Socrates was not the first nor the only one in Greece who had taught “new gods.” That he in particular was called on to drink the hemlock was due to reasons of State policy, which had but a very slight and unessential relation to the acts of sacrilege of which he was accused. It may be added that this Greek promulgator of new gods is among the German peoples fairly matched by John Huss and thousands of other victims of religious persecution.
Lassalle’s mistake lies in this, that he seeks the motor force of development in the “spirit” of the nations, instead of looking for an explanation of their spiritual life in the peculiar circumstances which condition their development. But, in spite of this, it must be said that his conclusions as bearing upon the modern situation are for the most part substantially sound.—TRANSLATOR.]
[Footnote 50: According to this doctrine, the motions of the “Monads”—animistically conceived units of which the entire universe, organic or inorganic, was held to be constituted—were (by the fiat of God at the creation of the world) bound in a preordained sequence, in such a manner that all these motions constitute a comprehensive, harmonious series. Wherefore, all events whatever that may take place, take place as the necessary outcome of the constitution of these monads moving independently of one another.—TRANSLATOR.]
[Footnote 51: Permission to teach.]
[Footnote 52: I have fought not without glory.]
[Footnote 53: Don’t disturb my circles.]
[Footnote 54: A new and unheard-of-crime.]
[Footnote 55: In case it becomes necessary.]
[Footnote 56: Confusion of one thing with another.]
[Footnote 57: Honor to whom honor belongs!]
[Footnote 58: Hear also the other side.]
[Footnote 59: That is, for high treason.]
[Footnote 60: Calumniate boldly, some of it will always stick.]
* * * * *
OPEN LETTER TO THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE (1863)
FOR THE SUMMONING OF A GENERAL GERMAN WORKINGMEN’S CONGRESS AT LEIPZIG
BY FERDINAND LASSALLE
TRANSLATED BY E.H. BABBITT, A.B.
Assistant Professor of German, Tufts College
Gentlemen:—You have asked me in your letter to express my opinion, in any way that seems suitable to me, on the workingmen’s movement and the means which it should use to attain an improvement of the condition of the working class in political, material, and intellectual matters—especially on the value of associations for the class of people who have no property.
I have no hesitation in following your wishes, and I choose the form which is simplest and most suitable to the nature of the matter—the form of a public letter of reply to your communication.