For what Marx and Engels did not like Russian

History 28/12/19 what Marx and Engels did not like Russian

it is Difficult to separate the statements of Karl Marx from the words of his friend and associate Friedrich Engels, especially because the work of someone one of them was published under the name of another. Sometimes historians can’t make out who exactly owns the composition “the founders”. Therefore, we consider their joint attitude to Russia and Russian.

Russia in European politics

not surprisingly, Marx and Engels, as revolutionaries, we considered the role of Russia in Europe at that time as purely reactionary, as the role of the policeman. Historical events made it easy to justify and illustrate this point. After the expulsion of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Russian Empire was the inspiration of the Holy Alliance, against all liberal movements and democratic revolutions in Europe. With its support, sent troops French Bourbons and the Austrian Habsburgs to suppress the revolutions in Spain and Italy in 1820-ies In 1830-1831 Russia crushed the Polish desire for independence, and in 1849 the Russian army at the request of the Austrian government crushed the revolution in Hungary.

At the same time Marx and Engels attributed many quotes confirming their zealous hatred, not only to the Russian tsarist government, but to the Russians as a people. Typically, the sources of these quotations are missing or are the links not translated to Russian language work “founders” either unpreserved articles in periodicals. The first among these hidden works of Marx is his “Revelations of the diplomatic history of the XVIII century” (also known as “secret diplomacy of the XVIII century”). However, this unfinished book was entirely published in Russian in 1990 by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the CPSU Central Committee (!). In this article we will only rely on quotes in reliable sources.

the Legacy of the Mongol khans

His “Secret diplomacy” Marx wrote in the years 1856-1857, in the Wake of the Crimean war. In the fourth Chapter of this work he made an attempt to give a General overview of Russian history and understand “how could this power, or this phantom power to manage to reach such dimensions to cause, on the one hand, ardent approval, on the other – a furious denial that she is threatening the world recovery the world of the monarchy?”

Marx separates the history of Russia from ancient Rus to the Mongol invasion. Politics of Russia (Kiev) was, in his opinion, “no more and no less, the policy of the German barbarians inundating Europe.” “The cradle of Muscovy, argued Marx, was the bloody swamp of Mongol slavery, not harsh glory era of the Normans. And modern Russia is nothing but the transformed Muscovy”.

Ivan the Great, who “themselves Russian historians portray notorious coward” became the founder of the Moscow despotism, overthrowing the Mongol yoke “not one bold stroke”, and “sly”, and destroying the liberty of ancient republics, and then started its expansion towards Western Europe. This expansion, objectives and methods which have been enhanced by Peter the Great, and defines since the policy of Russia, the conviction of Marx.

“Muscovy was raised and grew up in a horrible and infamous school of Mongolian slavery – wrote the “founder”. – It is only intensified by the fact that it has become virtuoso in the art of bondage. Even after his release, Muscovy continued to play its traditional role of slave turned master. Later Peter the Great combined political art of the Mongol slave with the proud aspiration of the Mongol ruler, Genghis Khan commanded to carry out his plan to conquer the world.”

But those are mistaken who consider the work of Marx exclusively as anti-Russian. “Revelations…” had the character of a primarily anti-British historical pamphlet. Marx wanted to show that Britain bears historical responsibility for the fact that Russia began to threaten Europe. “Is the fact that the transformation of Muscovy into Russia was carried out by converting it from semi-Asiatic continental countries in the dominant sea power on the Baltic sea, leads us to the conclusion that England, the greatest Maritime power of that time, … should be involved in this great change?” Apparently, Marx was upset that ended shortly before the Crimean war, England did not achieve a decisive defeat of Russia.

Russian revolution

Marx and Engels considered the historical role of Nations exclusively through the prism of their relationship to revolution. Therefore, they are negatively assessed Slavs (except poles) during the European revolutions of 1848-1849, the Young Engels in his work “revolution and counter-Revolution in Germany” (1852) considered the Czechs and Croats (Slovaks and Slovenes, he did not know) as a nation that the history is destined to disappear, to make room for the progressive peoples, the Germans and Hungarians. As followers of Hegel, the “founders” believed that all Nations are divided into “historical” and “unhistorical”. Therefore, the Czechs and the Croats, according to Engels, acted in the interests of pan-European reaction, inspired by Russia.

Engels in this work, Russia is presented as a country that seeks to subordinate the whole of Europe and invented for this purpose, the ideology of pan-Slavism. The character of this passage: “In the offices of several Slavic historians-Amateurs is ridiculous… the movement, set a goal… to subjugate the civilized West barbaric East city – village, trade, industry, culture – primitive agriculture of the Slavic serfs. But behind this ludicrous theory stood the terrible reality in the face of the Russian Empire – of the Empire, in every step which has found the claim to consider the whole of Europe as the heritage of the Slavic tribe and, in particular, the only energeticallyth his part – Russian.”

However, in the future, with the development of the revolutionary movement in Russia, the “founders” there are other notes. It is indicative of their Preface to the Russian edition of 1882 “of the Communist Manifesto” which stated that “… now Russia is the vanguard of the revolutionary movement in Europe.”

earlier, in 1881, Marx received a letter from the Russian revolutionaries-the emigrant of the Faith Zasulich, later declared himself a Marxist, with a request to Express my opinion on the prospects of the revolution in Russia. And Marx wrote several variants of the response letter, which outlined the theory that Russia, despite its backwardness in comparison with Europe, can really become the first country, which breaks out social revolution. However, none of these options he sent.

so, the attitude of Marx and Engels to Russia was a political pragmatist, which puts at the forefront the interests, as they believed, the world workers ‘ revolution.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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