Principles to shape tactics

In the second of three articles Mike Macnair examines the electoral controversies in the SPD and the views of Marx and Engels

What should be the principled boundaries and acceptable tactics of communists in relation to calls for electoral support to coalitions, alliances, other parties or individual candidates?

In the first article in this series, last week, I worked backwards through the ‘people’s front’ policy of ‘official’ communism and Maoism (strategic alliance with one or another section of the capitalist class), the ‘third period’ of communist electoral isolationism, the ‘united front’ policy of 1921-28, and the period in which the communists drove through the split in the Second International and its parties in 1918-21. I argued that the short-term tactical approach to electoral issues in the period before the people’s front became fully established as a general strategic line of ‘official’ communism in the 1950s reflected the belief that capitalism had entered terminal crisis.

From there, I looked at a frequently cited passage in Lenin’s Leftwing communism about the acceptability of agreements with bourgeois parties, and at what lay behind it: the electoral policy of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party between 1906 and 1914 and, in particular, the views of the Bolsheviks on this issue. I concluded that lying behind this RSDLP policy was the electoral policy of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), which the RSDLP - like many other European socialist parties - attempted to imitate.


The SPD, like the RSDLP, faced complex electoral systems designed to put obstacles in its path. The constitutional framework of the German Second Empire (1871-1918) was a federation of four kingdoms (Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony and Württemberg), six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three Free Hanse cities and one imperial territory (Alsace-Lorraine) - the Länder. Unlike Russia, the imperial parliament had legislative power and a limited power over the budget, which meant that a government in practice needed to be able to assemble a parliamentary majority, but the government was answerable to the kaiser, not the parliament.

The parliament consisted of two houses. The Bundesrat was composed of delegates of the Länder, with the small states overrepresented. The Reichstag was - unusually for its time - elected by manhood suffrage. This resulted from Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s manoeuvres in the 1860s with Ferdinand Lassalle and his successors as leaders of the Allgemeine Deutschen Arbeiterverein (ADAV), in which Bismarck and Lassalle aimed to create a ‘labour monarchist’ counterweight to the National Liberal and Progressivist bourgeois parties.[1]

The voting system was two-round: ie, if no candidate got an overall majority in the first round, a run-off election would be held between the two highest placed candidates. This meant that, though the SPD tried to stand everywhere, it was inevitably confronted with the question of formal or informal advice to SPD voters if its candidate was knocked out in the first round.

The party discussed the issue at its 1887, 1897, 1902 and 1911 congresses. The first of these rejected advice which had been given by the leadership at the 1884 election; the last three adopted variants of ‘conditional support’ tactics towards individual candidates of the bourgeois parties: ie, that the party would call for a vote for them if they met a set of minimum political conditions, but otherwise would call for an abstention. In fact, in the 1912 election the party leadership entered into a formal agreement with the Progressive Party to trade votes in the run-offs.[2]

The Länder had their own parliaments with fairly extensive powers. With the exception of the Free Hanse cities these invariably involved an upper house like the unreformed British House of Lords: ie, with a large hereditary component, a church component and a smaller, appointed component. Their electoral systems for the lower houses were highly diverse, but characteristically involved both substantial property qualifications and indirect election, in which the voters elected electors, who in turn elected the representatives.[3]

The Prussian system was notorious, and used by some other Länder. It divided the voters in each constituency into three classes by their share of direct taxation payments. In Essen, for example, the head of the Krupp family of steel magnates was the only voter in the first class. At the other extreme, people too poor to pay income and property taxes were not entitled to vote. The three classes then each elected one third of the electors, by public ballot (so that employers and landlords could take note of how their better-off employees or tenants voted and victimise them if they voted the ‘wrong’ way). The college of electors then elected the representatives.

Under electoral regimes of this type it was practically impossible to get anyone elected - outside a few constituencies so dominated by the working class that ‘first class’ taxpayers meant small shopkeepers and skilled workers - without electoral agreements of some sort between parties. This issue produced in the SPD divergent practices and debates linked but not identical to the debates between left and right.

In the south German states, the SPD had engaged in run-off agreements with the National Liberals in Bavaria as early as 1884 and continued to make deals thereafter. This evolution was reflected in Bavarian SPD leftist turned rightist Georg von Vollmar’s arguments in his 1891 ‘Eldorado speeches’ and afterwards, for the SPD to aim for a broad reform coalition without excessive theoretical commitments. By 1894 the Bavarians were willing to vote for the Land budget, leading to a brief, violent controversy in the national party.[4]

In Prussia, the SPD was committed to boycotting the Land elections until 1897. In that year Bebel and others proposed that the party should participate; but Liebknecht backed an amendment prohibiting any election deals with other parties, which was carried. This was generally seen as a ‘wrecking amendment’ and Bebel afterwards argued (unsuccessfully) that it produced an internally contradictory policy and should be ‘clarified’ by the leadership. The 1898 congress resolved to leave the choice as to participation to local organisations, which resolved on continued abstention. When the SPD did begin to stand, in 1903, it received the second highest number of votes after the Conservatives - but no seats.[5]

This is a simplified summary of a complex story. What it shows is - as with the RSDLP before 1914 - the SPD grappling with competing objectives under an undemocratic electoral system. In the first place the party sought the independent political self-organisation and self-representation of the proletariat as a ‘class for itself’. That implied the SPD standing in elections and doing so wherever it was possible. It also implied genuinely trying to get people elected to the representative bodies. But the electoral system made this latter task difficult without electoral agreements with the other parties, which could be inconsistent with the aim of class-political independence.

The party rejected formal coalition deals and voting for the imperial budget in the Reichstag, but the centre was never willing actually to split with the south Germans in spite of their coalition policy. And lesser forms of deal and calls for second-round votes for ‘left’ candidates of other parties, on the basis of limited demands on them, were tactically accepted from an early stage, though they were episodically controversial. Nonetheless, the SPD aimed to make these tactical compromises without contradicting its basic fight for the independent political representation of the urban proletariat. These SPD aims and practices formed the background to the RSDLP resolutions I discussed last week in the first article. Behind them, in turn, were the basic principles argued for by Marx and Engels and brought into the German workers’ movement in the 1860s-70s - imperfectly - by Lassalle and Wilhelm Liebknecht.

Marx and Engels

The amount of comment on a workers’ party electoral and parliamentary tactics by Marx and Engels is minimal and mostly by Engels. The reason is, of course, that it is only with the emergence of the proto-SPD as a real force in the later 1870s, and subsequently of socialist parties elsewhere, that tactical issues began to be sharply posed. On principles they wrote much more, and the problem is how to avoid writing at excessive length. What follows is therefore decidedly incomplete. Much more can be found in the volumes of Hal Draper’s Karl Marx’s theory of revolution.

The starting point has to be 1846-47, when Marx and Engels moved from theoretical criticism to practical politics. The ‘Address of the German Democratic Communists of Brussels to Mr Feargus O’Connor’ on his election as a Chartist MP in July 1846 is an early intimation of their strategic orientation: “The contending parties have their respective battle cries forced upon them by their interests and mutual position: the middle class - ‘extension of commerce by any means whatsoever, and a ministry of Lancashire cotton lords to carry this out’; the working class - ‘a democratic reconstruction of the constitution upon the basis of the People’s Charter’, by which the working class will become the ruling class of England.”[6] In the same period, ‘The communism of the Rheinischer Beobachter’ (1847) polemicised against the idea of an anti-capitalism based on alliance with the monarchy against the Liberals.[7]

The Communist manifesto does not directly address elections. However, it placed the Communist League as part of the Chartists and their US counterpart, the Agrarian Reformers (National Reform Movement), who did contest elections.[8] It offered critical support to the Social Democrats in France round Louis Blanc, Ledru-Rollin and the La Réforme newspaper, and more cautiously to their Swiss equivalents, who formed part of the Radicals (chapter 4). It was emphatically hostile to tendencies which opposed working class political action, including utopian socialists, such as the Fourierists in France.[9]

In Germany, the communists “fight with the bourgeoisie whenever it acts in a revolutionary way, against the absolute monarchy, the feudal squirearchy, and the petty-bourgeoisie. But they never cease, for a single instant, to instil into the working class the clearest possible recognition of the hostile antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat, in order that the German workers may straightway use, as so many weapons against the bourgeoisie, the social and political conditions that the bourgeoisie must necessarily introduce along with its supremacy ...” (chapter 4).

The 1850 ‘Address to the central committee of the Communist League’ expresses the fact that the bourgeoisie had not acted “in a revolutionary way, against the absolute monarchy ...”. It does, however, contemplate (mistakenly) an early overthrow of the existing governments, leading to elections.

In this case, “the proletariat must take care: ... (2) that workers’ candidates are nominated everywhere in opposition to bourgeois-democratic candidates. As far as possible they should be League members and their election should be pursued by all possible means. Even where there is no prospect of achieving their election the workers must put up their own candidates to preserve their independence, to gauge their own strength and to bring their revolutionary position and party standpoint to public attention. They must not be led astray by the empty phrases of the democrats, who will maintain that the workers’ candidates will split the democratic party and offer the forces of reaction the chance of victory. All such talk means, in the final analysis, that the proletariat is to be swindled. The progress which the proletarian party will make by operating independently in this way is infinitely more important than the disadvantages resulting from the presence of a few reactionaries in the representative body.”[10]

Meanwhile in France Louis Blanc had joined the republican provisional government - and displayed only political powerlessness within it. And in 1849-50, in the view of Marx and Engels, expressed in Engels’ Letters from France in Harney’s The Democratic Review, in Marx’s The class struggles in France 1848-50 and retrospectively in The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, the unwillingness of the Social Democrats to force a political confrontation, even in elections, emboldened the right and helped set the scene for Louis Bonaparte’s coup. These events cast a long shadow: opposition to minority participation in government was still a feature in Engels’ 1894 advice to the Italian Socialist leader, Filippo Turati.[11]

The 1850s saw an ebb tide of the workers’ political movement across Europe. In the 1860s, however, it began to revive, and the movement in England in support of the north in the American Civil War, together with the reviving Proudhonist movement in France, formed the basis of the creation of the First International in 1864.

Because the First International involved an alliance with the Proudhonists, who were opposed to working class political action, its documents did not call for such action until a late stage. Marx argued the case at the 1871 London congress, and the 1872 Hague congress adopted the formulation: “Against the collective power of the propertied classes the working class cannot act, as a class, except by constituting itself into a political party, distinct from, and opposed to, all old parties formed by the propertied classes.”[12]

In Germany, meanwhile, the ADAV led by Lassalle had been formed in 1863, demanding universal suffrage and state-backed cooperatives. Wilhelm Liebknecht joined it and hoped to persuade Lassalle to move away from his political relations with Bismarck or to build an opposition to Lassalle, but this project was aborted by Lassalle’s death in a duel in August 1864, which made Lassalle into a mythical martyr of the workers’ movement. Liebknecht, and Marx and Engels, initially cooperated with Lassalle’s successor as ADAV leader, Johann von Schweitzer, and the newspaper he founded. But it turned out that Schweitzer was equally committed to Bismarck. Marx and Engels in February 1865 broke publicly with Schweitzer’s newspaper, citing their 1847 article against alliance between the proletariat and the monarchy.

Engels’ pamphlet The Prussian military question argued that the proletariat had to aim for political concessions from the bourgeoisie (“freedom of the press, freedom of association and assembly, universal suffrage, local self-government”), not economic concessions from the monarchy. Even if the monarchy conceded universal suffrage, “one has only to go to France to realise what tame elections it can give rise to, if one has only a large and ignorant rural population, a well-organised bureaucracy, a well-regimented press, associations sufficiently kept down by the police and no political meetings at all”. The pamphlet was advertised on the basis that, “unlike the most recent ‘social democratic’ party tactics, this pamphlet bases itself once more on the standpoint adopted by the literary representatives of the proletariat of 1846-51 and develops this standpoint as against both reaction and the Progressivist bourgeoisie”.[13]

Liebknecht had already moved into opposition in the ADAV, and began to have some success in the Berlin branch, and influence beyond it. At this point Bismarck interfered on Schweitzer’s side by deporting Liebknecht from Prussia. Liebknecht moved to Leipzig in Saxony, where he joined the liberals’ workers arm set up to counter the ADAV, the Verein Deutscher Arbeiter Verein (VDAV) and the left-liberal German People’s Party (DVP). He worked within these organisations with August Bebel, an early convert, to pull them towards socialism and the ideas of the First International. A series of manoeuvres, splits and fusions ended with the creation of the SPD (mark one) at Eisenach in 1869; but Liebknecht and this SPD did not break with the DVP until 1870.[14] The SPD (mark two) fused with the ADAV in 1875 at Gotha, to form the Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany (SAPD) which was suppressed under the Anti-Socialist Law of 1878, and operated semi-clandestinely until this law expired in 1890, when it was refounded as the SPD.


The relevance of this history to Marx and Engels is it is clear that during the First International period the German groups were a political embarrassment to them. Formal affiliations of the German groups were impossible under the repressive laws of the German states, but individuals could join the International. Rather few did.

Marx and Engels had committed themselves from the late 1840s to independent working class political action. They were working in the International with British trade unionists, who were not committed to political action, and with the Proudhonists, who opposed it, and from 1868 the Bakuninists, who also opposed it. And here were their ‘co-thinkers’ in Germany, attempting political action ... the ADAV in half-alliance with Bismarck, and the Prussian monarchy, Liebknecht in actual entry in a bourgeois liberal party. Surely examples of all that was wrong with political action (as Bakunin was quick to point out).[15]

In this situation, in spite of their formal public break with Schweitzer’s newspaper in 1865, Marx and Engels took a degree of political distance from both sides in Germany - though they continued to correspond with Liebknecht, they did not provide him with the public polemic against Lassalle he sought; and they continued to correspond also with the ADAV and its leaders.[16]

In 1871-72 the International crashed. The French Proudhonists were crushed by the repression after the Paris Commune. The English trade unionists were pushed away from the International by the witch-hunt after the Commune, and pulled towards the Liberal Party by the Trade Union Act 1871. Marx and Engels and their co-thinkers on the general council forced through a split with the Bakuninists, and the 1872 Hague congress moved the seat of the general council to New York, where the body died.

The correspondence of Marx and Engels shows that down to and including the 1875 Critique of the Gotha programme and Engels’ equivalent critique in his letter to Bebel, they were still thinking in terms of the debate with the Bakuninists and a certain degree of suspicion of both German groups. In practice, contrary to their expectations, the Gotha unification allowed the unified SAPD to break through to the creation of a mass workers’ party, the Anti-Socialist Law proved to be only a temporary setback and suspicion was largely replaced by promotion of the SPD as a model - albeit they and, after Marx’s death, Engels, intervened in the left-right fights in the party. They were particularly hostile to any backsliding towards the ‘people’s party’ conception.[17]

After the episode of the First International, the basic idea of an independent workers’ party which stood candidates in elections, however weak its initial political platform might be, continued to inform Engels’ attempts to intervene in British politics and his correspondence with US socialists. Here the criticisms were often turned against what he saw as narrow socialist sects - but also against the Lib-Labs and, more sharply, those who flirted with Conservatism. The latter was a major element in his hostility to Hyndman, and turned up as a criticism of Keir Hardie in 1893.[18]

In relation to Britain, both Marx and Engels explained the relative political passivity of the working class by Britain’s domination of the world market. In relation to the US, Engels in his 1891 postscript to the new edition of The civil war in France extended the criticism of universal suffrage without democratic liberties to the US political system:

“Society had created its own organs to look after its common interests, originally through simple division of labour. But these organs, at whose head was the state power, had in the course of time, in pursuance of their own special interests, transformed themselves from the servants of society into the masters of society, as can be seen, for example, not only in the hereditary monarchy, but equally also in the democratic republic. Nowhere do ‘politicians’ form a more separate, powerful section of the nation than in North America. There, each of the two great parties which alternately succeed each other in power is itself in turn controlled by people who make a business of politics, who speculate on seats in the legislative assemblies of the union, as well as of the separate states, or who make a living by carrying on agitation for their party and on its victory are rewarded with positions.

“It is well known that the Americans have been striving for 30 years to shake off this yoke, which has become intolerable, and that in spite of all they can do they continue to sink ever deeper in this swamp of corruption. It is precisely in America that we see best how there takes place this process of the state power making itself independent in relation to society, whose mere instrument it was originally intended to be. Here there exists no dynasty, no nobility, no standing army, beyond the few men keeping watch on the Indians, no bureaucracy with permanent posts or the right to pensions, and nevertheless we find here two great gangs of political speculators, who alternately take possession of the state power and exploit it by the most corrupt means and for the most corrupt ends - and the nation is powerless against these two great cartels of politicians, who are ostensibly its servants, but in reality exploit and plunder it.

“Against this transformation of the state and the organs of the state from servants of society into masters of society - an inevitable transformation in all previous states - the Commune made use of two infallible expedients. In this first place, it filled all posts - administrative, judicial and educational - by election on the basis of universal suffrage of all concerned, with the right of the same electors to recall their delegate at any time. And, in the second place, all officials, high or low, were paid only the wages received by other workers. The highest salary paid by the Commune to anyone was 6,000 francs. In this way an effective barrier to place-hunting and careerism was set up, even apart from the binding mandates to delegates to representative bodies which were also added in profusion.”[19]


In this history we can find two principles consistently defended from the 1840s to the 1890s, a third which was temporarily subordinated to broad unity in 1864-71, and one shift in assessment. The first principle is the independent organisation of the working class for political purposes: as opposed to pure trade unionism or cooperativism; as opposed to the working class forming the tail of this or that wing of the capitalist politicians; and as opposed to sects constructed on the basis of a schema of the future society and counterposed to the actual movement of the masses.

The second principle is that the working class needs political democracy and liberties in order to emancipate itself, and therefore an unvarying hostility to alliances between the working class and authoritarian parties and politicians for the sake of economic concessions. For Marx and Engels, for the working class to form the tail of bourgeois liberal parties or petty bourgeois democratic ones was undesirable and would, as in France in 1848-51, lead to disaster; but it was less undesirable than alliances with monarchies or other authoritarians, which was directly opposed to the interests of the working class as a class.

The third principle, which was temporarily subordinated to unity in the First International, was that the workers’ party needed to intervene actively by standing candidates in elections and trying to get worker representatives elected.

The shift in assessment is in relation to universal suffrage and to the parliamentary-constitutional regime as such. In the 1840s-50s, Marx and Engels argued that the implementation of the six points of the Charter would amount to the dictatorship of the proletariat, or even simply that “universal suffrage is the equivalent of political power for the working class of England, where the proletariat forms the large majority of the population ...”[20] In the 1860s and afterwards, this assessment was shifted by the experience of manhood suffrage in France without political liberties as an instrument of the Bonapartist regime. Of this, of course, the 20th century has provided numerous examples.

Finally, implicit in Marx’s account of the Paris Commune in The civil war in France and explicit in Engels’ 1891 postscript is a critique of the parliamentary regime as such - even with political liberties - as one in which the capitalist class rules through the corrupt cartels of the professional politicians. The remedies proposed? The end of the separation of the legislative, executive and judicial powers; the election of all officials, with the right of recall; and the limitation of official pay to a worker’s wage.

The three principles lay behind the electoral policy and tactical choices of the SPD. They did not, however, use or develop the changing assessment of the capitalist electoral and constitutional regime as such.[21]

This history is naturally not decisive of how we should act today. But understanding it can help us formulate principles, and the limits of tactics, for today. This will be the task of the third and final article in this series.


  1. See RH Dominick III Wilhelm Liebknecht and the founding of the German Social Democratic Party chapter 4, Chapel Hill 1982. The surviving part of Lassalle’s correspondence with Bismarck is online (in German) at www.marxists.org/deutsch/referenz/lassalle/bismarck/briefe/index.htm
  2. GP Steenson Not one man! Not one penny! German Social Democracy 1863-1914 Pittsburgh 1981: electoral system - pp42-43; second-round advice - p53; the resolutions from 1897 on are (in German) in the Protokolle über die Verhandlungen der Parteitage der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutschlands, available at library.fes.de/parteitage/index.html: for 1897 - pp154-55; 1902 - pp88-89; 1911 - pp159-60.
  3. Information (in German) at www.deutsche-kaiserreich.de. Steenson pp171-73 has detail on the Prussian system. A Bebel, ‘Unsere Betheiligung an den preussischen Landtagswahlen’ (1897) 15 Neue Zeit pp609-17 at p617 lists Land competences as including among other topics police, courts and prisons, public education, schools and churches, direct taxes, agrarian laws, local government, forests, mining, railways, waterways and highways, and employment law.
  4. GP Steenson op cit pp53, 178-85; RH Dominick op cit pp390-93.
  5. RH Dominick op cit pp394-98; GP Steenson op cit p166 (and pp176-78 on the subsequent history of the SPD’s intervention in Prussian elections and the Prussian franchise question); slightly different narrative in WH Maehl August Bebel, shadow emperor of the German workers (Philadelphia 1980) pp305-309, though the obsessive (and contradictory) ideological commitments of this author produce severe unclarity in his interpretations. A Bebel op cit argues for limited agreements and a conditional support tactic towards ‘left’ Progressive, National Liberal and Centre Party candidates on the basis of a set of minimum demands. I suppose that it is in the context of one of these debates that Bebel made the comment about being willing to ally with “the devil and his grandmother”, which was quoted by the Menshevik Tseretelli at the 1907 London congress of the RSDLP (E Kingston-Mann, ‘A strategy for Marxist bourgeois revolution’, 1980 7 Journal of Peasant Studies pp131-57 at p140, n37, citing the Protokoly of the congress) and resurrected by Trotsky in the context of the united front (‘The united front for defence: a letter to a Social Democratic worker’, 1933: www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/germany/1933/330223.htm); but I have not found the actual Bebel reference.
  6. www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1846/07/17.htm
  7. Deutsche Brüsseler-Zeitung September 12 1847: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/09/12.htm
  8. “The communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working class parties” (chapter 2), but the “other working class parties” are “the Chartists in England and the Agrarian Reformers in America” (chapter 4).
  9. Chapter 3, at the end, on the utopian socialists: “By degrees, they sink into the category of the reactionary conservative socialists depicted above, differing from these only by more systematic pedantry, and by their fanatical and superstitious belief in the miraculous effects of their social science. They, therefore, violently oppose all political action on the part of the working class; such action, according to them, can only result from blind unbelief in the new gospel. The Owenites in England, and the Fourierists in France, respectively, oppose the Chartists and the Réformistes.”
  10. www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/communist-league/1850-ad1.htm
  11. Texts all available on Marxists Internet Archive; Engels’ Letters less obvious than the other ‘classics’: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/subject/newspapers/democratic-review.htm Engels to Turati: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1894/letters/94_01_26.htm
  12. www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1871/09/politics-speech.htm; www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1871/09/21.htm; www.marxists.org/history/international/iwma/documents/1872/hague-conference/parties.htm
  13. www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1865/02/23.htm; www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1865/02/27.htm
  14. This paragraph and the last summarise in extreme outline RH Dominick op cit chapters 4 and 5.
  15. libcom.org/library/a-critique-of-the-german-social-democratic-program-bakunin
  16. Episodic references in RH Dominick op cit chapters 5-7. WH Maehl op cit chapters 2-5 is at his worst in dealing with the period. Marx to Engels October 10 1868 (www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1868/letters/68_10_10.htm) is particularly illuminating on the issue.
  17. As a model: ‘To the working men of Europe in 1877’ Labour Standard March 3-31 1878: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1878/03/03.htm; ‘A working men’s party’ Labour Standard July 23 1881: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1881/07/23.htm; ‘The elections of 1890 in Germany’ Newcastle Daily Chronicle March 3 1890: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1890/03/03.htm; Engels’ introduction to The class struggles in France 1891: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/subject/hist-mat/class-sf/intro.htm
    Intervention in the SAPD/SPD’s internal debates: quite a lot of information in RH Dominick op cit chapters 8-10 and (at a low level of understanding) WH Maehl op cit chapters 5-12. A particularly sharp and relevant example is the September 1879 circular letter in response to the ‘Zurich manifesto’, which argued for Social Democracy to end its exclusive focus on the working class and build a ‘broad left’: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1879/letters/79_09_15.htm
  18. Sects: eg Engels to Bebel, August 18 1886: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1886/letters/86_08_18.htm (Britain); Engels to Sorge, November 29 1886: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1886/letters/86_11_29.htm; Lib-Labs: eg, ‘The English elections’ Der Volksstaat March 4 1874: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1874/02/22.htm; ‘A working men’s party’ (see above, n17). Hyndman: eg, Engels to Bernstein, May 3 1882: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1882/letters/82_05_03.htm; Engels to Bebel, January 15 1886: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1886/letters/86_02_15.htm; ‘May 4 in London’ Arbeiter Zeitung May 23 1890: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1890/05/23.htm Keir Hardie: Engels to Bebel, January 24 1893: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1893/letters/93_01_24.htm
  19. www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1871/civil-war-france/postscript.htm
  20. ‘Free trade and The Chartists’ New York Daily Tribune August 25 1852: www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1852/08/25.htm
  21. Lars T Lih has drawn our collective attention to Kautsky’s response to Jaurès’s arguments on republicanism in a 1905 series of Neue Zeit articles (which Ben Lewis is in the process of translating). This series was, however, far less influential than Kautsky’s arguments for the separation of powers in Der Parlamentarismus, die Volksgestetzgebung und die Sozialdemokratie 1893 (Parlementarisme et socialisme Paris 1900) or for the working class making use of the existing civil state bureaucracy in that book and in the Agrarfrage 1899 (The agrarian question London 1988) and The road to power 1909: www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1909/power/index.htm