieu measure and Lord Ashley himself "a true illustration of constitutional action," while the factory-owners, the Chartists, the estate-owners - in short all the massiness of England - have so far considered this measure as an expression, the mildest possible one admittedly, of a downright radical principle, as it would lay the axe at the root of foreign trade and thereby at the root of the factory


system, and even chop deep into it. Critical Criticism knows better. It knows that the ten-hour question was discussed before a "commission" of the Lower House, although the uncritical newspapers try to make us believe that the "commission" was the House itself, "a committee of the whole House''; but Criticism must needs do away with that eccentricity of the English Constitution.

Critical Criticism., which itself begets its opposite, the stupidity of the mass, also produces the stupidity of Sir James Graham: by a Critical understanding of the English language, it puts things in his mouth which the un-Critical Home Secretary never said, just to allow Critical wisdom to shine brighter in comparison with his stupidity. Graham, according to Criticism, says that the machines in the factories wear out in about twelve years whether they work ten hours a day or twelve, and that therefore a ten-hour bill would make it impossible for the capitalists to reproduce in twelve years through the work of their machines the capital laid out on them in that time. Criticism proves that it has thus put a false conclusion in the mouth of Sir James Graham, for a machine that works one-sixth of the time less every day will naturally remain longer in use.

However correct this observation of Critical Criticism against its own false conclusion, it must, on the other hand, be conceded that Sir James Graham said that under a tenhour bill the machine would have to work all the quicker as its working time was reduced (Criticism itself quotes this in No. VIII, page 32) and that in that case the wearing-out time would be the same - twelve years. This must all the more be acknowledged as the acknowledgement contributes to the glory land exaltation "of Criticism"; for only Criticism both made the false conclusion and then refuted it. Criticism is just as magnanimous towards Lord John Rüssel, to whom it imputes the wish to change the state system and the electoral system. From this we must conclude either that Criti


cism has an uncommonly powerful ure to produce stupidities or that Lord John Russe! must have become a Critical critic within the past week.

But Criticism does not really become magnificent in its fabrication of stupidities until it discovers that the English workers - who in April and May held meeting after meeting, drew up petition after petition, and all for the Ten-Hour Bill; who showed more agitation up and down the factory district than ever in the preceding two years - that those workers take only a "'partial interest" in this question, although it is evident that "legislation shortening the working day has also occupied their attention." Criticism is magnificent when itultimately makes the great, the wonderful, the unheard-of discovery that "the apparently more immediate-help from the repeal of the Corn Laws absorbs most of the wishes of the workers and will do so until no longer doubtful realization of those wishes practically proves the futility of the repeal" - proves it to workers who drag Anti-Corn-Law agitators down from the rostrum at every public meeting, who have seen to it that the Anti-Corn-Law League no longer dares to hold a public meeting in any industrial town, who consider the League to be their only enemy and who, during the debate of the Ten-Hour Bill - as nearly always before in similar matters - had the support of the Tories. Criticism is superb, too, when it discovers that "the workers still let themselves be lured by the sweeping promises of the Chartist movement,'' which is nothing but the political expression of public opinion among the workers; when it realizes, in the depths of its Absolute Spirit, that "the two party groupings, the political one and that of the land and millowners, no longer merge or wish to cover each other." It was so far not known that the party grouping of the land and mill-owners, because of the small number of members in each class of owners land the equal political rights of each (with the exception of the few peers) was so comprehensive that


it was completely identical with the political party groupings, not their most consistent expression, their peak. Criticism is splendid when it suggests that Anti-Corn-Law Leaguers do not know that, caeterls paribus, a drop in the price of bread must be followed by a drop in wages, so that all would remain as it was; whereas these people expect that, granted there is a drop in wages and a consequent lowering of production costs, the result will be an expansion of the market.

This, they expect, would lead to a reduction of competition among the workers, and consequently wages would be kept, I a little higher in comparison with the price of bread than

J they are now.

§ J Freely creating its opposite - nonsense - and moving in artistic rapture. Criticism, which only two years ago cried "Criticism speaks German, theology speaks Latin!" has now learnt English and calls the estate owners. "Landeigner" the factory owners ''Mühleigner," and the workers ''Hände." Instead of "Einmischung" it says "interference"; and in its infinite mercy for the English language, which is bloated with sinful massiness, it condescends to improve it by doing away with the pedantism with which the English place the title "Sir" before the christian name of knights and baronets, and where the mass says "Sir James Graham" it says "Sir Graham."

That Criticism reforms English history and the English language out of principle and not out of levity will presently be proved by the thoroughness with which it treats the history of Herr Nauwerk.




Criticism cannot ignore Herr Nauwerk's infinitely important dispute with the Berlin Faculty of Philosophy. It has had similar experiences and it must take Herr Nauwerk's fate as a background to place its own dismissal from Bonn? in sharper relief. Being used to considering the Bonn affair as the event of the century, and having already written the Philosophy of the Deposition of Criticism, Criticism could be expected to give a similar detailed philosophical construction to the Berlin "collision." It proves a priori that everything had to happen in such a way and no other. It proves:

1) Why the Faculty of Philosophy was bound to come into "collision" with a philosopher of the state and not with a logiciian or metaphysician;

2) Why that collision could not be so sharp and decisive as Criticism's conflict with theology in Bonn;

3) Why that collision, properly speaking, was a stupid business, since Criticism had exhausted all possible principles and concentrated all its content in its Bonn collision, so that nothing remained for world history but to become the plagiarist of Criticism;

4) Why the Faculty of Philosophy considered lattacks on the works of Herr Nauwerk as attacks on itself;


5) Why Herr N. could do nothing but retire of his own accord;

6) Why the Faculty had to take up Herr N.'s defence if it did not want to disavow itself;

7) Why the "inner split in the Faculty had to be presented in such a way" that the Faculty declared both N. and the government right and wrong lat the same time;

8) Why the Faculty finds in N.'s works no reason for dismissing him;

9) In what respect the vagueness of the whole verdict is conditional;

10) Why the Faculty "deems itself (!) entitled (!) as a scientific authority (!) to make a thorough investigation of the case"; and finally,

11) Why, nevertheless, the Faculty will not write after the fashion of Herr N.

Criticism disposes of these important questions with rare thoroughness in four pages, showing by Hegel's logic why everything had to happen as it did and no god could have prevented it. In another place Criticism says that not a single epoch in history has yet been cognized; modesty prevents it from saying that it has fully cognized its own collision and Nauwerk's, which, although they are not epochs, lappear to Criticism to be epoch-making.

Having "abolished" the "aspect" of thoroughness in itself, Critical Criticism becomes "the calm of knowledge."

Chapter IV




1) "Flora Tristan's Union Ouvriere"

The French Socialists maintain that the worker makes everything, produces everything and yet has no rights, no possessions, in a word, nothing at all. Critical Criticism answers in the words of Herr Edgar, the personification of the calm of knowledge: "To be able to create everything, a stronger consciousness is needed than that of the worker; only the opposite of the above proposition would be true: the worker makes nothing, therefore he has nothing; but the reason why he makes nothing is that his work is always individual, having as its object his most personal needs, and everyday work."

Here CrrHcMs rP rp;irhps n hpighf nf nh'fr nrfinn jn which it corisiderTonly the creations of its own thoughts and generali ttes which contradict all reality as "someihmg," ex £ll ri.T '' everyt hing.'' The worker c reates nothing because he creates only "Individual," th at is perceptible, palpable, spiritless and un-Critical objects, the sight ot which hornties pu re Criticism. Everything that is real a nd living is un-Critical, m assv. and thereiore "not hing "; only the ideal, fantastic creatures of Critical Criticism are "everything."


The worker creates nothing, because his work remains individual, having only his individual needs as its object, that is, because in the present world system the individual interconnected branches of labour are separated from, and even opposed to, one another; in short, because labour is not organized. Criticism's own proposition, if taken in the only reasonable sense it can possibly have, demands the organization of labour. Flora Tristan, in an assessment of whose work this great proposition appears, puts forward the same demand and is treated a canaille* for her insolence in anticipating Critical Criticism. Anyhow, the proposition that the worker creates nothing is utter madness - except in the sense that the individual worker produces nothing whole, which is tautology. Critical Criticism creates nothing, the worker creates everything; and so much so that even his spiritual creations put the whole of Criticism to shame; the English and French workers provide proof of this. Xle worker create sey.pn n; the rritir 'il never be anything but su b-human [ein *}rn(MrrY but n !he other hand he will have the satisfaction of being a Crit i cal critic.

"Flora Tristan is an example of the feminine dogmatism which must have a formula and constructs it out of the categories of what exists."

Criticism does nothing but "construct formulae out of the categories of what exists," to be precise, out of the existing Hegelian philosophy and the existing social aspirations.

Formulae, nothing but formulae. And despite all its invectives against dogmatism, it condemns itself to dogmatism and even to feminine dogmatism. It is and remains an old woman, faded, widowed Hegelian philosophy, which paints and adorns her wrinkled and repugnant abstraction of a body and ogles all over Germany in search of a wooer.

* Scoundrel. - Ed.


2) Beraud on Prostitutes

Herr Edgar, taking pity on social questions, interferes in ''Relations of Prostitution'' too (No. V, p. 26).

He criticizes the Paris Police Commissioner Beraud's book on prostitution because he is worried about the "point of view" from which "Beraud considers the attitude of prostitutes to society." The "calm of knowledge" is surprised to see that a policeman adopts the point of view of the police, and it gives the mass to understand that that point of view is quite wrong. But it does not reveal its own point of view.

Of course not! When Criticism plays about with prostitutes it cannot be expected to do so in public.

3) Love

In order to complete its transformation into the "calm of knowledge" Critical Criticism must first seek to dispose of love. Love is a passion, and nothing is more dangerous for the calm of knowledge than passion. That is why, speaking of Madame von Palzow's novels, which, he assures us, he has "thoroughly studied,'' Herr Edgar is amazed at ''childishness like so-called love." It is horror and abomination and maketh Critical Criticism furious, stirreth up its bile and almost driveth it insane.

"Love ... is a cruel goddess, and, like every deity, it wishes to subjugate the whole of man; it is not satisfied until he has surrendered to it not only his soul, but his physical self. The worship of love is suffering, its peak is self-immolation, suicide."

In order to change love into Moloch, a devil incarnate, Herr Edgar first changes it into a goddess. When love has become a goddess, i.e., a theological thing, it is naturally an object of theological criticism; moreover, we know that god and the devil are not far from each other. Herr Edgar


changes love into a "goddess," a "cruel goddess" at that, by changing man who loues, the love of man, into a man of love; by making 'Uove" a being apart, separate from man and as such endowed with independent being. By this simple process, by changing the predicate into the subject, all the attributes and manifestations of human nature can be Critically transformed into their opposite (Unwesen) and estrangements. Thus, for example, Critical Criticism makes out of criticism, as la predicate and activity of man, a subject apart, criticism referring itself to itself and therefore Critical Criticism: a Moloch, the worship of which consists in the self-immolation and suicide of man, and in particular of his ability to think.

"Object" exclaims the calm of knowledge, "object is the right expression, for the beloved is important to the lover (there is no feminine) only as this external object of the emotion of his soul, as the object in which he wishes to satisfy his selfish feeling."

Object! Horrid! There is nothing more damnable, more profane, more massy than an object - down with the object! How could absolute subjectivity, the actus purus, "pure" Criticism, not see in love its bete noire,* that Satan incarnate, in love, which first really teaches man to believe in the objective world outside himself, which not only makes man an object, but the object a man!

Love, continues the calm of knowledge, beside itself, is not even content with turning man into the category "Object for another man, it even makes out of him a definite, real object, this evil-individual (see Hegel's Phenomenology on the categories "This" and "That," where there is also a polemic against the evil "This'') external object which does not remain internal, hidden in the brain, but is sensually manifest.

? Black beast - object of horror. - Ed.



Lives not only in the brain immured." No, the beloved is a sensuous object, and if Critical Criticism is to condescend to recognition of an object, it demands at the very least a senseless object. But love is an un-Critical, unchristian materialist.

Finally, love even makes one man ''this external object of the emotion of the soul" of another man, the object in which the selfish feeling of the other man finds its satisfac- .

tion, a selfish feeling because it looks for its own essence in the other man, and that must not be. Critical C T'iJ''Ti ''= free from all selßshness that for it the whole range of hur nan essence is pxh.nnstpd hy //: nron iplf

Herr Edgar naturally does not tell us in what way thebeloved diflers from the other "external objects of the emotion of the soul in which the selfish feelings of men find their satisfaction." The profound, sensitive, most expressive object of love means nothing to the calm of knowledge but the abstract formula: "this external object of the emotion of the soul," something in the way the comet means nothing to the speculative natural philosopher but "negativity." By making man the external object of the emotion of his soul, man does in fact attach "importance" to him, Critical Criticism itself admits, but only objective importance, so to speak, while the importance wdiich Criticism attaches to objects is none other than that which it attaches to itself. Hence this importance lies not in the "evil external being,'' but in the "Nothing'' of the Critically important object.

If the cajm of knowledge has no object in real man, it has, on the other hand, a cause in humanity. Critical love "fs careful above all not to forget the cause behind the personality, for that cause is none other than the cause of humanity." Un-Critical love does not separate humanity from t he pe rsonal, individual man.



"Love itself, as an abstract passion, which comes we know not whence and goes we know not whither, is incapable of an interest in internal development."

In the eyes of the calm of knowledge, love is an abstract passion according to the speculative terminology in which the concrete is called abstract and the abstract concrete.

The maid was not born in that valley, Whence she came no one knew.

Not long did her memory tarry.

When she had bidden adieu.

For labstraction, love is "the maid from abroad" who has no dialectical passport and is therefore expelled from the country by the Critical police.

The passion of love is incapable of any interest in internal development because it cannot be construed a priori, because its development is a real one which takes place in the world of the senses and lamong real individuals. The main interest of speculative construction, on the other hand, is the "Whence" and the "Whither." The "Whence" is the ''necessity of a concept, its proof and deduction" (Hegel).

The "Whither" is the determination "by which each separate link of the speculative circular motion, as the animated content of the method, is at the same time the beginning of a new link" (Hegel). Hence, only when its "Whence" and its "Whither" could be construed a priori, would love deserve the "interest" of speculative criticism.

" Here Critical Criticism is not against love alone, but against everything living, everything which is immediate, every sensuous experience, any and every real experience the "Whence" and the "Whither" of which is not known beforehand.

By overcoming love, Herr Edgar has completely asserted himself as the "calm of knowledge." By his treatment of Proudhon, he can now show great virtuosity in knowl


edge, the "object" of which is no longer "this external object,'' and a still greater lack of love for the French language.

4) Proudhon

It was not Proudhon himself, but "Proudhon's point of view," Critical Criticism informs us, that wrote Qu'est-ce que la proprieleT'

"I begin my exposition of Proudhon's point of view by characterizing its (the point of view's) work, What is property?"

As only the works of the Critical point of view have a character of themselves, the Critical characteristic necessarily begins by giving Proudhon's work character. Herr Edgar gives this work a character by translating it. He naturally gives it a bad character, for he turns it into an object "of Criticism."

Proudhon's work is hence submitted to a double attack by Herr Edgar - an unspoken one in his characterizing translation and an outspoken one in his Critical glosses.

We shall see that Herr Edgar is more devastating when he translates than when he glosses.

Characterizing Translation No. 1

"I do not wish (says the Critically translated Proudhon) to give any system of the new; all I want is the abolition of privilege, the abolition of slavery. . . Justice, nothing but justice, that is what I think."

The characterized Proudhon confines himself to wishing and thinking, because "good will" and unscientific "thinking" are the characteristic attributes of the un-Critical mass. The characterized Proudhon shows a meekness which becomes the mass and subordinates what he wishes to what he does not wish. He does not presume to wish to give



a system of the new, he wishes less, he even wishes nothing but the labolition of privilege, etc. Besides this Critical subordination of the will he has to the will he has not, his very first word is marked by a characteristic lack of logic. A writer who begins his book by saying that he does not wish to give any system of the new, should then tell us what he does wish to give: whether it is a systematized old or unsystematized new. But does the characterized Proudhon, who does not wish to give any system of the new, wish to give the labolition of privilege? No. He just wishes it.

The real Proudhon says: "je ne fais pas de Systeme; je demande la fin du privilege, etc." (I do not make any system; I demand an end of privilege, etc.) This means that the real Proudhon declares that he does not pursue any abstract-scientific laims, but makes immediately practical demands on society. And the demand he makes is not an arbitrary one. It is motivated and justified by his whole argumentation and is the summary of that argumentation: for "justice, rien que justice; tel est le resume de mon discours" With his "Justice, nothing but justice, that is what I mean," the characterized Proudhon gets himself into a position which is all the more embarrassing as he means much more. According to Herr Edgar, for example, he "thinks'' that philosophy has not been practical enough, he thinks of refuting Charles Comte, and so forth.

The Critical Proudhon asks: "Must man then always be unhappy?" In other words, he asks whether unhappiness is man's moral destiny. The real Proudhon is a light-minded Frenchman and he asks whether unhappiness is a material necessity, an inevitability. {L'homme doit-il etre eternellemcnt malheureux?)

The massy Proudhon says:

"Et, sans m'arreter aux explications ä toute fin des entrepreneurs de reformes, accusant de la detresse generate, ceux-ci la lächele et I' imperil ie du pouvoir, ceux-la les con


spiratears et les erneutes, d'autres ['ignorance et la corruption generate,'' etc.*

The expression "a toute fin' being a bad massy expression that is not in the massy German dictionaries, the Critical Proudhon naturally omits this more exact definition of the "explanations." This term is taken from massy French jurisprudence, and explications ä toute fin means explanations which preclude any objection. The Critical Proudhon attacks the "'rej or mists," a French Socialist party; the massy Proudhon attacks the initiators of reforms. The massy Proudhon distinguishes various classes of entrepreneurs de reformes. These, (ceux-ci) say one thing, those, {ceuxIci) say another, others, (d'autres) a third. The Critical Proudhon, on the other hand, makes the same reformists "accuse now one, then another, then a third," which in any case is proof of their inconstancy. The real Proudhon, who follows massy French practice, speaks of "les conspirateurs et les erneutes," i.e., first of the conspirators and then of their activity, revolts. The Critical Proudhon, on the other hand, lumping together the various classes of reformists, classifies the rebels and hence says: the conspirators and the rebels. The massy Proudhon speaks of ignorance and "general corruption." The Critical Proudhon changes ignorance to stupidity, corruption to depravity, and finally, as a Critical critic, makes the stupidity general. He himself gives an immediate example of it by putting generate in the singular instead of the plural. He writes: ['ignorance et la corruption generate for general stupidity and depravity.

According to un-Critical French grammar this should be: ['ignorance et ta corruption generates.

* Without dwelling on the explanations precluding all objections given by the initiators of reforms, some of whom blame for the general distress the cowardice and incapacity of the government, others - conspirators and revolts, others again - .ignorance and general corruption, etc. - Ed.



The characterized Proudhon, who speaks and thinks otherwise than the massy one, necessarily went through quite a different course of education. He "questioned the masters of science, read hundreds of volumes of philosophy and law, etc., and at last" he "realized that we have never yet grasped the meaning of the words 'Justice, Equity, Freedom.' " The real Proudhon thought he had realized at first, {je eras d'abord reconnalire) what the Critical Proudhon "realized only ''at last." The Critioal changing of d'abord (at first) into enfin (at last) is necessary because the mass may not think it realizes anything at first. The massy Proudhon tells explicitly how he was astounded by the unexpected result of his studies and was dubious of it. But he decided to carry out la "counterproof" and asked himself: "Is it possible that mankind has so long and so universally been mistaken in the application of the principles of moral? How and why was it mistaken? etc." He made the correctness of his observations dependent on the solution of these questions. He found that in moral, as in lall other branches of knowledge, errors "are the degrees of science.'' Contrariwise, the Critical Proudhon immediately trusted the first impression that his political-economic, law and similar studies made upon him. Needless to say, the mass may not proceed fi mth thoro ughness-, it must raise the first results of its in1 vestigations to tne level of indi sputable tiuUis. I LJiia s ' "reached the end before it has started, before it has measured i Tselt witn its opposite." Hence "it appears" later "at it h as not yet started when it thinks it has reache rl the end " ' The Critical Proudhon therefore continues his reasoning in the most groundless and incoherent way.

"Our knowledge of moral laws is not complete from the beginning; hence it can for some time suffice for social progress, but in the long run it will lead us the wrong way."

The Critical Proudhon does not give any reason why incomplete knowledge of moral laws can suffice for social


progress even for a day. The real Proudhon, having set himself the question whether and why mankind could universally and so long have been mistaken, finds the solution that all errors are degrees of science; that our most imperfect judgements contain a sum of truths sufficient for a certain number of inductions and for a certain circle of practical life, beyond which number and which circle they lead theoretically to the absurd and practically to decay. Thus he is in a position to say that even imperfect knowledge of the moral laws can suffice for social progress for a time.

The Critical Proudhon says:

"As soon as new knowledge becomes necessary, a bitter struggle arises between the old prejudices and the new idea."

How can a struggle larise against an opponent who does not yet exist? Admitted, the Critical Proudhon has told us that a new idea has become necessary but he has not said that it has already come into existence.

The massy Proudhon says:

"Once higher knowledge has become indispensable it is never lacking'' it is therefore ready at hand. ''Then it is that the struggle begins."

The Critical Proudhon asserts: "It is man's destiny to learn step by step," as though man had not a quite different destiny, namely, that of being man, and as if that learning "step by step" necessarily brought him a step farther. I can go step by step and arrive at the very point from which I set out. The un-Critical Proudhon speaks, not of destiny, but of the condition {condition) for man to learn not step by step {pas ä pas), but by degrees {par degres) .

The Critical Proudhon says to himself:

"Among the principles upon which society rests there is one which society does not understand, which is spoilt by society's ignorance and is the cause of all evil. But all the same man honours this principle and wills it, for otherwise


it would have no influence. Now this principle which is true in essence but is false in the way we conceive it . . . which is it?"

In the first sentence the Critical Proudhon says that the principle is spoilt, misconceived by society, hence that it is correct in itself. In the second sentence he commits the tautology of stating that it is true in its essence. He nevertheless reproaches society with willing and honouring "this principle." The massy Proudhon, on the other hand, reproaches society with willing and honouring not this principle, but this principle falsified by our ignorance ("ce principe ... tel que notre ignorance I'a fait, est fionore'').

The Critical Proudhon finds the essence of the principle in its untrue form true. The massy Proudhon finds that the essence of the falsified principle is our incorrect conception, but that it is true in its object (objet), just as the essence of alchemy and astrology is our imagination, but their objects - the movement of the heavenly bodies and the chemical properties of bodies - are true.

The Critical Proudhon pursues his monologue:

"The object of our investigation is the law, the definition of the social principle. Now the politicians, i.e., the men of social science, are a prey to complete vagueness; but as there is a reality at the basis of every error, in their books we shall find the truth, which they have brought into the world without knowing it."

The Critical Proudhon has a most fantastic way of reasoning. From the fact that politicians are ignorant he goes y on in the most arbitrary fashion to say that a reality lies at the basis of every error, which can all the less be doubted ü as there is reality at the basis of every error - in the person .,äx)f its author. F rom the fact that a reality lies at the basis of   every erFor Jie gpg n t -npinrl o []i[ truth is to be found Q in the books of politicians. And finally he even m akes the ' 7K)Iitici"ans bring this truth into the world. Had they brought


it into the world we would not need to look for it in their books.

The massy Proudhon says: "The politicians do not agree among- themselves {tie s'entendent pas); their error is therefore a subjective one, having its origin in them (done c'est en eux quest I'erreur)." Their disagreement proves their one-sidedness. They confuse "their private opinion with common sense," and "as," according to the previous deduction, "every error has a true reality as object, their books must contain the truth which they unconsciously put there - i.e., in their books - but did not bring into the world" {dans leurs livres doit se trouver la verite, qu'a leur insu its y auront mis).

The Critical Proudhon asks himself: "What is justice, what is its essence, its character, its meaning?" las if it had some meaning apart from its essence and character. The.„ un-Critical Proudhon asks: What is its p rinci ple, its char- riMe a cter and its formula {formu/e)? The formula is the pr'm - tUe cTple as a principle of scientific reasoning. In the massy /f French languagetnere is a substantial difference between''S formule and signification. In the Critical French language''** there is none. s

After his highly irrelevant disquisitions, the Critical Uudtih Proudhon pulls himself together and exclaims:

"Let us try to get somewhat nearer to our object."

The un-Critical Proudhon, who arrived at his object long »*» ago, tries, on th e other hand, to attain more precise and po si tive delmitions o t his object {d'arriuer ä quelque chose de plus precis et de plus posifij ). "

For the Critical Proudhon "the law" is a "definition of what is right," for the un-Critical it is a "statement'' {declaration) of it. The un-Critical Proudhon disputes the view that right is made by law. But a "definition of the law" can mean that the law is defined just as it can mean that it defines." The Critical Proudhon himself spoke about the defini'


tion of the social principle in this latter sense. Incidentally it does not become the massy Proudhon to make such nice distinctions.

Considering these differences between the Critically characterized Proudhon and the real Proudhon, it is no wonder that Proudhon No. 1 seeks to prove quite different things than Proudhon No. 2.

The Critical Proudhon "seeks to prove by the experience of history" that "if the idea that we have of just and right is false, evidently - (he tries to prove it in spite of its evidence) - all applications of it in law must be bad, all our institutions must be defective."

The massy Proudhon is far from wishing to prove what is evident. He says: "If the idea that we have of what is just and right were badly defined, if it were incomplete or even false, it is evident that all our legislative applications would be bad, etc."

What, then, does the un-Critical Proudhon wish to prove?

"This hypothesis," he continues, "of the perversion of justice in our understanding, and as a necessary consequence in our actions, would be an established fact if the opinions of men concerning the concept of justice and its applications had not remained constantly the same: if at different epochs they had undergone changes; in a word, if there had been progress in ideas."

And precisely that inconstancy, that change, that progress "is what history proves by the most striking testimonies." And the un-Critical Proudhon quotes these striking testimonies of history. His Critical duplicate, who proves a completely different proposition by the experience of history, also presents that experience in quite a different way.

According to the real Proudhon "the wise" {les sages) foresaw the fall of the Roman Empire; according to the Critical Proudhon "the philosophers" did. The Critical Proudhon can of course consider only philosophers to be wise


men. According to the real Proudhon, Roman "right was consecrated by ten centuries of law practice or administration of justice" (ces droits consacres par une justice dix fois seculaire); according to the Critical Proudhon Rome had "right consecrated by ten centuries of justice."

According to the same Proudhon No. 1, the Romans reasoned as follows: "Rome . . . was victorious through its policy and its gods; any reform in worship or public spirit would be stupidity and profanation (according to the Critical Proudhon sacrilege means not the profanation or desecration of a holy thing, as in the massy French language, but just profanation). Had it wished to free the peoples, it would thereby have renounced its right." "Rome had thus fact and right in its favour," Proudhon No. 1 adds.

According to the un-Critical Proudhon, the Romans reasoned much more logically. Fact was more defined:

"The slaves are the most fertile source of its wealth; the emancipation of the slaves would therefore be the ruin of its finance."

And the massy Proudhon adds, referring to taw. "Rome's claims were justified by the law of nations (droit des gens)." This way of proving the right of subjugation was completely in keeping with the Roman view on law. See the massy pandects: "jure gentium servitus invaslt" (Fr. 4. D. I. I)*

According to the Critical Proudhon, "idolatry, slavery and softness" were "the basis of Roman institutions." of all its institutions without exception. The real Proudhon says: "Idolatry in religion, slavery in the state, and epicurism (epicurisme in the profane French language is not synonvmous of mollesse, softness) in private life were the basis of the institutions." Within that Roman situation there "appeared," says the mystic Proudhon, "the Word of

* "Slavery was established by the law of nations" Digesta, Book I.

Part I, Fragment A -Ed.


God," but laccording to the real rational Proudhon "a man who called himself the Word of God." In the real Proudhon that man calls the priests "vipers" (viperes): in the Critical Proudhon he speaks more courteously and calls them "serpents." In the former he speaks in the Roman way of "advocates" [Advokaten], in the latter in the German way of "lawyers" [Rechtsgelehrte].

The Critical Proudhon calls the spirit of the French Revolution a spirit of contradiction and then adds: "That is enough to realize that the new that replaced the old had on itself nothing methodical and considered." He cannot refrain from repeating the favourite categories of Critical Criticism, the "old" and the "new." He cannot refrain from the senseless demand that the "new" should have on itself [an sich] something methodical and considered as one has, say, a stain on oneself {an sich). The real Proudhon says: "That is enough to prove that the new order of things which was subs.tituted for the old was in itself {in sich) without method or consideration."

Carried away by the memory of the French Revolution, the Critical Proudhon revolutionizes the French language so much that he translates un fait physique* by "a fact of physics," and un fait intellectuel** by "a fact of the intellect." By this revolution in the French language the Critical Proudhon manages to put physics in possession of all the facts to be found in nature. Raising natural science unduly on one side, he debases it just as much on the other by depriving it of intellect and distinguishing between a fact of physics and a fact of the intellect. To the same extent he makes all further psychologic and logic investigation unnecessary by raising the intellectual fact directly to the level of a fact of the intellect.

? A physical fact. - Ed.

** An intellectual fact. - Ed.


As the Critical Proudhon, Prouclhon No. 1, has not the slightest idea what the real Proudhon, Proudhon No. 2, wishes to prove by his historical deduction, neither accordingly does the real content of that deduction exist for him, namely, the proof of the change in the views on right and the continuous implementation of justice by the negation of historical positive law.

"Society was saved by negation of its principles . . . and the violation of the most sacred rights,'' says the real Proudhon.

Thus he proves how the negation of Roman right led to the widening of right in the Christian conception, the negation of the right of conquest to the right of the communes and the negation of the whole feudal law by the French Revolution to the present more comprehensive system of law.

Critical Criticism could not possibly leave Proudhon the glory of having discovered the law of the implementation of a principle by its negation. In this conscious conception that thought was a real revelation for the French.

Critical Gloss No. 1

As the first criticism of any science necessarily finds itself under the influence of the premises of the science it is fighting against, so Proudhon's treatise Qu'est-ce que la propriete? is the criticism of political economy from the standpoint of political economy. - We need go no deeper into the juridical part of the book, which criticizes law from the standpoint of law, for our main interest is the criticism of political economy. - Proudhon's treatise will therefore be outstripped by a criticism of political economy, including Proudhon's conception of political economy. This work became possible only after Proudhon's own work, just as Proudhon's criticism supposed the physiocrats' criticism of the mercantile system, Adam Smith's criticism of the phys- /


iocrats, Ricardo's criticism of Adam Smith and the works of Fourier and Saint Simon.

All treatises on political economy take private property for granted. This basic premise is for them an incontestable fact admitting of no further investigation, nay more, a fact which is spoken about only "accidentally," as Say naively admits. But Proudhon makes a critical investigation - the first resolute, pitiless, and at the same time scientific investigation-of the foundation of political economy, private property. This is the great scientific progress he made, a progress which revolutionizes political economy and first makes a real science of political economy possible. Proudhon's treatise Qu'est-ce que la proprlete? is as important for modern political economy as Sieyes' work Qu'est-ce que le tiers etat? for modern politics.

Proudhon does not consider the further forms of private property, e.g., wages, trade, value, price, money, etc., as forms of private property in themselves, as they are considered, for example, in Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher (see Notes for a Critique of Political Economy, by F. Engels), but uses these economic premises as an argument against economists; this is fully in keeping with his historically justified standpoint to which we referred above.

Accepting the relations of private property as human and reasonable, political economy moves in permanent contradiction to its basic premise, private property, a contradiction analogous to that of theology, which, continuially giving a human interpretation to religious conceptions, is by the very fact in constant conflict with its basic premise, the superhuman character of religion. Thus, in political economy wages appear at the beginning as the proportional share of the product due to labour. Wages and profit on capital stand in a friendly, mutually favourable, apparently most human relationship to each other. Afterwards it turns out that they stand in the most hostile relationship, in inverse


proportion to each other. Value is determined at the beginning in an apparently reasonable way by the cost of production of an object and its social usefulness. Later it turns out that value is determined quite fortuitously and that it does not need to bear any relation to cost of production or social usefulness. The magnitude of wages is determined at the beginning by free agreement between the free worker and the free capitalist. Later it turns out that the worker is compelled to allow the capitalist to determine it, just as the capitalist is compelled to fix it as low as possible. Freedom of the contracting parties has been supplanted by compulsion. The position is the same in trade and all other political-economic relations. The economists themselves occasionally feel these contradictions, the discussion of which is the main content of the struggle between them. When, however, the economists become conscious of these contradictions, ihey themselves attack private property in one of its particular forms as the falsifier of what is in itself (i.e., in their imagination) reasonable wages, in itself reasonable value, in itself reasonable trade. Adam Smith, for instance, occasionally polemizes against the capitalists, Destutt de Tracy against the bankers, Simonde de Sismondi against the factory system, Ricardo against landed property, land nearly all modern economists against the non-industrial capitalists, in whom property appears as a mere consumer.

Thus, las an exception - when they attack some special abuse - the economists occasionally stress the semblance of humanity in economic relations, while sometimes, and as often as not, they take these relations precisely in their marked difference from the human, in their strictly economic sense. They stagger about within that contradiction completely unaware of it.

Proudhon puts an end to this unconsciousness once for all. He takes the human semblance of the economic relations seriously and sharply opposes it to their inhuman reality.


He forces them to be in reality what they imagine themselves to be, or, to be more exact, to give up their oun idea of themselves and confess their real inhumanity. He is therefore consistent when he represents as the falsifier of economic relations not this or that particular kind of private property as other economists do, but private property taken in its entirety. He does all that a criticism of political economy from the standpoint of political economy can do.

Herr Edgar, who wishes to characterize the standpoint of the treatise Qu'est-ce que la propriete?, naturally does not say a word of political economy or of the distinctive character of that treatise, which is precisely that it has made the essence of private property the vital question of political economy and jurisprudence. This is all self-evident for Critical Criticism. Proudhon, it says, has done nothing new by his negation of private property. He has only divulged one of Critical Criticism's close secrets.

"Proudhon," Herr Edgar continues immediately after his characterizing translation, "therefore finds something Absolute, an eternal foundation in history a god, that guides mankind - justice."

Proudhon's treatise, written in French in 1840, does not adopt the standpoint of German development in 1844. It is Proudhon's standpoint, a standpoint which is shared by countless diametrically opposed French writers and therefore gives Critical Criticism the advantage of having characterized the most contradictory standpoints with a single stroke of the pen. Incidentally, to settle with this Absolute in history one has only to apply logically the law formulated by Proudhon himself, that of the implementation of justice by its negation. If Proudhon does not carry logic that far, it is only because he had the misfortune of being born a Frenchman, not a German.

For Herr Edgar, Proudhon has become a theological object by his Absolute in history and his belief in justice; Crit


ical Criticism, which is ex professo a criticism of theology, can now set to work on him in order to expatiate on "religious conceptions."

"It is a characteristic of every religious conception that it sets up as a dogma a situation in which at the end one of the opposites comes out victorious as the only truth."

We shall see how religious Critical Criticism sets up as a dogma a situation in which at the end one of the opposites, ''Criticism,'' comes out victorious over the other, the "Mass," as the only truth. But Proudhon committed an all the greater injustice by seeing in massy justice an Absolute, a god of history as'just Criticism had explicitly reserved for itself the role of that Absolute, that god in history.

Critical Gloss No. 2

"The fact of misery, poverty, makes Proudhon one-sided in his considerations; he sees in it a contradiction to equality and justice; it provides him with a weapon. Hence this fiact becomes for him absolute and justified while the fact of property is unjustified."

The calm of knowledge tells us that Proudhon actually sees in the fact of misery a contradiction to justice and therefore finds it unjustified; yet in the same breath it assures us that this fact becomes for him absolute and justified.

Hitherto political economy proceeded from the wealth that the movement of private property was supposed to create for the nations to considerations which were an apology of private property. Proudhon proceeds from the opposite side, which political economy sophistically conceals, from the poverty bred by the movement of private property, to his considerations, which are a negation of private property. The first criticism of private property naturally proceeds from the fact in which its contradictory essence



appears in the form that is most perceptible and most glaring land most directly arouses man's indignation - from the fact of poverty, of misery.

"Criticism, on the other hand, joins the two facts, poverty and property in a single unity, grasps the interior link between them and makes them a single whole, which it investigates as such to find the conditions for its existence."

Criticism, which has hitherto understood nothing of the facts of property and of poverty uses, "on the other hand," its imaginary accomplished fact as an largument against Proudhon's real fact. It unites the two facts in a single unity, and having made one out of two, grasps the interior link between the two. Criticism cannot deny that Proudhon too grasps an interior link between the facts of poverty and of property, since because of that very link he Vvants to abolish property in order to abolish poverty. Proudhon even did more. He proved in detail how the movement of capital produces poverty. But Critical Criticism does not bother with such trifles. It admits that poverty and private property are opposites - a rather widespread admission. It makes poverty and property a single whole, which it "investigates as such to find the conditions for its existence"; lan investigation which is all the more superfluous as it has just made that "whole as such" and therefore its making is in itself the condition for its existence.

By investigating "the whole as such" to find the conditions for its existence. Critical Criticism is searching in the y genuine theological manner, outside the whole, for the conditions for its existence. Critical speculation moves outside the object which it pretends to deal with. The whole contradiction is nothing but the movement of both its sides, and the condition for the existence of the whole lies in the very nature of the two sides. Critical Criticism dispenses with the study of this real movement which forms the whole in order to be able to declare that it, Critical Criticism as the


calm of knowledge, is above both extremes of the contradiction, and that its activity, which has made the "whole as such," is now alone in a position to abolish the abstraction of which it is the maker.

Proletariat and wealth lare opposites; as such they form a single whole. They are both forms of the world of private property. The question is what place each occupies in the antithesis. It is not sufficient to declare them two sides of a single whole.

Private property as private property, as wealth, is compelled to maintain itself, and thereby its opposite, the proletariat, in existence. That is the positive side of the contradiction, self-satisfied private property.

The proletariat, on the other hand, is compelled as proletariat to abolish itself and thereby its opposite, the condition for its existence, what makes it the proletariat, i.e., private property. That is the negative side of the contradiction, its restlessness within its very self, dissolved and selfdissolving private property.

The propertied class and the class of the proletariat present the same human self-alienation. But the former class finds in this self-alienation its confirmation and its good, its own power: it has in it a semblance of human existence.

The class of the proletariat feels annihilated in its self-alienation; it sees in it its own powerlessness and the reality of an inhuman existence. In the words of Hegel, the class of the proletariat is in abasement indignation at that abasement, an indignation to which it is necessarily driven by the contradiction between its human nature and its condition of life, which is the outright, decisive and comprehensive negation of thiat nature.

Within this antithesis the private owner is therefore the conservative side, the proletarian, the destructive side. From the former arises the action of preserving the antithesis, from the latter, that of annihilatinsf it.


Indeed private property, too, drives itself in its economic movement towards its own dissolution, only, however, through a development which does not depend on it, of which it is unconscious and which takes place against its will, through the very nature of things; only inasmuch as it produces the proletariat as proletariat, that misery conscious of its spiritual and physical misery, that dehumanization conscious of its dehumanization and therefore self-abolishing. The proletariat executes the sentence that private property pronounced on itself by begetting the proletariat, just as it carries out the sentence that wage-labour pronounced on itself by bringing forth wealth for others and, misery for itself. When the proletariat is victorious, it by no means becomes the absolute side of society, for it is victorious only by abolishing itself and its opposite. Then the proletariat disappears as well as the opposite which determines it, private property.

When socialist writers .ascribe this historic role to the proletariat, it is not, as Critical Criticism pretends to think, because they consider the proletarians as gods. Rather the contrary. Since the abstraction of all humanity, even of the semblance of humanity, is practically complete in the fullgrown proletariat; since the conditions of life of the proletariat sum up all the conditions of life of society today in all their inhuman acuity; since man has lost himself in the proletariat, yet at the same time has not only gained theoretical consciousness of that loss, but through urgent, no longer disguisable, absolutely imperative need - that practical expression of necessity - is driven directly to revolt against that inhumanity; it follows that the proletariat can and must free itself. But it cannot free itself without abolishing the conditions of its own life. It cannot abolish the conditions of its own life without abolishing all the inhuman conditions of life of society today which are summed up in its (iwn situation. Not in vain does it go through the stern but


steeling school of labour. The question is not what this or that proletarian, or even the whole of the proletariat at the moment considers as its aim. The question is what the proletariat is, and what, consequent on that being, it will be compelled to do. Its aim and historical action is irrevocably and obviously demonstrated in its own life situation as well as in the whole organization of bourgeois society today. There is no need to dwell here upon the fact that a large part of the English and French proletariat is already conscious of its historic task and is constantly working to develop that consciousness into complete clarity.

"Critical Criticism" can all the less admit this as it has proclaimed itself the exclusive creative element in history.

To it belong the historical contradictions, to it belongs the task of abolishing them. That is why it issues the following notification through its incarnation, Edgar:

"Education and lack of education, property and absence of property, these opposites, if they are not to be profaned, must devolve wholly and entirely upon Criticism."

Property and absence of property have received metaphysical consecration as Critical speculative opposites.

That is why only the hand of Critical Criticism can touch them without committing a sacrilege. Capitalists and workers must not interfere in their mutual relations.

Far from the idea that his Critical conception of opposites could be touched, that this holy thing could be profaned, Herr Edgar lets his opponent make an objection that he alone could make to himself.

"Is it then possible," the imaginary opponent of Critical Criticism asks, "to make use of other concepts than those already existing - liberty, equality, etc.? I answer" (note Herr Edgar's answer) "that Greek and Latin perished as soon as the range of thoughts that they served to express was exhausted."

It is now clear why Critical Criticism does not give a


single thought in German. The language of its thoughts has not yet come, in spite of all Herr Reichardt by his Critical handling of foreign words, Herr Faucher, by his handling of English, and Herr Edgar, by his handling of French have done to prepare the new Critical language.

Characterizing Translation No. 2

The Critical Proudhon says: "The husbandmen divided the land among themselves; equality consecrated only possession; on this occasion it consecrated property." The Critical Proudhon makes landed property rise simultaneously with the division of the land. He effects the transition from possession to property by the expression "on this occasion."

The real Proudhon says: "Husbandry was the basis of possession of the land. ... It wias not enough to ensure for the tiller the fruit of his work without ensuring for him at the same time the instruments of production. To guard the weak against the encroachments of the strong ... it was felt necessary to establish permanent demarcation lines between owners."

"On this occasion," it is, therefore possession that equality consecrates in the first place.

"Every year saw the population increase and the greed of the settlers grow: it was thought ambition would be checked by new insuperable barriers against which it must be shattered. Thus the land was made property out of a need for equality . . . doubtless the division was never geographically equal . . . but the principle remained nevertheless the same: equality had consecrated possession, equality consecrated property."

According to the Critical Proudhon, "the ancient founders of property, absorbed with concern for their needs, overlooked the fact that to the right of property corresponded at the same time the right to alienate, to sell, to give away, to


acquire and to lose, which destroyed the equality from which they proceeded."

According to the real Proudhon, it was not that the founders of property overlooked this course of its development in their concern for their own needs. It was rather that they did not foresee it; and even had they been able to foresee it, their actual need would have taken the upper hand. Besides, the real Proudhon is too massy to oppose the right to alienate, sell, etc. to the ''right of property,'' i.e., to oppose the varieties to the species. He opposes the "right to keep one's heritage" to the "right to alienate it, etc." which constitutes a real opposition and a real step forward.

Critical Gloss Nb. 3

"What does Proudhon base his proof of the impossibility of property on? Difficult as it is to believe it - on the same principle of equality!"

A short consideration would have JDeen enough to arouse the belief of Herr Edgar. He must be aware that Herr Bruno Bauer based all his arguments on ''infinite self-consciousness" and that he also saw in this principle the creative principle of the gospels, which, by their infinite unconsciousness, appear to be in direct contradiction to infinite self-consciousness. In the same way Proudhon considers equality as the creative principle of private property, which is in direct contradiction to equality. If Herr Edgar compares French equality with German "self-consciousness" for an instant, he will see that the latter principle expresses in German, i.e., in abstract thought, what the former says in French, that is, in the language of politics and of thoughtful observation. Self-consciousness is man's equality with himself in pure thought. Equality is man's consciousness of himself in the element of practice, i.e., therefore, man's consciousness of other men as his equals and man's rela


tion to other men as his equals. Equality is the French expression for the unity of human essence, for man's consciousness of his species and his attitude toward his species, for the practical identity of man with man, i.e., for the social or human relation of man to man. As therefore destructive criticism in Germany, before progressing in Feuerbach to the consideration of real man, tried to solve everything definite and existing by the principle of self-consciousness, destructive criticism in France tried to do the same by the principle of equality.

"Proudhon is angry with philosophy, for which, in itself, we cannot blame him. But why is he angry? Philosophy, he maintains, has not yet shown itself practical enough; it has mounted the high horse of speculation, and seen from up there human beings have seemed too small. I think that philosophy is over-practical, i.e., it has so far been nothing but the abstract expression of the existing systems; it has always been a prisoner of the premises of the systems which it has accepted as absolute."

The opinion that philosophy is the abstract expression of the existing situations does not belong originally io Herr Edgar.

It belongs to Feuerbach, who was the first to describe philosophy as speculative and mystic empirics and proved it to be so. But Herr Edgar manages to give this opinion an original. Critical twist. While Feuerbach concludes that philosophy must come down from the heaven of speculation to the depth of human misery, Herr Edgar, on the contrary, teaches us that philosophy is over-practical. It rather seems, however, that philosophy, precisely because it was only the transcendent, abstract expression of the actual situation, by reason of its transcendency and abstraction, by reason of its imaginary difference from the world, must have imagined it had left the actual situation and real human beings too far below it. On the other hand, it seems that because philosophy is not really different from the world it could


not give any real opinion on it, it could not bring any real differentiating force to act upon it and could therefore not interfere practically, but had to be satisfied at the best with a practice in abstracto. Philosophy was over-practical only in the sense that it soared above practice. Critical Criticism gives the most striking proof how small real human beings seem to speculation by lumping humanity together in a spiritless mass. In this the old speculation agrees with Criticism, as the following sentence out of Hegel's Rechtsphilosophie shows:

"From the standpoint of needs the concrete of the idea is what is called man\ the question here, and properly speaking only here, is therefore man in this sense."

In other cases in which speculation speaks of man it does not mean the concrete, but the abstract, the idea, the spirit, etc. The way in which philosophy expresses the actual situation is strikingly exemplified by Herr Faucher in connection with the actual English situation and by Herr Edgar in connection with the actual situation of the French language.

"Thus Proudhon also is practical when he finds that the concept of equality is the base of the proof of property, and argues from the same concept against property."

Proudhon does exactly the same thing as the German critics who, basing the proofs of the existence of God on man, argue from the idea of man against the existence of God.

"If the consequences of the principle of equality are more powerful than equality itself, how does Proudhon intend to help that principle to acquire its sudden power?"

Self-consciousness, according to Herr Bauer, is at the basis of all religious ideas. It is, he says, the creative principle of the gospels. Why, then, were the consequences of the principle of self-consciousness more powerful than the principle itself? Because, the answer comes after the German fashion, self-consciousness is indeed the creative principle of religious ideas, but only taken outside itself, in contradiction to


itself, divested of itself and estranged. Self-consciousness that has come to itself, that understands itself, that apprehends its essence, therefore governs the creatures of its selfestrangement. Proudhon finds himself in the same case, naturally, with the difference that he speaks French whereas we speak German, and he therefore expresses in a French way what we express in a German way.

Proudhon asks himself why equality, although as the creative principle of reason it is the basis of the institution of property and as the ultimate reasonable basis underlies every argument in favour of property, does not, however, exist, while its negation, private property, does. He accordingly considers the fact of property in itself. He proves "that, in truth, property, as an institution and a principle, is impossible" (p. 34), i.e., that it contradicts itself and abolishes itself in all points; that, to put it the German way, it is the existence of dispossessed, self-contradicting, self-estranged equality. The real conditions in France, like the recognition of this estrangement, suggest correctly to Proudhon the necessity of abolishing that estrangement.

While negating private property, Proudhon feels the need to justify the existence of private property historically. His argument, like all first arguments of this kind, is pragmatic, i.e., he assumes that earlier generations wished consciously and with reflexion to realize in their institutions that equality which for him represents the human essence.

"We always come back to the same thing. . . . Proudhon writes in the interests of the proletarians."

He does not write in the interests of self-sufficieit Criticism or out of any abstract, self-made interests, but out of a massy, real, historic interest, lan interest that goes beyond criticism, that will go as far as a crisis. Not only does Proudhon write in the interests of the proletarians, he is himself a proletarian, un ouvrier.* His work is a scientific manifesto

* A workman.- £rf.


of the French proletariat and therefore has quite a different historic significance than that of the literary bungling of a Critical Critic.

"Proudhon writes in the interests of those who have nothing: to have and not to have are for him Absolute Categories.

To have is for him the highest, because at the same time not to have is for him the highest object of thought. Every man must have, but no more or less than another, Proudhon thinks. But, then, of all I have only what I have exclusively, what I have more of than the other, is interesting for me.

With equality, both to have and equality itself will be a matter of indifference to me."

According to Herr Edgar, To Have and Not To Have are for Proudhon absolute categories. Critical Criticism sees nothing but ciategories everywhere. Thus, according to HerrEdgar, To Have and Not To Have, wages, salary, want and need, and work to satisfy that need are nothing but categories.

If society had to free itself only from the categories To Have and Not To Have, how easy every dialectician, were he even weaker than Herr Edgar, would make it for it to "overcome" and "abolish" these categories! Herr Edgar considers this too such a trifle that he does not think it worth the trouble to give even an explanation of the categories To Have and Not To Have as an argument against Proudhon.

But Not To Have is not a mere category, it is a most disconsolate reality; today the man who has nothing is nothing, for he is cut off from existence in general and still more, from a human existence; for the condition of having nothing is the condition of complete separation of man from his objectivity.

And therefore Not To Have seems quite justified in being for Proudhon the highest object of thought; all the more as so little tliought has been given to this subject before him and the socialist writers in general. Not To Have is the most desperate spiritualism, a complete unreality of the human, a


complete reality of the dehumanized, a very positive To Have, a having of hunger, of cold, of disease, of crime, of debasement, of all inhumanity and monstrosity. But every object which for the first time is made the object of thought with full consciousness of its importance is the highest object of thought.

» Proudhon's wish to abolish Not To Have and the old way of To Have is quite identical with the wish to abolish the practically estranged relation of man to his objective essence and the political-economic expression of human selfestrangement. But as his criticism of political economy is a prisoner of the premises of political economy, he still understands the very re-appropriation of the objective world as the political-economic form of possession.

Proudhon does not oppose To Have to Not To Have, as Critical Criticism makes him do; he opposes possession to the old way of To Have, to private property. He proclaims possession to be a ''social function.'' What is "interesting" in a function, however, is not to "exclude" the other, but to occupy and to realize the forces of my own being.

Proudhon did not succeed in giving this thought the appropriate development. The idea of ''equal possession" is a political-economic one and therefore itself still an alienated expression for the principle that the object as being for man, as the objectified being of man, is at the same time the existence of man for other men, his human relation to other men, the social relation of man to man. Proudhon abolishes political-economic estrangement within political-economic estrangement.

Characterizing Translation No. 3

The Critical Proudhon has a Critical owner too, by whose "own admission those who had to work for him lost what he appropriated." The massy Proudhon says to the massy owner: "You have worked! Would you never have had others


work for you? How, then, can they have lost, working for you, what you were able to acquire not working for them?"

By "natural wealth" the Critical Proudhon makes Say understand "natural possessions" although Say, to preclude all error, states explicitly in the Epitome to his Traite d'Economie Politique that by richesse he understands neither property nor possession, but a "sum of values." It is natural that the Critical Proudhon should reform Say just as he himself is reformed by Herr Edgar. He makes Say "infer immediately a right to take a field as his property" because land is easier to appropiate than air or water. But Say, far from infer-, ring from the greater possibility of appropriating the land a property right to it, says quite explicitly: "The rights of landed proprietors are to be traced to plunder.'''' [Traite d'econ.

polit. edit. III. T. I. p. 136, Note.) That is why, in Say's opinion, there must be "a concurrence of legislation" and "positive right" to justify the right to landed property. The real Proudhon does not make Say "immediately" iner the right of landed property from the easier appropriation of land. He reproaches him with taking possibility /"or right and confusing a question of possibility with a question of right:

"Say takes possibility /or right. The question is not why land has been appropriated rather than sea or air, but by what right man has appropriated that wealth."

The Critical Proudhon continues: "The only remark on this is that with the appropriation of a piece of land the other elements - air, water and fire - are also appropriated: terra, aqua, aera et igne interdicti sumus."

Far from making "only" this remark, the real Proudhon says, on the contrary, that he drew "attention" to the appropriation of air and water incidentally {en passant). The Critical Proudhon makes an unintelligible use of the Roman formula of exile. He forgets to say who the ''we" are who have been banished. The real Proudhon addresses the non-proprie


tors: "Proletarians . . . property banishes us: terra, etc. interdict i sumus."

The Critical Proudhon polemizes against Charles Comte as follows:

"Charles Comte thinks that in order to live m;an needs air, food and clothing. Some of these things, like air and water, are inexhaustible and therefore remain common property; but others are available in smaller quantities and become private property. Charles Comte therefore bases his proof on the concepts of limitedness and unlimitedness; he might have come to a different conclusion had he made the concepts of dispensableness and indispensableness his main categories."

How childish the Critical Proudhon's polemic is! He expects Charles Comte to give up the categories he uses for his proof and to jump over toothers so as to come, not to his own conclusions, but ''perhaps" to those of the Critical Proudhon.

The real Proudhon does not make any such demand on Charles Comte; he does not lappease him with a "perhaps," he defeats him with his own categories.

Charles Comte, Proudhon says, proceeds from the indispensableness of air, food, and, in certain climates, clothing, not in order to live, but in order not to stop living. In order to maintain himself, man constantly needs (according to Charles Comte) to appropriate things of various kinds.

These things do not all exist in the same proportion.

"The light of the stars, air and water exist in such quantities that man can neither increase nor decrease them sensibly; each one can appropriate as much of them as his needs require without prejudice to the enjoyment of others."

Hence Proudhon proceeds from Comte's own definitions.

First of all he proves to him that the land is also an object of primary necessity, the usufruct of which must remain free to every one, within the limits of Comte's clause, that is "without prejudice to the enjoyment of others." Why then has land become private property? Charles Comte answers:


because it is not unlimited. He should have concluded, on the contrary, that because land is limited it may not be appropriated. The appropriation of air and water causes no prejudice to anybody because, as they are unlimited, there is always enough left. The larbitrary appropriation of land, on the other hand, prejudices the enjoyment of others precisely because the land is limited. The use of the land must therefore be regulated in the interests of all. Charles Comte's method of proving refutes his own thesis.

"Charles Comte," Proudhon (the Critical one, to be precise) reasons, "proceeds from the view that a nation can be the owner of a land; nevertheless, if property involves the right to use and misuse - jus utendi et abutendi re sua* - even la nation cannot be adjudged the right to use and misuse land."

The real Proudhon does not speak of jus utendi et abutendi that the right of property "involves." He is too massy to speak of a right of property that the right of property involves. Jus utendi et abulendi re sua is, in fact, the right of property itself. Hence Proudhon directly refuses a people the right of property over its territory. To those who find that exaggerated he retorts that in all epochs that imaginary right of national property gave rise to suzerainty, tribute, royal prerogative, corvee, etc.

The real Proudhon reasons as follows against Charles Comte: Comte wishes to expound how property arises and he begins with the hypothesis of a nation as owner. He thus falls into a petitio principii. He makes the state sell lands, he lets industrialists buy those estates, that is to say, he presupposes the property relation that he wishes to prove.

The Critical Proudhon scraps the French decimal system.He keeps the franc but replaces the centime by the "Dreier."

"If I cede a piece of land," Proudhon (the Critical one) continues, "I not only rob myself of the harvest; I deprive

* The right to use and misuse one's own thing. - Ed.


my children and children's children of a lasting good. Land has value not only today, it has also the value of its capacity and its future."

The real Proudhon does not speak of the fact that land has value not only today but also in the future: he opposes the full present value to the value of its capacity and its future which depends on my skill in exploiting the land. He says: "Destroy the land, or what comes to the same for you, sell it: you not only alienate one, two or more harvests; you annihilate all the produce you could have obtained from it, you, your children and your children's children."

For Proudhon the question is not to bring out the contrast between one harvest and the lasting good - the money I get for the field can, as capital, also become a "Lasting good" - but the contrast between the present value and the value the land can acquire through prolonged cultivation.

"The new value," Charles Comte says, "that I give to a thing by my work is my property, Proudhon" (the Critical) "thinks he can refute him in the following wiay: Then a man must cease to be an owner the moment he ceases to work.

Ownership of the product can by no means "involve ownership of the material from which the product was made."

The real Proudhon says:

"Let the worker appropriate his product, but I do not understand how ownership of the product involves ownership of the matter. Does the fisherman who manages to catch more fish than the others on the same bank become by his skill the owner of the place where he fishes? Was the skill of a hunter ever considered as a title to ownership of game in a canton? The same applies to agriculture. In order to transform possession into property another condition is necessary besides work, or a man would cease to be an owner as soon as he ceased to be a worker."

Cessante causa, cessat effectus. When the owner is owner only as a worker, he ceases to be an owner as soon as he


ceases to be a worker. "According to law, it is prescription which creates ownership; work is only the perceptible sign, the material act by which occupation is manifested."

"The system of appropriation through work," Proudhon goes on, "is therefore contrary to law; and when the supporters of that system claim it as an explanation of their laws they are contradicting themselves

To say further, according to this opinion, that the cultivation of the land, for example, "creates fullest ownership of the same" is la petitio principii. It is a fact that a new productive capacity of matter has been created. But what was to be proved was that ownership of matter itself was thus created.

Man has not created matter itself. And he cannot even create any productive capiacity if the matter does not exist beforehand.

The Critical Proudhon makes Gracchus Baboeuf a partisan of freedom, but in the massy Proudhon he is a partisan of equality (partisan de I'egalite).

The Critical Proudhon, who wanted to estimate Homer's fee for the Iliad, says: "The fee which I pay Homer must be equal to what he gives me. But how is the value of what he gives to be determined?"

The Critical Proudhon is too elevated above the trifles of political economy to know that the value of an object and what that object gives somebody else are two different things. The real Proudhon says: "The fee of the poet must be equal to his product: what then is the value of that product?" The real Proudhon supposes that the Iliad has an infinite price (or exchange-value, prix), while the Critical Proudhon supposes that it has an infinite value. The real Proudhon opposes the value of the Iliad, its value in the economic sense (valeur intrinseque), to its exchange-value {valeur echangeable); the Critical Proudhon opposes its "value for exchange" to its "intrinsic value," i.e., its value as la poem.



The real Proudhon says: "Between material retribution and talent there is no common measure. In this respect the situation of all producers is the same. Consequently any comparison between them, any classification according to fortune is impossible." [Entre une recompense materielle et le talent il n'existe pas de commune mesure; sous ce rapport la condition de tous les producteurs est egale; consequemment toute comparalson entre eux et toute distinction de fortunes est Impossible.)

The Critical Proudhon says: ''Relatively, the position of all producers is the same. Talent cannot be weighed materially. .. . Any comparison of the producers among themselves, any exterior distinction is impossible."

In the Critical Proudhon we read that "the man of science must feel himself equal in society, because his talent and his insight are only a product of the insight of society." The real Proudhon does not speak anywhere about the feelings of talent. He says that talent must lower itself to the level of society. No more does he assert that the man of talent is only a product of society. On the contrary, he says: "The man of talent has contributed to produce in himself a useful instrument. . . . There exist in him at once a free worker and an accumulated social capital."

The Critical Proudhon goes on to say: "Besides, he must be thankful to society for releasing him from other work so that he can apply himself to science."

The real Proudhon rowhere resorts to the gratitude of the mian of talent. He says: "The artist, the scientist, the poet, receive their just reward by the mere fact that society allows them to apply themselves exclusively to science and art."

Finally, the Critical Proudhon works the wonder of making a society of 150 workers able to maintain a "marshal" and therefore, probably, an army. In the real Proudhon the marshal is a "farrier" {marechal).


Critical Gloss No. 4

"If he" (Proudhon) "maintains the concept of salary, if he sees in society an institution that gives us work and pays us for it, he has all the less right to recognize time as the measure for payment as he but shortly before, agreeing with Hugo Grotius, professed that time is indifferent as to the validity of an object."

This is the only point on which Critical Criticism attempts to solve its problem and to prove to Proudhon that from the standpoint of political economy he is argumenting wrongly against political economy. Here Criticism disgraces itself in truly Critical fashion.

Proudhon agrees with Hugo Grotius and argues that prescription is no title to change possession into property or a "legal principle'' into another principle, any more than time can change the truth that the three angles of a triangle are together equal to two right angles into the truth that they are equal to three right angles. "Never," cries Proudhon, "will you succeed in m;aking length of time, which of itself creates nothing, changes nothing, modifies nothing, able to change the user into a proprietor."

Herr Edgar's conclusion is: Since Proudhon said that mere time cannot change one legal principle into another, that by itself it cannot change or modify anything, he is inconsistent when he makes labour time the measure of the political-economic value of the product of work. Herr Edgar manages this Critically Critical remark by translating "valeur"* by ''Geltung,"** so that he can use the word for validity of a legal principle in the same sense as for the commercial value of a product of work. He manages it by identifying empty length of time with time filled with labour. Had Proudhon said that time cannot change a fly into an elephant. Critical Criticism

Value.- Erf.

Validity.- £d.


could have said with the same justification: he has therefore no right to make labour time the measure of wages.

Even Critical Criticism must be capable of grasping that the labour time necessarily expended on the production of an object is included in the cost of production of that object, that the cost of production of an object is what it costs and what it can be sold for, abstraction being made of the influence of competition. Besides the labour time and the material of labour, economists include in the cost of production the rent paid to the owner of the land, interest and the profit of the capitalist. The latter are excluded by Proudhon because he excludes private property. Hence there remain only the labour time and the expenses. By making labour time, the immediate existence of human activity as activity, the measure of wages and the determination of the value of the product, Proudhon makes the human side the decisive factor. In old political economy, on the other hand, the decisive factor was the ponderable power of capital and of landed property. In other words, Proudhon reinstates man in his rights, but still in a political-economic and therefore contradictory way. How right he is from the standpoint of political economy can be seen from the fact that Adam Smith, the founder of modern political economy, develops in the very first pages of his book, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations the idea that before the invention of private property, that is to say, presupposing the non-existence of private property, labour time was the measure of wages and of the value of the product of labour, which was not yet distinguished from wages.

But even let Critical Criticism suppose for an instant that Proudhon did not proceed from the premise of wages. Does it believe that the time which the production of an object requires was ever not a substantial factor in the "validity" of the object? Does it believe that time will lose its costliness?

As far as straightforward material production is con


cerned, the decision whether an object is to be produced or not, i.e., the decision on the value of the object, will depend substantially on the labour time required for its production.

For it depends on that time whether society has time to develop humanly.

And even in the oase of production of the mind, must I not, if I proceed reasonably in other respects, consider the time necessary for the production of an intellectual work when I determine its scope, its character and its plan? Otherwise I am risking at least that the object that is in my idea will never become an object in reality, and will therefore acquire no more than the value of an imaginary object, i.e., an imaginary value.

The criticism of political economy from the standpoint of political economy recognizes all the essential definitions of human activity, but only in an alienated, estranged form.

Here, for example, it changes the importance of labour time for human work into its importance for wages, for wagelabour.

Herr Edgar continues: "In order to force talent to adopt that measure, Proudhon misuses the concept of free contract and asserts that society and its individual members have the right to reject the products of talent."

Talent in the followers of Fourier and Saint Simon bases itself on political-economic principles and puts forward exaggerated fee claims, giving its imagination of its infinite value as measure of the exchange-value of its products; Proudhon answers it in the same way as political economy answers the claim for a price much higher than the so-called natural price, that is, higher than the cost of production of the object offered. He answers by free contract. But Proudhon does not misuse this relation in the sense of political economy; actually, he supposes that tobe real which the economists consider as nominal and illusory - the freedom of the contracting parties.


Characterizing Translation No. 4

The Critical Proudhon finally reforms French society by as deep a transformation of the French proletarians las of the French bourgeoisie.

He denies the French proletarians ''strength" because the real Proudhon reproaches them with a lack of virtue {vertu).

He makes their skill in work problematic - "you are perhaps skilled in work" - because the real Proudhon unconditionally recognizes their skill in work {''Prompts au travail vous etes, etc.") . He makes out of the French bourgeois dull burghers where the real Proudhon opposes the ignoble bourgeois {bourgeois ignobles) to the blemished nobles {nobles fletris) .

He changes the happy-medium burghers {bourgeois justemilieu) into "our good burghers," for which the French bourgeoisie must be grateful. Hence, where the real Proudhon says the "/// will" {la malveillance de nos bourgeois) of the French bourgeois is grov/ing, the Critical Proudhon consistently makes the "carefreeness of our burghers" grow. The real Proudhon's bourgeois is so far from being carefree that he shouts to himself: "Let us not be afraid! Let us not be lafraid!" Those are the words of a man who wishes to reason himself out of fear and worry.

By creating the Critical Proudhon in its translation of the real Proudhon, Critical Criticism has shown the mass what a Critically perfect translation is. It has given directions for "translation as it ought to be." It is therefore rightly against had, massy translations:

"The Germ.an public wants the booksellers' wares ridiculously cheap, so the publisher needs a cheap translation; the translator does not want to starve at his work, he cannot even perform it with mature reflexion" (with all the calm of knowledge) "because the publisher must anticipate rivals by quick delivery; even the translator has to fear competition, to fear someone else producing the ware quicker and cheaper; he


therefore dictates his manuscript offhand to some poor scribe - as quickly as he can in order not to pay the scribe his hourly wage for nothing. He is more than happy when he can next day satisfy the harassing type-setter. By the way, the translations with which we are flooded are but an illustration of the impotence of German literature today," etc.

{Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, No. VIII, p. 54).

Critical Gloss No. 5

"The proof of the impossibility of property that Proudhon draws from the fact that mankind is consumed particularly by the interest and profit system and by the disproportion between consumption and production lacks its counterpart, namely, the proof that private property is historically possible."

Critical Criticism has the fortunate instinct not to go into Proudhon's reasoning on the interest and profit system, etc., i.e., into the most important part of his argument. The reason is that on this point not even a pretence of criticism of Proudhon can be offered without absolutely positive knowledge of the movement of private property. Critical Criticism tries to make up for its impotence by observing that Proudhon has not proved the historical possibility of property. Why does Criticism, which has nothing but words to give, expect others to give it everything}

"Proudhon proves the impossibility of property by the fact that the worker cannot buy back the product of his work out of his wage. Proudhon does not give an exhaustive proof of this by expounding the essence of capital. The worker cannot buy back his product because it is always a common product, while he is never anything but an individual paid man."

Herr Edgar, in contrast to Proudhon's deduction, could have expressed himself still more exhaustively on the fact


that the worker cannot buy back his product because he must buy it back. It is already contained in the definition of buying that his relation to his product is a relation to lan object that he no longer has, an estranged object. Among other things, Herr Edgar's exhaustive argument does not exhaust the question why the capitalist, who himself is nothing but an individual man, and what is more, a man paid by interest and profit, can buy back not only the product of labour, but still more than that product. To explain this Herr Edgar would have to explain the relation of labour and capital, that is, to expound the essence of capital.

The above quotation from the criticism shows most palpably how Critical Criticism immediately makes use of what it has learnt from a writer to piass it off as wisdom it has itself discovered and use it with a Critical twist against the same writer.'For it is from Proudhon himself that Critical Criticism drew the argument that it says Proudhon did not give and that Herr Edgar did. Proudhon says:

"Divide et impera. ... If the workers are separated one from another the wages paid to each one may exceed the value of each individual product; but that is not the point at issue. . . . Although you have paid all the individual powers you have not paid the collective power."

Proudhon was the first to draw attention to the fact that the sum of the wages of the individual workers, even if each individual labour be paid for completely, does not pay the collective power objectified in its product; that therefore the worker is not paid as a part of the collective labour power.

Herr Edgar twists this into the assertion, that the worker is nothing but an individual paid man. Critical Criticism thus opposes a general thought of Proudhon's to the further concrete development that Proudhon himself gives to the same thought. It takes possession of that thought after the fashion of Criticism and gives voice to the secret of Critical socialism in the following sentence:

CHAPTER 1\' 73

"The modern worker thinks only of himself, i.e., he demands pay only for his own person. It is he himself who fails to reckon with the enormous, the immeasurable power which arises from his co-operation with other powers."

According to Critical Criticism the whole evil lies in the workers' ''thinking It is true that the English and Frenchworkers have formed associations in which they exchange opinions not only on their immediate needs as workers, but on their needs as human beings. Thus they show thorough and comprehensive consciousness of the "enormous" and "immeasurable" power which arises from their co-operation.

But these massu. communist workers, emploved. for instance. / i n the Manchester or Ly ons workshops, do not believe' t hat ''pure thinking'' will be able to argue away their indil t rial masters and their own practical debasement. They are rnost painfully aware ot the äijjerencö hilw wir being and thinking, between consciousness and life. They know that property, capital, money, wage-labour and the like are no i deal figments o f the brain but very practical, very objective sources ol their selt-estrangement and that they must V e J abolished in a practical, objective way for man to becom e man not only in thinking, in consciousness, but in massy being, in life. Critical Criticism, on the contrary, teaches them that they cease in reality to be wage-workers if in thinking they abolish the thought of wage-labour; if in thinking they cease to imagine themselves as wage-workers and no longer demand payment for their person in accordance with that extravagant imagination. As absolute idealists, as ethereal beings, they will then naturally be able to live on the ether of pure thought. Critical Criticism teaches them that they aboli sh real capital by overcoming in th inkmg'ine category Capital, that they really change and tran?form themselves into real human beings by changing theTr "abstract ego'' in their consciousness and scorning as unCritical operations all real changes in their real existence,


in the real conditions of their existence, that is. in thei r real ego, '[' he ''spirit,'' which sees in reality only r;tpgorip.s, naturally reduces all human activity and practice to the dialectical thinkin,cT prnre.sg; nf Critical Criticism. That is what distinguishes its socialism from massu socialism and communism .

After his great discourse Herr Edgar must naturally declare Proudhon's criticism "devoid of consciousness."

"But Proudhon wishes to be practical too." "He thinks he has grasped." "And nevertheless," cries the calm of knowledge triumphantly, "we cannot even now credit him with the calm of knowledge." "We quote a few passages to show how little he has considered his attitude to society." Later we shall also quote a few passages from the works of Critical Criticism, (see the Bank for the Poor and the Model Farm) to show that it has not yet learnt the very first relations of political economy, let alone thought them over, and hence felt with its characteristic Critical tact that it is selected to pass judgement on Proudhon.

Now that Critical Criticism as the calm of knowledge has "disposed of" all the massy "opposites" has mastered all reality in the form of categories land dissolved all human activity into speculative dialectics, we shall see it reproduce the world out of speculative dialectics. It goes without saying that if the wonders of Critically speculative creation of the world are not to be "profaned," they may be presented to the profane mass only in the form of mysteries. Critical Criticism therefore appears in the person of Wischnu-Szeliga as a mystery-monger.




"Critical Criticism" personified in Szeliga-Wischnu provides an apothepsis of tlie Mijsteres de Paris. Eugene Sue is proclaimed a "Critical Critic." Hearing this, he may exclaim like Moliere's Bourgeois Gentilhomme:

"Faith, I have been speaking prose for more than forty years without knowing it: I am infinitely grateful to you for telling me so."

Herr Szeliga prefaces his criticism with lan aesthetic prolo'ue.

"The aesthetic prologue" gives the following explanation of the general meaning of the "Critical" epos and in particular of the My s teres de Paris:

"The epos begets the thought that the present in itself is nothing, and not only" {nothing and not only!) "the eternal boundary between past and future, but" (nothing, and not only, but) "but the gap that must continually be filled and which separates immortality from perishableness. . . . Such is the general meaning of the Mysteres de Paris."

The "aesthetic prologue" further asserts that "if the critic wished he could also be a poet."

The whole of Herr Szeliga's criticism will prove that assertion. It is "a poem" in every respect.

It is also a product of "free art" according to the definition of the latter in the "aesthetic prologue" - it "invents some


thing quite new, something that absolutely never existed before:'

Finally, it is even a Critical epos, for it is "a gap that must be continually filled," and which "separates immortality" - Herr Szeliga's Critical Criticism - from "perishableness" - Eugene Sue's novel.

1) "The Mystery of Degeneracy in Civilization" and "The Mystery of Rightlessness in the State"

Feuerbach, we know, conceived the Christian ideas of the Incarnation, the Trinity, Immortality etc., as the mystery of the Incarnation, the mystery of the Trinity, the mystery of Immortality. Herr Szeliga conceived all present world conditions as mysteries. But whereas Feuerbach disclosed real mysteries, Herr Szeliga makes mysteries out of real trivialities. His art is not that of disclosing what is hidden, but of hiding what is disclosed.

Thus he proclaims as mysteries degeneracy (criminal) within civilization and rightlessness and inequality in the state. So either socialist literature, which revealed these mysteries, is still a mystery to Herr Szeliga, or he wants to make a private mystery of "Critical Criticism" out of the bestknown results of that literature.

We therefore need go no deeper into Herr Szeliga's discourse on these mysteries; we shall merely draw attention to a few of the most brilliant points.

"Before the law and the judge everything is equal, the high and the low, the rich and the poor. This sentence comes at the head of the credo of the state."

Of the state? On the contrary, the credo of most states starts by making the high and the low, the rich and the poor unequal before the law.

"The lapidary Morel in his naive probity most clearly expresses the mystery" (the Mystery of the contradiction be


tween poor and rich) "when he says: If only the rich knew! If only the rich knew! The misfortune is that they do not know what poverty is."

Herr Szeliga does not know that Eugene Sue commits an anachronism out of courtesy to the French bourgeoisie when he puts the motto of the burghers of Louis XIV's time ''Ah! si le roi le savaiiF' in a modified form: ''Ah! si le riclie le savaitV into the mouth of the working man Morel who lived in the time of Charte verite} In England and France, at least, that naive relation between rich and poor has ceased.

There the scientific representatives of wealth, the economists, have spread a very detailed understanding of the physical and moral misery of poverty. They have made up for that by proving that misery must remain because the present condition must remain. I n their solicitude they have even % calculated the proportio ns in which poverty must be decimated tor tlie good ot tUe wealth and its owriT

If Eugene Sue depicts the taverns, hide-outs and language - of criminals, Herr Szeliga discloses the "mystery'' that what the "author" wanted was not to depict that language or those hide-outs, but "to teach us the mysteries of the mainsprings of evil, etc." "For criminals are at home precisely in the most crowded places."

What would a natural scientist say if one were to prove to him that the bee's cell does not interest him as the bee's cell, that it has no mystery for one who has not studied it, because the bee is "at home precisely" in the open air and on the flower? The hide-outs of the criminals and their language reflect the characters of the criminal, they are part of his existence, their description is part of his description as the description of the petite maison is part of the description of the femme galante.

For Parisians in general and even for the Paris police the hide-outs of criminals are such a "mystery" that at this very


moment broad light streets are being laid out in the Cite to give the police access to them.

Finally, Eugene Sue himself states that in the descriptions mentioned above he was relying on the "timid curiosity" of his readers. Eugene Sue. relied on the timid curiosity of his readers in all his novels. It is sufficient to recall Atar Gull, Salamander, Plick and Plock, etc.

2) "The Mystery of Speculative Construction"

The mystery of the Critical presentation of the Mysteres de Paris is the mystery of speculative Hegelian construction.

Once Herr Szeliga has proclaimed "degeneracy within civilization" and rightlessness in the state "Mysteries," i.e., has dissolved them in the category "Mystery," he lets "Mystery" begin its speculative career. A few words will suffice to characterize speculative construction in general; Herr Szeliga's treatment of the Mysteres de Paris will give the application in detail.

If from real lapples, pears, strawberries and almonds I form the general idea ''Fruit," if I go further and imagine that my abstract idea "Fruit," derived from real fruit, is an entity existing outside me, is indeed the true essence of the pear, the apple, etc.; then, in the language of speculative philosophy I am declaring that "Fruit" is the substance of the pear, the lapple, the almond, etc. I am saying, therefore, that to be a pear is not essential to the pear, that to be an apple is not essential to the apple; that what is essential to these things is not their real being, perceptible to the senses, but the essence that I have extracted from them and then foisted on them, the essence of my idea - "Fruit." I therefore declare apples, pears, almonds, etc. to be mere forms of existence, modi, of "Fruit." My finite understanding supported by my senses does, of course, distinguish an apple from a pear and a pear from an almond; but my speculative reason declares


these sensuous differences unessential, indifferent. It sees in the apple the same as in the pear, and in the pear the same as in the almond, namely "Fruit." Particular real fruits are no more than semblances whose true essence is "the Substance" - "Fruit."

By this method one attains no particular wealth of definition. The mineralogist whose whole science consisted in the statement that all minerals are really "Mineral" would be a mineralogist only in his imagination. For every mineral the speculative mineralogist says "Mineral" and his science is reduced to repeating that word as many times as there are real minerals.

Having reduced the different real fruits to the one fruit of abstraction - "Fruit," speculation must, in order to attain some appearance of real content, try somehow to find its way back from "Fruit," from Substance to the different profane real fruits, the pear, the apple, the almond, etc. It is as hard to produce real fruits from the abstract idea "Fruit" as it is easy to produce this abstract idea from real fruits. Indeed it is impossible to arrive at the opposite of an abstrac-.

tion without relinquishing the abstraction.

The speculative philosopher therefore relinquishes the abstraction "Fruit," but in a speculative, mystical fashion - with the appearance of not relinquishing it. Thus he rises above his abstraction only in appearance. He argues like this:

If apples, pears, almonds and strawberries are really nothing but "Substance," "Fruit," the question arises: Why does "Fruit" manifest itself to me sometimes as an apple, sometimes as a pear, sometimes as an almond? Why this appearance of diversity which so strikingly contradicts my speculative conception of ''Unity''; "Substance"; "Fruit"?

This, answers the speculative philosopher, is because fruit is not dead, undifferentiated, motionless, but living, self-differentiating, moving. The diversity of profane fruits is


significant not only to my sensuous understanding, but also to "Fruit" itself and to speculative reasoning. The different profane fruits are different manifestations of the life of the one "Fruit"; they are crystallizations of "Fruit" itself. In the apple "Fruit" gives itself an apple-like existence, in the pear a pear-like existence. We must therefore no longer say as from the standpoint of Substance: a pear is "Fruit," an apple is "Fruit," an almond is "Fruit," but "Fruit" presents itself as a pear, "Fruit" presents itself as an apple, "Fruit" presents itself as an almond; and the differences which distinguish apples, pears and almonds from one another are the self-differentiations of "Fruit" making the particular fruits subordinate members of the life-process of "Fruit." Thus "Fruit" is no longer a contentless, undifferentiated unity; it is oneness as allness, as "totalness'' of fruits, which constitute an "organic ramified series." In every member of that series "Fruit" gives itself a more developed, more explicit existence, until it is finally the "summary" of all fruits and at the same time living unity which contains all those fruits dissolved in itself just as much as it produces them from within itself, as, for instance, all the limbs of the body are constantly dissolved in blood and constantly produced out of the blood.

We see that if the Christian religion knows only one Incarnation of God, speculative philosophy has as miany incarnations as there are things, just as it has here in every fruit an incarnation of the "Substance," of the Absolute "Fruit." The main interest for the speculative philosopher is therefore to produce the existence of the real profane fruits and to say in some mysterious way that there lare apples, pears, almonds and raisins. But the apples, pears, almonds and raisins that we get in the speculative world are nothing but semblances of apples, semblances of pears, semblances of almonds and semblances of raisins; they are moments in the life of "Fruit," that abstract being of reason, and therefore themselves ab


slract beings of reason. Hence what you enjoy in speculation is to find all the real fruits there, but as fruits which have a higher mystic significance, which are grown out of the ether of your brain and not out of the material earth, which are incarnations of "Fruit," the Absolute Subject. When you return from the abstraction, the preternatural being of reason, "Fruit," to real natural fruits, you give, contrariwise, the natural fruits a preternatural significance and transform them into so many abstractions. Your main interest is then to point out the unity of "Fruit" in all the manifestations of its life - the apple, the pear, the almond - that is, the mystical interconnection between these fruits, how in each one of them "Fruit" develops by degrees and necessarily progresses, for instance, from its existence as a raisin to its existence as an almond. The value of profane fruits no longer consists in their natural qualities but in iheiv speculative quality which gives each of them a definite place in the life-process of "Absolute Fruit."

The ordinary man does not think he is saying anything extraordinary when he states that there are apples and pears.

But if the philosopher expresses those existences in the speculative way he says something extraordinary. He works a wonder by producing the real natural being, the apple, the pear, etc., out of the unreal being of reason "Fruit," i.e., by creating those fruits out of his own abstract reason which he considers as an Absolute Subject outside himself, represented here as "Fruit." And in every existence wdiich he expresses he accomplishes an act of creation.

It goes without saying that the speculative philosopher accomplishes this constant creation only by representing universally known qualities of the apple, the pear, etc., which exist in reality, as definitions discovered by him; by giving the names of the real things to what abstract reason alone can create, to abstract formulae of reason; finally, by declaring his own lactivity, by which he passes from the idea of an

G- 1192


apple to the idea of a pear, to be the self-activity of the Absolute Subject, "Fruit."

In the speculative way of speaking, this operation is called comprehending the substance as the subject, as an Inner process, as an Absolute Person and that comprehension constitutes the essential character of Hegel's method.

These preliminary remarks were necessary to make Herr Szeliga intelligible. After thus far dissolving real relations, e.g., right and civilization, in the category of mysteries and thereby making "Mystery" a substance, he now rises to the real speculative Hegelian height land transforms "Mystery" into self-existing subject incarnating itself in real situations and persons so that the manifestations of its life are countesses, marquises, grisettes, porters, notaries and charlatans, love intrigues, balls, wooden doors, etc. Having produced the category "Mystery" out of the real world, he produces the real world out of that category.

The mysteries of speculative construction in Herr Szeliga's presentation will be all the more visibly disclosed as he has an indisputable double advantage over Hegel. First, Hegel has the sophistic mastery of being able to present as a process of the imagined being 'of reason itself, of the Absolute Subject, the process by which the philosopher goes by sensory perception and imagination from one object to another. Besides, Hegel very often gives a real presentation, embracing the thing itself, within the speculative presentation.

This real reasoning within the speculative reasoning misleads the reader into considering the speculative reasoning las real and the real as speculative.

With Herr Szeliga both these difficulties vanish. His dialectics have no hypocrisy or pretence. He performs his tricks with the most laudable honesty and the most sincere straightforwardness. But then he nowhere develops any real content, so that his speculative construction is free from all disturbing complications, from all ambiguous disguises, and


appeals to the eye in its naked beauty. In Herr Szeliga we also see a brilliant illustration of how speculation on the one hand apparently freely creates its object a priori out of itself, and on the other hand, for the very reason that it wishes to get rid by sophistry of its reasonable and natural dependence on the object, falls into the most unreasonable and unnatural bondage to the object whose most accidental and individual attributes it is obliged to construe as absolutely necessary and general.

3) "The Mystery of Educated Society"

After leading us through the lowest layers of society, for, example through the criminals' taverns, Eugene Sue transports us to "high society," to a ball in Quartier Saint Germain.

This transition Herr Szeliga construes as follows: ''Mystery tries to evade observation by a new twist: so far it appeared as the absolutely enigmatic, elusive, and negative, in contrast to the true, real and positive; now it withdraws into the latter as its Invisible content. But by doing so it gives up the absolute impossibility of being known."

"Mystery" which has so far appeared in contrast to the "true," the "real," the "positive," that is, to law and education, "now withdraws into the latter," i.e., into the realm of education. It is certainly a mystery for Paris, if not of Paris, that "high society" is the exclusive realm of education. Herr Szeliga does not pass from the mysteries of the criminal world to those of aristocratic society; "Mystery" becomes the "invisible content" of educated society, its real essence. It is ''not a new twist" of Herr Szeliga's to lead on to new observations; "Mystery" itself takes this "new twist" in order to evade observation.

Before really following Eugene Sue where his heart leads him - to an aristocratic ball, Herr Szeliga makes use of


the hypocritical twists of speculation which construes a priori.

"One can naturally foresee what a solid shell "Mystery" will choose to hide in; it seems, in fact, that it is of compact solidity . . . that . . . hence it may be expected that in general . . . nevertheless a new lattempt to break through to the core is here indispensable."

Enough. Herr Szeliga has gone so fiar that the "metaphysical subject, Mystery, now steps forward, light, composed and coquet."

In order now to change aristocratic society into a "mystery," Herr Szeliga gives us a few considerations on "education." He presumes aristocratic society to have all sorts of qualities that no man would look for in it, in order later to find the "mystery" that it has not got those qualities. Then he presents that discovery as the "mystery" of educated society. Herr Szeliga wonders, for example, whether "general reason" (does he mean speculative logic?) constitutes the content of its "drawing-room talk," whether "the rhythm and measure of love alone makes" it a "harmonious whole," whether "what we call general education is the form of the general, the eternal, the ideal," i.e., whether what we call education is metaphysical imagination. It is not difficult for Herr Szeliga to prophesy a priori in answer to his questions: "It may be expected, however . . . that the answer will be a negative one."

In Eugene Sue's novel, the transition from the common world to the refined world is a normal transition for a novel.

The disguise of Rudolph, Prince of Geroldstein, gives him entry into the lower sections of society as his title gives him access to the higher sections. On his way to the aristocratic ball he is by no means engrossed in the contrasts of contemporary life: it is the contrasts of his own disguise that he finds piquant. He informs his docile suite how extraordinarily interesting he finds himself in the various situations.


"I find these contracts piquant enough," he says, "one day a fan painter, settling down in:a hole in rue aux Feves; this morning a salesman offering a glass of black currant wine to Madame Pipelet, and this evening . . . one of the privileged by the grace of God who reign over the world."

When Critical Criticism is ushered into the ball it sings:

y Sense and reason forsake me near.

In the midst of the potentates here!

It pours forth in dithyrambs as follows:

"Here magic brings the glow of the sun at night, the verdure of spring and the splendour of summer in winter. We immediately feel in a mood to believe in the m.iracle of the divine presence in the breast of man, especially when beauty and grace uphold the conviction that we are in the immediate proximity of ideals." (!!!)

Inexperienced, credulous Critical country parsonl Only your Critical ingenuity can be raised by;an elegant Parisian ball-room "to a mood" in which you believe in "the miracle of the divine presence in the breast of man," and see in Parisian lionesses "immediate ideals" and angels corporeal!

In his unctuous simplicity the Critical parson listens to the two "most beautiful among the beautiful," Clemence d'Harville and Countess Sarah MacGregor. One can guess what he wishes to hear from them:

"In what way we can be the blessing of beloved children and the fulness of happiness of a husband!" . . . "We hark . . .

we wonder ... we believe not our ears."

We secretly feel a spiteful pleasure when the listener is disappointed. The ladies speak neither of "blessing," "fulness" nor "general reason," but "of an infidelity of Madame d'Harville to her husband."

We get the following naive revelation about one of the ladies, Countess MacGregor:


She was ''enterprising enough to become mother to a child as the result of a secret marriage."

Unpleasantly affected by the enterprise of Countess MiacGregor, Herr Szeliga has sharp words for her:

"We find that all the Countess's strivings are for selfish individual profit."

Indeed, he sees no good portent in the attainment of her purpose - her marriage to the Prince of Geroldstein:

"Of which we can by no means expect that she will avail herself of it for the happiness of the Prince of Geroldstein's subjects."

The puritan ends his sermon with "profound earnestness": "Sarah" (the enterprising lady), "incidentally, is hardly an exception in this brilliant circle, although she is one of its summits."

Incidentally, hardly! Although! And is not the "summit" of a circle an exception?

- Here is what we learn about the character of two other ideals, the Marquise d'Harville and the Duchess of Lucenay:

They "lack satisfaction of the heart." They have not found in marriage the object of their love, so they seek it outside marriage. In marriage love has remained a mystery for them and the imperative urge of the heart drives them to pierce that mystery. So they give themselves up to secret love. These "victims" of "loveless marriage are driven against their will to debase love to something exterior, to a so-called relation and take the romantic, mystery, for the interior, the vivifying, the essential of love."

The merit of this diialectical reasoning is to be assessed all the higher as it is of more general application.

He, for example, who is not allowed to drink at home and yet feels the need to drink looks for the "object" of drink ''outside" the house land "so" takes to secret drinking. He will even be driven to consider mystery as an essential ingredient


of drinking, although he will not debase drink to a mere "exterior" indifferent thing, any more than our ladies did with love. For, according to Herr Szeliga, it is not love, but marriage without love, that they debase to what it really is, to something exterior, to a so-called relation.

Herr Szeliga goes on to lask: "What is the mystery oL love?"

We have just had it construed in such a way that "mystery," is the ''essence'' of this kind of love. How is it that we now look for the mystery of the mystery, the essence of the essence?

"Not the shady paths in the thickets," declaims the parson, "not the natural semi-obscurity of moonlight night or the artificial semi-obscurity of costly curtains and draperies; not the soft enrapturing notes of the harp and the organ, not the attraction of what is forbidden. . . ."

Curtains and draperies! Soft and enrapturing notes! Even, the organl Let the reverend parson stop thinking of churcfü Who would bring an organ to a love tryst?

"All this" (curtains, draperies and the organ) "is only the mysterious."

And is not the mysterious the mystery of mysterious love? By no means:

"The mysterious in it is what excites, what inebriates, what enraptures, the power of sensuality."

In the "soft and enrapturing" notes the parson already had the enrapturing. Had he brought turtle soup and champagne to his rendezvous instead of curtains and organs, the "exciting land inebriating" would have been pVesent too.

"We will not admit," the reverend gentleman argues, "the.

power of sensuality; it has such tremendous power over us only because we cast it out of us and will not recognize it as our own nature which we should be in a position to dominate if it tried to make itself felt at the expense of reason, of real love and of will-power."


The parson advises us after the fashion of speculative theology to recognize sensuality as our own nature, in order later to be able to dominate it, i.e., to retract recognition of it.

True, he wishes to dominate it only when it tries to make itself felt at the expense of reason - will-power and love as opposed to sensuality are only the will-power and love of Reason. The unspeculative Christian also recognizes sensuality as long as it does not make itself felt at the expense of real reason, i.e., of faith, of real love, i.e., of love of God, of real will-power, i.e., will in Christ.

The parson immediately betrays his real meaning when he continues:

"If then love ceases to be the essential in marriage and in morality, sensuality becomes the mystery of love, of morality, of educated society - sensuality in its narrow meaning, in which it is trembling in the nerves and a burning stream in the veins, and also in the broader meaning, in which it is elevated to the semblance of spiritual power, to lust for power, ambition, craving for glory. . . . Countess MacGregor is a representative" of the latter meaning "of sensuality as the mystery of educated society."

The parson hits the nail on the head. To dominate sensuality he must first of all overcome the nervous current and the quick circulation of the blood. - Herr Szeliga believes in the "narrow" meaning that greater warmth in the body comes from the heat of the blood in the veins; he does not know that warm-blooded animals are so called because the temperature of their blood is subject to little modification, remains at a constant level. - As soon as there is no more nervous current and the blood in the veins is no longer hot, the sinful body, the seat of sensual lust, becomes a corpse and the souls can converse unhindered about "general reason," "true love," and "pure morals." The piarson debases sensuality to such an extent that he abolishes the very elements which inspire sensual love- the rush of the blood, which proves that man


does not love only by insensitive phlegm; the nervous current which connects the organ that is the main seat of sensuality with the brain. He reduces true sensual love to the mechanical secretlo seminis and lisps with an ill-renowned German theologian:

"Not for the sake of sensual love, not for the lust of the flesh, but because the Lord said, increase and multiply."

Let us now compare the speculative construction withEugene Sue's novel. It is not sensuality which is presented as the mystery of love, but mysteries, adventures, obstacles, fears, dangers, and especially the attraction of what is forbidden.

"Why," we read, "do many women take as lovers men who are not worth their husbands? Because the greatest charm of love is the enjoyable attraction of the forbidden fruit. . . .

Grant that if the fears, anxieties, difficulties, mysteries and dangers are taken away from that love there remains but little, to be precise, the lover ... in his original simplicity; in a word it would always be more or less the adventure of the man who was asked, 'Why do you not marry that widow, your mistress?' 'Alas, I thought of that,' he answered, 'but then I would not know where to spend my evenings.' "

Whereas Herr Szeligia says explicitly that the mystery of love is not in the attraction of what is forbidden, Eugene Sue says just as explicitly that it is the "greatest charm in love" and the reason for all love adventures extra muros.

"Prohibition and smuggling are as inseparable in love as in trade. "1ö

Eugene Sue similarly maintains, contrary to his speculative commentator, that:

"the propensity to pretence and craft, the liking for mysteries and intrigues is an essential quality, a natural propensity and an imperative instinct of the nature of woman."

The only thing which embarrasses Eugene Sue is when llial propensity and liking is directed against marriage. He


would like to give the instinct of woman's nature a more harmless and useful application.

Herr Szeliga makes Countess MiacGregor a representative of the kind of sensuality which "rises to a semblance of spiritual power," but in Eugene Sue she is a person of abstract reason. Her "ambition" and her "pride," far from being forms ¦ of sensuality, are born of an abstract reason which is completely independent of sensuality. That is why Eugene Sue explicitly notes that "the burning aspirations of love could never make her icy breast heave; no surprise of the heart or the senses could upset the pitiless calculations of that crafty, selfish, ambitious woman."

This woman's essential feature is the selfishness of abstract reason that never suffers from the sympathetic senses and on which the blood has no influence. Her soul is therefore described as "dry land hard," her mind as "artfully wicked," her character as "treacherous" and - what is typical of a person of abstract reason - as "absolute," her dissimulation as "profound." Let it be noted incidentally that Eugene Sue motivates the career of the Countess just as stupidly las that of most of the characters of his novel. An old nurse gives her the idea that she must become a "crowned head." Convinced of this, she undertakes journeys to capture a crown through marriage. Finally she commits the inconsistency of considering a petty German ''Serenissimus" as a "crowned head."

After his expectorations against sensuality our Critical saint deems it necessary to show why Eugene Sue takes us to a ball in high society, a method which is popular in nearly all French novelists, whereas the English more often show us the upper world at the chase or in a country mansion.

"For his" (i.e., Herr Szeliga's) "conception it cannot be indifferent, and therefore merely accidental" (in Herr Szeliga's construction) "that Eugene Sue introduces us into high society at a hall."


Now the horse has been given the rein and it trots briskly towards his necessary end through a series of conclusions reminding one of the late Wolf.

"Dancing is the most common manifestation of sensuality as a mystery. The immediate contact, the embracing of the two sexes" (?) "necessary to form a couple are allowed in diancing because, in spite of appearances, and the really" (really, Reverend Sir?) "perceptible pleasant sensation" is not considered as ''sensual contact and embracing" (but probably as contact and embracing of universal reason?).

And then comes a closing sentence which staggers more than it dances:

''For if it were in actual fact considered as sensual it wouldbe impossible to understand why society is so lenient only as regards dancing whereas it on the contrary so severely censures similar freedom exhibited in other circumstances as an unpardonable violation of morals and decency deserving to be branded and mercilessly cast out."

The reverend parson speaks here neither of cancan nor of the polka, but of dancing in general, of the category Dancing, which is not performed anywhere except in his Critical cranium. If he saw a single dance at the Chaumiere in Paris his Christian-German soul would be outraged by the boldness, the frankness, the graceful petulance and the music of that most sensual movement. His own really perceptible "pleasant sensation" would make it perceptible to him that "in actual fact it would be impossible to understand why the dancers themselves, while on the other hand they" give the spectator the inspiring impression of frank human sensuality - "which, exhibited in the same way in other circumstances" - to be exact in Germany - "would be severely censured as an unpardonable violation," etc., etc. - why those dancers, at least, so to speak, in their own eyes, not only should and may, but can and must necessarily be frankly sensual human beings!!


The Critic introduces us to the ball for the sake of the essence of dancing. He encounters a great difficulty. There Is dancing at that ball, but only in imagination. The fact is that Eugene Sue does not say a word describing the dancing. He does not mix among the throng of dancers. He makes use of the ball only to bring his main aristocratic characters together. In despair, Criticism comes to help out and supplement the author, and its own "fancy" easily provides a description of ball incidents, etc. If according to Criticism's rules Eugene Sue was not directly interested in the criminals' hide-outs and language when he described them, the dance, on the other hand, which not he but his "fanciful" critic describes, necessarily interests him infinitely.

Let us continue.

''Actually, the secret of sociable tone and tact - the secret of that extremely unnatural thing - is the longing to return to nature. That is why the appearance of a person like Cecily in educated society has such an electrifying effect and is crowned with such extraordinary success. She grew up a sliave among slaves, without any education, and the only source of life she has to rely upon is her nature. Suddenly transported into a palace with all its constraint and customs, she soon learns to see through the secret of the latter. ... In this sphere, which she can undoubtedly hold in sway because her power, the power of her nature, has an enigmatic magic, Cecily must necessarily stray into losing all sense of measure, whereas formerly, when she was still a slave, the same nature taught her to resist all nonsense on the part of the powerful lord and to remain true to her love. Cecily is the mystery of educated society disclosed. The scorned senses finally overflow all resistance and break forth completely uncurbed," etc.

Those of Herr Szeliga's readers who have not read Sue's novel will certainly think that Cecilv is the lioness of the


ball in question. In the novel she is in a German jail while the dancing goes on in Paris.

Cecily, as a slave, remains true to the Negro doctor David because she loves him "passionately" and because her owner, Mr. Willis, is ''bruiar in courting her. The reason for her change to a dissolute life is a very simple one. Transported into the "European world," she "blushes" at being "married to a Negro." On arriving in Germany she is "a/ once'' depraved by a wicked man and her "Indian blood" comes into its own. This the hypocritical Sue, for the sake of "sweet morals and tender commerce," feels it his duty to describe as "natural perversity."

The mystery of Cecily is that she is a half-breed. The mystery of her sensuality is the heat of the tropics. Parny sang the half-breed in his beautiful lines to Eleonore. Over a hundred seafaring tales tell us how dangerous she is to sailors.

"Cecily," Eugene Sue tells us, "was the incarnation of" burning sensuality which only the heat of the tropics can kindle. . . . Everybody has heard of those coloured girls who are fatal, so to speak, to Europeans; of those charming vampires who inebriate their victim with terrible seductions . . .

and leave him nothing, as the forcible expression of the country says, but his tears to drink and his heart to gnaw."

Cecily by no means produced such a magic effect precisely on people of the aristocratically educated blase society. . .,

"Women of the type of Cecily have a sudden effect, a magic omnipotence over men of brutal sensuality like Jacques Ferrand," Sue tells us.

Since when have men like Jacques Ferrand been representative of fine society? But Critical Criticism must construe Cecily as a moment in the life-process of Absolute Mystery.


4) "The Mystery of Probity and Piety"

Granted, ''Mystery, as that of educated society, withdraws from its opposite into tlie interior. Nevertheless, liigli society still has its own exclusive circles in which it preserves the holy. It is, as it were, the chapel for this holy of holies. But for people in the yard the chapel itself is the mystery. Education, therefore in its exclusive position is the same for the people ... as vulgarity is for the educated."

Granted, nevertheless, still, as it were, but, therefore - those are the magic hooks which hold together the links of the chain of speculative reasoning. Herr Szeliga has made Mystery withdraw from the world of criminals into high society.

Now he has to construe the mystery that high society has its exclusive circles and that the mysteries of those circles are mysteries for the people. Besides the magic hooks already mentioned this construction requires the transformation of a circle into a chapel and the transformation of non-aristocrat, ic society into a yard in front of that chapel. Again it is a mystery for Paris that all the spheres of bourgeois society are only a yard in front of the chapel of high society.

Herr Szeliga has a double aim. First of all, Mystery which has become incarnate in the exclusive circle of high society must be declared ''common property of the world.'" Secondly, the notary Jacques Ferrand must be construed as a link in the life of Mystery. Here is the way Herr Szeliga reasons:

"Education cannot and will not bring all sections and varieties into its circle yet. Only Christianity land moral are able to found a universal kingdom on earth." . Herr Szeliga, identifies education, civilization, with aristocratic education. That is why he cannot understand that industry and trade found quite different universal kingdoms than Christiianity and moral, domestic happiness and civic prosperity. But how do we come to the notary Jacques Ferrand? Quite simply!


Herr Szeliga transforms Christianity into an individual quality, "piety,'' and moral into another individual quality, "probity.'' He combines these two qualities in one individual whom he christens Jacques Ferrand, because Jacques Ferrand does not possess these two qualities but only pretends to. And thus Jacques Ferrand becomes the "mystery of probity and piety." His "testament," on the other hand, is "the mystery of seeming probity and piety," and no longer of probity and piety themselves. If Critical Criticism wished toconstrue this testament as a mystery, it would have to declare seeming probity and piety to be the mystery of this testament, not the other way round, the testament to be the mystery of seeming probity and piety.

The Paris college of notaries considered Jacques Ferrand as a lampoon against itself and managed to get him removed from the performances of the Mysteres de Paris; but Critical Criticism, though "polemizing against the aerial kingdom of conceptions," sees in a Paris notary not a Paris notary but religion and moral, probity and piety. The trial of the notary Lehon ought to have taught it better. The position held by the notary in Eugene Sue's novel is closely connected with his official position.

"Notaries are in the temporal realm what priests are in the spiritual: they are the depositories of our secrets" (Monteil, Histoire des Frangais des divers etats, etc. Vol. IX, p. 37).

The notary is the temporal confessor. He is a puritan by profession, and "honesty," Shakespeare says, is "no Puritan." He is at the same time the go-between for all possible purposes, the manager of all civil intrigues and schemes.

With the notary Ferrand, whose whole mystery consists in his hypocrisy and his profession we do not seem to have made a step forward yet. But listen:

"If for the notary hypocrisy has become a matter of complete consciousness and for Mjadame Roland instinct, as it


were, between them there is the geat mass of those who cannot get to the bottom of the m3stery and yet feei an involuntary desire to do so. It is therefore not superstition that takes great and small to the sombre dwelling of the charlatan Bradamanti (Abbe Polidori); no, it is the search for Mystery, to justify themselves to the world."

"Great und small" flock to Polidori not to find out a definite secret which will justify them to the whole world, but to look for "Mystery" in general. Mystery as the Absolute Subject, in order to justify themselves to the world; as if to chop wood one looked, not for a chopper, but for Instrument in abstracto.

All the secrets that Polidori possesses are limited to a means for abortion and a poison for murder. - In a speculative frenzy Herr Szeliga makes the ''murderer" resort to Polidori's poison "because he wants to be not a murderer, but respected, loved and honoured." As if in a case of murder it were a matter of respect, love or honour and not of one's neck\ But the Critical murderer is not bothered about his neck, but only about "Mystery." As not everybody commits murder or becomes pregnant illegitimiately how is Polidori to put everybody in the desired possession of Mystery? Herr Szeliga probably confuses the charlatan Polidori with the scholar Polydorus Virgilius who lived in the sixteenth century and, who, although he did not discover any mystery, tried to make the history of those who did, the inventors, the "common property of the world" (see Polidori Virgilii, liber de rerum inventoribus, Lugduni MDCCVI).

Mystery, Absolute Mystery, as it has finally made itself the "common property of the world," is therefore the secret of abortion and poisoning. Mystery could not make itself "the common property of the world" more skilfully than by turning itself into mysteries which are mysteries for nobody.

CHAPTER- v.. 97

5) "3Iyslery, a Mockery"

"Mystery has now become common property, the mystery of the whole world and of every individual. Either it is my art or my instinct, or I can buy it as a purchasable ware."

What mystery has now become the common property of the world? The mystery of rightlessness in the state, the mystery of educated society, the mystery of adulterating wares, the mystery of making eau-de-cologne or the mystery of "Critical Criticism"? None of all those, but Mystery in abstracto, the category Mystery!

Herr Szeliga intends to present the servants and the porter Pipelet and his wife as the incarnation of Absolute Mystery.

He wants to construe the servant and the porter of "Mystery." How does he manage to come out of pure category to the "servant'' who ''spies at a locked door,'' to come out of Mystery as the Absolute Subject that thrones above the roof in the heavens of abstraction, and plunge down to the ground floor where the porter's lodge is?

First he subjects the category "Mystery" to a speculative process. When by the intermediary of means for abortion and poisoning Mystery has become the common property of the world, it is

"therefore no longer concealment and inaccessibility itself at all, but it conceals itself, or better still" (always better!) "I conceal it, / make it inaccessible."

With this transformation of Absolute Mystery from substance to concept, from the objective stage in which it is concealment itself into the subjective stage in which it conceals itself, or better still, in which / conceal it, we have not made a single step forward. On the contrary, the difficulty seems to grow, for a mystery in the head or the breast of man is more inaccessible and concealed than at the bottom of the sea.

That is why Herr Szeliga at once helps his speculative progress along with the immediate help of empirical progress.



"It is behind locked rfoors"- hark! hark! "that henceforth" - henceforth! - "Mystery is hatched, brewed and accompHshed." Herr Szeliga has "henceforth" changed the speculative ego of Mystery into a very empirical, very wooden reality - a door.

''With thaf - i.e., with the closed door, not with the transition from the closed substance to the concept - "there exists also the possibility of overhearing, eavesdropping, and spying on it."

It is not Herr Szeliga who discovered the "mystery" that one can eavesdrop by locked doors. The massy proverb even says that walls have ears. On the other hand it is a quite Critical speculative mystery that only ''henceforth,'' after the descent into the hell of the criminals' hide-outs and the ascension into educated society, and after Polidori's miracles, mysteries can be brewed behind locked doors and overheard through closed doors. It is just as great a Critical mystery that locked doors are a categorical necessity for the hatching, brewing and accomplishing of mysteries- how many mysteries are hatched, brewed and accomplished behind bushes! - as well las for spying them out.

After this brilliant dialectic feat of arms Herr Szeliga naturally goes on from spying itself to the grounds for spying.

Here he reveals the mystery that malicious exultation is the grounds for it. From malicious exultation he goes on to the grounds for malicious exultation.

"Everybody wishes to be better than the others," he says, "because he keeps secret the mainsprings not only of his good actions, but of his had ones too, which he tries to hide in impenetrable darkness." The sentence should be the other way round: Everybody not only keeps the mainsprings of his good actions secret, but tries to conceal his bad ones in quite impenetrable darkness because he wishes to be better than the others.


Thus it seems we have gone from Mystery that conceals itself to the ego that conceals: from the ego to the locked door, from the locked door to spying, from spying to the grounds for spying, malicious exultation; from malicious exultation to the grounds for malicious exultation, the desire to be better than the others. We shall soon have the pleasure of seeing the servant standing at the locked door. For the general desire to be better than the others leads us directly to this: that "everybody is inclined to find out the mysteries of the other." There is no difficulty in following this up with the witty remark:

"In this respect servants have the best opportunity. ''

Had Herr Szeliga read the memoires from the Paris Police archives, Vidocq's memoires, the livre noir and the like, he would know that in this respect the police has still greater opportunity than the "best opportunity" that servants have; that it uses servants only for vulgar service, that it does not stand by doors or when the masters are in neglige but creeps under their sheets next to their naked body in the form of a femme galante or even of a legitimate wife. In Sue's novel the police spy ''Bras Rouge" is one of the main agents in the plot.

What "henceforth" lannoys Herr Szeliga most in servants is that they are not ''disinterested" enough. This Critical misgiving leads him to the porter Pipelet and his wife.

"The porter's position, on the other hand, gives him relative independence so that he can pour out free, disinterested, if vulgar and injurious mockery on the mysteries of the house."

At first this speculative construction of the porter is greatly embarrassed because in many Paris houses the servant and the porter are one and the same for some of the tenants.

The following facts will enable the reader to form an opinion of the Critical fantasy concerning the relatively independent disinterested position of the porter. The porter in


Paris is the representative and spy of the owner of the house.

He is generally paid not by the owner of the house but by the tenants. Because of that precarious position he often combines the functions of spy with his official duties. During the Terror, the Empire and the Restoration the porter was one of the secret police's main agents. General Foy, for instance, was watched by his porter, who took all the letters addressed to the general to be read by a police agent not far away (see Froment, La Police Deuoilee). As a result ''portier' and ''epicier''* are considered insulting names and the porter insists on being called ''concierge.**'' .. Far from being "disinterested" and harmless Eugene Sue's Madame Pipelet immediately cheats Rudolph when giving him his change; she recommends him the dishonest moneylender living in the house and describes Rigolette to him as an acquaintance who may be "agreeable": she teases the major because he pays her badly and haggles with her - in her vexation she calls him "a twopenny major," - "that'll teach you to give only twelve francs a month for your housekeeping" - and because he is so "petty" as to keep a check on his firewood, etc. She herself gives the grounds for "independent" behaviour: the major only pays her twelve francs a month.

Herr Szeliga's "Anastasia Pipelet has, in a way, to declare a running war on Mystery."

Eugene Sue makes Anastasia Pipelet a typical Paris portiere. He wants "to dramatize the portiere whom Henry Monier portrayed with such mastery." But Herr Szeliga feels bound to transform one of her qualities - ''backbiting" - into a separate being land then to make Aladame Pipelet a representative of that being.

"The husband," Herr Szeliga continues, "the portier Alfred Pipelet, helps her but with less luck."

* Grocer. - Ed.

Caretaker. - Ed.


To console him for his bad luck Herr Szeliga makes him an allegory. He represents the ''objective'' side of Mystery, ''Mystery as Mockery."

"The mystery which defeats him is a mockery, a joke, that is played on him."

Indeed, in its infinite pity divine dialectics makes "the unhappy, old, childish man" a "strong man" in the metaphysical sense, by representing him as a very worthy, very happy and very decisive moment in the life-process of Absolute Mystery. The victory over Pipelet is "Mystery's most decisive defeat." "A cleverer, more courageous man would not let himself be duped by a joke."

6) Turtle-Dove (Rigolette)

"There is still one step left. Through its own consequence ¦ Mystery, as we saw in Pipelet and Cabrion, is driven to debase itself to mere joking. The one thing necessary now is that the individual should no longer agree to play that silly comedy. Turtle-dove takes that step in the most unprejudiced way in the world."

Anybody can see in two minutes through the mystery of this speculative joking and learn to practise it himself. We would give brief directions in this respect.

Problem. You must construe for me how man becomes master over beasts.

Speculative solution. Given half a dozen animals, such as the lion, the shark, the snake, the bull, the horse and the pug.

From these six animals abstract the category "Animal." Imagine "Animal" to be an independent being. Consider the lion, the shark, the snake, etc., as disguises, incarnations, of "Animal " Just as you made your imagination, the "Animal" of your abstraction, a real being, now make real animals beings of abstraction of your imagination. You see that "Animal" which in the lion tears man to pieces, in the shark swal


lows him up, in the snake stings him with venom, in the bull tosses him with its horns and in the horse kicks him, only barks at him when it presents itself as a pug, and changes the fight against man into the mere semblance of a fight. Through its own consequence Animal is driven, as we have seen in the pug, to debase itself to a mere joker. When a child or a childish man runs away from a pug, the only thing is for the individual no longer to agree to play the silly ' comedy. The individual X takes this step in the most unprejudiced way in the world by using a bamboo cane on a pug.

You see how "Man," through the agency of the individual X and the pug, has become master over "Animal," and consequently over animals, and in "Animal'' as a pug has defeated the lion as ''Animal.''

Similarly Herr Szeliga's "Turtle-Dove" defeats the mystery of the present world system through the intermediary of Pipelet and Cabrion. More than that! She is herself a manifestation of the category "Mystery." - "She herself is not yet conscious of her high moral value, therefore she is still a mystery to herself."

Eugene Sue makes Murph reveal the mystery of «on-speculative Rigolette: She is "a very pretty Grisette." Eugene Sue described in her the lovely human character of the Paris girl of the people. Only his devotedness to the bourgeoisie and his own personal love of exaggeration made him idealize Grisette morally. He could not refrain from smoothing down the asperities of her situation in life and her character, to be precise, her disdain for the form of marriage, her naive attachment to the young student or the worker. It is precisely in that attachment that she constitutes a really human contrast to the hypocritical, narrow-hearted, selfseeking wife of the bourgeois, to the whole circle of the bourgeoisie, that is, to the official circle.


7) The World System of the Mysteries of Paris

"This world of mystery is now the general world system into which the individual action of the Paris Mysteries is transported."

Before, "however . . ." Herr Szeliga "goes on to the philosophical reproduction of the epic event" he must "assemble in a general picture the sketches previously jotted down separately."

It must be considered as a real confession, a revelation of Herr Szeliga's Critical Mystery when he says that he wishes to go on to the "philosophical reproduction" of the epic event. He has so far been "philosophically reproducing" the world systern.

Herr Szeliga continues his confession:

"From our presentation it would appear that the individual mysteries dealt with have not their worth in themselves, each separate from the others, and are in no way magnificent novelties for gossip; their value consists in their constituting an organically ramified series, the totality of which is "Mystery."

In his fit of sincerity Herr Szeliga goes still further. Headmits that "the speculative sequence" is not the real sequence of the Mysteries de Paris.

"Granted, the mysteries do not appear in our epic in the relation of this self-knowing sequence (at the cost price?).

But we are not dealing with the logical, obvious, free organism of criticism but with a mysterious vegetable existence.''

We shall pass over Herr Szeliga's summary and go on immediately to the point that constitutes the "transition." In Pipelet we saw the "self-jesting of Mystery."

"In self-jesting Mystery judges itself. Thereby the mysteries, annihilating themselves in their last consequence, challenge every strong character to independent examination."


Rudolph, Prince of Geroldstein, the man of ''pure Criticism'" is destined to carry out that examination and the ''disclosure of the mysteries."

If we deal with Rudolph and his feats only later, after having lost sight of Herr Szeliga for some time, it can already be foreseen, and to a certain degree the reader can have an idea and can even guess at his discretion, that instead of making him a "mysterious vegetable being'' as he is in the Critical Literatur-Zeitung, we shall make him a "logical, obvious, free link" in the "organism of Critical Criticism."




1) Absolute Criticism's First Campaign

a) "Spirit" and "Mass"

So far Critical Criticism has seemed to deal more or less with the critical elaboration of various massy objects. We now find it dealing with the absolutely Critical object, itself.

So far it has drawn its relative fame from critical debasement, rejection and transformation of definite massy objects and persons. It now draws its absolute fame from the critical debasement, rejection and transformation of the mass in general. Relative criticism was faced with relative limits. Absolute Criticism is faced with the absolute limit, the limit of the mass, the mass as limit. Relative criticism in its opposition to definite limits was necessarily itself a limited individual. Absolute Criticism, in its opposition to the general limit, to limit in general, is necessarily an absolute individual. As the various massy objects and persons have merged in the impure pulp of the ''mass,'" so has still seemingly objective and personal criticism changed into ''pure criticism.'' So far criticism has appeared to be more or less a quality of the critical individuals, Reichardt, Edgar, Faucher, etc. Now it is a subject and Herr Bruno is its incarnation.


So far massiness has seemed to be more or less the quality of the objects and persons criticized; now objects and persons have become "Mass'' and the "Mass" has become persons and objects. All previous critical attitudes were dissolved in the attitude of Absolute Critical wisdom to absolute massy stupidity. This basic attitude appears as the meaning, the tendency and the keyword of Criticism's previous deeds and struggles.

In accordance with its absolute character "pure" Criticism, as soon as it appears, will pronounce the differentiating ''catchword,'' nevertheless, as the Absolute Spirit it must go through a dialectic process. Only at the end of its heavenly motion will its original concept truly be realized (see Hegel, Encyclopaedia).

"But a few months ago," Absolute Criticism announces, "the mass believed itself to be of gigantic strength and destined to world mastery within a time that it could count on its fingers.""

It was Herr Bruno Bauer, in Die gute Sache der Freiheit (his ''own" cause, of course), in Die Judenfrage and so forth, who counted on his fingers the time before the approaching world mastery, although he admitted he could not give the exact date. To the record of the sins of the mass he adds his own.

- "The mass thought itself in possession of so many truths which seemed obvious to it." "But one possesses a truth completely only . . . when one follows it through its proofs."

For Herr Bauer as for Hegel, truth is an automaton that proves itself. Mn must follow it. As in Hegel, the result of real development is nothing but the truth proven, i.e., brought to consciousness. Absolute Criticism may therefore ask with the most limited of theologians:

"What would be the purpose of history if its task were not precisely to prove these, the simplest of all truths (such as the movement of the earth round the sun)?"


Just as according to old teleologists plants exist to be eaten by animals and animals by men, history exists in order to serve as the act of consumption of theoretical eating - proving. Man exists so that history may exist and history exists so that the proof of truths may exist. In that Crlticatly trivialized form we have the repetition of the speculative wisdom that man exists and that history exists so that truth may be brought to self-consciousness.

That is why history, like truth, becomes a person apart, a metaphysical subject of which real human individuals are but the bearers. That is why Absolute Criticism uses expressions like these:

''History will not be joked at . . . history has exerted its greatest efforts to . . . history has been engaged . . . what would be the purpose of history! . . . history provides the explicit proof; history proposes truths," etc.

If, as Absolute Criticism affirms, history has so far been occupied with only a few such truths - the simplest of all - which in the end are self-evident, "this indigence to which previous human experiences were reduced proves first of all only Absolute Criticism's own indigence. From the uncritical standpoint the result of history is, on the contrary, that the most complicated truth, the quintessence of all truth, man, understands himself in the end by himself."

"But truths," Absolute Criticism continues to argue, "which seem to the mass to be so crystal clear that they are understood of themselves from the start . . . and that the mass deems proof superfluous, are not worth history supplying explicit proof of them; they constitute no part whatever of the problem which history is engaged in solving."

In its holy zeal against the mass Absolute Criticism, flatters it in the most refined way. If a truth is crystal clear because it seems crystal clear to the mass; if history's attitude to truths depends on the opinion of the mass, the opinion of the mass is absolute, infallible, it is law for


history, and history proves only what the mass does not consider as crystal-clear, what therefore needs proof. It is the mass, therefore, that prescribes history's "task" and "occupation.'/

Absolute Criticism speaks of "truths which are understood of themselves from the start.'" In its Critical naiveness it invents an absolute ''from the sfarf and an abstract, immutable "Ma55." There is just as little difference, in the eyes of Criticism, between the "from the start" of the sixteenth century mass and the "from the start" of the nineteenth century mass as between those masses themselves. It is precisely a feature of a truth which has become true and obvious and is understood of itself that it "is understood of itself from the start.'' Absolute Criticism's polemic against truths which are understood of themselves from the start is a polemic against truths which, in general, "are understood of themselves."

A truth which is understood of itself has lost its salt, its meaning, its value for Absolute Criticism as for divine 'dialectics. It has become flat, like stale water. On the one hand, therefore, Absolute Criticism proves everything which is understood of itself and, besides, many things which have the luck of being incomprehensible and will therefore never be understood of themselves. On the other hand it considers as understood of itself everything which needs some proof. Why? Because it is understood of itself that real problems are not understood of themselves.

As "Truth," like history, is an ethereal subject separate from the material mass, it addresses itself not to the empirical man but to the ''innermost of the soul"; in order to be "truly apprehended'' it does not act on his vulgar body, which may live in the bowels of an English basement or at the top of a French block of poky flats; it "drags" on and on "through" his idealistic intestines. Absolute Criticism does certify that "the mass" has so far in its own way,


i.e., superficially, been touched by the truths that history has been so gracious as to "propose"; "but at the same time it prophesies that the attitude oj the mass to hisioncul progress will completely change."

It will not be long before the mysterious meaning of this Critical prophecy is "crystal-clear" to us.

"All great actions of previous history," we are told, "were failures j'rom the start and had no efTcctive success because the mass became interested in and enthusiastic over them; in other words they were bound to come to a pitiful end because the idea in them was such that it had to be satisfied with a superficial comprehension and therefore to rely on the approbation of the mass."

It seems that comprehension ceases to be superficial when it suffices for, corresponds to an idea. It is only for appearance' sake that Herr Bruno brings out a relation between an idea and its comprehension, as it is also only for appearance' sake that he brings out a relation between unsuccessful historical action and the mass. If, therefore, Absolute Criticism condemns something as being "superficial," it is simply previous history whose actions and ideas were those of the "masses." It rejects massy history to replace it by Critical history (see Herr Jules Faucher on English problems of the day). According to previous un-Critical history, i.e., history not conceived in the sense of Absolute Criticism, it must further be precisely distinguished to what extent the mass was ''interested'' in aims and to what extent it was '' enthusiastic" over them. The ''idea" always disgraced itself insofar as it dilTered from the ''interest." On the other hand it is easy to understand that every massy "interest" asserting itself historically goes far beyond its real limits in the "idea" or "imagination" when it first came on the scene and is confused v/ith human interest in general. This illusion constitutes what Fourier calls the tone of each historical epoch. The interest of the bourgeoisie in the 1789


Revolution, far from having been a ''failure" "won'' everything and had ''effective success'' however much the "pathos" of it evaporated and the "enthusiastic" flowers with which that interest adorned its cradle faded. That interest was so powerful that it vanquished the pen of Marat, the guillotine of the Terror and the sword of Napoleon as well as the crucifix and the blue blood of the Bourbons. The Revolution was a "failure" only for the mass which did not find in the political "idea" the idea of its real "interest," whose real life-principle did not therefore coincide with the life-principle of the Revolution; the mass whose real conditions for emancipation were substantially different from the conditions within which the bourgeoisie could emancipate itself and society. If the revolution, which can exemplify all great historical "actions" was a failure, it was so because the mass whose living conditions it did not substantially go beyond was an exclusive, limited mass, not an all-embracing one. If it was a failure it was not because it aroused the "enthusiasm" and "interest" of the mass, but because the most numerous part of the mass, the part most greatly differing from the bourgeoisie, did not find its real interest in the principle of the revolution, had no revolutionary principle of its own, but only an "idea," and hence only an object of momentary enthusiasm and only apparent exaltation.

With the thoroughness of the historical action the size of the mass whose action it is will therefore increase. In Critical history, according to which in historical actions it is not a matter of the active mass, of empirical action, or of the empiric interest of that action but rather only of "an idea" "in them," affairs must naturally take a different course.

"In the mass," Criticism teaches us, "not somewhere else, as its former liberal spokesmen believed, is the true enemy of the spirit to be found."


The enemies of progress outside the mass are precisely those products of selj-debasemcnt, sell-rejection and selfestrangement of the mass which have been endowed with independent being and a life of their own. The mass therefore rises against its own deficiency when it rises against the independently existing products of its sei] -debasement just as man, turning against the existence of God, turns against his own religiosity. But as those practical selfestrangements of the mass exist in the real world in an outward way, the mass must fight them in an outward way.

It mus t by no means consider these products of its selfestrangement as mere ide at Tänzis, mere es tra ngemen ts of self -consciousness, ancT must not wisF to a boTi sh material estrangement by a" pur ely inward spiritual action. As early as 1789 Loustalot's journaP'J ga\"!Be~fnöIfö ~

The great appear great in our eyes Only because we kneel.

Let us rise!

But to rise it is not enough to do so in thought and to leave hanging over our real sensual head the real palpable yoke that cannot be subtilized away with ideas. Yet Absolute Criticism has learnt from Hegel's Phenomenology at least the art of changing real objective chains that exist outside me into mere ideal, mere subjective chains existing in me, and thus to change all exterior palpable struggles into pure struggles of thought.

It is on this Critical transformation that the pre-established harmony between Critical Criticism and the censorship is based. From the Critical point of view the writer's fight against the censor is not a fight of "man against man."' The censor is nothing but my own tact personified for me by the solicitous police, my own tact struggling against my tactlessness and un-Criticalness. The struggle of the writer with the censor is only apparently, only in the eyes of wicked



sensuality, anything else than the interior struggle of the writer with himself. Insofar as the censor is a real individual different from myself, a police official who mishandles the product of my mind by applying an external standard which has nothing to do with the matter in question; he is but a massy imagination, an un-Critical figment of tlie brain. When Feuerbach's Theses on the Rejorm of Philosophy were prohibited by the censor, it was not the official barbarity of the censor that was to blame but the lack of refinement of Feuerbach's Theses. ''Pure'' Criticism, unsullied by mass or matter, also has in the censor a purely y "ethereal" form, free from any massy reality.

\\i Absolute Criti cism has dedajed the ''mas s'' to be the true c«'', ns/y of the spirit. This it develops as .follows: ri? "The spirit now knows where to look for its only adver -"*Jt sary - in th e self-dec eption and the pithlessness of the

- äEsolute Criticism proceeds from the dogma of the absolute competency of the "spirit." Furthermore, it proceeds from the dogma of the extrarnundane existence (;f the spirit, i.e., of its existence outside the mass of humanity.

Finally it transforms "the spirit," "progress," on the one hand, and the "mass," on the other, into fixed beings, into concepts, and relates them one to the other in that form as given invariable extremes. It does not occur to Absolute Criticism to investigate the "spirit" itself, to find out whether it is not its own spiritualistic nature, its airy pretensions that justify "the phrase," "self-deception" and "pithlessness." The spirit, on the contrary, is absolute, but unfortunately at the same time it continually falls into spiritlessness: it continually calculates without the master, hence it must necessarily have an adversary that intrigues against it. That adversary is the mass.

The position is the same with "progress." In spite of "progress's" pretensions, continual retrogressions and air


Ciliar movements are to be observed. Not suspecting that the category ''Progress" is completely empty and abstract, Absolute Criticism is so profound as to recognize ''progress'' as being absolute and to explain retrogression by supposing a "personal adversary'' of progress, the mass. As "the mass'' is nothing but the "opposite of the spirit," of progress, of "Criticism," it can also be defined only by that imaginary opposition; outside that opposition all that Criticism can say about the meaning and the existence of the mass is the senseless, because completely undefined:

"The mass, in the sense in v/hich the "word" also embraces the so-called educated world."

"Also" and "so-called" are enough for its Critical deHnition. The "Mass" is therefore distinct from the real masses and exists as the "Mass" only for "Criticism."

All communist and socialist writers proceeded from the observation that, on the one hand, even the most favourable brilliant deeds seemed to remain without brilliant results, to end in trivialities, and, on the other, all progress of the spirit had so far been progress against the mass of mankind, driving it to an ever more dehumanized predicament. They therefore declare "progress" (see Fourier) to be an inadequate abstract phrase; they assumed (see Owen among others) a fundamental flaw in the civilized world; that is why they submitted the real bases of contemporary society to incisive criticism. To this communist criticism' corresponded immediately in practice the movement of the great mass against which history had so far developed.

One must be acquainted with the studiousness, the craving for knowledge, the moral energy and the unceasing urge for development of the French and English workers to be able to form an idea of the human nobleness of that movement.

How infinitely profound "Absolute Criticism" must be to have in face of these intellectual and practical facts, but a P- 1192



one-sided conception of only one aspect of the relationship - the continual foundering of the spirit - and, vexed at this, to seek besides an adversary of the "Spirit" and find it in the ''Mass.'' In the end all this great Critical discovery comes to tautology. According to Criticism, the or the first time, not just for four years, but since its political birth.

Since socialist writings spread in Germany the view that all human aspirations and actions without exception have social significance, Herr Bruno can call his theological works social too. But what a Critical demand it is that Professor Hinrichs should derive socialism from an acquaintance with Bauer's works when the practical conclusions - wherever


there were any - of all of Bruno Bauer's works up to the publication of Professor Hinrichs' lectures were political ones! It was impossible, un-Critically speaking, for Professor Hinrichs to supplement Herr Bruno's published works with his unpublished ones. From the Critical point of view, the mass, of course, is obliged to interpret all Absolute Criticism's massy as well as "political" "movements" in the spirit of the future and of Absolute Progress! But so that once HerrHinrichs has been acquainted with Literatur-Zeitung he may never again forget the word ''sociaC or fail to recognize the ''social'' character of Crilicism, Criticism prohibits the word ''politicar for the third time before the whole world and solemnly repeats the word ''social'''' for the third time.

"If the true tendency of modern history is taken into account it is no longer a question of political but . . . but of social significance," etc.

As Professor Hinrichs is the scapegoat for the former "political" movements, so he is too for the "Hegelian'' movements and expressions that Absolute Criticism used intentionally up to the publication of Literalur-Zeiiung and continually uses unintentionally in it.

Once "real Hegelian" and twice "Hegelian philosopher" are thrown in Hinrichs' face as catchwords. Herr Bruno even "hopes" that the "banal expressions which had such tiring circulation in all books of the Hegelian school" (in particular in his own books), being so "exhausted" in Professor Hinrichs' lectures, will soon reach the end of their journey. From the "exhaustion" of Professor Hinrichs Herr Bruno expects the abolition of Hegel's philosophy and thereby his own redemption from it.

Thus in its first campaign Absolute Criticism overthrows the gods "Politics" and "Philosophy" it has itself so long been worshipping, declaring them to be idols of Professor Hinrichs.

Glorious first campaign!


2) Absolute Criticism's Second Campaign

a) Hinrichs No. 2. "Criticism" and "Feuerbach." Damnation of Philosophy

As the result of its first campaign Absolute Criticism can consider ''philosophy'' as dealt with and term it outright an ally of the "Mass."

"¦Philosophers were predestined to fulfil the heart's desires of the 'Mass.' " And "the Mass wants simple concepts in order to have nothing to do with the thing itself - shibboleths, so as to have finished with everything from the start, phrases by which Criticism can be done away with."

And "philosophy" fulfils this longing of the "Mass!"

Staggering after its victories, Absolute Criticism breaks out in Pythian violence against philosophy. Feiierbach's Philosophy of the Future is the concealed cauldron whose fumes inspire Absolute Criticism's victory-inebriated head.* It read Feuerbach's work in March. The fruit of that reading and at the same time the criterion of the earnestness with which it was undertaken is Article No. 2 against Professor Hinrichs.

In this article Absolute Criticism, which has never freed itself from the Hegelian way of viewing things, storms at the iron bars and walls of its prison. The "simple concept" the terminology, the vhole mode of thinking of philosophy, indeed, the whole of philosophy, is rejected with disgust.

In its place we suddenly find the "real wealth of human relations," the "immense content of history," the "signißcance of man," etc. "The mystery of the system" is declared "revealed."

But who, then, revealed the mystery of the "system"? Feuerbach. Who annihilated the dialectics of concepts, the

* Engels here makes a pun on "Feuerbach" (literally stream of fire) and "Feuerkessel" (boiler). - Ed.



war of the gods known to the philosophers alone? Feuerbach. Who substituted for the old rubbish and for "infinite self-consciousness" not, it is true, "the significance of man" - as though man had another significance than that of being man - but Man? Feuerbach, and Feuerbacli alone.

And he did more. Long ago he did away with the very categories that "Criticism" now wields - the "real wealth of human relations, the immense content of history, the struggle of history, the fight of the mass against the spirit," etc.

Once man is apprehended as the essence, the basis of all human activity and situations, only "Criticism" can invent new categories and transform man himself into a category and into the principle of a whole series of categories as it is doing now. It is true that in so doing it steps on to the only road to salvation that remained for terrorized and persecuted theological inhumanity. iHistory does nothing, it "possesses no immense wealth," it "wages no battles." It is man, real living man, that does all that, that possesses and fights; "history" is not a person apart, using man as a means for its own particular aims; history is nothing but the activity of man pursuing his aimsj If Absolute Criticism, after Feuerbach's inspired arguments, still takes the liberty of dishing up the old trash in a new form at the same time abusing it as ''Massy'' trash - which it has all the less right to do as it never stirred a finger to abolish philosophy - that fact alone is sufficient to bring the "mystery'' of Criticism to light and to assess the Critical naiveness with which it says to Professor Hinrichs whose ''exhaustion" once did it such a great service:

"The damage is to those who have not gone through any development and therefore could not alter themselves even if they wished to; and if it gets so far, the new principle - but no! The new cannot be made into a phrase, separate turns of speech cannot be borrowed from it."


Absolute Criticism boasts over Professor Hinrichs that it solved ''the mystery of faculty sciences.'' Has it then solved the "mystery" of philosophy, jurisprudence, politics, medicine, political econom.y and so forth? Not at all! It has, be it noted, it has shown in the Die Gute Sache der Freiheit that science as a source of livelihood, and free science, freedom of teaching and faculty statutes contradict each other.

If "Absolute Criticism" were honest it would have admitted where it got its pretended illumination on the "Mystery of Philosophy" from. It is a good thing all the same that it did not put into Feuerbach's mouth such nonsense as the misunderstood and distorted sentences that it had borrowed from him, as it has done with other people. By the way, it is typical of "Absolute Criticism's" theological viewpoint that while the German philistines are now beginning to understand Feuerbach and to adopt his conclusions, it is unable to grasp a single sentence of his correctly or to use it properly.

Criticism males real progress in comparison with its feats of the first campaign when it "defines" the struggle of 'Hhe Mass'' against the '"Spirit" as "the aim" of all history up to date; when it declares the ''Mass" to be "pure nothingness" of "misery;" when it calls the "Mass" purely and simply "Matter" and contrasts "the Spirit" as truth to "Matter." Is "Absolute Criticism" then not genuinely Christian-German? After the old contradiction between spiritualism and materialism has been fought out on all sides and overcome once for all by Feuerbach, "Criticism" again makes a basic dogma of it in its ugliest form and gives tlie victory to the "Christian-German spirit."

Finally, it must be considered as a development of the mystery contained in Criticism's first campaign that it now identifies the contradiction between spirit and mass with the contradiction between " Criticism" and the Mass. Later


it will proceed to identify itself with "Criticism in general" and therefore to represent itself as ''The Spirit," the Absolute and the Infinite, and the Mass, on the other hand, as finite, coarse, brutal, dead, and inorganic - for that is what "Criticism" understands by matter.

How immense is the wealth of history since it is exhausted by the attitude of humanity to Herr Bauerl

b) The Jewish Question No. 2.

Critical Discoveries on Socialism, Jurisprudence and Politics (Nationality)

The massy material Jews are preached the Christian doctrine of freedom of the spirit, freedom in theory, that spiritualistic freedom which imagines itself to be free even in chains, whose soul is satisfied with '7/ze idea'' and embarrassed by any kind of massy existence.

"The Jews are emancipated to the extent of their progress in theory, they are free to the extent that they wish to be free

From that proposition one can immediately measure the critical gap which separates massy, profane communism and socialism from Absolute socialism. The first proposition of profane socialism rejects emancipation in mere theory as an illusion and for real freedom it demands besides the idealistic ''wilV quite palpable material conditions. How low "the Mass" is in comparison with holy Criticism, the Mass which considers material, practical upheavals necessary to win the time and means required even to deal with "theory''\

Let us leave purely spiritual socialism an instant for politics\

Herr Riesser argues against Bruno Bauer that his state (i.e., the Critical state) must exclude "Jews" and "Christians." Herr Riesser is right. Since Herr Bauer confuses


human emancipation with political emancipation, since the state can react to adverse elements - and Christianity and Judaism are considered as treasonable elements in the Judenfrage - only by forcible expulsion of the persons representing them (the Terror, for instance, wished to do away with corn hoarding by guillotining the hoarders), Herr Bauer must have both Jews and Christians hanged in his "Critical state." Having confused political emancipation with human emancipation, he had to be consistent and confuse the political means of emancipation with the human means. But as soon as Absolute Criticism hears the definite meaning of its deductions formulated, it gives the answer Schelling once gave to his opponents who substituted real thoughts for his phrases:

''Criticism's opponents are its opponents because they not only measure it with their dogmatic yardstick but consider it as dogmatic itself: they oppose criticism because it will not recognize their dogmatic distinctions, definitions and evasions."

It is, indeed, adopting a dogmatic attitude to Absolute Criticism, as to Herr Schelling, to attribute to it definite, real significance, thought and views. In order to be accommodating and to prove to Herr Riesser its humanity "Criticism," however, decides to resort to dogmatic distinctions, definitions, and, to be precise, to evasions."

Thus we read:

"Had I in that work" {Die Judenfrage) "had the will or the right to go beyond criticism, I ought'' (!) "to haue spoken' (!) "not of the state, but of society, which excludes nobody but from which only those exclude themselves who do not wish to take part in its development."

Here Absplute CriUcism makes a dogmatic distinction between what it ought to have done if it had not done the contrary and what it actually did. It explains the narrowness of its Die Judenfrage by the ''dogmatic evasions" of


having the will and having the right which prohibited it from "going beyond criticism What? "Criticisrn" should go beyond ''criiism." This quite massji notion occurs to Absolute Criticism because of the dogmatic necessity for, oiTlhe on'e hand, asserting its conception of the Jewish question as absolute, as Criticism, and, on the other hand, admitting a more comprehensive conception.

The mystery of its ''not having the wiir' and "not having the righV will later be revealed as the Critical dogma according to which all apparent limitations of "Criticism" are nothing but necessary adaptations to the powers of comprehension of the Mass. ¦--

It had not the will\ It had not the right to go beyond its narrow conception of the Jewish question! But what would it have done had it had the will or the right} It would have given a dogmatic definition. It would have spoken of ''society' instead of "state" in other words it would not have studied the real relation of Jewry to civil society today] It would have given a dogmatic definition of the "society" as distinct from the "state" in the sense that whereas the state expels those who do not wish to take part in its development, such people exclude themselves from society!

Society behaves just as exclusively as the state, only in

.a more polite form: it does not throw you out, but it makes

it so uncomfortable for you that you go out of your own will.

In substance the state does not behave otherwise, for it does not expel anybody who is satisfied with its demands and orders and its development. In its perfection it even closes its eyes and declares real contradictions to be nonpolitical contradictions which do not disturb it. Besides, Absolute Criticism itself has argued that the state excludes Jews only because and insofar as the Jews exclude the state and hence exclude themselves from the state. If these relations have a more courteous, a more hypocritical and more



crafty form in Critical "society" that only proves ttiat ''Criticar ''society' is more hypocritical and less developed in its structure.

Let us follow Absolute Criticism deeper in its "dogmatic distinctions" and "definitions," to be precise, in its ''evasions.'''

Herr Riesser, for example, demands of the critic "that he distinguish what belongs to the domain of law" from "what is beyond it."

The Critic is indignant at the impertinence of this juridical demand.

"So far," he retorts, "both feeling and conscience have, however, interfered in law, supplemented it, and, because of the quality based on its dogmatic form" (not, therefore, on its dogmatic essence?) "have always had to supplement it."

The Critic forgets that law, on the other hand, distinguishes itself quite explicitly from "feeling and conscience," that this distinction is based on the one-sided essence of law as well as on its dogmatic form, that it is even one of the main dogmas of law; that, finally, the practical implementation of that distinction is just as much the peak of the development of law as the separation of religion from all profane content makes it abstract, absolute religion. The fact that "feeling and conscience" interfere in law is sufficient reason for the Critic to speak of feeling and conscience when it is a matter of law and of theological dogmatics when it is a matter of juridical dogmatics.

The "definitions and distinctions" of Absolute Criticism have prepared us sufficiently to hear its latest ''discoveries''' about "society"' and "law.'"

"The world form that Criticism is preparing and the thought of which it is even first preparing is no merely legal form but" (collect yourself, Reader) "a form of society about which at least this much" (this little?) ''can be said: who



ever has not made his contribution to its formation and does not live with his feeling and conscience in it, does not feel at home in it and cannot take part in its history."

The world form that "Criticism" is preparing is defined as not merely legale bat social. This definition can be interpreted in two ways. The sentence quoted may be taken as ''not legal but social" or "not merely legal, but also social." Let us consider its content according to both readings, beginning with the first. Earlier, Absolute Criticism defined the new "world form" distinct from the ''state'' as "society." Now it defines the noun "society'' by the adjective "social." If Herr Hinrichs was three times given the word "social" in contrast to his "political" Herr Riesser is now given "social society" in contrast to his "legal." If the Critical explanations for Herr Hinrichs came to the formula "social" + "social" -}- "social" = 3 a, Absolute Criticism passes in its second campaign from addition to multiplication and Herr Riesser is referred to society multiplied by itself, society to the second power, social society = a'. In order to complete its deductions on society all Absolute Criticism now has to do is to go on to fractions, to extract the square root of society, and so forth.

If on the other hand we take the second reading: the "not merely legal but also social" world form, this hybrid world form is nothing but the world form existing today, the world form of society today. It is a great, a venerable Critical miracle that "Criticism" in its pre-world thinking is only just preparing the future existence of the world form which already exists today. But however it be with "not merely legal but also social society" Criticism can for the time being say no more about it than "fabula docet"* the moral application. Those who do not believe in that society with their feeling and their conscience will "not

* The fable teaches. - Ed.



feel at home" in it. In tlie end, nobody will live in that society except "pure feeling" and "pure conscience," that is, "the Spirit," "Criticism" and its supporters. The Mass will be excluded from it one way or another so that "massy society" will dwell outside "social society."

In a word, this society is nothing but the Critical heaven from which the real world is excluded as being the un-Critical hell. In its pure thinking Absolute Criticism is preparing this transfigured world form of the antithesis between "Mass" and ''Spirit.'"

From the same Critical depths as these explanations on ''society''' come the explanations Herr Riesser is given on the destiny of nations.

The Jews' desire for emancipation and the desire of Christian states to "classify" the Jews in "their government scheme" - as though the Jews had not long ago been classified in the Christian government schemes! - leads Absolute Criticism to prophecies on the "decay of nationalities.'" See by what a complicated detour Absolute Criticism arrives at the present historical movement - by the detour of theology.

The following illuminating words of the oracle show us what great results Criticism achieves in this way:

"The future of all nationalities - is - very - gloomyV

But let the future of nationalities be as gloomy as it may, for Criticism's sake. The one essential thing is clear: the future is the work of Criticism.

"Destiny," it exclaims, "may decide as it will: we now know that it is our work.'"

As God leaves his creation, man, his own will, so Criticism gives destiny, which is its creation, its own will.

Criticism, which makes destiny, is, like God, almighty.

Even the "resistance" which it "finds outside itself," is its work. "Criticism makes its adversary." "Massy indignation" against it is therefore "dangerous" only for "the Mass" itself.


But if Criticism, like God, is almighty, it is also all-wise like him and is capable of combining its almightiness with the freedom, the will and the natural attributes of human individuals.

"It would not be the epoch-making force if it did not have the effect of making each one what he wills to be and showing each one irrevocably the standpoint corresponding to his nature and his will."

Leibnitz could not have given a happier presentation of the pre-established harmony between the almightiness of God and human freedom and the natural attributes of man.

If "Criticism" seems to clash with psychology by not distinguishing between the will to be something and the ability to be something, it must be borne in mind that it has decisive grounds to declare such a ''distinction" ''dogmatic."

Let us steel ourselves for the third campaign! Let us recall once more that "Criticism makes its adversary!" But how could it make its adversary the "Phrase" if it were not a phrase-monger?

3) Absolute Criticism's Third Campaign

a) Absolute Criticism's Self-Apology.

Its "Political" Past

Absolute Criticism begins its third campaign against the "Mass" with the question:

"What is now the object of criticism?"

In the same number of Literatur-Zeiiung we find the information:

"Criticism wishes nothing but to know things."

According to that the object of Criticism is all things. It would be senseless to inquire about some particular, definite object peculiar to Criticism. The contradiction easily resolves


itself when one remembers that all things "merge" into Critical things and all Critical things into the Mass, as the "Objecf of "Absolute Criticism.''

First of all Herr Bruno describes his infinite pity for the \J "Mass.'' He makes "the gap that separates him from the crowd" an object of "persevering study." He wants "to find out the significance of that gap for the future" (this is what above was called knowing "all" things) and at the same time "to abolish it." In truth he therefore already knows the significance of that gap. It consists in being abolished by him.

As each man's self is nearest to him "Criticism" first sets about abolishing its own massiness, like the Christian ascetics who began the campaign of the spirit against the flesh with the mortification of their own flesh. The "flesh" of "Absolute Criticism" is its really massy literary past (filling 20-30 volumes). Herr Bauer must therefore free the literary biography of "Criticism" - which coincides exactly with his own literary biography - -from its massy appearance; he must retroactively improve and explain it and by that apologetic commentary "place its earlier works in safety."

He begins by explaining by a double cause the error of the mass who, until the downfall of Deutsche Jahrbüchern and Rheinische Zeitung," consider Herr Bauer as one of their own. The first mistake that was made was to consider the literary movement not "purely as literary." At the same time the opposite mistake was made, that of considering the literary movement as "a merely" or "a purely" literary movement. There is no doubt that the "Mass" was mistaken in any case, because it made two mutually incompatible errors at the same time.

Absolute Criticism takes this opportunity of crying to those who railed the "German nation" as a "blue stocking":


"Name one single historical epoch which was not authoritatively outlined beforehand by the ''pen' and had not to accept to be shattered by a stroke of the pen!"

In his Critical naiveness Herr Bruno separates ''the pen" from the subject who writes and the subject who writes as "abstract writer'' from the living historical man who wrote.

This allows him to go into ecstasy over the wonder-working power of the "pen." He might just as well have asked which historical movement was not outlined beforehand by "poultry" or "the goose girl."

Later we shall be told by the same Herr Bruno that so far not one historical epoch, not a single one, has been recognized. How could the "pen," which was unable to outline "any single'' epoch after the event, have outlined them all beforehand?

Nevertheless, Herr Bruno proves the correctness of his view by deeds, by himself "outlining beforehand" his own "past" with apologetic "strokes of the pen."

Criticism, which was involved on all sides not only in the general limitation of the world and of the epoch but in quite a particular and personal limitation, and yet assures us that it has nevertheless been "absolute, perfect and pure" in all its works for as long as man can think, has only accommodated itself to the prejudices and powers of comprehension of the Mass, as God is wont to do in his revelations to man.

"It was bound to come," Absolute Criticism informs us, "to a breach of Theory with its seeming ally."

But as Criticism, here called Theory for a change, comes to nothing, and everything, on the contrary, comes from it; as it develops not inside but outside the world, and has predestined everything in its divine immutable consciousness, the breach with its former ally was a "new turn" only in appearance, only for others, not in itself and not for Criticism itself.


"However, this turn properly speaking was not even new.

Theory had continually worked on criticism of itself' (we know how much effort has been expended on it to force it to criticize itself); "it had never flattered the Mass (but itself all the more); "it had ever taken care not to get itself involved in the premises of its opponent."

The Christian theologian must tread cautiously. (Bruno Bauer. Das entdeckte Christenthum, S. 99.) How came it, then, that "cautious" Criticism nevertheless did get involved and did not already then express its "proper" meaning clearly and audibly? Why did it not speak its mind out? Why did it let the illusion of its brotherhood with the Mass persist?

"Why hast thou done this to me?" said Pharaoh to Abraham as he restored to him Sarah his wife. "Why didst thou say she was thy sister?" [Das entdeckte Christenthum by Bruno Bauer. P. 100.)

"Away with reason and language!" says the theologian, "for otherwise Abraham would be a liar. It would be a mortal insult to Revelation!" (Ibid.)

"Away with reason and language!" says the Critic. "For had Herr Bauer really and not just apparently been involved with the Mass, Absolute Criticism would not be absolute in its revelations, it would be mortally insulted.

"It is only" Absolute Criticism continues, "that its" (Absolute Criticism's) ''efforts have not been noticed, and besides, there was a stage in criticism when it was forced sincerely to consider its opponent's premises and to take them seriously for an instant; a stage, in brief, when it was not yet completely capable of taking away from the Mass the conviction that it had the same cause and the same interest as the Mass."

- ''Criticism's'' efforts were just not noticed: the Mass was to blame. On the other hand Criticism admits that its efforts could not have been noticed because it itself was not yet


''capable'' of making them noticeable. The fault therefore appears to be Criticism's.

God help us! Criticism was "forced" - violence was used against it - "sincerely to take into account its adversary's premise and to take it seriously for an instant." Lovely sincerity, truly theological sincerity which does not really take a thing seriously but only 'Hakes it seriously for an instand; which has always, therefore every instant, been careful not to get itself involved in its opponent's premises, and nevertheless, for an instant "sincerely" takes those very premises into consideration. Its "sincerity" is still greater in the next sentence. While Criticism "sincerely took into consideration the premises of the Mass" it "was not yet fully capable'' of destroying the illusion as to the unity of its cause and the cause of the Mass. It was not yet capable, but it already had the will and the thought of it.

It could not yet outwardly break with the Mass but thebreak was already complete inside it, in its mind - complete at the very instant at which it sincerely sympathized with the Mass!

In its involvement with the prejudices of the Mass, Criticism was not really involved in them; on the contrary, it was, properly speaking, free from its own limitation and was "only not yet completely capable" of informing the Mass of this. Hence all the limitation of "Criticism" was pure appearance; an appearance which without the limitation of the Mass would have been superfluous and would therefore not have existed at all. The fault is therefore back on the Mass.

Inasmuch as this appearance, however, was supported by "the inability," "the impotence" of Criticism to express its thought, Criticism itself was imperfect. This it admits in its own way, which is as sincere as it is apologetic.

"In spite of its" (Criticism's) "having subjected liberalism itself to devastating criticisjn, it could still be con


sidered as a peculiar kind of liberalism, perhaps for its extreme implementation; in spite of its true and decisive arguments having gone beyond politics, it had still necessarily to appear to engage in politics, and this incomplete appearance has won it most of the friends mentioned above."

Criticism won most of its friends through its incomplete appearance of engaging in politics. Had it completely appeared to engage in politics, it would infallibly have lost its political friends. In its apologetic anxiety to wash itself of all sin, it accuses the false appearance of being an incomplete false appearance, not a complete one. By substituting one appearance for another, "Criticism" can console itself with the fact that if it had the "complete appearance" of wishing to engage in politics, it had not, on the other hand, even the "incomplete appearance" of anywhere or ever having abolished politics.

. Not completely satisfied with the "incomplete appearance," Absolute Criticism again wonders:

How can criticism at that time have become involved in "massy, political" interests! How can it - even {\) - "have been obliged'' (!) - "to engage in polities'' (!).

Bauer the theologian takes it as a matter of course that Criticism had to indulge in unending speculative theology for he, "Criticism," is indeed a theologian ex professo. But to engage in politics? That must be motivated by very special, political, personal circumstances.

Why, then, had "Criticism" to engage even in politics? ''It was accused - that is the answer to the question.' At least the "mystery" of ''Bauer's politics" is thereby disclosed; at least the appearance which in Bruno Bauer's Die gute Sache der Freiheit und meine eigene Angelegenheit joins its "own cause'' to the massy "cause of freedom" by means of an "and," cannot be called non-political. But if Criticism pursued not its "own cause" in the interest of politics, but politics in the interest of its own cause, it must


be admitted that not Criticism was taken in by politics, but politics by Criticism.

So Bruno Bauer was to be dismissed from his chair of theology: he was accused; "Criticism" had to engage in politics, that is to say, to conduct ''its,'' i.e., Bruno Bauer's, suit. Herr Bauer did not conduct the suit of Criticism, "Criticism" conducted Herr Bauer's suit. Why had "Criticism" to conduct its suit?

"In order to justify itself!" Perhaps so; only "Criticism" is far from limiting itself to such personal, vulgar grounds.

Perhaps so; not for that alone, however, ''but mainly in order to bring out the contradictions of its opponents," and, Criticism could add, in order to have bound together in a single book old essays against various theologians (see among other things the wordy bickering with Plank) that family affair between "Bauer-theology" and "Strausstheology."

Having got a load of" its heart by admitting the real in- terests of its "politics,'' Absolute Criticism remembers its ''suit" and again chews the old Hegelian cud (cf. the struggle between Enlightenment and faith in Phenomenology, cf. the whole of Phenomenology) that the old which resists the new is no longer really the old, that it has already chewed at length in the "good cause of freedom." Critical Criticism is a ruminant. It keeps on warming up the few crumbs dropped by Hegel, like the above-quoted sentence about the "old" and the "new" or again that of the "development of the extreme out of its opposite extreme" and the like, without ever feeling the need of dealing with "speculative dialectics" in any other way than by exhausting Professor Hinrichs. Hegel, on the contrary, it always got over "Critically" by repeating him. For example:

"By appearing and giving the investigation a new form, i.e., giving it the form which is no longer susceptible of being transformed into an external limitation," etc.


When I transform something I make it something substantially different. As every form is also "an external limitation'' no form is "susceptible" of being transformed into an "external limitation" any more than an apple of being "transformed" into an apple. Admittedly, the form which "Criticism" gives to the investigation is not susceptible for quite another reason of being transformed into an "external limitation." Beyond every "external limitation" it is blurred into an ash-grey dark-blue vapour of nonsense.

"It" (the struggle between the old and the new) "would, however, be completely impossible even'' (to be precise, the moment Criticism "gives the investigation a new form") "if the old were to deal with the question of compatibility or incompatibility . . . theoretically."

But why does not the old deal with this question theoretically? Because "this however, is the least possible for it in the beginning, since at the moment of surprise'' (i.e., in the beginning) it "knows neither itself nor the new," i. e., it deals theoretically neither with itself nor with the new.

It would be quite impossible if "impossibility," unfortunately, were not impossible!

When the '"Critic" from the theological faculty further "admits that he erred intentionally that he committed the mistake deliberately and after mature reflexion" (all that Criticism has endured, experienced and done is transformed for it into a free, pure and intentional product of its reflexion) this confession of the Critic has only an "incomplete appearance" of truth. As the Kritik der Synopiiker is based completely on theological foundations, as it is through and through theological criticism, Herr Bauer, the docent in theology, could write and teach it "without mistake or error." On the contrary, the mistake and error were on the side of the theological faculties who did not realize how strictly Herr Bauer had kept his promise,


the promise he gave in Kritik der Synoptiker, Vol. I, Foreword, p. XXIII.

"Were the negation to seem too sharp and far-reaching in this first volume too, we must remember that the really positive can be born only when the negation has been serious and general . . . In the end it will be patent that only devastating criticism of the world can teach us the creative power of Jesus and his principle.''

Herr Bauer intentionally separates the Lord "Jesus" and his "principle" to free the positive meaning of his promise from all appearance of ambiguity. And Herr Bauer has really made the "creative" power of the Lord Jesus and his principle so evident that his "infinite self-consciousness'' and the "Spirit" are nothing but creatures of Christianity.

If Critical Criticism's dispute with the Bonn theological faculty explained its former "politics" so well, why does Critical Criticism continue to engage in politics after the dispute has been settled? Listen to this:

"At this point Criticism should have either remained where it was or immediately proceeded further to examine the essence of politics and represent it as its adversary; - if only it had been possible for it to be able to remain where it was in the struggle at that time and if, on the other hand, there had not been a far too strict historical law that when a principle measures itself for the first time with its opposite it must let itself be repressed by it. . . ."

What a delightful apologetic phrase! "Criticism should have remained where it was" if only it had been possible . . .

"to be able to remain where it was!" Who "should" remain where he is? And who should have done "what it was not possible ... to be able to do?" On the other hand! Criticism should have proceeded "if only, on the other hand, there had not been a far too strict historical law, etc." Historical laws are also "far too strict with Absolute Criticism! If only they did not stand on the opposite side to Critical


Criticism, how brilliantly the latter would proceed! But ä la guerre comme ä la guerrel In history Critical Criticism must suffer to be made a sorry "story" of!

"If criticism" (still Herr Bauer) "had to ... it will at the same time be admitted that it still felt uncertain when it gave in to demands of this" (political) "kind, that as a result of these demands it entered into a contradiction with its true elements that had already found its solution in those elements.'' Criticism was forced into political weaknesses by the far too strict laws of history, but, it entreats, it must at the same time be admitted that it was above those weaknesses, if not really, at least in itself. First of all it had overcome them "m feeling''' for "it still felt uncertain in its demands"; it felt ill at ease in politics, it could not make out what was the matter with it. More than that! It entered into contradiction with its true elements. And finally the greatest thing of all! The contradiction with its truest elements into which it entered found its solution not in the course of Criticism's development, but '"had" on the contrary, "already" found its solution in Criticism's true elements existing independently of the contradiction! These Critical elements can claim with pride: before Abraham was, we are. Before the opposite to us was produced by development it lay yet unborn in our chaotic womb, solved, dead, ruined. But as Criticism's contradiction of its true elements ''had already found its solution" in the true elements of Criticism, and as a solved contradiction is no longer a contradiction, it really found itself, properly speaking, in no contradiction to its true elements, in no contradiction to itself, and - the general aim of self-apology seems attained.

Absolute Criticism's self-apology disposes of a whole apologetical dictionary:

"not even properly speaking," "only not noticed," "there was besides," "not yet complete," "although never


theless," "not only . . . but mainly," "just as much, properly speaking, only," "Criticism should have if only it had been possible and if on the other hand," "if ... it must at the same time be admitted," "was it not natural, was it not inevitable," "neither . . ." etc.

Not so very long ago Absolute Criticism gave the following opinion on apologetic phrases of this kind:

"Although" and "nevertheless," "indeed" and "but," a heavenly "Nay," and an earthly "Yea" are the main pillars of modern theology, the stilts on which it strides along, the artifice to which its whole wisdom is reduced, the phrase which occurs in all its phrases, its alpha and omega' {Das entdeckte Christenthum, p. 102).

b) The Jewish Question No. 3

"Absolute Criticism" does not remain where it is when it has proved by its autobiography its own singular omnipotence which ''first creates the old, properly speaking, just as much as the new.'' It does not remain where it is when it has written in person the apology of its past. It now sets a third party, the rest of the profane world, the Absolute ''Task," the "task which is now the main one,'' the apology of Bauer's deeds and "works."

Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher published a criticism of Herr Bauer's Die Judenjrage: His basic error, the confusion of "political" with "human" emancipation was revealed.

Granted, the old Jewish question was not at first given its "correct setting"; the Jewish question was dealt with and resolved in the setting which new developments have given to old questions and as a result of which the latter have become "questions" of the present instead of "questions" of the past.

Absolute Criticism's third campaign, it seems, is to reply to Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher. At first Absolute Criticism admits:


"In Die Judenfrage the same 'oversight' was made - the human and the political were identified."

Criticism notes:

"it would be too late to reproach Criticism for the stand which it still adopted partially two years ago." ''The question is rather to give the explanation why Criticism . . . had to engage even in politics."

''Two years ago?" We must reckon according to the absolute chronology, from the birth of the Critical Redeemer, Bauer's Literatur-Zeitungl The Critical Redeemer was born in 1843. In the same year the second enlarged edition of Die Judenfrage was published. The "Critical" treatise on the Jewish question in Einundzwanzig Bogen aus der Schweiz appeared later in the same year, 1843 old style.

After the downfall of Deutsche Jahrbücher and Rheinische Zeitung, in the same momentous year 1843 old style or anno 1 of the critical era, appeared Herr Bauer's fantasticpolitical work Staat, Religion und Partl/ei, which exactly repeated his old errors on "the essence of politics The apologist is forced to falsify chronology.

The "explanation'' why Herr Bauer "had to"" engage "even" in "politics" remains of general interest only under certain conditions. The fact is that if the infallibility, purity and absoluteness of Critical Criticism are assumed as the basic dogma, the facts contradicting that dogma are turned into riddles which are just as difficult, profound and mysterious as the apparently ungodly deeds of God are for theologians.

If, on the other hand, "the Critic'' is considered as a finite individual, if he is not separated from the limitations of his time, one can dispense with the answer to the question why he must develop even within the world, because the question itself no longer exists.

If, notwithstanding, Absolute Criticism insists on its demand, one can offer to provide a nice little scholas


tic treatise dealing with the following ''questions of the times";

"Why had the Virgin Mary's conception by the Holy Ghost to be proved by no other than Herr Bruno Bauer?" "Why had Herr Bauer to prove that the angel that appeared to Abraham was a real emanation of God, an emanation which, nevertheless, lacked the consistency necessary to digest foody "Why had Herr Bauer to provide an apology of the Prussian royal house and to raise the Prussian state to the rank of absolute state?" "Why had Herr Bauer, in his- Kritik der Synoptiker to substitute 'infinite self-consciousness' for man?" "Why had Herr Bauer in his Das entdeckte Christenthum to repeat the Christian theory of creation in a Hegelian form?" "Why had Herr Bauer to demand of himself and others the 'explanation' for the wonder that he must have been mistaken?"

While waiting for proofs of these necessities which are just as "Critical" as they are "Absolute" let us listen once more to "Criticism's apologetic evasions."

"The Jewish question . . . had . . . first to be brought into its correct setting, as a religious, theological and political question." "As the treatment and solution of both these - .

questions, Criticism is neither religious nor political."

The point is that Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher declares Bauer's treatment of the Jewish question to be really theological and /a/z/a/Zc-political.

To begin with, "Criticism" answers the "reproach" of theological limitation:

"The Jewish question is a religious question. The Enlightenment claimed to solve it by describing the religious contradiction as insignificant or by denying it altogether.

Criticism, on the contrary, had to present it in its purity."

When we get to the political part of the Jewish question we shall see also that in politics Herr Bauer the theologian does not deal with politics but with theology.



But when Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher attacked his treatment of the Jewish question as ''purely religious'' it was concerned mainly with his article in Einundzwanzig Bogen aus der Schweiz, the title of which was "The Capacity of the Christians and Jews of Today to Obtain Freedom."

This article has nothing to do with the old "Enlightenment." It contains Herr Bauer's positive view on the ability of the Jews of today to be emancipated, that is, on the possibility of their emancipation.

"Criticism" says: "The Jewish question is a religious question."

The question is: ''What is a religious question? and, in particular, what is a religious question today?

The theologian will judge by appearances and see a religious question in a religious question. But "Criticism" must remember the explanation it gave against Professor Hinrichs that the political interests of the present have social significance, that it is "no longer a question" of political interests.

Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher was just as right when it said to "Criticism": Religious questions of the day have at the present a social significance. It is no longer a question of religious interests as such. Only the theologian can believe it is a question of religion as religion. Granted, Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher committed the error of not stopping at the word "social.'' It characterized the real position of the Jews in civil society today. Once Jewry was laid bare of the religious shell in which it was disguised and released in its empirical, worldly, practical nucleus, the practical, really social way in which that nucleus is to be abolished could be indicated. Herr Bauer was content with a "religious question" being a "religious question."

It was by no means denied, as Herr Bauer pretends, that the Jewish question is also a religious question. It was said,


on the contrar}-; Herr Bauer grasps only the religious essence of Jewry and not the worldly, real basis of that religious essence. He opposes religious consciousness as if it were an independent being. Herr Bauer therefore explains the real Jews by the Jewish religion, instead of explaining the mystery of the Jewish religion by the real Jews. Herr Bauer therefore understands the Jew only insofar as he is an immediate object of theology, or a theologian.

But Herr Bauer has not an inkling that real, worldly Jewry and hence religious Judaism too, is being continually produced by the present civil life and finds its final development in the money system. He could have no inkling of this because he did not know Jewry as a link in the real world but only as a link in his world, theology; because he, as a pious godly man, considers not the everyday Jew but the Jew of the Sabbath to be the real Jew. For Herr Bauer, the theologian of the Christian faith, the historic significance of Jewry must cease the moment Christianity is born. Hence he must repeat the old orthodox view that it has maintained itself in spite of history; he must serve up again in a Critical-theological form the old theological superstition that Jewry exists only as a confirmation of the divine curse, as palpable proof of the Christian revelation; that it exists and has existed only as a vulgar religious doubt of the supernatural origin of Christianity, that is, as a palpable proof against Christian revelation.

In Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher is proved, on the contrary, that Jewry has maintained itself and developed through history, in and with history, and that that development is to be perceived not by the eye of the theologian, but by the eye of the man of the world, because it is to be found, not in religious theory, but only in commercial and industrial practice. It is explained why practical Jewry reaches perfection only in the perfection of the Christian



world; why, indeed, it is the perfect practice of the Christian world itself. The existence of the present-day Jew is not explained by his religion, as though the latter were some independent being existing apart, but the survival of the Jewish religion is explained by practical factors of civil society which are fantastically reflected in that religion. The - emancipation of the Jews to make human beings of them, or the human emancipation of Jewry, is therefore not conceived, as by Herr Bauer, as the special task of the Jews, but as the general practical task of the whole world today, which is Jewish to the core. It was proved that the task of abolishing the essence of Jewry is in truth the task of abolishing Jewry in civil society, abolishing the inhumanity of today's practice of life, the summit of which is the money system.

Herr Bauer, a genuine though Critical theologian or theological critic, could not get beyond the religious contradiction. In the attitude of the Jews to the Christian world he could see but the attitude of the Jewish religion to the Christian religion. He even had to restore the religious opposition critically in the antithesis between the attitudes of the Jew and the Christian to critical religion - atheism, the last stage of theism, the negative recognition of God. Finally, in his theological fanaticism he had to limit the capacity of "Jews and Christians of today," i.e., of the world of today, "to obtain freedom," to their capacity to grasp "the criticism" of theology and apply it themselves. For the orthodox theologian the world is dissolved in "religion and theology." (He could just as well dissolve it in politics, political economy, etc., and call theology heavenly political economy, for example, as it is the teaching of the production, distribution, exchange and consumption of ''spiritual wealth'' and of the treasures of heaven!) Similarly for the radical, critical theologian, the capacity of the world to obtain freedom, is dissolved in the single abstract capacity


to criticize "religion and theology" as "religion and theology." The only struggle he knows is the struggle against the religious limitations of self-consciousness, whose critical ''purity'' and ''infiniiij' is just as much a theological limitation.

Herr Bauer, therefore, dealt with religious and theological questions in the religious and theological way, if only because he saw in the "religious" question of the time a ''purely religious'' question. His "correct setting of the question" sets the question "correctly" only in respect of his "own capacity" - to answer!

Let us now go on to the political part of Die Judenfrage.

The Jews (like the Christians) are fully politically emancipated in various states. Both Jews and Christians are far from being humanly emancipated. Hence there must be a difference between political and human emancipation.

The essence of political emancipation, i.e., of the developed, modern state, must therefore be studied. On the other hand, states which cannot yet politically emancipate the Jews must be rated by comparison with accomplished political states and must be considered as under-developed.

That was the point of view from which the "political emancipation" of the Jews should have been dealt with and is dealt with in Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher.

Herr Bauer offers the following defence of "Criticism's" Die Judenfrage:

"The Jews were shown that they laboured under an illusion as to the system of which they demanded to be freed."

Herr Bauer did show that the illusion of the German Jews was to demand the right to take part in general political life in a land where there was no general political life and to demand political rights where only political privileges existed. On the other hand, Herr Bauer was shown that he himself laboured under no less "illusions" as to the "German .political system" than the Jews. His illusion was


that he explained the position of the Jews in the German states by the alleged inability of ''the Christian state' to emancipate the Jews politically. He argued in the teeth of facts and construed the state of privilege, the ChristianGerman state, as the Absolute Christian state. It was proved to him, on the contrary, that the politically perfect, modern state that knows no religious privileges is also the perfect Christian state, and that hence the perfect Christian state, not only can emancipate the Jews but has emancipated them and by its very nature must emancipate them.

"The Jews are shown . . . that they had the greatest illusions concerning themselves when they wanted to demand freedom and the recognition of free humanity, whereas for them it was only, and could only be, a question of a special privileged

Freedom! Recognition of free humanity! Special privilege! Edifying words by which certain questions can be apologetically by-passed!

- Freedom? It was a matter of political freedom. Herr Bauer was shown that if the Jew demands freedom and nevertheless will not renounce his religion, he "is indulging in polities'' and sets no condition contrary to political freedom.

Herr Bauer was shown that it is by no means contrary to political emancipation to divide man into the non-religious citizen and the religious private individual. He was shown that as the state emancipates itself from religion by emancipating itself from state religion and leaving religion to itself within civil society, so the individual emancipates himself politically from religion when his attitude to it is no longer as to a public but as to a private matter. Finally, it was shown that the terroristic attitude of the French Revolution to religion, far from refuting this conception, bears it out.

Instead of studving the real attitude of the modern state to religion. Herr Bauer thought it necessary to imagine a


Critical state, a state which is nothing else but the critic of theology inflated to the size of a state in Herr Bauer's imagination. Whenever Herr Bauer is in a fix in politics he makes politics a prisoner of his faith, Critical faith. Insofar as he deals with the state he always makes out of it an argument against "the adversary,'' un-Critical religion and theology. The state acts as executor of the Critical-theological desires.

When Herr Bauer had first freed himself from orthodox, un-Critical theology, political authority took for him the place of religious authority. His faith in Jehovah changed into faith in the Prussian state. In Bruno Bauer's treatise Die evangelische Landeskirche Preußens und die Wissenschaft not only the Prussian state, but, quite consistently, the Prussian royal house too, was construed as absolute.

In reality Herr Bauer had no political interest in that state; its merit, in the eyes of "Criticism" was that it abolished dogmas by means of the Unified Church and suppressed the dissenting sects with the help of the police.

The political movement that started in the year 1840 saved Herr Bauer from his conservative politics and raised him for a moment to liberal politics. But here again politics was in reality only a pretext for theology. In his work Die gute Sache der Freiheit und meine eigene Angelegenheit the fpee state is the critic of the Bonn Theological Faculty and an argument against religion. In Die Judenfrage the antagonism between state and church is the main interest, so that the criticism of political emancipation changes into a criticism of the Jewish religion. In his last political work, Staat, Religion und Parthei, the most secret wish of the critic inflated to the size of a state is expressed. Religion is sacrificed to the state, or, more correctly, the state is only the means by which the opponent of Criticism, un-Critical religion and theology, is done to death. Finally, after Criticism has been saved, if only apparently, from all


politics by the socialist ideas which were spread in Germany from 1843 onwards in the same way as it was saved from its conservative politics by the political movement after 1840, it is finally able to proclaim its treatises against uncritical theology social and to indulge unhindered in its own Critical theology, the contrasting of Spirit and Mass, as the annunciation of Critical Saviour and the Redeemer of the world.

Let us return to our subject!

Recognition of free Humanity? "Free humanity" which the Jews did not just mean to aim at but really did aim at, is the same "free humanity" which found classic recognition in what are called the universal Rights of Man. Herr Bauer himself dealt with the Jews' desire for the recognition of their free humanity explicitly as the desire to obtain the universal Rights of Man.

In Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher it was expounded to Herr Bauer that this "free humanity" and the "recognition" of it are nothing but the recognition of the selfish civil individual and of the uncurbed movement of the spiritual and material elements which are the content of his life situation, the content of civil life today; that the Rights of Man do not, therefore, free man from religion but give him freedom of religion; that they do not free him from property, but procure for him freedom of property; that they do not free him from the filth of gain but give him freedom of choice' of a livelihood.

He was shown that the recognition of the Rights of Man by the modern state means nothing more than did the recognition of slavery by the state of old. In the same wav, in other words, as the state of old had slavery as its natural basis, the modern state has civil society and the man of civil society, i.e., the independent man depending on other men only by private interest and unconscious natural necessity, jth.e. si aye. of earning his living and.pf his, own. as well


as other men's selfish need. The modern state has recognized this as its natural basis in the universal rights of man. It did not create it. As it was the product of civil society driven beyond its bounds by its own development, it now recognizes the womb it was born of and its basis by the declaration of the rights of man. Hence, the political emancipation of the Jews and the granting to them of the "rights of man" is an act the two sides of which are mutually interdependent. Herr Riesser correctly expressed the meaning of the Jews' desire for recognition of their free humanity when he demanded, among other things, the freedom of movement, sojourn, travel, earning one's living, etc.

These manifestations of ''free humanity'' are explicitly recognized as such in the French Declaration of the Rights of Man. The Jew has all the more right to the recognition of his "free humanity" las "free civil society" is thoroughly commercial and Jewish'and the Jew is a necessary link in it. Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher further expounds why the member of civil society is called "Man" par excellence and why the Rights of Man are called "inborn rights."

The only critical thing Criticism could say about the rights of man was that they are not inborn but arose in the course of history; that much Hegel had already told us. Finally, to its assertion that both Jews and Christians, in order to give or receive the universal rights of man, must sacrifice the privilege of faith - the Critical theologian supposes his one fixed idea at the basis of all things - was specially opposed to the fact contained in all un-Critical declarations of the rights of man that the right to believe what one wishes, the right to practise any religion, is explicitly recognized as a universal right of man. Besides, "Criticism'' should have known that Hebert's party was defeated mainly on the grounds that it attacked the rights of man in attacking freedom of religion; similarly the rights of man were invoked later when freedom of .worship was restored,


"As far as political essence is concerned, Criticism follows its contradictions to the point to which the contradiction between theory and practice had been most thoroughly elaborated for the past fifty years, to the French representative system, in which the freedom of theory was disavowed by practice and the freedom of practical life sought in vain its expression in theory.

"When the basic illusion had been done away with, the contradiction disclosed in the debates of the French Chamber, the contradiction between free theory and the practical import of privileges, between the legal import of privileges and a public system in which the egotism of the pure individual tries to dominate the exclusivity of the privileged, should have been conceived as a general contradiction in this sphere."

The contradiction that Criticism disclosed in the debates of the French Chamber was nothing but a contradiction of constitutionalism. Had Criticism conceived this as a general contradiction it would have conceived the general contradiction of constitutionalism. Had it gone still further than in its opinion it "should have" gone; had it, to be precise, gone as far as the abolition of this general contradiction, it would have proceeded correctly from constitutional monarchy to the democratic representative state, the perfect modern state. Far from having criticized the essence of political emancipation and proved its definite relation to the essence of man, it would have arrived only at the fact of political emancipation, the developed modern state, that is to say, only to the point where the existence of the modern state conforms to its essence and in which, therefore, not only the relative, but the absolute vices, those which constitute its very essence, could have been observed and described.

The above quoted "critical" passage is all the more valuable as it succeeds more in proving beyond any doubt


that while Criticism sees the ''political essence' far below itself, it is actually far below politics; it still needs to find in politics the solution of its own contradictions and still persists in not giving a thought to the modern principle of statehood.

To ''free theorif Criticism opposes the "practical import of privileges''; to the "legal import of privileges" it opposes "the public system."

In order not to misinterpret the opinion of Criticism, let us recall the contradiction it disclosed in the debates in the French Chamber, the very contradiction which "should have been conceived" as a general one. One of the questions dealt with was the fixing of a day in the week on which children would not have to go to school. Sunday was suggested. One deputy moved that it was unconstitutional to allow Sunday to be mentioned in a law. The Minister Martin {du Nord) saw in that motion an attempt to assert that Christianity had ceased to exist. Monsieur Cremieux declared on behalf of the French Jews that the Jews, out of respect for the religion of the majority of Frenchmen, did not object to Sunday being mentioned. Now according to free theory Jews and Christians are equal, but according to this practice Christians have a privilege over Jews; for otherwise how could the Sunday of the Christians have a place in a law made for all Frenchmen? Should not the Jewish Sabbath have the same right, etc.? Or else the Jew is not really oppressed by Christian privileges in the practical life of the French too, but the law does not dare to express this practical equality. All the contradictions in the political essence expounded by Herr Bauer in Die Judenfrage are of this kind - contradictions of constitutionalism, that is, on the whole, the contradiction between the modern representative state and the old state of privileges.

Herr Bauer makes a very serious oversight when he thinks he is rising from the political to the human essence


by conceiving and criticizing this contradiction as a "general" one. He would thus only rise from half political emancipation to full political emancipation, from the constitutional to the democratic representative state.

Herr Bauer thinks that by the abolition of privileges the object of privilege will also be abolished. Concerning the statement of Monsieur Martin {du Nord) he says:

''There is no more religion when there is no more privileged religion. Take away from religion its exclusive force and it no longer exists."

As industrial activity is not abolished by the abolition of the privileges of the trades, guilds and corporations, but, on the contrary, real industry begins only after the abolition of these privileges; as ownership of the land is not abolished when privileges of land ownership are abolished, but, on the contrary, begins its universal movement with the abolition of privileges and the free division and free alienation of land; as trade is not abolished by the abolition of trade privileges but finds its true materialization in free trade; so religion develops in its practical universality only where there is no privileged religion (cf. the North American States).

/--The modern ''public system,'' the developed modern state, is not based, as Criticism thinks, on a society of privileges, but on a society in which privileges are abolished and dissolved; on developed civil society based on the vital elements which were still politically fettered in the privilege system and have been set free. Here "no privileged exclusivity'' stands opposed either to any other exclusivity or to the public system. Free industry and free trade abolish privileged exclusivity and thereby the struggle between the privileged exclusivities. In its place they set man free from privilege - which isolates from the social whole but at the same time joins in a narrower exclusivity - man, no longer bound to other men even by the semblance of common ties.


Thus they produce the universal struggle of man against man, individual against individual. In the same way civil society as a whole is this war among themselves of all those individuals no longer isolated from, the others by anything else but their individuality, and the universal uncurbed movement of the elementary forces of life freed from the fetters of privilege. The contradiction between the democratic representative state and civil society is the perfection of the classic contradiction between public commonwealth and slavedom. In the modern world each one is at the same time a member of slavedom and of the public commonwealth.

Precisely the slavery oj civil society is in appearance the greatest freedom because it is in appearance the perfect independence of the individual. Indeed, the individual considers as his own freedom the movement, no longer curbed or fettered by a common tie or by man, the movement of his alienated life elements, like property, industry, religion, etc.; in reality, this is the perfection of his slavery and his inhumanity. Right has here taken the place of privilege.

It is therefore only here, where we find no contradiction between free theory and the practical import of privilege, but, on the contrary, the practical abolition of privilege, jree industry, hee trade, etc., conforming to "free theory," where the public system is not faced with any privileged exclusivity, where the contradiction expounded by Criticism is abolished; here only do we find the accomplished modern state.

Here reigns the reverse of the law which Herr Bauer, in connection with the debates in the French Chamber, formulated in perfect agreement with Monsieur Martin {da Nord):

"As Monsieur Martin {du Nord) saw in the motion not to mention Sunday in the law a motion declaring that Christianity had ceased to exist, with the same right, and a completely warranted right, the declaration that the law oj the


Sabbath is no longer binding on the Jews would be the declaration of the dissolution of Judaism.''

It is just the opposite in the developed modern state. The state declares that religion, like the other elements of civil: life, only begins to exist in its full scope when the state declares it to be non-political and thus leaves it to itself.

To the dissolution of the political existence of these elements, for example, the dissolution of property by the abolition of the property qualification for electors, the dissolution of religion by the abolition of the state church, to this very proclamation of their civil death corresponds their most vigorous life, which henceforth obeys its own laws undisturbed and develops to its full scope.

/' Anarchy is the law of civil society emancipated from dis(jointing privileges, and the anarchy of civil society is the j basis of the modern public system, just as the public system lis in turn the guarantee of that anarchy. To the same extent as the two are opposed to each other they also determine ieach other.

It is clear how capable Criticism is of assimilating the "new." But if we remain within the bounds of "pure Criticism" the question arises: Why did Criticism not conceive as a universal contradiction the contradiction that it disclosed in connection with the debates in the French Chamber, although in its own opinion that is what '\should have been" done?

"That step was, however, then impossible - not only because . . . not only because . . . but also because without that last remnant of interior involvement with its opposite criticism was impossible and could not have come to the point from which it had only one step to make."

It was impossible . . . because ... it was impossible! Criticism affirms moreover, that the fateful ''one step'' necessary to "come to the point from which it had only one step to make" was impossible. Who will dispute that? In order to


come to a point from which there is only ''one step'' to make, it is absolutely impossible to make still that ''one step'' that leads beyond the point beyond which there is still "one step."

All's well that ends well! At the end of the encounter with the Mass, who is hostile to Criticism's Die Judenfrage, "Criticism" admits that its conception of "the rights of man," its "appraisal of religion in the French Revolution," the "free political essence it pointed to occasionally in concluding its considerations," m a word, that the "whole time of the French Revolution was no more nor no less for Criticism than a symbol - that is to say, not the time of the revolutionary actions of the French in the exact and prosaic sense, but a symbol, only a fantastic expression of the figures which it saw at the end." We shall not deprive Criticism of the consolation that when it erred politically it did so only at the "conclusion" and at the "end" of its work. A well-known drunkard used to console himself with the thouglit that he was never drunk before midnight.

On the Jewish question Criticism has indisputably continually won ground from the enemy. In No. 1 of Die Judenfrage the treatise of "Criticism" defended by Herr Bauer was still absolute and revealed the "true" and "general" significance of the Jewish question. In No. 2 Criticism had neither the "will" nor the "right" to go beyond Criticism. In No. 3 it had still to make "one step" but that step was "impossible" - because it was "impossible." It was not its "will or right" but its involvement in its "opposite" that prevented it from making that "one step." It would have liked to clear the last obstacle, but unfortunately there was a last remnant of Mass on its Critical seven-league boots.


c) Critical Battle against the French Revolution

The Umitedness of the Mass forced ''the Spirit," ''Criticism,'' Herr Bauer, to consider the French Revolution not as the time of the revolutionary endeavours of the French in the "prosaic sense" but "only'''' as the "symbol and fantastic expression" of the Critical figments of his own brain.

Criticism does penance for its "oversight by submitting the Revolution to a further examination. At the same time it punishes the seducer of its innocence - "the Mass" - by communicating to it the results of that "further examination."

"The French Revolution was an experiment which still belonged entirely to the eighteenth century."

The chronological truth that an experiment of the eighteenth century like the French Revolution is still entirely an experiment of the eighteenth century and not, for example, an experiment of the nineteenth seems "still entirely" to be one of those truths "which are understood of themselves from the start." But in the terminology of Criticism, which is very prejudiced against "crystal-clear" truths, a truth like that is called an "examination'' and therefore naturally has its place in a "further examination of the revolution."

"The ideas which the French Revolution gave rise to did not, however, lead beyond the system that it wanted to abolish by force." - Ideas can never lead beyond an old world system but / only beyond the ideas of the old world system. Ideas cannot carry anything out at all. In order to carry out ideas men are needed who dispose of a certain practical force. In its literal sense the Critical sentence is therefore another example of a truth that is understood of itself, that is, another "examination."


Undeterred by this examination, the French Revolution brought forth ideas which led beyond the ideas of the entire old world system. The revolutionary movement which began in 1789 in Cercle social, which in the middle of its course had as its chief representatives Ledere and Roux and which finally was temporarily defeated with Baboeuf's conspiracy, brought forth the communist idea which Baboeuf's friend Buonarroti re-introduced into France after the Revolution of 1830. This idea, consistently developed, is the idea of the new world system.

"After the Revolution had therefore" (!) "abolished feudal barriers in the life of the people, it was compelled to satisfy the pure egotism of the nation and to fan it itself, and, on the other hand, to curb it by its necessary complement, the recognition of a supreme being, that higher confirmation of the general state system, the function of which is to hold together the individual self-seeking atoms."

The egotism of the nation is the natural egotism of the general state system, as opposed to the egotism of the feudal estates. The supreme being is the higher confirmation of the general state system, that is, again the nation. Nevertheless, the supreme being is supposed to curb the egotism of the nation, that is, of the general state system! A really Critical task, to curb egotism by means of its confirmation and even of its religious confirmation, i.e., by recognizing that it is superhuman and therefore cannot be curbed by man! The creators of the supreme being were not aware of this, their Critical intention.

Monsieur Buchez, who supports national fanaticism with religious fanaticism, understands his hero Robespierre better.

Rome and Greece were ruined by nationalism. Criticism therefore says nothing specific about the French Revolution when it says that nationalism was its downfall, just as it says nothing about the nation when it defines its egotism



as pure. This pure egotism appears rather to be very dark one, natural and adulterated with flesh and blood when compared, for example, with Flchte's ''ego.'" But if, in contrast to the egotism of the feudal estates its purity is only relative, no "further examination of the revolution" was needed to see that the egotism which has a nation as its content is more general or purer than that which has as its content a particular estate or a particular corporation.

Criticism's explanations on the general state system are no less instructive. They are confined to saying that the general system must hold together the separate self-seeking atoms.

Speaking exactly and in the prosaic sense, the members of civil society are not atoms. The specific property of the atom is that it has no properties and is therefore not connected with beings outside it by any relations determined by its own natural necessity. The atom has no needs, it is self-sufficient; the world outside it is absolute vacuum, i.e., it is contentless, senseless, meaningless, just because the atom has all its fulness in itself. The egotistic individual in civil society may in his non-sensuous imagination and lifeless abstraction inflate himself to the size of an atom, i.e., to an unrelated, self-sufficient, wantless, absolutely full, blessed being. Unblessed sensuous reality does not bother about his imagination; each of his senses compels him to believe in the existence of the world and the individuals outside him and even his profane stomach reminds him every day that the world outside him is not empty, but is what really fills. Every activity and property of his being, every one of his vital urges becomes a need, a necessity, which his self-seeking transforms into seeking for other things and human beings outside him. But as the need of one individual has no self-understood sense for the other egotistic individual capable of satisfying that need and therefore no direct connection with its satisfaction, each in


dividual has to create that connection; it thus becomes the intermediary between the need of another and the object of that need. Therefore, it is natural necessity, essential human j properties, however alienated they may seem to be, and interest that hold the members of civil society together: civil, not political life is their real tie. It is therefore not the state that holds the atoms of civil society together, but the fact that they are atoms only in imagination, in the heaven of their fancy, but in reality beings tremendously different from atoms, in other words, not divine egoists, but egotistic human beings. Only political superstition today imagines that social life must be held together by the state whereas » in reality the state, is held together by civil life.

''Robespierre's and Saint Just's tremendous idea of making a ''free people'' which would live only according to the laws of justice and virtue - of. Saint Just's report of Danton's crimes and his other report on the general police - could be maintained for a certain time only by terror and was a contradiction against which the base, self-seeking elements of the popular essence reacted in the most cowardly and crafty way that could be expected of them."

These words of Absolute Criticism, which describe a "free people" as a "contradiction'' against which the elements of "the popular essence" had to react is absolutely hollow, for according to Robespierre and Saint Just liberty, justice and virtue could, on the contrary, be only manifestations of the life of the "people" and properties of the "popular essence." [Robespierre and Saint Just spoke explicitly only of "liberty, justice and virtue" of ancient times, belonging to "the popular essence." Spartans, Athenians and Romans in the time of their greatness were "free, just and virtuous peoples."

"Which," asks Robespierre in his speech on the principles of public morals (sitting of the Convention on February 5, 1794), "is the fundamental principle of democratic or



popular government? It is virtue. I mean public virtue wliich worked such prodigies in Greece and Rome and which must work still greater ones in republican France; virtue which is nothing but love of one's country and its laws."

Robespierre then explicitly calls the Athenians and Spartans "free peoples." He continually recalls the "antique popular essence'' and quotes their heroes as well as their corrupters - Lycurgus, Demosthenes, Miltiades, Aristides, Brutus and Catilina, Caesar, Claudius and Pisones.

In his report on Danton's arrest (referred to by Criticism) Saint Just says explicitly:

"The world has been empty since the Romans, and only their memory fills it and still prophesies liberty.'"

His attainder is composed in the ancient style and directed against Danton as against a Catilina.

In Saint Jusfs other report, the one on the general police, the republican is described exactly in the ancient comprehension, as inflexible, modest, simple and so on. The police should be an institution substantially similar to the Roman censorship. He does not fail to mention Codrus, Lycurgus, Caesar, Cato, Catilina, Brutus, Anthony, or Cassius. And concluding, Saint Just describes the ''liberty, justice and virtue" that he demands in a single word when he says:

"Revolutionaries must be Romans."

Robespierre, Saint Just and their party fell because they confused the ancient, realistic and democratic republic based on real slavery with the modern spiritualist democratic representative state which is based on emancipated slavery, on bourgeois society. What a terrible mistake it is to have to recognize and sanction in the Rights of Man modern bourgeois society, the society of industry, of universal competition, of private interest freely following its aims, of anarchy, of the self-alienated natural and spiritual individuality, and yet subsequently to annul the manifesta


tions of the life of that society in separate individuals and at the same time to wish to model the political head of that society after the fashion of the ancicntsl

This mistake appears tragic when Saint Just, on the day of his execution, points to the large table of the Rights of Man hanging in the hall of the Conciergerie and says with proud dignity: "Yet it was I who made that." It was that very table that proclaimed the right of a man who cannot be the man of the ancient republic any more than his economic and industrial relations are those of the ancient times.

This is not the place to vindicate the mistake of the Terrorists historically.

"After the fall of Robespierre political enlightenment and the movement rushed to where they were to be the prey of Napoleon who, shortly after 18 Brumaire, could say: 'With my prefects, gendarmes and priests I can do what I like with France.' "

Profane history, on the other hand, reports: After the fall of Robespierre, the political enlightenment which formerly had wished to overreach itself and had been extravagant, began to develop prosaically. Under the government of the Directorate bourgeois society, freed by the Revolution from the trammels of feudalism and officially recognized in spite of the Terror's wish to sacrifice it to an ancient form of political life, broke out in powerful streams of life. A storm and stress of commercial enterprise, a passion for enrichment, the frenzy of the new bourgeois life whose first self-enjoyment is pert, light-hearted, frivolous and intoxicating; a real enlightening of the land of France the feudal structure of which had been smashed by the hammer of the revolution and which, in fever of the numerous new owners, had become the object of all-round cultivation; the first moves of industry that had now become free - these were a few of the signs of life of the newly arisen bourgeois society. Bourgeois society is positively represented by the bourgeoisie. The


bourgeoisie, therefore, begins its rule. The Rights of Man cease to exist merely in theory.

It was not the revolutionary movement as a whole that became the prey of Napoleon on 18 Brumaire, as Criticism in its faith in a Herr von Rotteck or Welker believed; it was the liberal bourgeoisie. One only needs to read the speeches of the legislators of the time to be convinced of this. One has the impression of stepping out of the National Convention into a modern Chamber of Deputies.

Napoleon was the last act in revolutionary terror's struggle against bourgeois society, which had been equally proclaimed by the revolution, and against its policy.

Granted, Napoleon already discerned the essence of the modern state; he understood that it is based on the unhampered development of bourgeois society, on the free movement of private interest, etc. He decided to recognize and protect that basis. He was no terrorist with his head in the clouds. Yet at the same time he still regarded the state as an end in itself and civil life only as a treasurer and his subordinate which must have no will of its own. He perfected the Terror by substituting permanent war for permanent revolution. He fed the egotism of French nationalism to complete satiety but demanded the sacrifice of bourgeois business, delights, wealth, etc. as often as it was expedient to the political aim of conquest. If he despotically oppressed the liberalism of bourgeois society - the political idealism of its daily practice - he showed no more pity for its essential material interests, trade and industry, whenever they conflicted with his political interests. His scorn of industrial business men was the complement to his scorn of ideologists. In his home policy, too, he fought bourgeois society as the opponent of the state which he still considered in his own person as the absolute aim in itself. Thus he declared in the State Council that he would not suffer the owner of extensive estates to cultivate them or not as he


pleased. Thus again he conceived the plan of subordinating trade to the state by appropriation of road haulage. French business men prepared for the event that first shook Napoleon's power. Paris exchange brokers forced him by artificial famine to delay the opening of the Russian campaign by nearly two months and thus to carry it out too late in the year.

Just as the liberal bourgeoisie was opposed once more by revolutionary terror in the person of Napoleon so it was opposed once more by counter-revolution in the Restoration in the person of the Bourbons. Finally, in 1830 the bourgeoisie put into efi'ect the wish it had had since 1789, with the only diff'erence that its political enlightenment was now accomplished and that it no longer considered the constitutional representative state the ideal of the state and no longer intended to fight for the salvation of the world and for universal human aims but, on the contrary, considered it as the official expression of its own exclusive power and the political recognition of its own particular interests.

The history of the French Revolution, which started in 1789, did not end in 1830 with the victory of one of its components enriched by the consciousness of its own social importance.

d) Critical Battle against French Materialism

"Spinozism dominated the eighteenth century in its later French variety which made matter into substance, as well as in deism, which conferred on matter a more spiritual name. . . . Spinoza's French school and the supporters of deism were but two sects disputing over the true meaning of his system. . . . The simple fate of this Enlightenment was its sinking into romanticism after being obliged to surrender to the reaction which began after the French movement."


That is what Criticism says.

To the Critical history of French materialism we shall oppose a brief outline of its profane, massy history. We shall admit with due respect the abyss between history as it really happened and history as it happened according to the decree of ''Absolute Criticism,'' the creator equally of the old and of the new. And finally, obeying the prescriptions of Criticism, we shall make the "Why?", "Whence?" and "Whither?" of Critical history the "objects of a persevering study."

"Speaking exactly and in the prosaic sense," the French Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, in particular French materialism, was not only a struggle against the existing political institutions and the existing religion and theology; it was just as much an open struggle against metaphysics of ihe seventeenth century, and against all metaphysics, in particular that of Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza and Leibnitz. Philosophy was opposed to metaphysics as Feuerbach, in his first decisive attack on Hegel opposed sober philosophy to drunken speculation. Seventeenth-century metaphysics, beaten off the field by the French Enlightenment, to be precise, by French materialism of the eighteenth century, was given a victorious and solid restoration in German philosophy, particularly in speculative German philosophy of the nineteenth century. After Hegel linked it in so masterly a fashion with all subsequent metaphysics and with German idealism and founded a metaphysical universal kingdom, the attack on speculative metaphysics and metaphysics in general again corresponded, as in the eighteenth century, to the attack on theology. It will be defeated for ever by materialism which has now been perfected by the work of speculation itself and coincides with humanism. As Feuerbach represented materialism in the theoretical domain, French and English socialism and


communism in the practical field represent materialism which now coincides with humanism.

"Speaking exactly and in the prosaic sense," there are two trends in French materialism; one traces its origin to Descartes, the other to Locke. The latter is mainly a French development and leads direct to socialism. The former, mechanical materialism, merges with what is properly French natural science. The two trends cross in the course of development. We have no need here to go deep into French materialism, which comes direct from Descartes, any more than into the French Newton school or the development of French natural science in general.

We shall therefore just note the following:

Descartes in his physics endowed matter with self-creative power and conceived mechanical motion as the act of its life. He completely separated his physics from his metaphysics. Within his physics matter is the only substance, the only basis of being and of knowledge.

Mechanical French materialism followed Descartes' physics in opposition to his metaphysics. His followers were by profession anti-metaphysicists, i.e., physicists.

The school begins with the physician Leroy, reaches its zenith with the physician Cabanis, and the physician Lamettrie is its centre. Descartes was still living when Leroy, like Lamettrie in the eighteenth century, transposed the Cartesian structure of animals to the human soul and affirmed that the soul is a modus of the body and ideas are mechanical motions. Leroy even thought Descartes had kept his real opinion secret. Descartes protested. At the end of the eighteenth century Cabanis perfected Cartesian materialism in his treatise: Rapport du Physique et du Moral de I'homme.

Cartesian materialism still exists today in France. It had great success in mechanical natural science which, "speaking exactly and in the prosaic sense" will be least of all reproached with romanticism.




Metaphysics of the seventeenth century, represented in France by Descartes, had materialism as its antagonist from its very birth. It personally opposed Descartes in Gassendi, the restorer of epicurean materialism. French and English materialism was always closely related to Democritus and Epicurus. Cartesian metaphysics had another opponent in the English materialist Hobbes. Gassendi and Hobbes were victorious over their opponent long after their death when metaphysics was already officially dominant in all French schools.

Voltaire observed that the indifference of Frenchmen to the disputes between Jesuits and Jansenists'- in the eighteenth century was due less to philosophy than to Law's financial speculation. And, in fact, the downfall of seventeenth-century metaphysics can be explained by the materialistic theory of the eighteenth century only as far as that theoretical movement itself is explained by the practical nature of French life at the time. That life was turned to the immediate present, worldly enjoyment and worldly interests, the earthly world. Its anti-theological, anti-metaphysical, and materialistic practice demanded corresponding antitheological, anti-metaphysical and materialistic theories.

Metaphysics had in practice lost all credit. Here we have only to indicate briefly the theoretical process.

In the seventeenth century metaphysics (cf. Descartes, Leibnitz, and others) still had an element of positive, profane content. It made discoveries in mathematics, physics and other exact sciences which seemed to come within its pale. This appearance was done away with as early as the beginning of the eighteenth century. The positive sciences broke off from it and determined their own separate fields.

The whole wealth of metaphysics was reduced to beings of thought and heavenly things, although this was the very time when real beings and earthly things began to be the centre of all interest. Metaphysics had gone stale. In the very


year in which Malebranche and Arnauld, the last great French metaphysicians of the seventeenth century, died, Helvetius and Condillac were born.

The man who deprived seventeenth-century metaphysics of all credit in the domain of theory was Pierre Bayle. His weapon was scepticism which he forged out of metaphysics' own magic formulae. He at first proceeded from Cartesian metaphysics. As Feuerbach was driven by the fight against speculative theology to the fight against speculative philosophy precisely because he recognized in speculation the last prop of theology, because he had to force theology to turn back from pretended science to coarse, repulsive aith, so Bayle too was driven by religious doubt to doubt about metaphysics which was the support of that faith. He therefore critically investigated metaphysics from its very origin. He became its historian in order to write the history of its death. He mainly refuted Spinoza and Leibnitz.

Pierre Bayle did not only prepare the reception of materialism and the philosophy of common sense in France by shattering metaphysics with his scepticism. He heralded atheistic society, which was soon to come to existence, by proving that a society consisting only of atheists is possible, that an atheist can be a respectable man and that it is not by atheism but by superstition and idolatry that man debases himself.

To quote the expression of a French writer, Pierre Bayle was ''the last metaphycisian in the seventeenth-century sense of the word and the first philosopher in the sense of the eighteenth century."

Besides the negative refutation of seventeenth-century theology and metaphysics, a positive, anti-metaphysical system was required. A book was needed which would systematize and theoretically justify the practice of life of the time.

Locke's treatise on the origin of human reason came from


across the Channel as if in answer to a call. It was welcomed enthusiastically like a long-awaited guest.

To the question: Was Locke perchance a follower of Spinoza? "Profane" history may answer:

Materialism is the son of Great Britain by birth. Even Britain's scholastic Duns Scotus wondered: "Can matter think?"

In order to bring about that miracle he had recourse to God's omnipotence, i.e., he forced theology itself to preach materialism. In addition he was a nominalist. Nominalism is a main component of English materialism and is in general the first expression of materialism.

The real founder of English materialism and all modern experimental science was Bacon. For him natural science was true science and physics based on perception was the most excellent part of natural science. Anaxagoras with his homoeomeria and Democritus with his atoms are often the authorities he refers to. According to his teaching the senses are infallible and are the source of all knowledge. Science is experimental and consists in applying a rational method to the data provided by the senses. Induction, analysis, comparison, observation and experiment are the principal requisites of rational method. The first and most important of the inherent qualities of matter is motion, not only mechanical and mathematical movement, but still more impulse, vital life-spirit, tension, or, to use Jacob Bohme's expression, the throes [Qual] of matter. The primary forms of matter are the living, individualizing forces of being inherent in it and producing the distinctions between the species.

In Bacon, its first creator, materialism contained latent and still in a naive way the germs of all-round development.

Matter smiled at man with poetical sensuous brightness.

The aphoristic doctrine itself, on the other hand, was full of the inconsistencies of theology.


In its further development materialism became one-sided.

Hobbes was the one who systematized Bacons materialism.

SensLiousness lost its bloom and became the abstract sensuoLisness of the geometrician. Physical motion was sacrificed to the mechanical or mathematical, geometry was proclaimed the principal science. Materialism became hostile to humanity. In order to overcome the anti-human incorporeal spirit in its own field, materialism itself was obliged to mortify its flesh and become an ascetic. It appeared as a being of reason, but it .also developed the implacable logic of reason.

If man's senses arc the source of all his knowledge, Hobbes argues, proceeding from Bacon, then conception, thought, imagination, etc., are nothing but phantoms of the material world more or less divested of its sensuous form. Science can "] only give a name to these phantoms. One name can be ap- I plied to several phantoms. There can even be names of J names. But it would be a contradiction to say, on the one hand, that all ideas have their origin in the world of the senses and to maintain, on the other hand, that a word is more than a word, that besides the beings represented, which are always individual, there exist also general beings. An incorporeal substance is just as much a nonsense as an incorporeal body. Body, being, substance, are one and the same real idea. One cannot separate the thought from matter which thinks. Matter is the subject of all changes. The word infinite is meaningless unless it means the capacity of our mind to go on adding without end. Since only what is material is perceptible, knowable, nothing is known of the existence of God. I am sure only of my own existence. Every human passion is a mechanical motion ending or beginning.

The objects of impulses are what is called good. Man is subject to the same laws as nature; might and freedom are identical.

Hobbes systematized Bacon, but did not give a more pre


eise proof of his basic principle that our knowledge and our ideas have their source in the world of the senses.

Locke proved the principle of Bacon and Hobbes in his essay on the origin of human reason.

Just as Hobbes did away with the thelstic prejudices in Bacon's materialism, so Collins, Dodwall, Coward, Hartley, Priestley and others broke down the last bounds of Locke's sensualism. For materialists, at least, deism is no more than a convenient and easy way of getting rid of religion.

We have already mentioned how opportune Locke's work was for the French. Locke founded the philosophy of bon sens, of common sense; i.e., he said indirectly that no philosopher can be at variance with the healthy human senses and reason based on them.

Locke's immediate follower, Condillac, who also translated him into French, at once opposed Locke's sensualism to seventeenth-century metaphysics. He proved that the French had quite rightly rejected metaphysics as the mere bungling of fancy and theological prejudice. He published a refutation of the systems of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz and Malebranche.

In his Essai sur I'orlgine des connaissances humaines he expounded Locke's ideas and proved that not only the soul, but the senses too, not only the art of creating ideas, but also the art of sensuous perception are matters of experience and habit. The whole development of man therefore depends on education and environment. It was only by eclectic philosophy that Condillac was ousted from the French schools.

The difference between French and English materialism follows from the difference between the two nations. The French imparted to English materialism wit, flesh and blood, and eloquence. They gave it the temperament and grace that it lacked. They civilized it.

In Helvetius, who also based himself on Locke, materialism became really French. Helvetius conceived it imme


diately in its application to social life, (Helvetius, De I'/iotnnie, de ses faculies intellectuellcs et de son education) . Sensuous qualities and self-love, enjoyment and correctly understood personal interests are the bases of moral. The natural equality of human intelligence, the unity of progress of reason and progress of industry, the natural goodness of man and the omnipotence of education are the main points in his system.

In Lamettrie's works we find a combination of Descartes' system and English materialism. He makes use of Descarter' physics in detail. His ''Man Machine'" is a treatise after the model of Descartes' beast-machine. The physical part of Holbach's Systeme de la nature, ou des lots du monde physique et du monde moral is also a result of the combination of French and English materialism, while the moral part is based substantially on the moral of Helvetius. Roblnet {De la Nature), the French materialist who had the most connection with metaphysics and was therefore praised by Hegel, refers explicitly to Leibnitz.

We need not dwell on Volney, Dupuis, Diderot and others any more than on the physiocrats, having already proved the dual origin of French materialism from Descartes' physics and English materialism, and the opposition of French materialism to seventeenth-century metaphysics and to the.

metaphysics of Descartes, Spinoza, Malebranche, and Leibnitz. The Germans could not see this opposition before they came into the same opposition with speculative metaphysics.

As Cartesian materialism merges into natural science proper, the other branch of FrencJ]matejialism leads direct tQ socialism and communisrn

There is no need of any great penetration to see from the teaching of materialism on the original goodness and equal intellectual endowment of men, the omnipotence of experience, habit and education, and the influence of environment on man, the great significance of industry, the justification of


enjoyment, etc., Ihow necessarily [materialism lis connected \vithCQramunisraand-SQcialism. If man draws all his knowledge, sensation, etc., from the world of the senses and the experience g.aiD.ed-iDit, theempirical world must be arranged so that in it man experiences and gets used to what is really human and that he becomes aware of himself as man.

If correctly understood interest is the principle of all moral, man's private interest must be made to coincide with the interest of humanity. If rnan is unfree in thmatenalist sense, i.e., is free not through the negative power to avoid this or that, but through the positive power to assert his true individuality, crime must not be punished in the individual, but the anti-social source of crime must be destroyed, and each man must be given social scope for the vital manifestation of his being. If man is shaped by his surroundings, his surroundings must be made hurnan. If man is social by nature, he will develop his true nature only in society, and the power of his nature must be measured not by the power of separate individuals but by the power of society.

This and similar propositions are to be found almost literally even in the oldest French materialists. This is not the place to assess them. Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices Made Public Benefits, by Mandeville, one of the early English followers of Locke, is typical of the social tendencies of materialism. He proves that in modern society vice is indispensable and useful. This was by no means an apology of modern society.

Fourier proceeds immediately from the teaching of the French materialists. The Babouvists were coarse, uncivilized materialists, but mature communism too comes directly from French materialism. The latter returned to its mothercountry, England, in the form lielvetius gave it. Bentham based his system of correctly understood interest on Helvetius's moral, and Owen proceeded from Bentham's system to found English communism. Exiled to England, the French


man Cabet came under the influence of communist ideas there and on his return to France became the most popular, although the most superficial, representative of communism. Like Owen, the more scientific French communists, Dezamy, Gay and others, developed the teaching of materialism as the teaching of real humanism and the logical basis of communism.

Where, then, did Herr Bauer of Criticism get the documents for the Critical history of French materialism?

1) Hegel's History of Philosophy represents French materialism as the realization of the substance of Spinoza, which at any rate is far more comprehensible than "the French Spinoza school."

2) Herr Bauer read French materialism out of Hegel's history as the Spinoza school. Then, as he found in another of Hegel's works that deism and materialism are two parties representing one and the same basic principle, he concluded that Spinoza had two schools which disputed over the meaning of his system. Herr Bauer could have found the supposed explanation in Hegel's Phenomenology where it is said: "Regarding that Absolute Being, Enlightenment itself falls out with itself . . . and is divided between the views of two parties . . . The one . . . calls Absolute Being that predicateless object . . . the other calls it matter . . . Both are entirely the same notion - the distinction lies not in the objective fact, but purely in the diversity of starting-point adopted by the two developments" (Hegel, Phenomenology, pp. 420, 421, 424).

3) Finally Herr Bauer could find, again in Hegel, that when substance does not develop into a concept and selfconsciousness, it merges with "romanticism." The journal Hallische Jahrbücher at one time developed a similar theory.

But at all costs the "Spirit" had to decree a "silly destiny" for its "adversary," materialism.



Note. French materialism's connection with Descartes and Locke and the opposition of eighteenth-century philosophy to seventeenthcentury metaphysics are expounded in detail in most recent French histories of philosophy. In this respect it was a case of repeating against Critical Criticism what was already known. But the connection of eighteenth-century materialism with English and French communism of the nineteenth century still needs a detailed exposition. We confine ourselves here to quoting a few typical passages from Helvetius, Holbach and Bentham.

1) Helvetius. "Man is not wicked, but he is subordinate to his interests. One must not therefore complain of the wickedness of man but of the ignorance of the legislators, who have always placed private interest in opposition to the general interest." - "The moralists have so far had no success because we have to dig into legislation to pull out the roots which create vice. In New Orleans women have the right to repudiate their husbands as soon as they are tired of them. In countries like that women are not faithless, because they have no interest in being so." - "Moral is but a frivolous science when not combined with politics and legislation." - "The hypocritical moralists can be recognized on one hand by the equanimity with which th consider vices which attack the state, and on the other by the fury with which they condemn private vice." - "Human beings are born neither good nor wicked but ready to become one or the other according as social interest unites or divides them." - "If citizens could not achieve their own private good without achieving the general good, there would be no vicious people except fools" {De I'esprit, Paris, 1822.3 I. 33, pp. 117, 240, 291, 299, 251, 369 and 339). As, according to Helvetius, it is education, by which he means (cf. !. c. p. 390) noit only education in the ordinary sense but the totality of the individual's conditions of life, which forms man, if a reform is necessary to abolish the contradiction between private interests and those of society, a transformation of consciousness is necessary, on the other hand, to carry out such a reform: "Great reforms can be implemented only by weakening the stupid respect of the peoples for old laws and customs" (loc. cit. p. 260) or, as he says in another place, by abolishing ignorance.

2) Holbach. "Man can only love himself in the objects he loves: he can have affection only for himself in the other beings of his kind." "Man can never separate himself from himself for a single instant in his life: he cannot lose sight of himself." "It is always our convenience, our interest that makes us hate or love things" {Systeme social, ou principes naturels de la morale et de la politique, t. I,


Paris 1822, pp. 80, 112), but, "in his own interest man must love other men, because they are necessary to his welfare. . . . Moral proves to him that of all beings the most necessary to man is man" (p. 76) "True moral, and true politics as well, is that which seeks to bring men nearer to one another to make them work by united efforts for their common happiness. Any moral which separates our interests from those of our associates is false, senseless, unnatural" (p. 116).

"To love others ... is to merge our interests with those of our associates, to work for the common benefit. . . . Virtue is but the usefulness of men united in society" (p. 77). "A man without desires or passions would cease to be a man. . . . Perfectly detached from himself, how could he be determined to attach himself to others? A man indifferent to everything and having no passions, sufficient to himself, would cease to be a social being. . . . Virtue is but the communication of good" (1. c. p. 118). "Religious moral never served to make mortals more sociable" (1. c. p. 36).

3) Bentham. We only quote one passage from Bentham in which he opposes 'general interest in the political sense." "The interest of individuals . . . must give way to the public interest. But . . what does that mean? Is not each individual part of the public as much as any other? This public interest that you personify is but an abstract term: it represents but the mass of individual interests. ... If it were good to sacrifice the fortune of one individual to increase that of others, it would be better to sacrifice that of a second, a third, and so on ad infinitum. . . . Individual interests are the only real interests" (Bentham. Theorie des peines et des recompenses, Paris 1826, 3 ed.

II, p. 230).

e) Final Defeat of Socialism

"The French set up a series of systems of how the mass should be organized; but they had to resort to fantasy because they considered the mass, as it is, to be useful material."

The French and the English have, on the contrary, proved, and proved with great detail, that the present social system organizes the "mass as it is'' and is therefore its organization. Criticism follows the example of Allgemeine Zeitung and dispatches all socialist and communist systems with the thorough word ''fantasy 12*


Having thus shattered socialism and communism abroad, Criticism transfers its bellicose operations to Germany.

"When the German enlighteners suddenly found themselves disappointed m their hopes of 1842 and, in their embarrassment, did not know what to do, news of the latest Frencli systems came in the nick of time. They were henceforth able to speak of raising the lower classes of the people and at that price they were able to dispense with the question whether they themselves belonged to the mass, which is to be looked for not only in the lowest strata."

Criticism has obviously so exhausted its provision of wellmeaning motives in the apology of Bauer's literary past that it can find no other explanation for the German socialist movement than the "embarrassment" of the enlighteners in 1842. "Fortunately they received news of the latest French systems. Why not of the English? For the decisive Critical reason that Herr Bauer found no news of the latest English systems in Stein's book, Der Communismus und Sozialismus des heutigen Frankreichs. This is also the decisive reason why only French systems ever exist for Criticism in all its jabber about socialist systems.

The German enlighteners, Criticism goes on to explain, committed a sin against the Holy Ghost. They busied themselves with the "lower classes of the people," which already existed by 1842, in order to get rid of the question, which had so far not existed, what rank they were called to occupy in the Critical world system that was to be instituted in anno 1843: sheep or goat. Critical Critic or impure mass. Spirit or Matter. But first of all they should have thought seriously of the Critical saving of their souls, for of what profit is it to me if I gain the whole world, including the lower classes of the people, and sufTer the loss of my own soul?

"But a spiritual being cannot be raised unless it is changed, and it cannot be changed before it has suffered extreme resistance."


Were Criticism better acquainted with the movement of the lower classes of the people it would know that the extreme resistance that they have suffered from practical life is changing them every day. Modern prose and poetry emanating in England and France from the lower classes of the people would show it that the lower classes of the people know how to raise themselves spiritually even without being directly overshadowed by the Holy Ghost of Critical Criticism.

"They," Absolute Criticism continues to resort to fantasy, "whose whole wealth is the word "organization of the mass,* " etc.

A lot was said about "organization of labour" although this "motto" came not from the Socialists themselves but from the politically radical party in France, which tried mediation between politics and socialism. But nobody before Critical Criticism spoke of "organization of the mass" as of a question only now to be solved. It was proved, on the contrary, that bourgeois society, the dissolution of the old feudal society, is that organization.

Criticism puts its discovery in quotation marks [Gänsefüsse*). The goose that cackled to Herr Bauer the watchword to save the Capitol is none but his own goose, Critical Criticism. It organized the mass anew by construing it as the Absolute Opponent of the Spirit. The antithesis between spirit and mass is Critical "organization of society," in which the Spirit, or Criticism provides the organizing work, the mass the raw material and history the product.

After Absolute Criticism's great victories over revolution, materialism and socialism in its third campaign we may ask: What is the final result of those herculean feats? Only that those movements perished without any result because they were either Criticism adulterated with mass or spirit

Gänsef us s-goosQ foot- is a name for quotation marks.- £d.


adulterated with matter. Even in Herr Bauer's own literary past Criticism discovered manifold adulterations of Criticism by the mass. Here it writes an apology instead of a criticism, ''puts in safety'' instead of surrendering; rather than see the death of the spirit as well in its adulteration by the flesh, it reverses the case and finds in the adulteration of the flesh by the spirit the life even of Bauer's flesh. On the other hand, it is all the more ruthless and decisively terroristic whenever still imperfect criticism adulterated by flesh is the work not of Herr Bauer but of whole people and of a number of profane Frenchmen and Englishmen; whenever the imperfect criticism is not called Die Judenfrage, Die gute Sache der Freiheit und meine eigene Angelegenheit or Staat, Religion und Parthei, but revolution, materialism, socialism or communism. Criticism thus did away with the adulteration of the spirit by matter and of Criticism by the mass by sparing its own flesh and crucifying the flesh of others.

In one way or the other the "spirit adulterated by flesh" or "Criticism adulterated by mass" has been cleared out of the way. Instead of this un-Critical adulteration appears absolutely Critical disintegration of spirit and flesh, Criticism and mass, their pure opposition. This opposition in its world-historic form in which it constitutes the true historical interest of the present, is the opposition of Herr Bauer and Company or the Spirit to the rest of the human race or Matter.

Revolution, materialism and communism have therefore fulfilled their historic purpose. By their downfall they have cleared the way for the Critical Lord. Hosannah!


f) The Speculative Circular Motion

of Absolute Criticism and the Philosophy

of Self-Consciousness

Criticism, having supposedly attained perfection and purity in one domain, made only one oversight, "only" one "inconsistency," that of not being "pure" and "perfect" in all domains. The "one" critical domain is none other than the domain of theology. The pure area of this domain extends from the Kritik der Synoptiker by Bruno Bauer to Das entdeckte Christenthum by Bruno Bauer, the last frontier post.

"Modern Criticism," Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung tells us, "had dealt with Spinozism; it was therefore inconsistent of it naively to presuppose Substance in one domain, even if only in individual falsely expounded points."

Criticism's earlier admission that it had been involved in political prejudice was immediately followed by the attenuating circumstance that the involvement had been "in the main so lights Now the admission of inconsistency is tcm- pered by the parenthesis that it was committed only in individual falsely expounded points. It was not Herr Bauer who was to blame, but the false points which ran away with Criticism like recalcitrant mounts.

A few quotations will show that by overcoming Spinozism Criticism ended up in Hegelian idealism, that from ''Substance'' it went on to another metaphysical monster, the ''Subject," to the "Substance as a process,'' to "infinite self -consciousness," and that the final result of "perfect" and "pure" Criticism is the restoration of the Christian theory of creation in a speculative, Hegelian form.

Let us first open Kritik der Synoptiker.

"Strauss remains true to the point of view according to which Substance is the Absolute. Tradition in this form of universality which has not yet attained the real and reasonable certitude of universality, that certitude which can


be attained only in self -consciousness, in the oneness and infinity of self-consciousness, is notliing but Substance which has emerged from its logical simplicity and has assumed a definite form of existence as the power of the community" (Kritik der Synoptiker, Vol. I, Preface, pp. VI-VII).

Let us leave ''the universality which attains certitude," the "oneness and infinity" (Hegel's Concepts) to their fate.

Instead of saying that the point of view professed in Strauss's theory on the "power of the community" and "tradition" has its abstract expression, its logical and metaphysical hieroglyphic, in the Spinozist conception of substance, Herr Bauer makes ''Substance emerge from its logical simplicity and assume a definite form of existence in the power of the community." He applies the Hegelian miracle apparatus by which the "metaphysical categories" - abstractions extracted out of reality - break out of logic, where they are dissolved in the "simplicity" of thought, and assume "a definite form" of physical or human existence; he makes them become incarnate. Help, Hinrichsl

"Mysterious," Criticism continues its argument against Strauss, "mysterious is this view because the moment it wishes to explain and make visible the process to which the gospel history owes its origin, it can never bring out any more than the appearance of a process. The sentence: "The gospel history has its source and origin in tradition" states the same thing twice - "tradition" and the "gospel history"; though, admittedly it does state a relation between them.

But it does not tell us to what interior process of the substance their development and exposition owe their origin." According to Hegel the Substance must be conceived as an interior process. He characterizes development from the point of view of the Substance as follows:

"But if we look more closely at this expansion, we find that it has not been reached by one and the same principle taking shape in diverse ways; it is the shapeless repetition




of one and the same idea . . . keeping up the semblance of diversity" {Phenomenology, Preface, p. 12). Help. Hinrichs!

"Criticism," Herr Bauer continues, "must according to this, turn against itself and find the solution of the mysterious substantiality . . . where the development of the substance itself leads to, to the universality and certitude of the idea and its real existence, to infinite self-consciousness."

Hegel's Criticism of the substantiality view continues: -

"Philosophy ... is expected to open up the compact solidity of the substance and bring it to self-consciousness'' (I.e. p. 7).

Bauer's self -consciousness, too, is substance raised to self-consciousness or self-consciousness as Substance: selfconsciousness is transformed from an attribute of man into a self-existing subject. This is the metaphysical-theological caricature of man in his severance from nature. The being of this self-consciousness is therefore not man, but the idea of which self-consciousness is the real existence. It is the idea become man, and therefore it is infinite. All human - qualities are thus transformed in a mysterious way into qualities of imaginary ""infinite self-consciousness.'' Hence Herr Bauer says expressly that everything has its origin, its explanation, in this "infinite self-consciousness," i.e., finds in it the basis of its existence. Help, Hinrichsl

Herr Bauer continues: "The power of the substantiality relation lies in its impulse, which leads us to the concept, the idea and self-consciousness."

Hegel says: "Thus the notion is the truth of the substance." "The transition of the substantiality relation takes place through its own inherent necessity and consists in this only, that the concept is the truth of the substance." "The idea is the adequate notion." "Tlie notion . . . having achieved free existence ... is nothing but the ""ego" or pure self-consciousness.'' {Logic, Hegel's Works, 2 ed. Vol. V, pp. 6, 9, 229, 13.) Help, Hinrichsl


It seems comic in the extreme when Herr Bauer still says in his Literatur-Zeitung: "Strauss failed because he was unable to give a complete criticism of Hegel's system, although he proved by his half-measure criticism the necessity for making it complete, etc."

It was not a complete criticism of Hegel's system that Herr Bauer himself thought he was giving in his Kritik der Synoptiker but at the most the completion of Hegel's system, at least in its application to theology.

He describes his critique Kritik der Synoptiker, Foreword, p. XXI) as "the last act of a definite system" which is no other than Hegel's system.

The dispute between Strauss and Bauer over Substance and Self-Consciousness is a dispute within Hegelian speculation. In Hegel there are three elements, Spinoza's Substance, Fichte's Self-Consciousness and Hegel's necessary and antagonistic oneness of the two, the Absolute Spirit.

The first element is metaphysically travestied nature severed from man; the second is the metaphysically travestied spirit severed from nature; the third is the metaphysically travestied oneness of these two, real man and the real human race.

Strauss expounds Hegel from Spinoza's point of view, and Bauer from Fichte's point of view in the domain of theology, both with perfect consistence. They both criticized Hegel insofar as with him each of the two elements was falsified by the other, while they carried each of the elements to its one-sided and hence consistent development. Both of them therefore go beyond Hegel in their Criticism, but both of them also remain within his speculation and each represents one side of his system. Feuerbach was the first to complete and criticize Hegel from Hegel's point of view, by resolving the metaphysical Absolute Spirit into ''real man on the basis of nature" and to complete the Criticism of religion by drafting in a masterly manner the general basic


features of the Criticism of Hegel's speculation and hence of every kind of metaphysics.

With Herr Bauer it is, admittedly, no longer the Holy Ghost, but infinite self-consciousness that dictates the writings of the evangelist.

"We can no longer conceal the fact that the correct conception of the gospel history also has its philosophical basis, which is the philosophy of self-consciousness'' (Bruno Bauer, Kritik der Synoptiker, Foreword, p. XV).

This philosophy of Bauer, the philosophy of self-consciousness, like the results Herr Bauer achieved by Criticism of theology, must be characterized by a few extracts from Das entdeckte Christenthum, his last work on the philosophy of religion.

Speaking of the French materialists he says:

"When the truth of materialism, the philosophy of selfconsciousness, is revealed and self-consciousness is recognized as the All, as the solution of the puzzle of Spinoza's substance and as the true causa sui* . . ., what is the purpose of the spirit? What is the purpose of self-consciousness? As if self-consciousness, by supposing the world supposes distinction and produces itself in all it produces, since it does away again with the distinction of what it produced from itself, because it is itself only in production and in movement - as if self-consciousness had not its purpose and did not possess itself in that movement which it itself is! (Das entdeckte Christenthum, p. 113.)

"The French materialists did, indeed, conceive the movement of self-consciousness as the movement of the universal being, matter, but they could not yet see that the movement of the universe became real for itself and combined in oneness with itself only as the movement of self-consciousness" (1. c. pp. 114-115). Help, Hinrichsl

* Cause in itself. - Ed.


In plain language the first extract means: the truth of materialism is the opposite of materialism, absolute, i.e., exclusive, unmitigated idealism. Self-consciousness, the Spirit, is the All. Outside of it is nothing. "Self-consciousness," ''the Spirit,'' is the almighty creator of the world, of heaven and earth. The world is a manifestation of the life of selfconsciousness that has had to empty itself and take on the / form of a slave, but the difference between the world and selfconsciousness is only an apparent difference. Self-consciousness distinguishes nothing real from itself. The world is rather only a metaphysical distinction, a figment of the ethereal brain and an imagination of self-consciousness. Hence it does away again with the appearance that it had assumed for a moment that something exists outside of it and recognizes in vhat it has "produced" no real object, i.e., no object - which in reality is distinct from self-consciousness. By this movement self-consciousness first produces itself as absolute, for the absolute idealist, in order to be an absolute idealist, must necessarily go constantly through the sophistic process of first transforming the world outside himself into an apparent being, a mere fancy of its own brain, and afterwards, declaring that fantasy to be what it really is, i.e., a pure fantasy, so as finally to be able to proclaim its sole, exclusive existence, which not even the appearance of an outside world disturbs any longer.

The second extract means: The French materialists did, admittedly, conceive the movements of matter as spiritualized movements, but they could not yet see that they are not material, but ideal movements, movements of self-consciousness, pure movements of thought. They were not yet able to see that the real movement of the universe became true and real only as the ideal movement of self-consciousness free and freed from matter, that is, from reality; in other words, that material movement as distinct from ideal brain movement exists only in appearance. Help, Hinrichsl


This speculative theory of creation is almost word for word in Hegel; it can be found in his first work, Phenomenology.

"This estrangement of self-consciousness itself establishes thinghood. ... In this estrangement self-consciousness establishes itself as object, or sets up the object as itself. On the other hand, there is also this other moment that it has just as much abolished this estrangement and objectification and resumed them into itself. . . . This is the movement of consciousness'' (Hegel, Phenomenology, pp. 574-575).

"Self-consciousness has a content which it distinguishes from itself. . . . This content in its distinction is the ego, for it is the movement of self-abolishment. . . . More precisely stated, this content is nothing else than the very movement just spoken of; for it is the Spirit which pervades itself and for itself as Spirit!" (Loc. cit. pp. 582, 583.)

Referring to this theory of creation of Hegel's, Feuerbach observes:

"Matter is the self-estrangement of the spirit. Thereby matter itself acquires spirit and reason - but at the same time it is assumed as a nothingness, an unreal being, inasmuch as only the product of this estrangement, i.e., being divesting itself of matter, of sensuousness, being in its perfection, is expressed in its true shape and form. The natural, the material, the sensuous, is therefore to be negated here, as nature adulterated by original sin is in theology" {Grundsätze der Philosophie der Zukunft, p. 35).

Herr Bauer is thus defending materialism against un-Critical theology, at the same time as he reproaches it with "not yet" being Critical theology, theology of reason, Hegelian speculation. Hinrichs! Hinrichs!

Herr Bauer, who carries through his own opposition to substance, his own philosophy of self-consciousness or of the Spirit in all domains, must consequently only have the figments of his own brain to deal with in all domains. In his


hand Criticism is the instrument to sublimate into mere appearance and pure thought all that claims a finite material existence outside infinite self-consciousness. In the substance it is not the metaphysical illusion he combats but its worldly kernel, Nature; nature existing both outside man and as man's nature. Not to presume Substance in any domain - he still uses this language - means therefore for him not to recognize any being distinct from thought, any natural energy distinct from the spontaneity of the spirit, any human power of being distinct from reason, any passivity distinct from activity, any influence distinct from one's own action, any feeling or willing distinct from knowing, any heart distinct from the head, any object distinct from the subject, any practice distinct from theory, any man distinct from the critic, any real universality distinct from abstract generality, any tu distinct from the ego. Herr Bauer is therefore consistent when he goes on to identify himself with infinite self-consciousness, with the Spirit, that is, to replace these creations of his by their creator. He is just as consistent in rejecting as stubborn mass and matter the rest of the world which obstinately claims to be something distinct from what he, Herr Bauer, produced. And so he hopes:

It won't be long

Till the end of bodies comes.

His own discontent that he has so far been unable to get at the something of ''this clumsy world,'' he also construes quite consistently as self-discontent of this world; and the indignation of his Criticism over the development of mankind as massy indignation of mankind over his Criticism, over the Spirit, over Herr Bruno Bauer and Company.

Herr Bauer was a theologian from the very beginning but no ordinary one: he was a Critical theologian or theological Critic. While still the extreme representative of old Hegelian


orthodoxy, a speculative arranger of all religious and theological nonsense, he constantly proclaimed Criticism his private domain. At that time he called Strauss's criticism human criticism and expressly vindicated the right of divine criticism in opposition to it. He later stripped the great selfreliance or self-consciousness, which was the hidden kernel of that divinity, of its religious shell, made it self-existing as an independent being, and raised it, under the trade-mark ''Infinite Self-Consciousness,'' to the rank of principle of criticism. Then he accomplished in his own movement the movement that the ''Philosophy of Self-Consciousness'' goes through as the absolute act of life. He again abolished the "distinction" between "the product," infinite self-consciousness and the producer, himself, and acknowledged that infinite self-consciousness in his movement "was only he himself,'" and that therefore the movement of the universe first becomes true and real in his ideal self-movement.

Divine criticism in its return into itself was restored in a rational, conscious, Critical way; being in itself was transformed into being in and for itself and only at the end did the accomplished, realized, revealed beginning take place.

Divine criticism, as distinct from human criticism, revealed itself as Criticism, pure Criticism, Critical Criticism. Instead of the apology of the Old and the New Testaments we got the apology of the old and new works of Herr Bauer. The theological antithesis of god and man, spirit and flesh, infinity and finity were transformed into the Critical-theological antithesis of the Spirit, Criticism, or Herr Bauer, and matter, the mass, or the profane world. The theological antithesis between faith and reason was resolved into the Critical-theological antithesis between sound human reason and pure Critical thinking. Zeitschrift für spekulative Theologie'-' was transformed into the Critical Literatur-Zeitung. The religious saviour of the world became a reality in the Critical saviour of the world, Herr Bauer.


Herr Bauer's last stage is not an anomaly in his development; it is the return of his development into itself from its estrangement. Naturally, the moment at which divine Criticism estranged itself and came out of itself coincided with the moment at which it was partly untrue to itself and created something human.

Returning to its starting-point. Absolute Criticism ended the speculative circular motion and thereby its own life's career. Its further movement is pure - soaring round within itself above all massy interest and hence void of any further interest for the Mass.


1) The Critical Mass

Where can one feel better Than in the family circle?''

In its Absolute existence as Herr Bruno, Critical Criticism has declared tlie wliole of un-Critical humanity, the mass oj humanity, to be its opposite, its essential object; essential, because the mass exists ad majorem gloriam del,* the glory of Criticism, of the Spirit; its object, because it is only the matter on which Critical Criticism operates. Critical Criticism proclaimed its relation to the mass as a world-historical relation of the present.

No world-historic opposition is formed however, by the statement that one is in opposition to the whole world. One can imagine that one is a stumbling block for the world because one is clumsy enough to stumble everywhere. But for a world-historic opposition it is not enough for me to declare the world my opposite; the world too must declare me to be its essential opposite, and must treat and recognize me as such. Critical Criticism ensures itself this recognition by its correspondence, which is destined to testify to the world of its Critical function of saviour and to the general irritation of the world at the Critical gospel. Critical Criticism is an object for itself as an object of the world. Its

For the greater glory of God - £d.



correspondence is intended to show it as such, as tlie world interest of the present.

Critical Criticism is in its own eyes the Absolute Subject.

The Absolute Subject needs a cult. Real cult needs faithful individuals. That is why the Holy Family of Charlottenburg receives from its correspondents the cult due to it. The correspondents tell it what it is and what its adversary, the mass, is not.

However, Criticism falls into an inconsistency by thus having its opinion of itself represented as the opinion of the world and having its concept changed into reality. The formation of a sort of mass takes place within Criticism itself, the formation of a Critical mass whose simple function is untiringly to echo the oracles of Criticism. For consistency's sake this inconsistency may be forgiven. Not feeling at home in the sinful world, Critical Criticism must set up a sinful world in its own home.

The path of Critical Criticism's correspondent, the member of the Critical mass, is not a rosy one. It is difficult and thorny; it is a Critical path. Critical Criticism is a spiritualistic master, pure spontaneity, the actus purus, intolerant of any influence from without. The correspondent can therefore be a subject only in appearance, can only make a show of independence towards Critical Criticism, of wanting to communicate something new and of his own to Critical Criticism. In reality he is Critical Criticism's own making, he is the harking to its voice made for an instant objective and self-existing.

That is why the correspondents do not fail continually to affirm that Critical Criticism itself knows, realizes, understands, grasps, and experiences what in the same moment is communicated to it for appearance' sake. Thus Zerrleder uses the expressions: "Do you grasp it? You know. You know for the second and the third time. You have probably heard enough to be able to see for yourself."


So too the Breslau correspondent Fleischhammer says: "But that, etc., will be as little of a puzzle to you as to me." Or the Zurich correspondent Hirzel: "You will probably find out yourself." The Critical correspondent has such anxious respect for the absolute understandinp" of Critical Criticism that he attributes understanding to it -ven where there is (absolutely nothing to understand. For e:iample, Fleischhammer says:

"You will perfectly'' (!) "understand" (!) "when I tell you that one can hardly go out without meeting young Catholic priests in their long black cassocks laiid cloaks."

Indeed, in their fear the correspondents hear Critical Criticism saying, answering, exclaiming, deriding out loud.

Zerrleder, for example, siays: "But - you say. Well, then, listen." And Fleischhammer: "Yes, I hear what you say; - I only meant that. . ." and Hirzel: "Edelmann, you will exclaimV And the Tübingen correspondent: ''Do not laugh at me!"

The correspondents, therefore, also use expressions as though they were communicating facts to Critical Criticism and expect from it spiritual interpretation; they provide it with premises and leave the conclusion to it, or they even apologize for repeating things Criticism has known for a long time.

Zerrleder, for example, says:

"Your correspondent can only give a picture, a description of the facts. The spirit which animates these things is certainly not unknown to you Or lagain: "You will surely draw the conclusion for yourself

And Hirzel says: "I do not presume to take up your time with the speculative proposition that every creature proceeds out of the extreme of its opposite."

Sometimes what the correspondents observe is but the accomplishment and confirmation of prophecies of Criticism.

Fleischhammer, for instance says: "Your prediction has



come true." And Zerrleder: "Far from being disiastrous, the tendencies that I described to you as gaining ever greater scope in Switzerland, are very fortunate; they only confirm the thought you so often 'expressed," etc.

Critical Criticism sometimes feels urged to express the condescension that it sees in its correspondence and motivates it by the fact that the correspondent has successfully carried out some task. Thus Herr Bruno writes to the Tübingen correspondent:

"It is really inconsistent on my part to answer your letter - On the other hand, you have lagain miade such an apt remark that I . . . cannot recuse the explanation you request." Critical Criticism has letters written to it rom the provinces: not the provinces in the politioal sense, which, as we know, do not exist anywhere in Germany, hut from the Critical provinces whose capital is Berlin, Berlin, the seat of the Critical piatriarchs and of the Holy Critical Family while the provinces are where the Critical Mass resides. The Critical provincials dare not engage the lattention of the highest Critical authority without bows land apologies.

Thus, somebody writes anonymously to Herr Edgar, who, being a member of the Holy Family, is also a very respectlable gentleman of superior rank:

"Honourable Sir, I hope you will excuse these lines on the grounds that youth likes to join in the name of common strivings (there is not more than two years difference in our ages)."

This companion in years of Herr Edgar describes himself incidentally as the essence of the latest philosophy. Is it not quite normal for Criticism to correspond with the essence of philosophy? If Herr Edgar's companion in years affirms that he has lalready lost his teeth, it is only lan allusion to his allegorical essence. This "essence of the latest philosophy" "learned from Feuerbach to set the moment of


education in objective view." It at once gives a sample of its education and views by assuring Herr Edgar that it has acquired a ''totality view of his tale, 'Long Live Firm -Principles!' " At the same time it openly admits that Hen Edgar's point of view is by no means elear to it and finally invalidates the assurance that it has acquired Sl totality view by the question: "Or have I totally misunderstood you?" After this sample it will be found quite normal that the essence of the latest philosophy, referring to the mass, should say: ''We must lat least once condescend to examine and untie the magic knot which bars access to the infinite flood of thought to common human reason.''

In order to get a complete view of the Critical mass one should read the correspondence of Herr Hirzel from Zurich, (No. V). This unfortunate man commits the oracles of Criticism to his creditable memory with really touching docility, not omitting Herr Bruno's fiavourite phrases about the battles he has waged and the campaigns he has planned and captained. But Herr Hirzel exercises his profession as miember of the Critical mass especially by storming lat the profane mass land its attitude to Critical Criticism.

He speaks of the mass claiming a part in history, "of the pure mass," of "pure criticism," of the "purity of this contnadiction" - "a contradiction purer than any history has provided," of the "discontented being'' of the "perfect emptiness, bad humour, dejection, heartlessness, timidity, fury land bitterness of the Miass towards Criticism; of the Mass which only exists in order by its resistance to make Criticism sharper and more vigilant." He speaks of "creation from the extreme of the opposite," of how Criticism is labove hate and similar profane sentiments. All Herr Hirzel provides Literatur-Zeitung with boils down to this profuseness of oracles of Criticism. While reproaching the Mass for being satisfied with the mere "disposition," "good will," "the phrase," "faith," etc., he himself, as a member of


the Critical mass, is content with phrases, expressions of his "critical disposition," his "critical fiaith," his "critical good will" and leaves "action, work, struggle" land "works" to Herr Bruno and Company.

Despite the terrible picture of the world-historic tension between the profiane world and "Critical Criticism" which the members of the "Critical mass" outline, the fact of fhe case, the fact of this world-historic tension is not even stated, at least for the non-believer. This obliging and un-Critical repetition of Criticism's "imaginations" and "pretensions" by the correspondents only proves that the fixed ideas of the master are the fixed ideas of the servant too. Granted, one of the correspondents makes an attempt at a proof based on fact.

"You see," he writes to the Holy Family, "that LiteraturZeitung is fulfilling its purpose, i.e., that it meets with no approval. It could meet with approval only if it sounded in unison with thoughtlessness, if you strode before it with chimes of expressions of a whole janissary band of current categories."

Chimes of expressions of a whole janissary band of current categories! It is evident that the Critical correspondent does his best to trot along with non-"current" expressions.

His explanation of the fact that Llteratur-Zeltung meets with no approval must be rejected as purely apologetic. This fact could be explained in just the opposite way by saying that Critical Criticism is in unison with the great mass, to be precise, the great mass of scribblers who meet with no approval.

It is therefore not enough for the Critical correspondent to address expressions of Criticism to the Holy Family as "prayers" and at the same time to the mass as "curses." What is needed are un-"Crltlcal" massy correspondents, real delegates of the Mass to Critical Criticism, to show the real tension between the Mass and Criticism.


That is why Critical Criticism also assigns a place to the un-"Critical" Mass. It makes unbiased representatives of the latter correspond with it, acknowledge opposition to itself, Criticism, as important and utter a fearful cry for redemption from that opposition.

2) The "Un-Critical Mass" and "Critical Criticism"

a) The "Obdurate Mass" and the "Unsatisfied


The hardness of heart, the obduracy and blind unbelief of "the Mass" has one rather determined representative.

This representative speaks of the "exclusively Hegelian philosophical education of the Berlin Couleur. "a

The "only true progress that we can make," he says, "lies in the acknowledgement of reality. But we learn from you that our knowledge was not knowledge of reality but of something unreal."

He calls "natural science" the basis of philosophy.

"A good naturalist stands in the same relation to the philosopher as the philosopher to the theologian."

Further he makes the following observation on the "Berlin Couleur:"

"I do not think it would be exaggerating to try to explain the state of these people by saying that they have had their spiritual moult but have not yet altogether got rid of their old skin in order to be able to absorb the elements of renovation and rejuvenation." "We must yet assimilate this" (natural-science and industrial) "knowledge." "The knowledge of the world and of man which we need most of all, cannot be acquired only by acuity of thought; all the senses must collaborate and all the aptitudes of man must be applied as indispensable instruments; otherwise contemplation and knowledge will always remain defective - and will lead to moral death.''


But this correspondent gilds the pill that he is handing to Critical Criticism. He makes Bauer's words find their correct application," he has "followed Bauer's thought,'' he agrees that ''Bauer has spoken the truth," and in the end he seems to polemize, not against Criticism itself, but against "Berlin Couleur" which is distinct from it.

Critical Criticism, feeling itself hit and being, besides, as sensitive as an old maid in all matters of faith, is not taken in by these distinctions and semi-courtings.

- "You are mistaken," it answers, "if you have taken the party you described at the beginning of your letter for your opponent. Rather admit" (and now comes the crushing anathema) "that you are an opponent of Criticism itselfV The wretch! The massy man! An opponent of Criticism itself\ But as far as the content of his massy polemic is concerned.

Critical Criticism declares its respect for its Critical attitude to natural science and industry.

''All respect for natural science! All respect for James Watt and" (a really noble turn!) "no respect at all for the millions that he made for his relatives."

All respect for the respect of Critical Criticism! In the same letter in which Critical Criticism reproaches the abovementioned Berlin Couleur with too easily dispatching solid and clever works without studying them and having pushed with a work when they have merely remarked that it is epoch-making, etc., - in that same letter Criticism itself dispatches natural science and industry by merely declaring its respect for them. The clause on which it makes its declaration of respect for natural science dependent reminds one of the first fulminations of the deceased knight Krug against natural philosophy.

"Nature is not the only reality because we eat and drink it in its individual products."

Critical Criticism knows this much about the individual


products of nature that "we eat and drink them.'' All respect for the natural science of Critical Criticism!

Criticism is more consistent in the way it counters the embarrassingly importunate demand to study "nature" and "industry" with the following indisputably witty rhetorical exclamation:

"Or" (!) "do you think that the knowledge of historical reality is already complete} Or" (!) "do you know of any single period in history which is already actually known?"

Or perhaps Critical Criticism believes that it has got even to a beginning of the knowledge of historical reality while it still excludes from the historical movement the theoretical and practical relations of man to nature, natural science and industry? Or does it think that it actually knows any period without having knowledge, for example, of the industry of that period, the immediate mode of production of life itself? Of course, spiritualistic, theological Critical Criticism only knows (at least it imagines it knows) the main political, literary and theological acts of history. Just as it separates thinking from the senses, the soul from the body and itself from the world, it also separates history from natural science and industry and sees the origin of history not in coarse material production on the earth but in vaporous clouds in the heavens.

The representative of the "obdurate" and "hard-hearted" mass with his apt reproofs and counsels is dealt with as a massy materialist. Another correspondent, not so malicious or massy, who places his hopes in Critical Criticism but is disappointed, is treated no better. The representative of the "unsatisfied" mass writes: "I must all the same admit that the first number of your paper was by no means satisfying.

We expected something else."

The Critical patriarch answers in person: "I knew beforehand that it would not satisfy expectations, because I could rather easily imagine those expectations. One is so


exhausted that one wishes to have everything at once.

Everything? No! If possible everything and nothing at the same time. An everything that costs no trouble, an everything that one can absorb without going through any development, an everything that is contained all in one word."

In his vexation at the undue demands of the "Mass" who demands something, indeed everything, from Criticism, which by principle and disposition ''gives nothing," the Critical patriarch tells an anecdote after the style of old men. Not long ago a Berlin acquaintance complained bitterly of the verbosity and profusion of detail of his works - Herr Bruno is known to make bulky works out of the tiniest pretence of a thought. He was consoled with the promise to send him the ink necessary for the printing of the book in a small pellet so that he could easily absorb it. The patriarch explained the length of his "works" by the bad spreading of the ink, as he explained the nothingness of his LiteraturZeitung by the emptiness of the "profane mass" who wanted to swallow Everything and Nothing at once in order to be full.

As it is difficult to deny the importance of what has so far been related, it is also difficult to see a world-historic contradiction in the fact that a massy acquaintance of Critical Criticism considers Criticism hollow, while Criticism on the other hand declares him to be un-Critical; that a second acquaintance does not find Literatur-Zeitung up to his expectations and that a third acquaintance and friend of the family finds Criticism's work too bulky. However, acquaintance No. 2, who entertains expectations, and friend of the family No. 3, who wishes at least to find out the secrets of Critical Criticism, constitute the transition to a more substantial and tenser relation between Criticism and the "un-Critical Mass." Cruel as Criticism is to the "hardhearted" Mass which has only "vulgar human reason," we shall find it condesccndent to the Mass that is pining for


salvation from contradiction. Tlie mass which approaches Criticism with a contrite heart, a spirit of repentance and a humble mind will be rewarded for its honest striving with well-weighed and weighty words of prophecy.

b) The "Soft-Hearted" Mass "Pining for Salvation"

The representative of the sentimental, soft-hearted Mass pining for salvation cringes and implores Criticism for a kind word with effusions of the heart, deep bows and rolling of the eyes, as follows:

"Why am I writing this to you? Why am I justifying myself before you? Because I respect you and therefore desire your respect; because I am infinitely obliged to you for my development and therefore love you. My heart presses me to justify myself before you . . . who have upbraided me. . . . Far be it from me to obtrude upon you; judging by myself, I thought you might be pleased to have proof of sympathy from a man whom you know little about. I make no claim whatsoever that you should answer my letter: I wish neither to take up your time, of which you can make better use, nor to be irksome to you, nor to expose myself to the mortification of seeing something that I hoped for remain unfulfilled. You may interpret my letter as sentimentality, importunity, vanity (!) or whatever you like; you may answer me or not, I cannot resist the impulse to send it and I only hope that you will realize the "friendly feeling which inspired it"(!!).

As God has from the beginning had mercy on the poor in spirit, this massy but humble correspondent who whimpers for mercy from Critical Criticism, also has his wish fulfilled.

Critical Criticism gives him a kind answer. More than that! It gives him most profound explanations on the objects of his curiosity.


"Two years ago," Critical Criticism teaches, "it was opportune to remember tlie Enlightenment of the French in the eighteenth century in order to be able to make use of those light troops too in a place in the battle that was being waged. The situation is now quite different. Truths now change very quickly. What was then opportuneness is now an oversight."

Of course it was only "an oversight" too, but an ''opportune'' one, when the Absolute Critical All-high itself (cf. Anekdota, Book II, p. 89) 4o called those light troops "our holy ones,'' our "prophets," "patriarchs," etc. Who would call light troops a troop of "patriarchs"? It was an "opportune" oversight to speak with enthusiasm of the self-denial, moral energy and inspiration with which the light troops "thought, worked and studied their life long for the truth." It was an "oversight" when, in the preface to Das entdeckte Christenthum, it was stated that those "light" troops "seemed invincible and any one well-informed would have wagered that they would pull the world to pieces" and that "it seemed beyond doubt that they would succeed in giving the world a new shape." Those light troops?

, Critical Criticism continues to teach the representative of the "cordial mass": "If it was a new historical merit of the French to attempt to set up a social theory, they are now all the same exhausted; their new theory was not yet pure, their social fantasies, their peaceful democracy are by no means free from the presumptions of the old system."

Criticism is talking here about Fourierism - if anything - and in particular of Fourierism as expounded by Democratie Pacifique.' But this is far from being the "social theory" of the French. The French have social theories, but not a social theory; the diluted Fourierism that Democratie Pacifique preaches is nothing else than the social doctrine of a section of the philanthropic bourgeoisie. The people is communistic, and, as a matter of fact, split into a number of


different groups; the true movement and the elaboration of these different social shades is not only not exhausted, it is really only beginning. But it will not end in pure, i.e., abstract theory as Critical Criticism would like it to; it will end in a very practical practice that will not bother at all about the categorical categories of Criticism.

"No nation," Criticism chatters on, "has as yet any advantage over another. . . ." "If one can win some spiritual superiority over another, it will be the one which is in a position to criticize itself and the others and to discover the causes of the universal decay."

Every nation has so [ar some advantage over another. But if the Critical prophesy is right, no nation will have any advantage over another because all the civilized peoples of Europe, the English, the Germans and the French now "criticize themselves and others" and "are in a position to discover the causes of the universal decay." Finally it is a high-sounding tautology to say that "criticizing," "discovering," i.e., spiritual activities, give a spiritual superiority; and Criticism, who in its infinitive self-consciousness places itself above the nations and expects them to kneel at its feet and implore it for englightenment, only shows by this caricaturized Christian-German idealism that it is still up to its neck in the filth of German nationalism.

The criticism of the French and the English is not an abstract, preternatural personality outside mankind; it is the real human activity of individuals who are active members of society and who suffer, feel, think and act as human beings.

That is why their criticism is at the same time practical, their communism a socialism which gives practical, concrete measures and in which they do not just think but act even more, it is the living real criticism of existing society, the discovery of the causes of "the decay."

After Criticism's explanations for the inquisitive member of the mass, it is entitled to say of its Llteratur-Zeltung:


"Here pare, tangible, relevant criticism that adds nothing is practised."

Here ''nothing self-existing is given"; here nothing at all is given except Criticism that gives nothing, that is, criticism which has developed to extreme non-criticism. Criticism has underlined passages printed and reaches its full bloom in excerpts. Wolfgang Menzel and Bruno Bauer stretch a brotherly hand to each other and vhere the philosophy of identity stood at the beginning of this century, when Schelling protested against the massy supposition that he wanted to give something, anything except pure entirely philosophical philosophy, stands Critical Criticism.

c) Mercy Pours Forth on the Mass

The soft-hearted correspondent whose instruction we have just attended was in a comfortable relation to Criticism. In him there was only an idyllic hint of the tension between Mass and Criticism. Both sides of the world-historic contradiction behaved kindly and politely, and therefore exoterically, to each other.

Critical Criticism, in its unhealthy soul-shattering influence on the Mass, appears first in a correspondent who has one foot in Criticism and the other still in the profane world. He represents the "iViass" in its interior struggle with Criticism.

At times it seems to him "thai Herr Bruno and his friends do not understand mankind,'' that they are really blinded.

Then he immediately corrects himself:

"Yes, it is as clear as daylight to me that you are right and that your thoughts are correct; but excuse me, the people is not wrong either. ... Of course, the people is right!. . . I cannot deny that you are right. ... I really do not know what it will all lead to: you will say . . . well, stay at home. . . . Ah! I just cannot. . . . Ah! One must go mad in the end. . . .


Kindly accept. . . . Believe me, the knowledge one has acquired sometimes makes one feel as silly as if a mill-wheel were turning in one's head."

Another correspondent also writes that he "is occasionally disconcerted.'''' One can see that Critical Mercy is working to pour forth in this massy correspondent. The poor wretch! The sinful Mass is tugging at him on one side and Critical Criticism on the other. It is not the knowledge he has acquired that stupefies this catechumen of Critical Criticism; it is the question: faith and conscience. Critical Christ or the people, God or the world, Bruno Bauer and his friends or the profane Mass! But as the shower of divine mercy is preceded by desperate perplexity on the part of the sinner, Critical mercy is preceded by a crushing stupefaction. And when Critical mercy at last breaks through, the chosen one loses not stupidity but the consciousness of stupidity.

3) The Un-Critically Critical Mass or "Criticism" and the "Berlin Couleur*'

Critical Criticism did not succeed in presenting itself as the essential opposite, and hence at the same time as the essential object, of the mass of humanity. The representative of the obdurate mass reproaches Critical Criticism for its objectlessness and gives it to understand in the most courteous possible way that it has not yet had its spiritual "moult" and must first of all acquire solid knowledge. Besides him there is the soft-hearted correspondent. He is no opposite at all, but then the actual reason for his approach to Critical Criticism is a purely personal one. As we can see by further reading his letter, he really only wants to conciliate his devotion for Herr Arnold Ruge with his devotion to Herr Bruno Bauer. This attempt at conciliation does credit to his kind heart, but it in no way constitutes a massy interest. Finally, the last correspondent we saw was no long


er a real member of the Mass, he was only a catechumen of Critical Criticism.

In general the mass is only an indefinite object and can therefore neither carry out a definite action nor enter into a definite relation. The Mass, as the object of Critical Criticism, has nothing in common with the real masses who, in turn, form very massy contradictions between themselves.

Critical Criticism's mass is "made" by itself, as would be the case of a naturalist who, instead of speaking of definite classes, contrasted the "Class" to himself.

Hence, in order to have a really massy contradiction, Critical Criticism needs, besides this abstract mass which is the figment of its own brain, a definite mass that can be empirically proved and not just presumed. This mass must see in Critical Criticism both its essence and the annihilation of its essence. It must wish to be Critical Criticism, nonMass, without being able to. This Critically un-Critical mass is the above-mentioned Berlin Couleur. The mass of humanity which seriously engages in Critical Criticism is confined to a Berlin Couleur.

The "Berlin Couleur" the ''essential objecf of Critical Criticism, of whom it is always thinking and who, Critical Criticism imagines, is always thinking of Critical Criticism, consists as far as we know, of a few ci-devant* young Hegelians whom Critical Criticism maintains that it inspires partly with horror vacui'** and partly with a feeling of nothingness. We are not investigating actual facts, we rely on what Criticism said.

The Correspondence is mainly intended to expound at length to the public this historic relation of Criticism to the "Berlin Couleur," to reveal its profound significance, to show why Criticism must be cruel towards this "Mass," and

* Former. - Ed.

** Horror of emptiness. - Ed


finally to make it appear that the whole world is in fearful agitation over this contradiction and now supports, now opposes the action of Criticism. For example, Absolute Criticism writes to a correspondent who sides with the "Berlin Couleur":

"I have so often heard things tike that already that I have made up my mind not to take any more notice of them."

The world has no idea how often it has to deal with critical things like that.

Let us now hear what a member of the Critical mass reports on the Berlin Couleur:

"If anybody recognizes the Bauers" (the Holy Family must always be recognized pell-mell), "he begins his answer, / am the one. But '' Literatur-Zeitungl Each one his due. It was interesting for me to hear what one of those radicals, those clever men of anno 42, thought of you. . . ."

The correspondent goes on to say that the unfortunate man had all sorts of reproaches to make to LiteraturZeitung.

Herr Edgar's tale The Three Good Fellows, he thought, lacked polish and was exaggerated. He could not understand that the censorship is less a fight of man against man, an external fight, than an internal one. They do not take the trouble to collect themselves and to replace the phrase the censor objects to by a cleverly expressed and thoroughly developed Critical thought. He found Herr Edgar's essay on Beraud lacking in thoroughness. The Critical reporter thought it did not. He admitted himself: "I have not read Beraud's book." But he believed that Herr Edgar had succeeded, etc., and belief, we know, is bliss. "In general," the Critical believer continued, "he" (the one from the Berlin Couleur) "is not at all satisfied with Herr Edgar's works." He also found that ''Proudhon is not dealt with thoroughly enough." And here the reporter gives credit to Herr Edgar:



"/ admit that I know'' (!?) "Proudhon, I know that Edgar's presentation took its characteristic points from him and obviously put them all together."

The only reason why Herr Edgar's excellent criticism of Proudhon is not liked, the reporter says, must be that Herr Edgar does not fulminate against property. And just imagine it, the opponent finds Herr Edgar's essay on the ''Union Ouvriere'' insignificant.

To console Herr Edgar the reporter says: "Naturally it does not give anything self-contained, and these people have really gone back to Gruppe's point of view, which, to be sure, they have always maintained. Criticism must give, give and giveV'

As though Criticism had not given quite new linguistical, historical, philosophical, political-economical and juridical discoveries! And it is so modest as to let it be said that it has not given anything self-contained\ Even our Critical correspondent gave mechanics something that it had not known when he made people go back to the point of view which they had always maintained. It is clumsy to recall Gruppe's point of view. In his pamphlet, which is otherwise miserable and not worth mentioning, he asked Herr Bruno what criticism he could give on speculative logic. Herr Bruno referred him to future generations and - "a fool is waiting for an answer.'' As God punished the unbelieving Pharaoh by hardening his heart and did not think him deserving of enlightenment, so the reporter affirms: "They are therefore not in the least worthy to see or recognize the content of your LiteraturZeitung."

And instead of advising his friend Edgar to acquire thoughts and knowledge he gives him the following advice: "Let Edgar get a bag of phrases and draw blindly out of it when he writes essays in the future, in order to acquire a style in harmony with the public."


Besides assurances of "a certain fury, ill-favour, emptiness, lack of thought, surmises at things they are not able to get to the bottom of and a feeling of nullity," (all epithets which apply, naturally, to the Berlin Couleur) eulogies like the following are made of the Holy Family:

"Lightness of treatment permeating the matter, mastery of the categories, insight acquired by study, in a word, mastery of its objects. He" (of the Berlin Couleur) "takes it easy with the thing, you make the thing easy." Or: "in Literatur-Zeitung your criticism is pure, tangible and relevant."

At the end we read: "I have written it all to you at such length because I know that I shall cause you pleasure by reporting the opinions of my friend. From this you can see that Literatur-Zeitung is fulfilling its purpose."

Its purpose is opposition to the Berlin Couleur. As we have just witnessed the Berlin Couleur's polemic against Critical Criticism and the reproof it got for it, we shall now have a double picture of its efforts to obtain mercy from Critical Criticism.

One correspondent writes: "My acquaintances in Berlin told me when I was there at the beginning of the year that you repel all and keep all at a distance; that you keep to yourself and let nobody approach you, purposely avoiding all intercourse. I, of course, cannot tell which side is to blame."

Absolute Criticism answers: "Criticism does not form any party and will have no party of its own: it is solitary because it is plunged in its'' (!) "object and opposes itself to it. It isolates itself from everything.''

Critical Criticism thinks it rises above all dogmatic contradictions by substituting the imaginary contradiction between itself and the world, between the Holy Ghost and the profane Mass for the real contradictions. In the same way it thinks it rises above parties by falling below the party 14*


point of view, by opposing itself as a party to the rest of mankind and concentrating all its interest in the person of Herr Bruno and Co. The truth of Criticism's admission that it thrones in the solitude of abstraction, that even when it seems to be engaged with some object it does not come out of its objectless solitude into any true social relation to any real object, because its object is the object of its imagination, only an imaginary object - the truth of all this proves the whole of our argument. Just as correct is its definition of its abstraction as absolute abstraction, in fhe sense that "it isolates itself from everything," and in just the same way this isolation of nothing from everything, from all thought, contemplation, etc., is absolute nonsense. By the way, the solitude which it achieves by isolating and abstracting itself from everything is no more free from the object from which it abstracts itself than Origenes was from the genital organ that he cut off from himself.

- . Another correspondent begins by describing a member of the Berlin Couleur whom "he saw and spoke with," as "gloomy," "depressed," "no longer able to open his mouth" (although he was formerly "always ready with a quite impudent word"), and "despondent." This member of the Berlin Couleur related the following to the correspondent, who in turn reported it to Criticism.

"He cannot grasp how people like you two, who formerly respected the principle of humanity, can behave in such a retiring, repulsive even arrogant manner." He does not know "why there are some people who, it seems, intentionally cause a split. Have we not all the same point of view? Do we not all do homage to the extreme, to criticism? Are we not all capable, if not of producing, at least of grasping and applying an extreme thought?" He "finds that this split is motivated by no other principle than egotism and arrogance." Then the correspondent puts in a good word:


"Have not at least some of our friends grasped Criticism, or perhaps the good will of Criticism ... ut desint vires, tarnen est laudanda voluntas*

Criticism answers by the following antitheses between itself and the Berlin Couleur:

"There are various standpoints on criticism." The members of Berlin Couleur "thought they had criticism in their pocket," but Criticism "really knows and applies the force of criticism," i.e., does not keep it in its pocket. For the former criticism is pure form, while for Criticism it is the ''most substantiar or rather the "only substantial.'' As Absolute Thinking is fo r itself the whole of realUyso it is with Critical Criticism. TRaf'is'wTiyit sees no content outsTde iisclf and is therefore not the criticism g\£CCiI objectslying outsijde the critical subject; on "the contrary, if makes the object, itjs the Absolute Subject-Object. Further "The first kind of criticism gets over everything and over the investigation of things, with phrases. The second isolates itself from everything with phrases." The first is ''clever in its ignorance,'' the second is "learning." The second, by the way, is not clever, it learns par gä, par la** but only in appearance, only in order to be able to fling what it has superficially learnt from the mass back at the mass in the form of a "motto," as wisdom it has discovered itself, and to resolve it into the nonsense of Critical Criticism.

For the first, words such as "extreme," "proceed," "not go far enough" are of importance and are most revered categories; the latter sounds the points of view and does not apply to them the measures of those abstract categories.

The exclamations of Criticism No. 2 that it is no longer a question of politics, that philosophy is disposed of the way it dismisses social systems and development with words like "fantastic," "utopian," etc. - what is all that if not a Criti * Though strength be lacking, will is. however, praiseworthy. - Ed.

** Here and there -Ed.


cally revised version of "proceeding" and "not going far enough"? And are not its "measures," such as "history," "criticism," "summing up of objects," "the old and the new," "criticism and mass," "investigation of standpoints" - in a word, all its mottos, categorical measures and abstractly categorical ones too?

"The former is theological, spiteful, envious, petty, presumptuous, the latter is the opposite of all that."

After thus praising itself a dozen times in one breath and ascribing to itself all that the Berlin Couleur lacks, as God is all that man is not, Criticism bears witness to itself that: "It has achieved a clarity, a thirst for learning, a tranquillity in which it is unassailable and invincible.'"

Hence it can "at the most treat its opposite, the Berlin Couleur, with Olympic laughter This laughter - it explains with its usual thoroughness what it is and what it is not - "this laughter is not arrogance." Not on your life! It is the negation of the negation. It is ''only the process that the critic must apply in all composure and equanimity against a subordinate standpoint which thinks itself equal to him" (What conceit!). When the Critic laughs, therefore, he is applying a process] And "in all equanimity" he applies the process of laughter r\oi against persons, but against a standpoint Even laughter is a category which it applies and even must apply!

Extramundane criticism is not an essential activity of the real human subject which, being real, lives and suffers in the society of today, sharing in its pains and pleasures. The real individual is only an accidence, an earthly vessel of Critical Criticism which reveals itself in it as the eternal substance. The subject is not the human individual's criticism, but the non-human individual of Criticism. Criticis m is not a manifestation of man, buLJiiaiL-i n estran gement of Crlflcl sinTand that is wliy the critic lives complety out slge society.


"Can the critic live in tlie society which he criticizes?"

It should be: Must he not live in that society? Must he not himself be a manifestation of the life of that society? Why does the critic sell the product of his mind since by it he makes the worst law of the society of today his own law?

''The Critic must not even dare to mix personally with society."

That is why he sets up for himself a holy family, just as the solitary God endeavours to do away with his boring isolation from society in the Holy Family. If the critic wants to free himself from bad society he must first of all free himself from his own society.

"Thus the critic dispenses with all the pleasures of society, but its sufferings too are kept away from him. He knows neither friendship'' (except Critical friendship) "nor love" (except self-love) "but then calumny is powerless against him; nothing can offend him; no hatred, no envy can affect him; vexation and grief are feelings unknown to him." In short, the Critic is free from all human passions, he is a divine person; he can apply to himself the song of the nun

/ think not of a lover, I think not of a spouse.

I think of God the Father, For he my life endows.'*

Critical Criticism cannot write about a single point without contradicting itself. Thus it tells us finally that "the Philistinism that stones the critic" (he had to be stoned by analogy with the bible) "that misjudges him and ascribes impure motives to him"- ascribes impure motives to pure Criticism!) "to make him equal to itself" (the conceit of equality reproved above!) "is not laughed at by him, because it is not worth it; but is seen through and quietly relegated back to its own insignificant significance."


Earlier the Critic had to apply the process of laughter to "the subordinate standpoint that thought itself equal to him." Critical Criticism's uncertainty about the way it has to deal with the godless "Mass" seems almost to indicate interior irritation, a sort of bile for which "feelings" are not "unknown,"

No mistake must be made about it. Having waged a herculean struggle to free itself from the un-Critical "profane Mass" and "everything," Critical Criticism has at last happily elaborated its lonely, godly, self-satisfied, absolute existence. If in its first pronouncements in this, its "new phase," the old world of sinful feelings seems still to have some power over it, we shall now see Criticism find aesthetic refreshment and transfiguration in an artistic form and complete its penance so that it can finally carry out the Critical last judgement like a second triumphant Christ, and, after defeating the dragon, ascend calmly to heaven.

Chapter VIII






Rudolph, Prince of Geroldstein does penance in iiis worldly peregrination for a double crime: his personal crime and the crime of Critical Criticism. In a furious dialogue he drew his sword against his father; Critical Criticism, also in a furious dialogue, let itself be carried away by sinful feelings against the Mass. Critical Criticism did not reveal a single mystery. Rudolph does penance for that and reveals all mysteries.

Rudolph, Herr Szeliga informs us, is the first servant of the state of humanity ("The Humanity-State," by the Suabian Egidius. cf. Konstitutionelle Jahrbücher bv Dr. Karl Weil, 1844, Vol. 2).

For the world not to be destroyed, Herr Szeliga affirms, it is necessary for

"men of ruthless criticism to appear . . . Rudolph is a man of that kind. . . . Rudolph grasps the thought of pure criticism. And that thought is more fruitful for him and all humanity than all the experience of humanity in its whole history, than all the knowledge that Rudolph, directed even by the most reliable teacher, could have derived from that history. - The impartial judgement by which Rudolph per


pefuates his worldly peregrination is, in fact, nothing

else than:

the revelation of the mysteries of society."

He is "the mystery of all mysteries revealed."

Rudolph has far more exterior means at his disposal than

the other men of Critical Criticism. But the latter consoles


"Unattainable for those less favoured by destiny are

Rudolph's results'' (!), "not unattainable is his splendid

aim" (1).

That is why Criticism leaves the realization of its own

thoughts to Rudolph, who is so favoured by destiny. It sings

to him:

Hahnemann, Go on ahead.

You've waders on, you won't get wet!

Let us accompany Rudolph in his Critical worldly peregrination which "is more fruitful for humanity than all the experience of humanity in its whole history, than all the knowledge etc., and which saves the world twice from destruction.

1 ) Critical Transformation of a Butcher into a Dog, or Chourineur

Chourineur was a butcher by trade. A concourse of circumstances makes this mighty son of nature a murderer.

Rudolph comes across him accidentally as he is molesting Fleur de Marie. Rudolph gives the dexterous brawler a few impressive, masterly punches in the head, and thus wins his respect. Later, in the criminals' tavern Chourineur's kind-hearted disposition is revealed. "You still have heart and honour," Rudolph says to him. By these words he fires Chourineur with respect for himself. Chourineur amends or, as Herr Szeliga says, is transformed into a "moral being."


Rudolph takes him under his protection. Let us follow the course of Chourineur's education under the direction of Rudolph.

1st Stage. The first lesson Chourineur gets is a lesson in hypocrisy, faithlessness, craft and dissimulation. Rudolph uses the moralized Chourineur in exactly the same way as Vidocq used the criminals he had moralized, i.e., he makes him a mouchard and agent provocateur. He advises him to "pretend'' to the gang leader that he has altered his "principle of not-stealing" and to suggest a robbery so as to lure him into the trap set by Rudolph. Chourineur feels that he is being abused of for a "farce." He protests against the suggestion of playing the role of mouchard and agent provocateur. Rudolph easily enough convinces the son ofnature by the "pure" casuistry of Critical Criticism that a foul trick is not foul when it is done for ''good, moral" motives. Chourineur, as an agent provocateur and under the pretence of friendship and confidence, lures his former companion to destruction. For the first time in his life he commits an act of infamy.

2nd Stage. We next find Chourineur acting as sick attendant to Rudolph, whom he has saved from mortal danger.

Chourineur has become such a decent moral being that he rejects the Negro doctor David's suggestion to sit on the floor, for fear of dirtying the carpet. He is indeed too shy to sit on a chair. He first lays the chair on its back and then sits on the front legs. He never fails to apologize when he addresses Rudolph, whom he saved from a mortal danger, as "friend" or 'Monsieur'' instead of "Monseigneur."

What a wonderful breaking-in of a ruthless son of nature! Chourineur expresses the innermost secret of his Critical transformation when he admits to Rudolph that he has the same attachment for him as a bull-dog for its master: "Je me sens pour vous, comme qui dirait I'attachement d'un bouledogue pour son maitre." The former butcher is changed


into a dog. Henceforth all his virtues will be resolved into the virtue of a dog, pure "devotion'" to its master. His independence, his individuality will disappear completely. But as bad painters must label their painting to say what it is supposed to represent, Eugene Sue must put a label in "bull-dog'' Chourineur's mouth so that he constantly affirms; "The two words, 'You still have heart and honour,' made a man out of me." Till his very last breath Chourineur will find the motives for his actions, not in his human individuality, but in that label. As a proof of his moral amendment he will often reflect on his own excellence and the wickedness of other individuals. And every time he throws about moralizing expressions, Rudolph will say to him: "I like to hear you speak like that." Chourineur has not become an ordinary bull-dog but a moral one.

3rd Stage. We have already admired the petty -bourgeois decency which has taken the place of Chourineur's coarse but daring unceremoniousness. We now learn that, as he becomes a "moral being" he has also adopted the gait and demeanour of the petty bourgeois.

"To see his gait you would have taken him for the most harmless petty bourgeois in the world."

Still more distressing than this form is the content that Rudolph gives his Critically reformed like. He sends him to Africa "to show a living and salutary example of repentance to the unbelieving world." In future he will have to demonstrate, not his own human nature, but a Christian dogma.

4th Stage. The Critically moral transformation has made Chourineur a quiet, cautious man who behaves according to the rules of fear and worldly wisdom.

"Le Chourineur" reports Murph, who in his indiscreet simplicity continually tells tales out of school, "n'a pas dit un mot de I'execution de maitre d'ecole. de peur de se trouver compromis,"


So Chotirineur knows that the execution of the leader was illegal. But he does not talk about it for fear of compromising himself. Wise Cliourineiirf

5th Stage. Chourineur has carried his moral education to such perfection that he gives his canine devotion to Rudolph a civilized form - becomes conscious of it. After saving Germain from a mortal danger he says to him: "I have a protector who is to me what God is to priests - enough to make one kneel before him."

And in imagination he kneels before his God.

"Monsieur Rudolph," he says to Germain, "protects you.

I say 'Monsieur' though I should say \Monseigneur.' But I am used to calling him 'Monsieur Rudolph,' and he allows me to."

"Magnificent awakening and efflorescence!" exclaims Herr Szeliga in Critical delight.

6th Stage. Chourineur worthily ends his worldly peregrination of pure devotion, of moral bull-doggishness, by letting himself be stabbed to death in the end for his gracious lord. Just as Squelette threatens the prince with his knife, Chourineur stops the murderer's arm. Squelette stabs him. But, dying, Chourineur says to Rudolph:

"I was right when I said that a handful of earth" (a bulldog) "like me can sometimes be useful to a great and gracious master like you."

To this canine utterance, which sums up the whole of ' Chourineur's Critical life like an epigram, the label put in his mouth adds:

"We are quits, Monsieur Rudolph. You told me that I had heart and honour."

Herr Szeliga cries as loud as he can:

"What a merit it was for Rudolph to have restored the Shuriman'' (!) ''[o humanity (?)!"


2) Revelation of the Mystery of Critical Religion or Fleur de Marie

a) The Speculative "Daisy"

A word more about Herr Szeliga's speculative "Daisy" before we go on to Eugene Sue's Fleur de Marie.

The speculative "Daisy" is above all a correction. The fact is that the reader could conclude from Herr Szeliga's construction that Eugene Sue had "separated the presentation of the objective basis" (of the "world system") "from the development of the acting individual forces which can be understood only with them as a background."

Besides the task of correcting this erroneous conjecture that the reader may have made from Herr Szeliga's presentation, Daisy has also a metaphysical mission in our, or rather Herr Szeliga's "epic."

"The world system and epic events would not yet be artistically combined in a really single whole if they only intercrossed in a motley mixture - now here a bit of world system and then there some stage play. If real unity is to result, both things, the mysteries of this prejudiced world and the clarity, openness and confidence with which Rudolph penetrates and reveals them must clash in a single individual. . . . This is the task of Daisy."

Herr Szeliga construes Daisy by analogy with Herr Bauer's construction of the Mother of God.

One one side is the ''divine'" Rudolph to which all "power and freedom" are attributed, the only active principle. On the other side is the passive ''world system'" and the human beings belonging to it. The world system is the "ground for reality." If this ground is not to be "entirely abandoned" or "the last remnant of the natural situation is not to be abolished"; if the world itself is to have its own share in the "principle of development" that Rudolph, in contrast to the


world, concentrates in himself; if "the human is not to be repr'sented as unfree and inactive without qualification," Herr Szeliga must fall into the "contradiction of religious consciousness." Although he tears the world system and its activity asunder as the dualism of a dead mass and Criticism (Rudolph) he is all the same obliged to concede some attributes of divinity to the world system and the mass and to construe in Daisy the speculative unity of' the two, of Rudolph and the world (cf. Kritik der Synoptiker, Vol. I, p. 39).

Besides the real relations of the owner, the active "individual force," to his house the "objective basis" - mystic speculation, and aesthetic speculation too, needs a third concrete, speculative unity, a subject-object which is the house and the owner in one. As speculation does not like natural mediations in their extensive circumstantiality, it does not understand that the same "bit of world system," the house, for example, which for one, the owner, is an "objective basis," is an "epic event" for the other, the builder, for instance. In order to get a "real single whole" and "real unity" Critical Criticism, which reproaches "romantic art" with the "dogma of unity," replaces the natural and human connection between the world system and the world events by a fantastic connection, a mystic subject-object, as Hegel replaces the real connection between man and nature by an absolute Subject-Object, that is at the same time the whole of nature and the whole of humanity, the Absolute Spirit.

In Critical Daisy "the universal guilt of the time, the guilt of mystery" becomes the ''mystery of guilt," just as the universal debt of mystery becomes the mystery of debts in the indebted grocer.

According to the Mother-of-God construction, Daisy should really have been mother of Rudolph, the saviour of the world. Herr Szeliga expressly says so:

"Logically, Rudolph should have been the son of Daisy."

Since, however, he is not her son, but her father, Herr


Szeliga finds in this "the new mystery that the present often bears the long departed past in its womb instead of the future." He even reveals another mystery, a still greater one, a mystery which directly contradicts massy statistics, the mystery that a "child, if it does not, in its turn, become either father or mother, but goes to its grave pure and innocent, is . . . essentially ... a daughter.''''

Herr Szeliga faithfully follows Hegel's speculation when, ''logically'' he makes the daughter pass as the mother of her father. In Hegel's History of Philosophy as in his Philosophy of Nature the son engenders the mother, the Spirit nature, the Christian religion paganism, the result the beginning.

After proving that ''logically'' Daisy ought to have been Rudolph's mother, Herr Szeliga proves the opposite: "in order to conform fully to the idea she embodies in our epic she must never become a mother." This shows at least that the idea of our epic and the logic of Herr Szeliga are mutually contradictory.

Speculative Daisy is nothing but the "embodiment of an idea." But what idea? "She has the task of representing, as it were, the last tear of grief that the past sheds at its complete disappearance." She is the representation of an allegorical tear, and even the little that she is she is only "as it were."

We shall not follow Herr Szeliga in his further presentation of Daisy. We shall leave her the satisfaction, according to Herr Szeliga's prescription, of "constituting the most decisive contradiction to every man," a mysterious contradiction as mysterious as the attributes of God.

Neither shall we delve into the "the true mystery" "deposited by God in the breast of man" and at which Speculative Daisy "all the same as it were" hints. We shall pass from Herr Szeliga's Daisy to Eugene Sue's Fleur de Marie and to the Critical miraculous cure that Rudolph operates on her.


b) Fleur de Marie

We come across Marie surrounded by criminals, a prostitute, a serf to tiie proprietress of a criminals' tavern. In this debasement she preserves a human nobleness of soul, a human unaffectedness and a human beauty that impress those around her, raise her to the level of a poetical flower of the criminal world and win for her the name of Fleur de Marie.

We must observe Fleur de Marie attentively from her first appearance in order to be able to compare her original form with her Critical transformation.

In spite of her frailty Fleur de Marie shows great vitality, energy, cheerfulness, elasticity of character - qualities which alone explain her human development in her inhuman situation.

When Chourineur ill-treats her, she defends herself with her scissors. That is the situation in which we first find her.

She does not appear as a defenceless lamb who surrenders without any resistance to overwhelming brutality; she is a girl that can vindicate her rights and put up a fight.

In the criminals' tavern in rue aux Feves she tells Chourineur and Rudolph her life's story. As she does so she laughs at Chourincur's wit. She accuses herself of not having looked for work after her release from prison and of having spent on amusements and dresses the 300 francs she had earned. "But," she said, "I had no one to advise me." The memory of the catastrophe of her life - her selling herself to the proprietress of the criminals' tavern - rouses melancholy in her. It is the first time since her childhood that she has recalled these events. "The fact is that it grieves me when I look back ... it must be lovely to be honest." When Chourineur makes fun of her and tells her she must become honest, she exclaims: "Honest! My God! What do you want me to be honest with?" She insists that she is not the one "to 15-1192


have fits of tears" {"je ne suis pas pleurnicheuse''); but her position in life is sad - "ce n'est pas gaiy In the end, contrary to Christian repentance, she expresses the stoic and at the same time epicurean, human principle of a free and strong nature:

"Enfin ce qui est fait, est fait."

Let us go with Fleur de Marie on her first outing with Rudolph.

"The consciousness of your terrible situation probably often distressed you," Rudolph says, itching to moralize.

"Yes," she answers, "more than once I looked over the parapet of the Seine; but then I would gaze at the flowers and the sun and think the river would always be there and I was only seventeen years old. Who could tell? On such occasions I thought I had not deserved my fate, that I had something good in me. People have tormented me enough, I used to say to myself, but at least I have never done any harm to anybody." - Fleur de Marie considers her situation not as a free creation, not as the expression of her own person, but as a fate she has not deserved. Her bad fortune can change.

She is still young.

Good and evil, in Marie's mind, are not the moral abstractions of good and evil. She is good because she has never caused suffering to anybody, she has always been human towards her inhuman surroundings. She is good because the sun and the flowers reveal to her her own sunny and blossoming nature. She is good because she is still young, full of hope and vitality. Her situation is not good because it does her unnatural violence, because it is not the expression of her human impulses, the fulfilment of her human desires; because it is full of torment and void of

pleasure. Shp mpas iirp; hpr 9iln;ifin n in life bv her Own individualitfj, her natural pssenre, not by the ideal of good In natural surroundings the chains of bourgeois life fall


off Fleiir de Marie; she can freely manifest her own nature and consequently is bubbling wilh love of life, with a wealth of feeling, with human joy at the beauty of nature; these show that the bourgeois system has only grazed the surface of her and is a mere misfortune, that she herself is neither good nor bad, but human .

"Monsieur Rudolph, what happiness!... grass, fields! It you would only let me get out, the weather is so fine. ... I should love to run over those meadows."

Alighting from the carriage she plucks flowers for Rudolph, "can hardly speak for joy," etc.

Rudolph tells her that he is going to take her to Madame Georges' farm: There she sees dove-cotes, cowstalls and so forth; there they have milk, butter, fruit, etc. Those are real blessings for that child. She will be merry, that is her main thought. "You just can't believe how I am longing for some fun!" She explains to Rudolph without the least constraint how far she was to blame for her fate. "The cause of my whole fate was that I did not save up my money." Consequently she advises him to be thrifty and to put money in the savings bank. Her fancy runs wild in the castles in the air that Rudolph builds for her. She becomes sad only because she is "forgetting the present and "the contrast of that present with the dream of a pleasant and laughing existence reminds her of the cruelty of her situation."

So far we have seen Fleur de Marie in her original uncritical form. Eugene Sue has here risen above the horizon of his own narrow world outlook. He has slapped bourgeois prejudice in the face. He will hand over Fleur de Marie to the hero Rudolph to make up for his own rashness and to reap applause from all old men and women, from the whole of the Paris police, from the current religion and from "Critical Criticism."

Madame Georges, to whom Rudolph leaves Fleur de Marie, is an unhappy, hypochondriac, religious woman. She immedi 15*


ately welcomes the child with the unctuous words: "God blesses those who love and fear him, who have been unhappy and repenting." Rudolph, the man of "pure Criticism," has the wretched priest Laporte, whose hair has grayed in superstition, called in. He has the mission of accomplishing Fleur de Marie's Critical reform.

Joyfully and without constraint, Marie comes to the old priest. In his Christian brutality Eugene Sue makes a "marvellous instinct" at once whisper in her ear that "shame ends where repentance and penance begin," that is, in the church, which alone can give happiness. He forgets the unconstrained merriness of the outing, a merriness which the graces of nature and Rudolph's friendly sympathy had produced, and which was troubled only by the thought of having to go back to the proprietress of the criminals' tavern.

The priest immediately adopts a supermundane attitude.

His first words are:

"God's mercy is infinite, my dear child! He has proved it to you by not abandoning you in your severe trials. . . . The magnanimous man who saved you fulfilled the word of the Scriptures'' (note - the word of the Scriptures, not a human purpose!): "Verily the Lord is nigh to those who invoke him; he will fulfil their desires ... he will hear their voice and will save them . . . the Lord will accomplish his work."

Marie cannot yet understand the wicked meaning of the priest's exhortations. She answers: "I shall pray for those who pitied me and brought me back to God." - Her first thought is not for God, it is for her human saver and it is he that she prays for, not for her own absolution.

She attributes to her prayer some influence on the salvation of others. Indeed, she is so naive that she supposes she has already been brought back to God. The priest feels it his duty to destroy this unorthodox belief.

CHAPTER Vlll 229

"Soon," he says, interrupting lier, " soon you will deserve absolution, absolution from your great errors . . . for, to quote the prophet once more, the Lord holdeth up. those who are on the brink of the abyss."

One must not fail to see the inhuman expressions the priest uses. You will soon deserve absolution. Your sins are not yet forgiven.

As Laporte, when he receives the girl, tries to arouse in her the consciousness of her sins, so Rudolph, as he leaves, presents her with a golden cross, the symbol of the Christian crucifixion awaiting her.

Marie has already been living for some time on Madame Georges' farm. Let us now listen to a dialogue between the old priest Laporte and Madame Georges. He considers "marriage" out of the question for the girl "because no man, in spite of the priest's guarantee, will have the courage to face the past that has soiled her youth." He adds: "she has great errors to atone for, she should have been sustained by a sense of moral." He proves that she could have remained good just like the commonest of bourgeois: "there are many virtuous people in Paris today." The hypocritical priest knows quite well that every hour of the day, in the busiest streets, those virtuous people of Paris go past little girls of 7 or 8 years selling matches and the like up to midnight as Marie herself used to do and who, almost without exception, will have the same fate as Marie.

The priest has decided to make Marie repent; inside himself he has already condemned her. Let us go with Marie when she is accompanying Laporte home in the evening.

"See, my child," he begins with unctuous eloquence, the boundless horizon the limits of which are not to be seen" (remember it is in the evening) "it seems to me that the calm and the vastness almost give us the idea of eternity. ... I am telling you this, Marie, because you are sensitive to the beauty of creation. ... I have often been


moved by the religious fascination which they inspire you with, you who for so long were deprived of the sentiment of religion."

The priest has already succeeded in changing Marie's immediate naive pleasure in the beauties of nature into religious fascination. For her, nature has already become a devote, christianized nature, debased to creation. The transparent sea of space is desecrated and turned into a dark symbol of stagnant eternity. She has already learnt that all human manifestations of her being were "profane," devoid of religion, the real consecration, that they were impious and godless. The priest must soil her in her own eyes, he must trample underfoot her moral capacities and gifts to make her receptive to the supernatural grace he promises her, baptism.

When Marie wants to make a confession and asks him to be lenient he answers:

" The Lord has .shown you that he is merciful." In th e clemency of which she is the object Marie must not see a natural unquestioned relation of one human being to her, another human heinff. She must see in it a transcend ent, supernatural, superhuman mercy and condescension;

in human [pn'fr- 'hp mngt ep rfininp mprr.t j. She must see all human beings and human relati on; in ihe tranc;r pndpnfal plane of relations to God. The way Fleur de Marie in her answer accepts the priest's prattle about divine mercy s hows fl ow far she has been spoilt bv religious doctrine.

As soon as she entered upon her improved situation, she said, she felt new happiness.

"I kept thinking of Monsieur Rudolph. I often raised my eyes to heaven, to look, not for God, but Monsieur Rudolph there and to thank him. Yes, / confess, Father. / thought more of him than of God; for he did for me what God alone could have done. ... I was happy, as happy as anybody who has escaped a great danger for ever."


Fleur de Marie already finds it wrong that she took a new happy situation in life simply for what it really was, that she felt it as a new happiness, that her attitude to it was a natural, not a supernatural one. She accuses herself of seeing in the man who saved her what he really was, her saver, instead of supposing some imaginary saviour, God, in his place. She is already caught in religious hypocrisy which takes away from another man what he has deserved in respect of me in order to give it to God and which cmisidersany thing and everything human i n man as alien to God a nd e verythmg mhuman m mm as reallu Ciod's own .

Marie tells us that the religious transformation of her thoughts, her sentiments, her attitude towards life was effected by Madame Georges and Laporte.

"When Rudolph took me away from the city I already had a vague consciousness of my degradation. . . . But the education, the advice and examples I got from Madame Georges and from you made me understand . . . that I had been more guilty than unfortunate. Madame Georges and you made me realize the infinite depth of my damnation."

That means that she owes to the priest Laporte and Madame Georges the replacement of the human and therefore bearable consciousness of her debasement by the Christian and hence unbearable consciousness of eternal damnation. The priest and the bigot have taught her to judge herself from the Christian point of view.

Marie feels the depth of the moral misfortune into which she has been cast. She says:

"Since the consciousness of good and evil had to be so fatal to me, why was I not left to my wretched fate?. . . Had I not been snatched away from infamy, misery and blows would soon have killed me. At least I should have died in ignorance of a purity that I shall always regret not to have."

The heartless priest answers:


"The most generously gifted nature, were it to be plunged only for a day in the filth from which you have been saved would be indelibly branded. That is the immutability of divine justiceV

Deeply wounded by the priest's smooth honeyed curse Fleur de Marie exclaims: "You see yourself, I must despair!"

The gray-headed slave of religion answers:

"You must renounce all hope of effacing this desolate page from your life, but you must trust in the infinite mercy of God. Here below, my poor child, you will have tears, remorse and penance, but one day on high forgiveness and eternal blissV

Marie is not yet stupid enough to be satisfied with eternal happiness and forgiveness on high.

"Pity, pity my God!" she cries. "I am so young. How wretched I am!"

Then the hypocritical sophistry of the priest reaches its peak:

"Happiness for you, on the contrary, Marie; happiness for you to whom the Lord sends this bitter but saving remorse! It shows the religious sensibility of your soul. . . .

Each of your sufferings will be marked down to you on high.

Believe me, God left you a while on the path of evil only to reserve for you the glory of repentance and the eternal reward due to penance."

From this moment Marie is a serf of consciousness of sin.

In her unhappy situation in life she was able to become a lovable, human individual; in her exterior debasement she was conscious that her human essence was her true essence .

Now the filth of modern society which has come into exterior contact with her becomes her innermost being; continual hypochondriac self-torture because of that filth will be her duty, the task of her life appointed by God himself, the selfaim of her existence. Formerly she boasted: "I am not the one to have fits of tears" and knew that "what's done is


done." Now self-torment will be her good and remorse will be her glory.

It turns out later that Fleur de Marie is Rudolph's daughter. We find her again as Princess of Geroldstein. We overhear a conversation she has with her father:

"It is in vain that I pray to God to deliver me from these obsessions, to fill my heart only with his pious love and his holy hopes; in a word, to take me entirely, because I wish to give myself entirely to him. ... He does not grant my wishes, doubtless because my earthly preoccupations make me unworthy of intercourse with him."

When man has realized that his errings are infinite crimes against God he can be sure of salvation and mercy only if he gives himself entirely to God and dies entirely to the world and worldly occupations. When Fleur de Marie realizes that her delivery from her inhuman situation in life was a miracle of God she must become a saint herself in order to be worthy of that miracle. Her human love must be transformed into religious love, the desire for happiness into the striving for eternal bliss, worldly satisfaction into holy hope, intercourse with man into intercourse with God. God must take her entirely. She herself reveals to us why he does not take her entirely. She has not given herself entirely to him, her heart is still preoccupied and engaged with earthly affairs. This is the last blaze of her strong nature.

She gives herself entirely up to God by dying entirely to the world and going into a convent.

A monastery is no place for him

Who has no stock of sins laid in

So numerous and great

That be it early, be it late,

He may not miss the sweet delight

Of penance for a heart contrite.



In the convent Fleur de Marie is made abbess through the intrigues of Rudolph. At first she refuses to accept this appointment because she feels unworthy. The old abbess persuades her:

"I shall say more, my dear daughter: if before entering the fold your life had been as prodigal as it was pure and praiseworthy . . . the evangelical virtues that you have given the example of since you have been here would atone for and redeem your past in the eyes of the Lord, no matter how sinful it had been."

From what the abbess says we see that Fleur de Marie's worldly virtues have changed into evangelical virtues, or rather that her real virtues may no longer appear otherwise than as evangelical caricatures.

Marie answers the abbess:

"Holy Mother, I now believe I can accept."

Convent life does not suit Marie's individuality - she dies.

Christianity consoles her only in imagination, or rather her Christian consolation is precisely the annihilation of her real life and essence - her death.

So Rudolph changed Fleur de Marie first into a repentant sinner, then the repentant sinner into a nun and finally the nun into a corpse. Besides the Catholic priest, the Critical priest Szeliga also preaches a sermon over her grave.

Her "innocenf existence he calls her "transient" existence, opposing it to "eternal and unforgettable guilt." He praises the fact that her last breath was a "prayer for forgiveness and pardon." But as the Protestant minister, after expounding the necessity of the Lord's mercy, the participation of the deceased in universal original sin and the intensity of his consciousness of sin, must praise the virtues of the departed in worldly terms, so, too, Herr Szeliga uses the expression:

"And yet personally, she has nothing to ask forgiveness for."


Finally he throws on her grave the most faded flower of pulpit eloquence:

"Inwardly pure as human beings seldom are, she has closed her eyes to this world."


3) Revelation of the Mysteries of Law

a) The Gang Leader, or the New Penal Theory.

The Mystery of the Cell System Revealed.

Medical Mysteries

The gang leader is a criminal of herculean strength and great moral energy. He was brought up an educated and well-schooled man. This passionate athlete clashes with the laws and customs of bourgeois society whose universal yardstick is mediocrity, delicate morals and quiet trade. He becomes a murderer and abandons himself to all the excesses of a violent temperament that can nowhere find a fitting human occupation.

Rudolph captures this criminal. He wants to reform him Critically and set him as an example for the world of law.

He quarrels with the world of law not over "punishment" itself, but over kinds and methods of punishment. He invents, as the Negro doctor David aptly expresses it, a penal theory worthy of the "greatest German criminal experf which has since been even fortunate enough to be defended by a German criminal specialist with German earnestness and German thoroughness. Rudolph has not the slightest idea that one can rise above criminal experts: his ambition is to be "the greatest criminal expert'' primus inter pares.* He has the gang leader blinded by the Negro doctor David.

At first Rudolph repeats * all the trivial objections to

The first among equals. - Ed.


capital punishment: that it has no effect on the criminal and 1/ no effect on the people, for whom it seems to be an entertaining scene.

Further Rudolph establishes a difference between the gang leader and the soul of the gang leader. It is not the man, the real gang leader whom he wishes to save; he wants the spiritual salvation of his soul.

"The salvation of a soul," he teaches, "is a holy affair. . . .

Every crime can be atoned for and redeemed, the Saviour said, but only if the criminal earnestly desires to repent and atone. The transition from the court to the scaffold is too short. . . . You" (the gang leader) "have criminally abused of your strength, I shall paralyze your strength . . . you will tremble before the weakest . . . your punishment will be equal to your crime . . . but that terrible punishment will at least leave you the immense horizon of penance. ... I shall cut you off only from the outer world in order to plunge you in impenetrable night, and leave you alone with the memory of your ignominious deeds. . . . You will be forced to look into yourself . . . your intelligence that you have degraded will be roused and will lead you to penance." - As Rudolph considers the soul of man to be holy and his body profane, as he therefore considers only the soul to be the true essence because, in Herr Szeliga's Critical description of humanity, it belongs to heaven, the body and the strength of the gang leader do not belong to humanity, the manifestation of their essence cannot be given human form or vindicated for humanity and it must not be dealt with humanly as an essentially human thing.

The gang leader has abused of his strength, Rudolph - paralyzes, lames, destroys that strength. There is no more Critical means of getting rid of the incorrect manifestations of the essential force of man than to annihilate that essential force. This is the Christian means - plucking out the eye or cutting off the hand if it scandalizes, in a word, killing the


body if the body scandalizes; for the eye, the hand, the body are really but superfluous sinful appendages of man.

Human nature must be killed in order to heal its illnesses.

Massy jurisprudence too, in unison with the Critical, sees in the laming and paralyzing of human strength the antidote to the undesirable manifestations of that strength.

What Rudolph, the man of pure Criticism, objects to in profane criminal justice is the too sudden transition from the .

court to the scaffold. He, on the other hand, wants to link/ vengeance on the criminal with repentance and consclou3-\ ness of sin in the criminal, corporal punishment with moral I - punishment, sensuous torture with the non-sensuous pangs 1 of remorse. Profane punishment must at the same time be a/ means of Christian moral education.

This penal theory, which links jurisprudence with theology, this "revealed mystery of the mystery" is nothing else than the penal theory of the Catholic Church. Bentham proved this at great length in his work Theorie des peines et des recompenses. In that book Bentham also proved the moral futility of punishments of today. He calls legal penalties "legal parodies

The punishment that Rudolph imposed on the gang leader is the same as that Origenes imposed on himself. It emasculates him, it robs him of a productive organ, the eye. "Your eye is the light of your body." It is a great credit to Rudolph's religious instinct that he should hit, of all things, upon the idea of blinding. That punishment was favoured in the thoroughly Christian empire of Byzantium and in the vigorous youth of the Christian-Germanic state in England and Franconia. Cutting man off from the perceptible outer world, pitching him back into his abstract interior in order to correct him, blinding, is the inevitable fruit of the Christian doctrine according to which the consummation of this cutting off, the pure isolation of man in his spiritual "ego" is good itself. If Rudolph does not shut the gang


leader up in a real monastery as was the case in Byzantium and in Franconia, he at least shuts him up in an ideal monastery, in the cloister of an impenetrable night which the light of the outside world cannot pierce, the cloister of an idle conscience and consciousness of sin filled with nothing but phantoms of memory.

A certain speculative shame prevents Herr Szeliga from agreeing openly with the penal theory of his hero Rudolph that worldly punishment must be linked with Christian remorse and penance. Instead he imputes to him - naturally as a mystery which is only just being revealed to the world - the theory that punishment must make the criminal the "judge" of his ''own'' crime.

The mystery of this revealed mystery is Hegel's penal theory. Hegel holds that the criminal must as a punishment pass sentence on himself. Gans developed this theory at greater length. In Hegel this is the speculative disguise of the old jus talionis* that Kant developed as the only legal penal theory. Hegel makes self-judgement of the criminal no more than an "Idea,'' a mere speculative interpretation of the current empiric penal code. He thus leaves the mode of application to the respective stages of development of the state, i.e., he leaves punishment as it is. Precisely in that he shows himself more critical than his Critical echo.

A penal theory that at the same time sees in the criminal the man can do so only in abstraction, in imagination, precisely because punishment, coercion is contrary to human conduct. Besides, this would be impossible to carry out.

Pure subjective arbitrariness would take the place of the abstract law because it would always depend on official "honest and decent" men to adapt the penalty to the individuality of the criminal. Plato admitted that the law must be one-sided and must make abstraction of the individual.

* The law of the talion- an eye for an eye. - Ed.


On the other hand, under human conditions punishment will really be nothing but the sentence passed by the culprit on himself. There will be no attempt to persuade him that violence from without, exerted on him by others, is violence exerted on himself by himself. On the contrary, he will see in other men his natural saviours from the sentence which he has pronounced on himself; in other words the relation will be reversed.

Rudolph expresses his innermost thought - the purpose of blinding the gang leader - when he says to him:

"Every word you say will be a prayer."

He wants to teach him to pray. He wants to change the herculean robber into a monk whose only work is prayer.

How human is the ordinary penal theory that just chops a man's head off when it wants to destroy him in comparison with this Christian cruelty. Finally, it goes without saying that whenever really massy legislation seriously thought of improving the criminal it was incomparably more sensible and human than the German Harun el Rashid. The four Dutch agricultural colonies and the Ostwald penal colony in Alsace are truly human attempts in comparison with the blinding of the gang leader. As Rudolph kills Fleur de Marie by handing her over to a priest and consciousness of sin, as he kills Chourineur by robbing him of his human independence and debasing him to a bull-dog, so he kills the gang leader by having his eyes gouged out so that he can learn to ''pray."

This is, by the wav, the form in which all reality ''simply'' proceeds out of "pure Criticism to be precise, distortion and senseless abstraction of reality.

Immediately after the blinding of the gang leader, Herr Szeliga causes a moral miracle to take place.

"The terrible gang leader," he reports, "suddenly recognizes the power of honesty and decency and says to Shurlman: 'Yes, I can trust you. you never stole anything.' "


Unfortunately Eugene Sue recorded something that the gang leader said about Chourlneur, which contains the same recognition and cannot be the effect of his having been blinded, since it was said earlier. In a talk to Rudolph alone he said about Chourineur:

"Besides, he is not capable of giving away a friend. No, there's something good in him ... he has always had strange ideas."

This would seem to do away with Herr Szeliga's moral miracle. Now we shall see the real results of Rudolph's Critical cure.

. We first come across the gang leader as he is going with a woman called Cfiouette to the estate of Bouqueval to play a foul trick on Fleur de Marie. The thought that dominates him is, or course, the thought of revenge on Rudolph. But the only way he knows of wreaking vengeance on him is metaphysically, by thinking and hatching "eo//" to spite him. "He has taken away my sight but not the thought of evil." He tells Chouette why he called her.

"I was bored all alone with those honest people."

When Eugene Sue satisfies his monkish, bestial lust in the sei] -humiliation of man to the extent of making the gang leader implore the old hag Chouette and the little imp Tortillard on his knees not to abandon him, the great moralist forgets that that is the height of diabolical satisfaction for Chouette. As Rudolph, by the violence of having the criminal's eyes gouged out, proved to him the force of physical power which he had formerly told him was nonexistent, so Eugene Sue now teaches the gang leader really to recognize the power of complete sensuousness. He teaches him to understand that without it man Is unmanned and becomes a helpless object of mockery for children. He persuades him that the world has deserved his crimes, for he only had to lose his sight to be ill-treated by it. He robs him of his last human illusion, for so far the gang leader


had believed in Chouette's attaciiment to him. He said to Rudolph, "She would let herself be thrown into the fire for me." Eugene Sue, on the other hand, has the satisfaction of hearing the gang leader cry out in the depths of despair:

"AJoAz dieu! Mon dieu! Mon diear

He has learnt to ''pray''\ In this ''spontaneous call for the pity of God" Eugene Sue sees "something providential."

The first result of Rudolph's Criticism is this spontaneous prayer. It is followed immediately by involuntary penance at Bouqueval farm, where the ghosts of those the gang leader murdered appear to him in a dream.

We shall not give a detailed description of this dream.

We find the Critically reformed gang leader fettered in the cellar of the "Brass Rouge," half devoured by rats, half starving and half insane as a result of being tortured by Chouette and Tortillard, and roaring like a beast. Tortillard has delivered Chouette to him. Let us watch the treatment he inflicts on her. He copies the hero Rudolph not only outwardly, by scratching out Chouette's eyes, but morally too by accompanying his cruel act with a repetition of Rudolph's hypocrisy and pious words. As soon as the gang leader has Chouette in his power he shows "a fearful joy'' and his voice trembles with rage.

"You realize," he says, "that I do not want to get it over at once. . . . Torture for torture. ... I must have a long talk with you before killing you. ... It is going to be terrible for you. First of all, you see . . . since that dream at Bouqueval farm which brought all our crimes back before me, since that dream which nearly drove me mad . . . and which will drive me mad ... a strange change has come over me. . . .

I have become horrified at my past cruelty. ... At first I would not let you torture the songstress,* but that was

* He means Fleur de Marie. - Ed.



nothing. ... By bringing me to this cellar and making me suffer cold and hunger you left me to the terror of my own thoughts. . . . Oh, you don't know what it is to be alone. . . .

Isolation purified me. I should not have thought it possible - a proof that I am perhaps less of a blackguard than before. . . . What an infinite joy I feel to have you in my power, you monster . . . not to get my revenge . . . but to avenge our victims. . . . Yes, I would have done my duty if I had punished my accomplice with my own hand. ... I am now horrified at my past murders, and yet ... don't you find it strange?. . . it is without fear or misgivings that I am going to commit a terrible murder on you, with terrible refinements. . . . Tell me, tell me ... do you understand that?

In those few words the gang leader goes through a whole scale of moral casuistry.

His first words are a frank expression of his desire for vengeance. He wants to give torture for torture. He wants to murder Chotiette and he wants to prolong her agony by a long sermon. And, wonderful sophistry! the speech with which he tortures her is a sermon on morals. He affirms that his dream at Bouqueval has improved him. At the same time he reveals the real effect of the dream by admitting that it almost drove him mad and that it will really do so. He gives as a proof of his amendment that he prevented Flear de Marie from being tortured. Eugene Sue's personages - earlier Cliourineur and now the gang leader - must express as the result of their own thoughts, the conscious motive of their acts, the reason why the writer makes them behave in a certain way and no other. They must continually say: I have amended in this, in that, etc. As they do not really come to a life of any content what they say must give vigorous tones to insignificant features like the protection of Fleur de Marie.

Having reported the salutary effect of his Bouqueval dream, the gang leader must explain why Eugene Sue had


him locked up in a cellar. He must find the novelist's treatment reasonable. He must say to Cliouette: by locking me in a cellar, letting me be gnawed by rats and suffer hunger and thirst, you have consummated my amendment. Solitude has purified me.

The beastly roar, the u'ild fury, the terrible lust for vengeance with which the gang leader receives Chouette are a rebuff to his moralizing talk. They betray what kind of thoughts occupied him in his dungeon.

The gang leader himself seems to realize this, but as he is a Critical moralist, he will know how to conciliate the contradiction.

He declares the very "boundless pleasure" of having Chouette in his power to be a sign of his amendment. His lust for vengeance is not natural one but a moral one. He wants to avenge, not his own victims, but the common victims of Chouette and himself. And when he murders her, he does not commit murder, he fulfils a duty. He does not avenge himself on her, he punishes his accomplice like an impartial judge. He shudders at his past murders and, all the same, marvelling at his own casuistry, he asks Chouette whether she does not find it strange that he wants to kill her without fear or misgivings. On moral grounds that he does not reveal he gloats at the same time over the picture of the murder that he is going to commit, because it is a terrible murder, a murder with terrible refmements.

It fits the gang leader's character that he should murder Chouette, especially after the cruelty with which she treated him. But that he should commit murder on moral grounds, that he should give a moral interpretation to the terrible murder and the terrible refinements, that he should still repent of his former murders when he is committing another one, that from a simple murderer he should become a murderer in a double sense, a moral murderer - all this is the glorious result of Rudolph's Critical cure.



Chouette tries to get away from the gang leader. He notices it and holds her fast.

"Keep still, Chouette, I must finish explaining to you how I gradually came to repentance. ... It will be a horrible revelation for you . . . and it will also show you how pitiless I must be in the vengeance I want to wreak on you in the name of our victims. ... I must hurry. . . . The joy of having you here in my hands makes my blood boil. ... I shall have time to make the approach of your death more terrifying by forcing you to liste to me. ... I am blind . . . and my thought takes a shape, a body, to present to me visibly, almost palpably, all the time . . . the features of my victims. . . . The ideas are reflected almost materially in my brain. When repentance is accompanied by an expiation of terrifying rigour, an expiation that changes our life into a long sleeplessness filled with avenging hallucinations or desperate reflexions . . . then, perhaps, the pardon of men follows remorse and expiation."

The gang leader continues in a hypocrisy which every minute betrays itself as such. Chouette must hear how he came by degrees to repentance. This revelation will be horrible for her, for it will prove to her that it is his duty to consummate ruthless revenge, not in his own name, but in the name of their common victims. Suddenly the gang leader interrupts his didactic lecture. He must, he says, "hurry" with his lecture, for the joy of having her in his hands makes the blood pound in his veins; that is a moral ground to cut the lecture short! Then he calms his blood again. The long time that he uses to give her a moral sermon is not lost for his revenge. It will "make the approach of her death terrifying" for her. That is another moral ground to protract his sermon! And having such moral grounds he can safely resume his moral text where he left off.

The gang leader correctly describes the condition to which


isolation from the outer world reduces a man. For him who sees a mere idea in the perceptible world, mere idea, on the other hand, becomes a perceptible being. The figments of his brain assume corporeal form. A world of perceptible, sensible ghosts is begotten within his mind. That is the mystery of all pious visions and at the same time it is the general form of insanity. When the gang leader repeats Rudolph's words about the "power of repentance and penance associated with terrible torments," he does so in a state of half madness, thus proving in fact the connection between Christian consciousness of sin and insanity.

Similarly, when the gang leader considers the transformation of lije into a nightmare filled with ghosts as the real result of repentance and penance, he is expressing the true mystery of pure Criticism and of Christian amendment, which consists in changing man into a ghost and his life into a lije of dream.

At this point Eugene Sue realizes how the salutary thoughts that he lets the blind robber prate away to Rudolph will be prejudiced by the gang leader's treatment of Chouette. That is why he makes the gang leader say:

"The salutary influence of these thoughts is such that my rage is appeased."

So the gang leader realizes that his moral wrath is nothing but profane rage.

"I lack courage . . . strength . . . will to kill you. . . . No, it is not I who should shed your blood ... it would be . . .

murder'' (he calls things by their names) "excusable murder, perhaps, but murder all the same."

Chouette wounds the gang leader with a dagger just in time. Eugene Sue can now let him kill her without any moral casuistry.

"He uttered a cry of pain ... the fierce passion of vengeance, of rage and of bloodthirsty instinct, suddenly aroused and exasperated by this attack, had a sudden and terrible


outburst in which his already badly shaken reason was shattered. . . . Viper! I have felt your fang . . . you will be sightless as I am."

And he scratches her eyes out.

When the gang leader's nature, which has only been hypocritically, sophistically masked and ascetically repressed by Rudolph's cure, breaks out, the outburst is all the more violent and terrifying. We must be grateful to Eugene Sue for his admission that the gang leader's reason was badly shaken by the events that Rudolph had prepared.

"The last spark of his reason dies out in that cry of terror, in that cry of a damned man" (he sees the ghosts of his victims); "the gang leader rages and roars like a frenzied beast. ... He tortures Chouette to death."

Herr Szeliga mutters under his breath:

"With the gang leader there cannot be such a swift" (!) "and fortunate'' (!) ''transformation'' (!) "as with Shuriman."

As Rudolph sends Fleur de Marie to the cloister, he also sends the gang leader to the asylum, to Blcetre. He has paralyzed his moral as well as his physical strength. And rightly. For the gang leader sinned with his moral as well as his physical strength, and according to Rudolph's penal .theory the sinful forces must be annihilated. But Eugene Sue has not yet consummated the "repentance and expiation accompanied by terrifying vengeance." The gang leader recovers his reason, but fearing to be delivered to justice he remains in Bicetre and pretends to be mad. Monsieur Sue forgets that "every word he said was to be a prayer" whereas it is much more like the inarticulate howling and raving of a madman. Or perhaps Monsieur Sue ironically puts these manifestations of life on a footing with praying? The idea of the punishment that Rudolph carried out in blinding the gang leader - the isolation of the man and his soul from the outer world, the association of legal penalty


with theological torture - is decisively implemented in the cell system. That is why Monsieur Sue glorifies that system.

"How many centuries had to pass before it was realized that there is only one means of overcoming the rapidly advancing leprosy" (i.e., the corruption of morals in prisons) "that is threatening the body of society: isolation."

Monsieur Sue shares the opinion of respectable people who explain the spread of crime by the organization of prisons. To remove the criminal from bad society he is left to his own society.

Eugene Sue says:

"I should consider myself lucky if my feeble voice could be heard among all those who so rightly and so insistently demand the complete and absolute application of the cell system."

1 Monsieur Sue's wish has been only partially fulfilled. In the debates on the cell system in the Chamber of Deputies this year even the official supporters of that system had to acknowledge that it leads sooner or later to insanity in the criminal. All sentences of imprisonment for more than ten years should therefore be converted into deportation.

Had Messieurs Toqueville and Beaumont studied Eugene Sue's novel thoroughly they would inevitably have enforced c omplete and absolute application of the cell system.

If Eugene Sue deprives criminals with a sane mind of .

society in order to make them insane, he gives the insane society to make them sane.

"Experience proves that isolation is as fatal for the insane as it is salutary for criminals."

If Monsieur Sue and his Critical hero Rudolph have not made law poorer by any mystery through the Catholic penance system or the Methodist cell system, they have, on the other hand, enriched medicine with new mysteries, and after all, it is just as much of a service to discover new mysteries as to reveal old ones. In its report on the blinding


of the gang leader Critical Criticism fully agrees with Monsieur Sue:

"When he is told he is deprived of the light of his eyes he does not even believe it."

The gang leader could not believe in the loss of his sight because in reality he could still see. Monsieur Sue is describing a new kind of cataract and is reporting a real mystery for massy un-Critical ophthalmology.

The pupil is white after the operation, so it is a case of cataract of the crystalline lens. So far, this could, of course, be caused by injury to the envelope of the lens without causing much pain, though not entirely without pain. But as doctors achieve this result only by natural, not by Critical means, the only resort was to wait till inflammation set in after the injury and the exudation dimmed the lens.

A still greater miracle and greater mystery befall the gang leader in the third chapter of the third book. The man who has been blinded sees again.

"Chouette, the gang leader and Tortillard saw the priest and Fleur de Marie.''

If we do not interpret this seeing of the gang leader as a kind of author's miracle after the method of the Kritik der Synoptiker the gang leader must have had his cataract operated. Later he is blind again. So he used his eyes too soon and the irritation of the light caused inflammation which ended in paralysis of the retina and incurable amaurosis. It is another mystery for un-Critical ophthalmology that this could happen in a single second.

b) Reward and Punishment. Double Justice (with a Table)

The hero Rudolph reveals a new theory to keep society upright by rewarding the good and punishing the wicked.

Un-Critically considered, this theory is nothing else but the


theory of the society of today. How little it forgets to reward good and punish evil! How un-Crilical the massy communist Owen is in comparison with this mystery revealed. In reward and punishment he only sees the consecration of the differences in social rank and the complete expression of slavish debasement.

It could be considered as a new revelation that Eugene Sue makes rewards the competency of justice - of a new appendix to the Penal Code - and, not satisfied with one jurisdiction, invents a second. Unfortunately this revealed mystery is also the repetition of an old doctrine expounded in detail by Bentham in his work already mentioned. On the other hand, we cannot dispute Monsieur Sue the honour of having justified and developed Bentham's suggestion in an incomparably more Critical way than he did. While the massy Englishman keeps his feet on solid ground, Sue's deduction rises to the Critical regions of the heavens. His argument is as follows:

"The supposed effects of heavenly wrath are materialized to terrify the wicked. Why should not the effect of the divine reward of the good be similarly materialized and anticipated on earth?"

In the un-Critical view it is the other way round: the heavenly criminal theory has only idealized the earthly just as divine reward is only an idealization of human wage service. It is absolutely necessary that society should not reward all good people so that divine justice will have some advantage over human.

In his presentation of his Critical rewarding justice Monsieur Sue gives "an example of the feminine dogmatism that must have a formula and forms it according to the categories of what exists'' which was censured by Herr Edgar in Flora Tristan with all the "calm of knowledge." For each point of the present penal code which he retains, Monsieur



Sue projects an additional counterpart in a reward code copied from it to the last detail. To give the reader a better view of those points we shall give them and their counterparts in tabular form (see below).


Existing Justice Critically Supplementing Justice

Name: Criminal Justice

Description: holds in its hand a sword to shorten the wicked by a head.

Purpose: Punishment of the wicked - imprisonment, infamy, privation of life

The people is notified of the terrible chastisements for the wicked.

Means of discovering the wicked: Police spying, denouncers, to waylay the wicked.

Method of ascertaining whether one is wicked: Criminal assizes.

The public ministry points out and denounces the crimes of the accused for public vengeance.

Condition of criminal after sentence: Under supervision of supreme police. Is fed in prison.

The state defrays expenses.

'Execution: The criminal stands on the scaffold.

Name: Virtuous Justice

Description: holds in its hand a crown to raise the good by a head.

Purpose: Reward of the good, free board, honour, maintenance of life.

The people is notified of the brilliant triumphs for the good.

Means of discovering the good: Virtue spying, denouncers, to waylay the virtuous.

Method of ascertaining whether one is good: Virtue assizes.

The public ministry points out and denounces the noble acts of the accused for public recognition.

Condition of virtuous after sentence: Under supervision of supreme moral charity. Is fed at home. The state defrays expenses.

Execution: Immediately opposite the scafi'old of the criminal a pedestal is erected on which the great man of good stands.- 4 pillory of virtue.


Moved by the sight of this picture, Monsieur Sue exclaims

"Alas! It is a utopia! But suppose a society organized in this way!"

That would be Critical organization of society. We must defend this organization against Monsieur Sue's reproach that it is still a utopia. Sue has again forgotten the "'Virtue Prize'' that is awarded every year in Paris and which he himself mentions. This prize is even organized in duplicate: the material Monthlon Prize for noble acts of men and women, and the Rosiere Prize' for girls of good morals.

There is even the wreath of roses demanded by Eugene Sue.

As far as spying on virtue and the supervision of supreme moral charity are concerned, they were organized long ago by the Jesuits. And besides. Journal des Debats, Slecle, Petltes Affiches de Parls and others point out and denounce the virtues, noble acts and merits of all the Paris stockjobbers daily and at great cost, not counting the pointing out and denunciation of political noble acts, for which each party has its own organ.

Old Voss noted that Homer is better than his gods. The "mystery of all mysteries revealed," Rudolph, can therefore be made responsible for Eugene Sue's ideas.

In addition to this Herr Szellga reports:

"Besides, there are many passages in which Eugene Sue interrupts the narration and introduces or concludes episodes, and they are all Critical.

c) Abolition of Degeneracy

within Civilization and of Rightlessness

in the State

The juridical preventive for the abolition of crime and hence of degeneracy within civilization consists in "protective guardianship assumed by the state over the children of

Rosiere, a virtuous girl awarded with a wreath of roses - Ed


executed criminals or tiiose condemned to a life sentence." Sue wants to organize the distribution of crimes in a more liberal way. No family is to have the hereditary privilege of crime, free competition in crime is to triumph over monopoly.

Monsieur Sue abolishes "rightlessness in the state" by reforming the section of the code penal on ''confidence tricks,'' and especially by the appointment of paid lawyers for the poor. He finds that in countries like Piedmont and Holland, where there are already lawyers for the poor, rightlessness within the state has been abolished. The only failing of French legislation is that it does not provide for payment of the lawyers, does not foresee exclusive service of the poor and makes the legal limits of poverty too narrow.

As if rightlessness did not begin in the very lawsuit itself, and as if it had not already been known for a long time in France that the law gives us nothing, but only sanctions what we have. The already trivial differentiation between right and fact seems still to be a mystery of Paris for the novelist.

If we add to the Critical revelation of the mysteries of law the great reforms which Eugene Sue wants to carry out in respect of bailiffs we shall understand the Paris journal SatanA There we see that the residents of a district in the city write to the "great so-much-a-line reformer" that there is no gaslight yet in the streets. Monsieur Sue replies that he will deal with that question in the sixth book of his Wandering Jew. Another part of the city complains of the shortcomings of preliminary education. Sue promises a reform of preliminary education for that district of the city in the tenth book of the Wandering Jew.



4) The Revealed "Slaiidpoinl" Mystery

"Rudolph does not maintain his lofty" (!) ''standpoint . . .

he does not shirk the trouble of adopting by free choice the standpoint of the right and of the left, of above and below" (Szeliga) .

One of the principal mysteries of Critical Criticism is the ''standpoint and judging from the standpoint. For Criticism every man, like every product of the spirit, is changed into a standpoint.

Nothing is easier than to see through the standpoint mystery when one has seen through the general mystery of Critical Criticism, that of warming up old speculative trash.

First of all let Criticism itself expound its "standpoint" theory in the words of its patriarch, Herr Bruno Bauer.

"Science . . . never deals with a given single individual or a given definite standpoint. ... It will not fail, all the same, to do away with the limitations of a standpoint if it is worth the trouble and if those limitations have really general human significance; but it conceives these as a pure category and determination of self-consciousness and accordingly pronounces in favour only of those who have the courage to rise to the generality of self-consciousness, i.e., who do not wish with all their strength to remain within that limitation" {Anekdota, Book II, p. 27).

The mystery of this courage of Bauer's is Hegel's Phenomenology. As Hegel here puts self-consciousness in the place of man, the most varied human reality appears only as a definite form, as a determination of self-consciousness. But a mere determination of self-consciousness is a "pure category,'' a mere "thought" which I can consequently also abolish in "pure" thought and overcome through pure thought. In Hegel's Phenomenology the material, perceptible, objective bases of the various estranged forms of


human self-consciousness are left as they are. Thus the whole destructive work results in the most conservative philosophy because it thinks it has overcome the objective world, the sensuously real world, by merely transforming it into a "thing of thought" a mere determination of selfconsciousness and can therefore dissolve its opponent, which has become ethereal, in the ''ether of pure thought." Phenomenology is therefore quite logical when in the end it replaces human reality by ''Absolute Knowledge'' - Knowledge, because this is the only mode of existence of selfconsciousness, because self-consciousness is considered as the only mode of existence of man; absolute knowledge for the very reason that self-consciousness knows itself alone and is no more disturbed by any objective world. Hegel makes man the man of self -consciousness instead of making self-consciousness the self -consciousness of man, of real man, man living in a real objective world and determined by that world. He stands the world on its head and can therefore dissolve in the head all the limitations which naturally remain in existence for evil sensuousness, for real man. Besides, everything which betrays the limitations of general self-consciousness - all sensuousness, reality, individuality of men and of their world - necessarily rates for him as a limit. The whole of Phenomenology is intended t o prove that self-consciousness is the only reality a nd all re ality .

Herr Bauer recently re-christened Absolute Knowledge Criticism and the determination of self-consciousness standpoint - a name which sounds profane. In his Anekdota both names are to be found side by side, and standpoint is explained as determination of self-consciousness.

Since the "religious world as such'' exists only as the world of self-consciousness, the Critical Critic - the theologian ex professo- cannot hit upon the thought that there is a world in which consciousness and being are


distinct; a world which continues to exist when I do away with its existence in thought, its existence as a category or as a standpoint; i.e., when I modify my own subjective consciousness without altering the objective reality in a really objective way; in other words, without altering my own objective reality and that of other men. Hence the speculative mystic identity of being and thinking is repeated in Criticism as the equally mystic identity of practice and theory. That is why Criticism is so vexed with practice when it wishes to be something distinct from theory, and with theory when it wishes to be something else than the dissolution of a definite category in the ''boundless generality of self-consciousness.'' Its own theory is confined to stating that everything definite is an opposite of the boundless generality of self-consciousness and is, therefore, insignificant; for example, the state, private property, etc. It must be shown, on the contrary, how the state, private property, etc., change human beings into abstractions, or are products of the abstract man, instead of being the reality of individuals, of concrete human beings.

Finally, it goes without saying that if Hegel's Phenomenology, in spite of its speculative original sin, gives in many instances the elements of a true description of human relations, Herr Bruno and Co., on the other hand, provide only an empty caricature, a caricature which is satisfied! with deriving some determination out of a product of the spirit or even out of real relations or movements, changing that determination into a determination of thought, into a category, and making that category the standpoint of the product, of the relation and the movement in order then to look down on this determination with triumphant, precocious wisdom from the standpoint of abstraction, of the general category and of general self-consciousness.

In Rudolph's opinion all men adopt the standpoint of good or bad and are judged by those two immutable conceptions.


Similarly, for Herr Bauer and Co. ttie standpoints are that of Criticism or that of the Mass. But both of them change real human beings into abstract standpoints.

5) Revelation of the Mystery of the Utilization of Human Impulses, or Clemence d'Harville

So far Rudolph has been unable to do more than reward the good and punish the wicked in his way. We shall now see an example of how he makes the passions useful and "gives the good nature of Clemence d'Harville an appropriate development."

"Rudolph," says Herr Szeliga, "draws her attention to the entertaining side of charity, a thought that testifies to a knowledge of human beings that can only arise in the soul of Rudolph after it has been through trial."

The expressions which Rudolph uses in his conversation with Clemence: "to make attractive,'' ''to make use of natural taste,'' ''to regulate intrigue," "to use propensity to dissimulation and craft," "to change imperious, inexorable instincts into generous qualities," etc., betray to no less an extent than the very impulses which are mostly attributed here to woman's nature, the secret source of Rudolph's wisdom- Fourier. He has come across some popular presentation of Fourier's doctrine.

The application is again just as much Rudolph's Critical own as that of Bentham's theory that we witnessed above.

It is not in charity as such that the young marquise is to find the satisfaction of her human essence, the purpose of her activity, and hence entertainment. Charity, on the contrary, offers only the exterior occasion, only the pretext, only the material for a kind of entertainment that could just as well use any other material as its content. Misery is exploited consciously to procure the charitable person "the piquancy of the novel, the satisfaction of curiosity, adventure, disguise,


enjoyment of her own excellence, nervous shocks and the like."

Rudolph has thereby unconsciously expressed the mystery that was revealed long ago that human misery itself, infinite abjectness which is obliged to receive alms, must serve as a plaything to the aristocracy of money and education to satisfy their self-love, tickle their arrogance and amuse them.

The numerous charitable associations in Germany, the numerous charitable societies in France and the great number of charitable quixotic societies in England, the concerts, balls, plays, meals for the poor and even public subscriptions for victims of accidents have no other object.

It se ems then that charity has lo ng been organized as enTeftainment.

The sudden unmotivated transformation of the marquise at the mere word "amusing" makes us doubt the durability of her cure; or rather this transformation is sudden and unmotivated only in appearance and is caused only in appearance by the description of charity as an amusement.

The marquise loves Rudolph and Rudolph wants to disguise himself with her, -to intrigue and to indulge in charitable adventures. Later, when the marquise pays a charity visit to the prison of Saint Lazare, her jealousy of Flear de Marie becomes apparent and out of charity towards her jealousy she hides from Rudolph the fact of Marie's detention. At the best, Rudolph has succeeded in teaching an unhappy woman to play a silly comedy with unhappy beings. The mystery of the philanthropy he has hatched is betrayed by the Paris fop who invites his partner to supper after the dance in the following words:

"Ah, Madame, it is not enough to have danced for the benefit of these poor Poles. ... Let us be philanthropic to the end. . . . Let us have supper now for the benefit of the poorV



6) Revelation of the Mystery of the Eniancipalion of Women, or Louise Morel

On the occasion of the arrest of Louise Morel Rudolph indulges in reflexions which may be resumed as follows:

"The master often spoils the maid, either by fear, surprise or other use of the opportunities provided by the nature of the condition of servants. He reduces her to misery, shame and crime. The law shows no concern for this. . . . The criminal who has practically driven a girl to infanticide is not punished.''

Rudolph's reflexions do not go so far as to make the condition of servants the object of his most gracious Criticism. Being a petty ruler himself, he is a great advocate of the condition of servants. Still less does he proceed to grasp the general condition of women in modern society as an inhuman one. Faithful in all respects to his previous theory, he objects only to the fact that there is no law to punish a seducer and associate remorse and penance with terrible chastisement.

He only needed to look round at legislation in other countries. English laws fulfil all his wishes. In their delicacy, which Blackstone so highly praises, they go so far as to declare it felony to seduce a prostitute.

Herr Szeliga exclaims with a flourish: ''So'' {[)- 'thinks" {\)- 'Rudolph" (!) "Now compare these thoughts with your fantasies on the emancipation of woman. You can almost feel the fact of that emancipation in them with your hands, but you are too practical by upbringing, and that is why your attempts have failed so often!"

In any case, we must thank Herr Szeliga for revealing the mystery that facts can be felt in thoughts with hands.

As for his amusing comparison of Rudolph with men who taught the emancipation of woman, those thoughts


should be compared with the following "fantasies" of Fourier's:

"Adultery, seduction, is a credit to the seducer, it is good

tone But, poor girl! Infanticide! What a crime! If she

prizes her honour she must cut out all traces of dishonour.

But if she sacrifies her child to the prejudices of the world her ignominy is all the greater and she is a victim of the

prejudices of the law That is the vicious circle that all

the mechanism of civilization describes."

"Is not the young daughter a ware held up for sale to the first bidder who wishes to obtain exclusive ownership of her?. . . Just as in grammar two negations are equal to an affirmation, we can say that in the business of marriage two prostitutions are equal to virtue.''

"The change in a historical epoch can always be determined by the progress of women towards freedom, because in the relation of woman to man, of the weak to the strong, the victory of human nature over brutality is most evident.

The degree of emancipation of woman is the natural measure of general emancipation."

"The humiliation of the female sex is an essential feature of civilization as well as of barbarity. The only difference is that the civilized system raises to a compound, equivocal, ambiguous, hypocritical mode of existence every vice that barbarity practises in the simple form. . . . Nobody is punished more for keeping woman a slave than man himself" (Fourier) .

It is superfluous to compare Rudolph's thoughts with Fourier's masterly characteristic of marriage or the works of the materialist section of French communism.

The most wretched oflal of socialist literature, a sample of which we find in this novelist, reveal "mysteries" still unknown to Critical Criticism.



7) Revelation of Political-Economic Mysteries

a) Theoretical Revelation of PoliticalEconomic Mysteries

First revelation: Wealth often leads to waste, waste to ruin.

Second revelation: The effects of wealth that we have just seen come from a lack of education in rich youth.

Third revelation: Heredity and private ownership are and must be inviolable and sacred.

Fourth revelation: The rich man is morally obliged to give an account to the workers of the use of his fortune. A large fortune is a hereditary deposit - a feudal fief - confided to clever, firm, skilful and magnanimous hands, which are at the same time charged with making it fruitful and applying it in such a way that everything which has the happiness to be in the field of the brilliant and beneficial radiation of that fortune should be fructified, vivified and improved.

-1. Fifth revelation: The state must give inexperienced youth the rudiments of individual economy. It must moralize fortune.

Sixth revelation: Finally, the state must tackle the vast question of organization of labour. It must give the beneficial example of the association of capital and labour, of an honest, intelligent and acceptable association guaranteeing the well-being of the worker without prejudice to the fortune of the rich; an association which will establish links of sympathy and recognition between these two classes and thus guarantee calm in the state for ever.

As the slate does not for the time being accept this theory, Rudolph himself gives some practical examples. They reveal the mystery that the most widely known economic relations are still "mysteries" for Monsieur Sue, Herr Rudolph and Critical Criticism.


b) "The Bank for the Poor"

Rudolph institutes a Bank for the Poor. The statute of this Critical Bank for the Poor is as follows:

It must give support to law-abiding workers with families during periods of unemployment. It must replace alms and pawnshops. It disposes of an annual income of 12,000 francs and distributes interest-free assistance loans of 20 to 40 francs. At the beginning it extends its activity only to the seventh arrondissement of Paris, where most of the workers live. Working men and women applying for assistance must have a certificate from their last employer vouching for their good behaviour and giving the reason and date of the interruption of work. These loans are to be paid off in monthlyinstalments of one-sixth or one-twelfth of the sum as the borrower wishes, counting from the day on which he finds employment again. The loan is guaranteed by an obligation on the word of honour of the borrower; besides, it is vouched for on oath by two other workers. As the Critical purpose of the Bank for the Poor is to remedy one of the most grievous misfortunes in the life of the worker - interruption in employment - help can be given only to unemployed manual workers. Monsieur Germain, the manager of this institution, gets a yearly salary of 10,000 francs.

Let us now cast a massy glance at the practice of Critical political economy. The annual income is 12,000 francs. The amount loaned per person is from 20 to 40 francs, that is, 30 francs on the average. The number of workers in the seventh arrondissement officially recognized as "needy" is now at least 4,000. Hence, in a year only 400, or one-tenth of the neediest workers in the seventh arrondissement can receive relief. If we estimate the average length of unemployment in Paris at 4 months, i.e., 16 weeks, we shall be below the actual figure. 30 francs divided over 16 weeks gives about 37 sous and 3 centimes a week, not even 27 centimes


a day. The daily expense of one prisoner in France is a little over 47 centimes, somewhat over 30 centimes being spent on food alone. But the worker to whom Monsieur Rudolph pays relief has a family. Let us take the average family as consisting of man, wife and two children; that means that 27 centimes must be divided among four persons. From this we must deduct rent - a minimum of 15 centimes a day - so that 12 centimes remain. The average amount of bread, needed by a single prisoner costs about 14 centimes. Therefore, even disregarding all other needs, the worker and his family will not be able to buy a quarter of the bread they need with the help obtained from the Critical Bank for the Poor. They will certainly starve if they do not resort to the means that the bank is intended to obviate - the pawnshop, begging, thieving and prostitution.

The manager of the Bank for the Poor, on the other hand, is all the more brilliantly provided for by the man of pitiless Criticism. The income he administers is 12,000 francs, his salary is 10,000. The management therefore costs 45% of the total, nearly three times as much as the massy poor administration in Paris, which costs only 17% of the total.

Let us suppose for a moment that the assistance that the Bank for the Poor provides is a real, not just an illusory support. In that case the institution of the revealed mvstery of all mysteries rests on the illusion that only a different distribution of salary is necessary to enable the workers to live the whole year.

Speaking in the prosaic sense, the income of 7,500,000 French workers averages no more than 91 francs per person, that of another 7,500,000 120 francs; for at least 15,000,000 it is less than is absolutely necessary for life.

The idea of the Critical Bank for the Poor, if it is reasonably considered, comes to this: during the time the worker is employed as much will be deducted from his wage as he needs for his living during unemployment. It comes to


the same thing whether I advance him a certain sum during his unemployment and he gives it bacl when he has employment, or he gives up a certain sum when he has employment and I give it back to him when he is unemployed. In either case he gives to me when he is working what he gets Irom me when he is unemployed.

Thus the "pure" Bank for the Poor differs from massy savings banks only in two very original, very Critical qualities. The first is that the bank lends money "0 fonds perdus''* on the senseless supposition that the worker could pay back if he wanted and that he would always want to pay back if he could. The second is that the bank pays no interest on the sum put aside by the worker. As this sum is given the form of an advance, the bank thinks it is doing the worker a favour by not charging him any interest.

The difference between the Critical Bank for the Poor and the massy savings banks is therefore that the worker loses his interest and the bank its capital.

c) Model Farm at Bouqueval

Rudolph founds a model farm at Bouqueval. The choice of the place is all the more fortunate as it still enjoys memories of the feudal times in the shape of a feudal manor.

Each of the six men employed on this farm is paid 150 ecus or 450 francs a year, while the women get 60 ecus or 180 francs. Moreover they get board and lodging free. The ordinary daily fare of the people at Bouqueval consists of a "formidable" plate of ham, an equally formidable plate of mutton and finally a no less massy piece of veal supplemented by two kinds of winter salad, two large cheeses, potatoes, cider, etc. Each of the six men does twice the work of the normal French agricultural labourer.

As a sinking lund.-Ed.


As the total annual income produced in France when divided equally would come to no more than 93 francs per person, and as the total number of inhabitants employed directly in agriculture is two-thirds of the population of France, it will be seen what a revolution the general imitation of the German caliph's model farm would cause in the distribution, and besides, in the production of the national wealth.

According to what has been said, Rudolph achieved this enormous increase in production only by making each labourer work twice as much and eat six times as much as before.

The French peasant is very industrious; labourers who work tipjice as much must therefore be superhuman athletes, as the "formidable" meat dishes seem to indicate. Hence we may assume that each of the six men eats at least a pound of meat a day.

If all the meat produced in France were distributed equally there would not be even a quarter of a pound per person per day. It is therefore obvious what a revolution Rudolph's example would cause in this respect too. The agricultural population alone would consume more meat than is produced in France, so that as a result of this Critical reform France would be deprived of livestock altogether.

The fifth part of the gross product that Rudolph, according to the report of the manager of Bouqueval, Father Chatelain, allows the labourers in addition to a high wage and sumptuous board, is nothing else than his ground-rent. It is assumed according to average calculations that, after deduction of production costs and profit on the capital expended, one-fifth of the gross product remains for the French landowner, that is, that the ratio of the ground-rent to the gross product is one to five. Although it is beyond doubt that Rudolph undoubtedly decreases the profit on his expended capital beyond all proportion by increasing the


expenses for the labourers beyond all proportion- according to Chaptal {De I'industrie frangaise, I, 239) the average yearly income of the French agricultural labourer is 120 francs- although he gives his whole ground-rent away to the labourers, Father Chatelain reports that the prince thereby increases his revenue and thus incites un-Critical landowners to farm in the same way.

The Bouqueval model farm is nothing but a fantastic illusion; its hidden fund is not the natural land of the Bouqueval estate, it is a magic purse of Fortunatus*' that Rudolph has!

In this connection Critical Criticism blusters out:

"You can see from the whole plan at a first glance that it is not a utopiay

Only Critical Criticism can see at a first glance at a Fortunatus's purse that it is not a utopia. The first glance of Criticism is the glance of "the evil eye"!

8) Rudolph, "the Revealed Mystery of All Mysteries"

The miraculous means by which Rudolph accomplishes allliis r ed emptions and cures is not his nne words but hi s ready rnoneu. Ihat is what the moralists are like, says Fourier. You must be a millionaire to be fiMf tn imitte them .

Moral is "impotence in action.'' Every time it fights a vice it is defeated. And Rudolph does not even rise to the standpoint of independent moral, based at least on the consciousness of human di onity On fhp mntrary hi' mor;i] i s based on the consciousness of human weakness. His is theologi cal moral. We have investigated in detail the heroic feats that he accomplished with his fixed. Christian ideas by which he measures the world, and with his charity, devotion, self-denial and repentance, his good and his wicked people,


reward and punishment, terrible chastisement, isolation, salvation of the soul, etc. We have proved that they are mere Eulenspiegel jokes. All we now have to deal with here is the personal character of Rudolph, the "revealed mystery of all mysteries" or the revealed mystery of ''pure Criticism."

The opposition between "good" and "evil" confronts the Critical Hercules when he is still a youth in two personifications, Murph and Polidori, both of them Rudolph's teachers. The fcrmer educates him in good and is '"good." The latter educates him in evil and is "'evil.'" So that this conception should by no means be inferior in triviality to similar conceptions in other novels, Murph, the personification of "goot/" cannot be "learned" or "particularly endowed intellectually." But he is honest, simple, and laconic; he feels himself great when he applies to evil such clipped words as "foul" or "vile," and has horreur for anything which is base. To use Hegel's expression, he sets the good and the true in equality of tones, i.e., in one note.

Polidori, on the contrary, is a prodigy of cleverness, knowledge, and education, and at the same time of the "most dangerous immorality," having, in particular, what Eugene Sue, as a member of the young devout French bourgeoisie could not forget - ''the most frightful scepticism.'' We can judge of the moral energy and education of Eugene Sue and his hero by their panicky fear of scepticism.

"Murph," says Herr Szeliga, "is at the same time the perpetuated guilt of January 13 and the perpetual redemption of that guilt by his incomparable love and self-sacrifice for the person of Rudolph."

As Rudolph is the deus ex machina and the mediator of the world, Murph in turn is Rudolph's personal deus ex machina and mediator.

"Rudolph and the salvation of mankind, Rudolph and the realization of the essential perfections of mankind are for Murph an inseparable unity, a unity to which he dedicates


himself not with the stupid canine devotion of the slave, but knowingly and independently."

So Murph is an enlightened, knowing and independent slave. Like every prince's valet, he sees in his master the salvation of mankind personified. Graiin flatters Murph with the words: "'fearless bodyguard.'' Rudolph himself calls him a model servant and truly he is a model servant. Eugene Sue tells us that Murph scrupulously addresses Rudolph as "Monscigneur" when alone with him. In the presence of others he calls him "Monsieur" with his lips to keep his incognito, but "Monseigneur" with his heart.

"Murph helps to raise the veil from the mysteries, but only for Rudolph's sake. He helps to destroy the power of mystery."

The denseness of the veil with which Murph envelopes the simplest things of this world can be seen by his conversation with the envoy Graun. From the legal right of self-defence in case of emergency he concludes that Rudolph, as judge of the secret court, was entitled to blind the gang leader, although the latter was in chains and "defenceless." His description of how Rudolph will tell of his "noble" actions before the assizes, what eloquence and fine phrases he will display, and how he will let his great heart pour forth could have been written by a gymnasiast just after reading Schiller's Robbers. The only "mystery" which Murph lets the world solve is whether he blacked his face with coal-dust or black paint when he played the coal man.

"The angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just" (Mat. 13, 49). 'Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil; but glory, honour and peace, to every man that worketh good" (Paul.

Rom. 2. 9-10).

Rudolph makes himself one of those angels. He goes forthinto the world to separate the wicked from the just, to punish the wicked and reward the good. The conception of good and


evil has so sunk into his weak brain that he really believes in a bodily Satan and wants to catch the devil alive, as Professor Sack once did in Bonn. On the other hand he tries to copy on a small scale the opposite of the devil, God, He likes "to play the role of providence a little." As in reality all differences melt down more and more to the difference between poor and rich, so do all the aristocratic differences dissolve in the idea in the opposition between good and evil.

This distinction is the last form that the aristocrat gives to his prejudices. Rudolph rates himself as o r,f] pd think'; fhat t he wicked ex ist to gi ve him the self-satisfaction of his ow n excellence . Let us consider this personification of "good" a little more closely.

Herr Rudolph indulges in charity and dissipation like those of the Caliph of Baghdad in the Arabian Nights. He cannot lead that kind of life without sucking the blood out of his little province in Germany to the last drop like a vampire. As Monsieur Sue tells us, he would have been among the German princes who were victims of mediationi had he not been saved from involuntary abdication by a French marquis. This gives us an idea of the size of his territory. We can form a further idea of how Critically Rudolph appraises his own situation by the fact that he, a minor German Serenissimus, thinks it necessary to live semi-incognito in Paris in order not to create a sensation.

He specially takes his chancellor with him for the Critical purpose of being shown by him "the theatrical and childish side of sovereign power," as though a minor German prince needed another representative of the theatrical and childish side of sovereign power besides himself and his mirror.

Rudolph has succeeded in plunging his suite in the same Critical self-misunderstanding. Thus his servant Murph and his envoy Graun do not notice how the Parisian solicitor Monsieur Badinot makes fun of them when he pretends to take their personal business as affairs of state and sarcasti


cally chatters about the "occult relations that can exist between the most varying interests and the destinies of empires." "Yes," says Rudolph's envoy, "he has the impudence to say to me sometimes: 'How many complications there are in the government of a state that the people knows nothing about! Who would think, Herr Baron, that the notes which I deliver to you doubtless have their influence on the course of European affairs?' "

The envoy and Murph do not find it impudent that influence on European affairs is attributed to them, but that Badinot idealizes his base profession in such a way.

Let us first recall a scene from Rudolph's domestic life.

Rudolph tells Murph "he was having moments of pride and bliss." Immediately afterwards he becomes furious because Murph will not answer a question of his. "I order you to speak." Murph will not be ordered. Rudolph says: "I do not like reticence." He lets himself sink to vulgarity and hints that he pays Murph for all his services. He will not be calmed until Murph reminds him of January 13. Murph's servile nature asserts itself after a minute's oblivion. He tears out the "hair" which he luckily has not got and is desperate at having been rude to his gracious master who called him "a model servant," "his good old faithful Murph."

After these samples of evil in him, Rudolph repeats his fixed idea on "good" and "evil" and reports the progress he is making in good. He calls alms and compassion the chaste and pious consolers of his wounded soul. It would be terrible, impious, a sacrilege, to prostitute them to rejected unworthy beings. Of course alms and compassion are the consolers of his soul. That is why it would be a sacrilege to desecrate them. It would be "to inspire doubt in God, and he who gives must make people believe in him." To give alms to one rejected is unthinkable!

Rudolph considers every motion of his soul as infinitely important. That is why he constantly observes and appraises


them. Thus the fool consoles himself as far as Murph is concerned with the fact that he was moved by Fleur de Marie.

"I was moved to tears, and I am accused of being blase, hard and inflexible!" After thus proving his own goodness, he waxes furious over "ey//" and over the wickedness of Marie's unknown mother and says with the greatest possible solemnity to Murph: "You know some vengeances are very dear to me, some sufferings very precious." In speaking he makes such diabolical grimaces that his faithful servant cries out in fear: "Alas, Monseigneur!" This great lord is like the members of "'Young England'' who also wish to reform the world, perform noble deeds and are subject to similar hysterical fits.

It is first in Rudolph's adventurous nature that we find the explanation of the adventures and situations that he finds himself in. He loves "the piquancy of novels, distractions, adventures, disguise"; his "curiousity" is "insatiable," he feels a "need for vigorous, stimulating sensations"; he is "eager for violent nervous commotions.'' - His nature is seconded bv his passion for playing the rol e of "providence and arranging the world according to h is fixed ideas .

His attitude to other persons is determined either by an abstract fixed idea or by quite personal lortuito us motives.

He frees the Negro doctor David and his beloved, for example, not because of the direct human sympathy that they inspire him with, not to free them, but to play providence to the slave-owner Willis and to punish him for not believing in God. In the same way the gang leader appears to him a godsend to whom he can apply the penal theory that he so long ago hatched. Murph's conversation with the envoy gives us an opportunity to search deeply from another side into the purely personal motives that determine Rudolph's noble acts.


The prince's interest in Fleur de Marie is based, as Murph says, "besides" the pity which the poor girl inspires him with, on the fact that the daughter whose loss caused him such bitter grief would now be of the same age as she.

Rudolph's sympathy for the Marquise dHarville has, "besides" his philanthropic idiosyncrasies, the personal ground that without the old marquis and his friendship with the Emperor Alexander, Rudolph's father would have been deleted from the line of German sovereigns.

His kindness towards Madame Georges and his interest in Germain, her son, have the same motive. Madame Georges belongs to the d'Harville family.

"It is no less to her misfortunes and her virtues than to this relationship that poor Madame Georges owes the ceaseless kindness of His Highness."

The apologist Murph tries to gloss over the ambiguity of Rudolph's motives by such expressions as: "above all," "besides" and "no less than."

The whole of Rudolph's character is finally resumed in the ''pure'' hypocrisy with which he manages to see and make others see in the outbursts of his evil passions outbursts at the passions of the wicked, in a way similar to that in v/hich Critical Criticism represents its own stupidities as the stupidities of the Mass, its spiteful ill-feeling against the progress of the world outside itself as the ill-feeling of the world outside itself against progress, and finally its own egotism which thinks it has absorbed the whole spirit in itself as the egotistic opposition of the Mass to the Spirit.

We shall prove Rudolph's "pure" hypocrisy in his attitude to the gang leader, to Countess Sarah MacGregor and to the notary Jacques Ferrand.

To lure the gang leader into a trap and capture him, Rudolph persuades him to break into his apartment. The interest he has in this is a purely personal one, not a general human one. The fact is that the gang leader has a portfolio


belonging to Countess MacGregor which Rudolph is greatly interested in gaining possession of. Speaking of Rudolph's tete-a-tete with the gang leader the author says explicitly:

"Rudolph was cruelly anxious: if he let slip this opportunity of seizing the gang leader he would probably never have another; the brigand would carry away the secrets that Rudolph was so keen on finding out."

With the gang leader, Rudolph obtains possession of Countess MacGregor's portfolio; he captures the gang leader out of purely personal interest; he has him blinded out of personal passion.

When Chourineur tells Rudolph of the gang leader's struggle with Murph and gives as the reason for his resistance the fact that he knew what was in store for him, Rudolph answers "with a sombre look, his features contracted by the almost ferocious expression of which we have spoken," "He did not know." The thought of vengeance flashes across his mind, he anticipates the savage pleasure that the barbarous punishment of the gang leader will afford him.

On the entrance of the Negro doctor David whom he intends to make the instrument of his revenge, Rudolph cries with cold and concentrated fury: ''Revenge! Revenger

A cold and concentrated fury is seething in him. He then whispers his plan into the doctor's ear and when the latter shrinks away he immediately finds a "pure" theoretical motive to substitute for personal vengeance. It is only a case, he says, of ''applying an idea that has often flashed across his noble brain, and he does not forget to add unctuously: "He will still have before him the boundless horizon of expiation." Hejojlows the example of the Spanish Inquisition who, referring thevictim condemned to be burnt at the stak e to civil justice, added a hypocritical request for mercy fo r the repentant sinner.


Of course when the questioning of the gang leader takes place and when his sentence is executed, His Highness is seated in a most comfortable study in a long deep black dressing gown, his features impressively pale. In order to copy the court of justice more faithfully he is sitting at a long table on which are the exhibits of the case. He must now abandon the expression of rage and revenge which he had when he told Chourineur and the doctor of his plan to have the gang leader's eyes gouged out. He must show the extremely comic solemn attitude of the self-discovered judge of the world, "calm, sad and composed."

In order to leave no doubt as to the "pure" motive of the blinding, the silly Miirph admits to the envoy Graun:

"The cruel punishment of the gang leader was intended chiefly to avenge me of the assassin.''

In a tete-ä-tete with Murph, Rudolph says:

"My hatred of the wicked . . . has become stronger, my aversion for Sarah increases, doubtless, in proportion with the grief caused by the death of my daughter."

Rudolph tells us how much stronger his hatred of the wicked has become. It goes without saying that his hatred is a Critical, pure, moral hatred, hatred of the wicked because they are wicked. That is why he considers this hatred as his own progress in good.

At the same time, however, he betrays this growth of moral hatred as being nothing but a hypocritical justification by which he wishes to excuse the growth of his personal antipathy for Sarah. The vague moral imagination of his increasing hatred of the wicked is only a mask for the definite. immoral fact of the growth of his aversion for Sarah.

This aversion has quite a natural and quite a personal basis, his own personal distress, which is also the measure of his aversion. Doubtless!

Still more repugnant is the hypocrisy we see in Rudolph's visit to the dying Countess MacGregor,



After the revelation of the mystery that Fleur de Marie is the Countess and Rudolph's daughter, Rudolph goes up to Sarah "looking threatening and ruthless." She begs for mercy.

"No mercy," he says. "Curse you, . . . you, my evil genius and the evil genius of my race."

So it is his "race" that he wishes to avenge. He goes on to inform the Countess how, to expiate the attempted murder of his father, he has taken upon himself a world campaign for the reward of the good and the punishment of 'the wicked.

He tortures the Countess, he abandons himself to his rage, but in his own eyes he is only carrying out the task that he took upon himself after January 13, of "prosecuting evil."

As he is leaving, Sarah cries out: "Pity! I am dying!" " 'Die, accursed!' replies Rudolph, terrible in his rage." The last words "terrible in his rage" betray the pure, Critical and moral motives of his actions. It was rage that made him draw his sword against his father, his blessed father, as Herr Szeliga calls him. Instead of fighting this evil in himself he fights it like a pure Critic, in others .

In the end Rudolph himself abrog-ates his Catholic penal theory. He wanted to abolish capital punishment, to chang e punishment into penance, but only as long as the murdere r picked his victims and spared Rudolph's relatives. He adopt s t he death penalty as soon as one of his kin is murdered: he needs a double set of laws, one for his own person and one for the profane.

He learns from Sarah that Jacques Ferrand was the cause of the death of Fleur de Marie. He says to himself:

"No, it is not enough! . . . What a burning desire for vengeance! What a thirst for blood! . . . What calm, deliberate rage! Vniil I knew that one of the monster's victims was my child I said to myself: this man's death would be fruitless. . . .

Life without monev, life without the satisfaction of his


furious passion will be a long and double torture. . . . But it is MY daughter! ... I will kill that man!"

And he rushes out to kill him, but finds him in a state which makes murder superfluous.

"Good" Rudolph! Burnino- with desire for revenge, thirsting for blood, with calm deliberate rage, with a hypocrisy which excuses every evil impulse with its casuistry, he has all the evil passions for which he gouges out the eyes of others. Only the lucky coincidence that he has money and rank in society save this ''good'' man from the penitentiary.

"The power of Criticism," to compensate for the otherwise complete nullity of this Don Quixote, makes him a "good lodger," a "good neighbour," a "good friend," a "good father," a "good bourgeois," a "good citizen," a "good prince," and so on, according to Herr Szeli'ga's gamut of eulogy. That is more than all the results that humanity has achieved in the whole of its history. That is enough for Rudolph to save "the world'' twice from "ruin"!



Through Rudolph Critical Criticism has twice saved the world from ruin, but only that it may now itself decree the end of the world.

And I saw and heard a mighty angel, Herr Hirzel, flying down from Zurich across the heavens. And he had in his hand a little book open like the fifth number of Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung; and he set his right foot upon the Mass and his left foot upon Charlottenburg; and he cried with a loud voice as when a lion roareth, and his words rose like a dove - Chirp! Chirp! - to the regions of pathos and the thunder-like aspects of the Critical Last Judgement.

"When, in the end, all is united against Criticism and - verily, verily I say unto you,''' - the time is not far off when all the world in dissolution - to it it was given to fight against the Holy - will group around Criticism for the last onslaught; then will the courage of Criticism and its significance have the greatest recognition. We can have no fear for the issue. It will all end by our settling accounts with the various groups - and we shall separate them as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; and we shall set the sheep on our right hand and the goats on our left - and give a general testimony to the misery of the hostile knights - they are spirits of the devil, they go out into the breadth of the world and they gather to fight on the great day of God, the Almighty - and all on the earth will wonder.''

* The words between dashes are Marx's ironical remarks. - Ed.


And when the angel had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices:

Dies irae, dies ilia

Solvet saechun in fauilla.

Judex ergo cum sedebit,

Quidquid latet, adparebit,

Nil inultum rcmunebit.

Quid sum, miser, tunc dicfurus? etc.*

Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. This must first all come to pass. For there shall rise false Christs and false prophets. Messieurs Buchez and Roux from Paris, Herr Friedrich Rohmer and Theodor Rohmer from Zurich, and they shall say: Here is the Christ! But then the sign of the Bauer Brothers will appear in Criticism and the words of the Scripture on Bauer's work** will be accomplished:

With the oxen paired together.

Ploughing goes much better!"


As we later learned, it was not the world, but the Critical Literatur-Zeitung that had its last day.

Written by K- Marx and F. Engels The translation is made from in September-November 1844 the text of the German edition

Published in book form in °

Frankfort-on-Main in 1845

Signed: Frederick Engels and Karl Marx

* That day of wrath will reduce the world to ashes. When the judge takes his seat all that is hidden will come to light, nothing will remain concealed. What shall I, wretch, say then? (from a Catholic hymn on the Last Judgement).

** "Bauer"s work" in German is "Bauernwerk," which literally means "peasant's work." - Ed.



The Holy Family, or Critique of Critical Critique. Against Bruno Bauer and Co. - the first joint work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. It was written from September to November 1844 and published in February 1845 in Frankfurt-on-Main.

The "Holy Family" is a humorous nickname for the lauer blathers and their followers grouped around Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (General Literary Gazette). Attacking Bauer and the other Young Hegelians (or Left Hegelians), Marx and Engels at the same time criticized Hegel's own idealist philosophy.

Marx gave evidence of deep divergencies with the Young Hegelians as early as summer 1842, when the club of the "Free" was formed in Berlin. When, in October 1842, Marx became editor of Rheinische Zeitung {Rhine Gazette), on the staff of which there were several Berlin Young Hegelians, he opposed the publication in the paper of insipid pretentious articles from the club, which had lost touch with reality and was absorbed in abstract philosophical disputes. During the two years following Marx's break with the "Free," the theoretical and political differences betv/een Marx and Engels on the one hand and the Young Hegelians on the other became most profound and irreconcilable. This was due to the fact / that Marx and Engels had abandoned idealism for materialism \ and revolutionary democratism for communism; it was also due to the evolution that the Bauer brothers and their fellow-thinkers went through during that time. Bauer and his group published in Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung disavowals of the "1842 radicalism" and of its most conspicuous mouthpiece. Rheinische Zeitung- they slithered into the vilest vulgar subjective idealism, to propaganda of the "theory" according to which only selected individuals, vehicles of the "spirit," of "pure criticism," are the makers of history, while the mass, the people, serves as inert material, ballast, in the historical process.


Marx and Engels decided to devote their first joint work to tlie exposure of these pernicious reactionary ideas and to the defence of their new materialistic and communistic outlook.

During a ten days' stay of Engels in Paris the plan of the book -at first entitled Critique of Critical Critique. Against Bruno Bauer and Co. - was drawn up, the parts were divided between the authors and the Foreword was written, Engels wrote his parts before leaving Paris. Marx, to whose share the larger part of the book fell, continued to work on it until the end of November 1844. He considerably increased the intended size of the book by using in the writing of his sections part of his manuscripts on economics and philosophy on which he had been working in the spring and summer of 1844, his study of the history of the French Revolution and a number of excerpts and synopses. While the book was in the printing Marx completed the title with the words The Holy Family. The table of contents showed which sections had been written by Marx and which by Engels (see Contents of the present edition pp. 5-6).

As the book was more than 20 signatures and of small format, it was exempted from preliminary censorship according to the regulations then in vigour in a number of German states.

Title page.

2 Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung {General Literary Gazette), a German monthly published by the Young Hegelian B. Bauer in Charlottenburg from December 1843 to October 1844. p. 15

3 Marx here uses the world Mühleigner, a literal translation of the English mill-owner, to ridicule J. Faucher, of the editorial board of Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, who applied English methods of word formation in German. p. 21

¦ The struggle for legislation limiting the working day to ten hours started in England as early as the end of the 18th century and spread by the 30's of the I9th century to the mass of the proletariat. As the landed aristocracy v/anted to use this popular slogan in their fight against the industrial bourgeoisie they supported the Ten-Hour Bill in Parliament. The "Tory philanthropist" Lord Ashley headed the supporters of the bill in Parliament in 1833. p. 23

5 These words are from Bruno Bauer's book. Die gute Sache der Freiheit und meine eigene Angelegenheit {The Good Cause of Freedom and My Own Affair), Zürich and Winterthur, 1842. p. 26


¦280 NOTES

6 The article in question here is "Herr Nauwerk and the Faculty oi Philosophy" published in No. VI of Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (May 1844) and signed "J" - the first letter of Jungnitz. p. 27

' The reference is to the dismissal of B. Bauer whom the Prussian Government deprived temporarily in October 1841 and permanently in March 1842 of the right to lecture in Bonn University because of his writings criticizing the Bible.

8 In this section Engels analyzes and quotes E. Bauer's review of Flora Tristan's I'Union Ouvriere {The Workers' Union), Paris, 1843, which was published in No. V of Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (April 1844). p. 29

9 From Schiller's Das Mädchen aus der Fremde {The Maid from Abroad). p. 34

'0 The reference is to P. J. Proudhon's Qu'est-ce que la propriete? ou Recherches sur le principe du droit et du gouvernement, {Whaf is Property? or Studies on the Principle of Law and of Government), first published in Paris in 1840. Marx quotes the Paris edition of 1841.

Qu'est-ce que la propriete? was written from the contradictory standpoint of the petty bourgeoisie. The sharp attacks it made on private property produced a profound impression. Marx gave an exhaustive critical appraisal of the book in his article "On Proudhon," published in the form of a letter to Schweitzer, editor of Social-Demokrat, in 1865 (see Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, two-vol. edition. Vol. I, pp. 390-398).

E. Bauer's article "Proudhon," which Marx criticizes in this section of The Holy Family, was published in No. V of Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (April 1844). p. 35

" Marx here means the political grouping formed around the Paris paper La Reforme, consisting of petty-bourgeois Democratic-Republicans and petty-bourgeois Socialists. p. 37

'2 Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher {German-French Year-Book) was published in German in Paris and edited by K- Marx and A. Ruge.

The only issue was a double number in February 1844, carrying Marx's articles "On the Jewish Question" and Contribution to a Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law. Introduction and Engel's works, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, and "The Position of England. Thomas Carlyle. 'Past and Present.' " These works mark the final transition of Marx and Engels to ma


terialism and communism. Publication of the journal was discontinued chiefly because of differences of principle between Marx and the bourgeois Radical Ruge.

13 The reference is to a review published by Szeliga in No. VII of Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (June 1844) on the French writer Eugene Sue's novel Mysteres de Paris. The novel is written in the spirit of petty-bourgeois sentimentality and social fantasy. It was published in Paris in 1842-1843 and was popular in France and abroad. p. 74

The reference is to the Charte constitutionnelle adopted in France after the 1830 Revolution as the basic law of the July monarchy.

The expression "Charter of Truth" is an ironic allusion to the conclusive words of Louis-Philippe's proclamation on July 31, 1830: "henceforth the Charter will be the truth." p. 77

'5 Marx here paraphrases a couplet from Goethe's Faust, Part I, Scene 6 {The Witches' Kitchen). p. 85

's Quoted from Ch. Fourier's Theorie de I' unite universelle. Vol. Ill, Part II, Chap. 3. p. 89

''' Here and lower quotations are made from B. Bauer's article "Latest Works on the Jewish Question" published in No. I of Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (December 1843); this was B. Bauer's reply to press criticism of his book Die Judenfrage. p. 106

'8 Bruno Bauer's book Die Judenfrage (The Jewish Question) is a reprint with a few additions of his articles on the same subject published in Deutsche Jahrbücher {German Year-Book) in November 1842. The book was published in Brunswick in 1843. p. 106

'9 The reference is to the weekly paper Revolutions de Paris, which appeared in Paris from July 1789 to February 1794. Until September 1790 it was edited by the revolutionary publicist Elisee Loustallot. p. Ill

20 Doctrinaires - a group of French bourgeois politicians during the Restoration (1815-30); they were constitutional monarchists and rabid enemies of the democratic and revolutionary movement and wished to establish in France a bloc of the bourgeoisie and gentry after the English fashion; the best known among them were the historian F. Guizot and the philosopher P. Royer-Collard. p. 115

21 Marx has in mind B. Bauer's article "Latest Works on the Jewish Question." p. 117


22 The reference is to Marx's article "on the Jewish Question." p. 118

23 The reference is to B. Bauer's review of the first volume of a course of lectures on law by the right Hegelian Hinrichs published in Halle in 1843 under the title Politische Vorlesungen, Bd. I-H [Political Lectures, Vols. I-II), Bauer's review was published in No. I of Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (December 1843). Lower, in the section "Hinrichs No. 2" the reference is to B. Bauer's review on the second volume of the lectures published in No. V (April 1844) of the same journal. p. 122

2 This and the following quotations are from the second article written by B. Bauer against the critics of his book Die Judenfrage. This article, entitled as the first "New Works on the Jewish Question," was given in No. IV of Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (March 1844).

p. 127

25 The title of B. Bauer's article, published in No. VIII of Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (July 1844). Nearly all the quotations made by Marx in Absolute Criticism's Third Campaign are taken from this article. p. 133

26 Deutsche Jahrbücher - abridged title of the literary-philosophical Young Hegelian journal Deutsche Jahrbücher für Wissenschaft und Kunst {German Year-Book on Science and Art). The year-book was published in Leipzig and edited by A. Ruge from July 1841. From 1838 to 1841 it appeared under the name Hallische Jahrbücher für deutsche Wissenschaft und Kunst (the Halle Year-Book on German Science and Art). The transfer of the editorial office from the Prussian town of Halle to Saxony and the alteration in the title of the year-book were motivated by the threat of prohibition in Prussia But the journal did not exist long under its new name. In January, 1843 it was closed down by the Saxonian government and prohibited in the whole of Germany by a decree of the Diet. p. 134

27 Rheinische Zeitung für Politik, Handel und Gewerbe {Rhine Gazette of Politics, Trade and Industry) - a daily paper which appeared in Cologne from January 1, 1842 to March 31, 1843. It was founded by representatives of the Rhineland bourgeoisie who were opposed to Prussian absolutism. Some young Hegelians were also on the stad. Marx wrote for it from April 1842 and became one of its editors in October of the same year. A number of Engels's articles were also published in Rheinische Zeitung. During Marx's editorship the paper became more and more markedly


revolutionary-democratic. The government introduced a particularly strict censorship in regard to it and subsequently closed it. p. 134

28 Synoptics is the name given in the history of religion to the compilers of the first three gospels. p. 140

29 The reference is to Marx's article "On the Jewish Question." p. 143

30 The article in question is B. Bauer's "Fähigkeit der heutigen Juden und Christen, frei zu werden" ("The Capacity of the Jews and Christians of Today to Obtain Freedom"). p. 144

31 Cercle social - an organization established by democratic intellectuals and functioning in Paris in the first years of the French Revolution. Its place in the history of communist ideas in France is determined by the fact that its ideologist K- Foche demanded an equalitarian redivision of the land, restrictions on large fortunes and employment for all able-bodied citizens. Foche's criticism of the formal equality proclaimed in the documents of the French Revolution prepared the ground for bolder action on the question by Jacques Roux, leader of the ''Enrages." p. 161

32 Jansenlsts - named after the Dutch theologian Jansenius - representatives of the opposition trend among Catholics in France in the 17th and early 18th centuries. They voiced the discontent of a part of the French bourgeoisie at the feudal ideology of official Catholicism, p. 170

33 Lamettrie's book [L'homme machine) was published anonymously in Leyden in 1748. It was burnt and its author was banished from Holland whither he had emigrated from France in 1745. p. 175

31 The first edition of Helvetius's book, which was published anonymously in Paris in 1758, was burnt by the executioner in 1759. p. 178

35 Allgemeine Zeitung {General Newspaper) a reactionary German daily newspaper founded in 1798; from 1810 to 1882 it appeared in Augsburg. p. 179

36 Goethe, Faust, Part I, Sc. 3 {Faust's Study). p. 190

37 Zeitschrift für spekulative Theologie {Journal of Speculative Theology) - published in Berlin from 1836 to 1838 under the editorship of B. Bauer, who then belonged to the right Hegelians. p. 191

3 From the French writer J. F. Marmontel's one-act comedy Lucile, Scene 4. p. 193


39 Berlin Couleur was the name given by the Allgemeine LiteraturZeitung correspondent to the Young Hegelians who did not belong to B. Bauer's group and who criticized Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung on certain petty questions. One of them was Max Stirner. p. 199

Marx here means B. Bauer's article "Leiden und Freuden des theologischen Bewusstseins" (Suffering and Joys of Theological Consciousness") in Anekdota zur neuesten deutschen Philosophie und Publicistik. p. 204

La Democratie Pacifique - a daily paper of the Fourierists published in Paris from 1843 to 1851 under the editorship of V. Considerant.

p. 204

- Heine - Die Nordsee (Second cycle "Fragen") p. 210

" From the German folk song Nönnchen. p. 215

'¦'' From the German comic folk-tale Seven Suabians. p. 218

45 Journal des Debats, abridged title of the French bourgeois daily paper Journal des Debats politiques et litteraires, founded in Paris in 1789. During the July monarchy it was a government paper and the organ of the Orleanist bourgeoisie. p. 251

5 Le Steele (The Century) - a daily newspaper appearing in Paris from 1836 to 1939. In the forties of the 19th century it reflected the views of the part of the petty bourgeoisie which confined its demands to moderate constitutional reforms. p. 25!

47 Petites Afflches (Short Announcements) - an old French periodical publication founded in Paris in 1612; a sort of information sheet in which short announcements and notifications were published.

p. 251

-'8 Satan - a small bourgeois satirical paper appearing in Paris from 1840 to 1844. p. 252

s Fortunatus, a hero of German popular legend who had a wonderful inexhaustible purse and a magic hat. p. 265

5° From Fourier's Theorie des quatre mouvements et des destinees generates. p. 265

' The allusion is to the petty German princes who lost their power and whose possessions were annexed to the territories of larger German states as the result of the reshaping oi the German political map during the Napoleonic Wars and at the Vienna Congress (181415). p. 268


52 "Young England" - a group of English politicians and writers belonging to the Tories, formed in the early 40's of the 19th century.

They voiced the dissatisfaction of the landed gentry at the strengthening of the economic and political might of the bourgeoisie and resorted to demagogic methods in order to bring the working class under their influence and make use of it in their fight against the bourgeoisie. In the Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels described their views as "feudal socialism." p. 270

" Marx here quotes with ironic insertions correspondence from Hirzel in Zürich published in No. V of Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (April 1844). p. 276

5' From a French drinking song. p 277



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