Marx, Excerpt from the Reichstag debate, 1878

Marx, Excerpt from the Reichstag debate, 1878

English translation of an excerpt from the Reichstag debate.

Written: 16-17, September, 1878
Source: Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels. Werke. Vol. 34. 44 vols. ​pp.498-9 https://www.kritiknetz.de/images/stories/texte/mew_band34.pdf
Publisher: ​Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1966
Translated: from German by [anonymous] on 8, March, 2018

​If one takes the first part of the sentence, he only utters a tautology or a stupidity: if development has a "goal", "ultimate goals", then these "goals" are their "goals" and not the character of development "peaceful" or "unpeaceful". What Eulenburg really wants to say is that the peaceful development towards the goal is only one step leading to the violent development of the goal, and that this transformation of the "peaceful" into the "violent" development lies - according to Mr. Eulenburg - in the nature of the sought-after goal as such. The goal in the given case is the emancipation of the working class and the upheaval (transformation) of society contained therein. A historical development can only remain "peaceful" for as long as it is not being violently obstructed by the respective social rulers. If the working class - for example in England or in the United States - wins the majority in parliament or congress, it could legally remove the laws and institutions that stand in the way of its development, but only insofar as it is required by the social development. Yet the "peaceful" movement could turn into a "violent" one by a rebellion of those who are interested in maintaining the old state [the status quo ante]; If they (like the American Civil War and the French Revolution) are crushed by violence, then as rebels against "legal" violence.