MmeBahorel wrote:And obligatory Coast of Utopia reference: the hobgoblin of communism is best translation ever. "I don't want it to sound like communism is dead." (Seriously, Shipwreck has some great analysis of 1848 on the ground among the intellectuals. Stoppard did a phenomenal job of explaining it while making it entertaining as hell. "What did you want? Bread? I'm sorry, bread was left out of the equation. We are a bookish people with bookish solutions." The words are Herzen's, but no one in that crew was any better, including Marx.)
I love Coast of Utopia and especially Shipwreck ("It will be bloody, swift and unjust, and leave Europe like Bohemia after the Hussites. Are you sorry for civilization? I am sorry for it, too") and was impressed by how well he pulled off the 1848 parts. I didn't think he'd be able to get across what a disaster the failure was, and he did. Though his Marx is mainly there as a foil for Herzen and as foreshadowing, and the foreshadowing got on my nerves. (I guess he had to be included because of Bakunin, though).
Of course, 1848 failed everywhere in Europe.
Nit-picking: Except in the Netherlands. And (disputably) Piedmont, which suffered a massive military defeat but came out of 1848 with a constitution, having gone into it as an absolute monarchy, and with the groundwork laid for its role in the unification.
Re: Italy and languages- the differences are huge, but language/dialect was less fraught of an issue there than it was in France, afaik. A major complicating factor in Italian vs. German unification was foreign powers in parts of Italy- whereas the Germans mainly had to contend with the regimes of the various German states, plus the question of Austria-Hungary, Italian unification also had to deal with Austro-Hungarian domination of parts of the country, the independent-but-Spanish-linked Bourbons, and the independent-but-French-defended Pope.
The various revolutions in Germany in 1848 were done by leftists who sought unification. Same in Italy - a unification push by the left, to unite a fractured geographic area in order to bring together a greater number of people of similar culture outside of traditional monarchical/ducal rule.
And after 1848 in Germany, and even earlier than that in Italy, it becomes an important debate among pro-unification leftists (like the authors of this manifesto) to what extent a more right-wing unification under one of the existing monarchies (Prussia in Germany and Piedmont-Sardinia in Italy) fulfills those aspirations and to what extent it co-opts and betrays them to aggrandize the monarchy.
obligatory Bismarck quote: "Germany is not looking to Prussia's liberalism, but to its power; Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden may indulge liberalism, and yet no one will assign them Prussia's role; Prussia has to coalesce and concentrate its power for the opportune moment, which has already been missed several times... it is not by speeches and majority resolutions that the great questions of the time are decided – that was the big mistake of 1848 and 1849 – but by iron and blood"
He merely hijacked it about twenty years later.
It's more complicated than that imo. Marx and Engels had a strong influence on people who would become leaders in the SDAP and subsequently the main German socialist party, the SPD, for a long time largest and most important socialist party in the world. Organizational genealogies are as important as ideological ones. Even though Marx and Engels are primarily associated with communism (and later Communism), a lot of their impact is in Social Democracy (which obviously meant something different then). A lot of people forget that the Russian Communists started out as nothing more than one faction of the Russian Social Democrats. The political scientist JP Nettl had very good explanation of why the Communists overemphasized Marx in an effort to dissociate themselves from what they saw as the corruption and betrayal of the Social Democratic and Socialist parties. Sort of a jump-back-a-generation-to-criticize-the-present attitude. Unfortunately, I don't have the book with me or I'd copy it out- it was a very succinct and interesting explanation, but I can't summarize it properly. But from the overemphasis on Marx by the Communists comes our overemphasis on him, even though the Communists technically had no claim to consider themselves more Marxist than most other Marx-influenced socialist parties.
The other big influence on the SPD, much more influential in its founding though many of his ideas were later discarded, was a rather interesting guy called Ferdinand Lassalle, who started his career as a lawyer in an extremely convoluted celebrity divorce case, participated in the revolutions of 1848, and later founded the ADAV (General German Workers Association) which merged with the SDAP to form the SPD. Then he was killed in a duel.
In part 3 of the Communist Manifesto, there's an attack on certain German socialists who concentrate on attacking liberalism without realizing that they haven't even got that far in Germany yet, thus making themselves tools of the reactionaries. I think this section anticipates Marx's critique of Lassalle, who was controversially willing to work with Bismarck to achieve universal suffrage, and who hated and distrusted liberals more than he did Bismarck.
Here day embraces night, and says: I will die with you and you will be reborn with me. From the heavy embrace of all desolations springs faith.
The real name of devotion is disinterestedness.