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About the text:

From: On Colonies, Industrial Monopoly and Working Class Movement, Futura, 1972, 57 p., p. 23-24.


Written on 22nd March 1857,
published in “The New York Daily
Tribune” on 10th April 1857.

… How silent is the press of England upon the outrageous violations of the treaty daily practised by foreigners living in China under British protection!

We hear nothing of the illicit opium trade, which yearly feeds the British treasury at the expense of human life and morality. We hear nothing of the constant bribery of sub-officials, by means of which the Chinese Government is defrauded of its rightful revenue on incoming and outgoing merchandise. We hear nothing of the wrongs inflicted “even unto death” upon misguided and bonded emigrants sold to worse than slavery on the coast of Peru and into Cuban bondage. We hear nothing of the bullying spirit often exercised against the timid nature of the Chinese, or of the vice introduced by foreigners at the ports open to their trade. We hear nothing of all this and of much more, first, because the majority of people out of China care little about the social and moral condition of that country; and secondly, because it is the part of policy and prudence not to agitate topics where no pecuniary advantage would result. Thus, the English people at home, who look no farther than the grocer’s where they buy their tea, are prepared to swallow all the misrepresentations which the Ministry and the Press choose to thrust down the public throat.

Meanwhile, in China, the smothered fires of hatred kindled against the English during their opium war have burst into a flame of animosity, which no tenders of peace and friendship will be very likely to quench.


MEOC p. 115.

The complete text can be found online at Marxist Internet Archive, MIA.

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