Reply to: Re: Bourgeoisified workers

Jon Flanders 72763.2240 at compuserve.com
Sun Aug 4 13:48:11 MDT 1996


 >>  a really general workers' movement will come into existence here only
when the workers feel that England's world monopoly  is broken. <<
 F. Engels

 Jon Flanders:

  Just had to jump in though I am on the way out the door for a couple days
holiday. In Kapp's 2 volume bio of Eleanor Marx there is an account of Engels
reaction to the great eight hour day demonstration in whose organization
Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling played a primary role. I will post it below.

  I think the point about monopoly is well taken. Can we say that we are just
now reaching the point in the US that the working class here is realizing the
real state of affairs? Then again, WW1 saw the end of the British monopoly,
and look how long and drawn out the process there has been.

  Anyway, the role marxists played in the eight-hour movement in the Britain
of the 1890's shows that it is wrong simply to write off the possibility of
reaching workers in the advanced capitalist countries. It is a question of
finding the point of leverage that will move the struggle forward.

  I hope to post more about Kapp's book if I can find the time.

 >> Then , on 9 May, he wrote to Bebel:

 "The demonstration here on 4 May was nothing short of overwhelming, and even
the entire bourgeois press had to admit it. I was on Platform 4(a huge dray
cart) and could not catch sight of only a part--a fifth of an eighth--of the
throng, but it was head upon head, as far as the eye could reach, 250,000 to
300,000 people, of whom over three quarters were workers demonstrating.
Aveling, Lafargue and Stepniak, and also Ede(Bernstein) on the platform where
Tussy *(Eleanor Marx)* was, had a brilliant reception. The seven platforms
were 150 yards apart, the last some 150 yards from the end of the Park, thus
over 1,200 yards long and our meeting(that for the introduction of the eight
hour day by international legislation) was at least 4 to 500 yards wide and
all tightly packed, and on each side the 6 platforms of the Trades Council and
the two of the Social Democratic Federation, though not even half as well
attended by the public as ours. All in all, the most gigantic meeting that has
ever been held here." <<F. Engels 1891

  E-mail from: Jonathan E. Flanders, 04-Aug-1996




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