Food for thought from Engels

Derek S. derektheredrebel at
Wed Feb 19 07:45:07 MST 2003

Here's an interesting quote I came across. It is from
a letter that Engels wrote in 1886. He's commenting on
what he saw as the main socialist currents in the USA
isolating themselves from the bulk of the working
class, opting instead to build small, yet
programatically pure, sects. I thought it would be of
interest to listmembers. Take what you'd like from it.

"It is far more important that the movement should
proceed harmoniously, take root, and embrace as much
as possible the whole American proletariat, than that
it should start and proceed from the beginning on
theoretically perfectly correct lines. There is no
better road to theoretical clearness of comprehension
than to learn by one's own mistakes... A million or
two of workingmen's votes next November for a bona
fide workingmen's party is worth infinitely more at
present than a hundred thousand votes for a doctrinaly
pure platform"
--Engels, letter to Florence Kelley Wischnewetsky, 1886

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