Krueger, Anne O. Mohr [Paul Siebeck] Mill, John St. Williams Ed. Peacock, H. North, Douglass C. Oliver, Henry M. Peacock, Alan, Hans Willgerodt Eds. Popper, Karl R. Rupp, Hans H. Schumpeter, Joseph A.
Streit, Manfred E. Pethig, U. Schlieper Eds. Springer , pp. Tuchtfeldt Eds. Mohr [Paul Siebeck] , pp. Boettke Ed.
Reden und Schriften (German Edition)
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This Bismarck-Lassalle correspondence was not made public until and was therefore not mentioned by earlier biographers. In September , Bismarck was pressed by Social Democratic representative August Bebel in the Reichstag to provide details about his past relationship with Lassalle, prompting the Chancellor to make the following statement:. I saw him, and since my first conversation I have never regretted doing so. There was never the possibility of our talks taking the form of political negotiations.
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What could Lassalle have offered me? He had nothing behind him. He was one of the most intelligent and likable men I had ever come across. He was very ambitious and by no means a republican.
He was very much a nationalist and a monarchist. His ideal was the German Empire , and here was our point of contact.
As I have said he was ambitious, on a large scale, and there is perhaps room for doubt as to whether, in his eyes, the German Empire ultimately entailed the Hohenzollern or the Lassalle dynasty. In , Lassalle made several secret appeals to Bismarck, later the main proponent of the Anti-Socialist Laws , in favor of the immediate implementation of progressive policies such as universal suffrage. He also asked for the protection of his own publications from police seizure. Lassalle was remembered by biographers as a contradictory personality, earnestly committed to the benefit of the masses, but driven by personal ambition and possessing extreme vanity.
Indeed, one early biographer declared:. His vanity was of the kind that neither hurts nor offends. Vanity seemed natural to him as it is to the peacock, and if he had been less vain he would have been less interesting. Even in his manhood, when at the head of a popular agitation, he was excessively fond of dressing well. He appeared both on the platform and in the Court of Law attired like a fop.
He was in the habit, too, of comparing himself with great men.
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Heine told him that he had good reason to be proud of his attainments, and Lassalle took Heine at his word. She was the daughter of an historian then living in Geneva , who wanted nothing to do with Lassalle. The father prevented Helene from seeing him and Lassalle protested vehemently.
At the Carouge , a suburb of Geneva , a duel was held on the morning of 28 August. At the time of his death, Lassalle's political party had 4, members and no detailed political program. Owing to his premature death by a duel at age 39, just two years after his serious entry into German radical politics, Lassalle's actual contributions to socialist theory are modest. He was remembered by Richard T. Ely , one of the earliest serious scholars of international socialism, as a popularizer of the ideas of others rather than an innovator:.
Lassalle's writings did not advance materially the theory of social democracy. He drew from Rodbertus and Marx in his economic writings, but he clothed their thoughts in such manner as to enable ordinary laborers to understand them, and this they never could have done without his help. Lassalle gave to Ricardo 's law of wages the designation the iron law of wages , and expounded to the laborers its full significance. Laborers were told that this law could be overthrown only by the abolition of the wages system. How Lassalle really thought this was to be accomplished is not so evident.
In contrast with Marx and his adherents, Lassalle rejected the idea that the state was a class-based power structure with the function of preserving existing class relations and destined to wither away in a future classless society. Instead, Lassalle considered the state as an independent entity, an instrument of justice essential for the achievement of the socialist program.
Lassalle accepted the idea first posited by the classical economist David Ricardo that wage rates in the long term tended towards the minimum level necessary to sustain the life of the worker and to provide for his reproduction. In accord with the law of rent , Lasalle coined his own iron law of wages.
Lassalle argued that individual measures of self-help by wage workers were destined to failure and that only producers' cooperatives established with the financial aid of the state would make economic improvement of the workers' lives possible.