[Marxism] Marx's Racist Put-Down of Lassalle

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Wed Aug 22 07:20:18 MDT 2012

Thanks.  I had made a cursory rummage through the English translation
but lacked a searchable quote.

The letter's there, as cited.  And I think Glenn's got the right
interepretation of it.  During this same critical period of 1862-63,
some of the most artdent antislavery people used similar terms
periodically to the same purpose--one could see it as turning the
bigoted language of the slaveholders back on itself with armed black
troops.  Particularly, the term "nigger regiment" carried within
itself an innate contradiction that some of those closest to these
projects relished.

At the same time, Marx is using the language in this piece in such a
way as to underscore Lassalle's paradoxically top-down state-centered
version of socilaism. In the letter, Marx is placing Lassalle in the
company of various "enlightened Bonapartist" ideas of revolution
through military action.  The immediate military successes of
Garibaldi had inspired a wave of Germans, such as Wilhelm Rüstow,
whose interest in military matters jibed more with Lassalle's view of
socialism than Marx's.


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