INDHOLD

Letter from Marx to Kugelmann, London, 6th April 1868

[Marx and Engels: On Colonies, Industrial Monopoly and Working Class Movement, Futura, 1972, 57 p., p. 30]

(Extract)

The Irish question predominates here just now. It has been exploited by Gladstone and company, of course, only in order to get into office again, and, above all, to have an electoral cry at the next elections, which will be based on household suffrage. For the moment this turn of affairs is bad for the workers' party; the intriguers among the workers, such as Odger and Potter, who want to get into the next Parliament, have now a new excuse for attaching themselves to the bourgeois Liberals.

However, this is only a penalty which England – and consequently also the English working class – is paying for the great crime it has been committing for many centuries against Ireland. And in the long run it will benefit the English working class itself. You see, the English Established Church in Ireland – or what they call here the Irish Church – is the religious bulwark of English landlordism in Ireland, and at the same time the outpost of the Established Church in England itself. (I am speaking here of the Established Church as a landowner.) The overthrow of the Established Church in Ireland will mean its downfall in England and the two will be followed by the doom of landlordism – first in Ireland and then in England. I have, however, been convinced from the first that the social revolution must begin seriously from the bottom, that is, from landownership.

Apart from that, the whole thing will have the very useful result that, once the Irish Church is dead, the Protestant Irish tenants in the province of Ulster will make common cause with the Catholic tenants in the three other provinces of Ireland, whereas up to the present landlordism has been able to exploit this religious antagonism.

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MESC p. 203.
MEOC p. 328.
MEOB p. 544.

The complete text can be found online in Marxist Internet Archive, MIA:
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1868/letters/68_04_06.htm