I only hazard the guess that his error in the Affaire Dreyfus had upset his judgment on all the events that resulted from it. Almost alone among the German Social Democrats, he was mistaken about the very essence of the affair, and misunderstood its political and social meaning. From the moment he had entered upon a certain line of thought he persevered in it with an inflexibility which was aggravated by his very isolation. The more he found himself alone, the more he persisted in the conviction that he was right. It was the inevitable other side to his sovereign qualities of firmness, of energy, and self-confidence. Naturally, then, he suspected or disapproved of everything that was historically associated with an agitation he had opposed. Since the application of the method he had approved in 1881 was made in France under circumstances that irritated him, he did not even recognise the embodiment of his own thought in the progress of events.
Does the fact that he did not publish this work give any one the right to say that it has no value? Involved in the whirlpool of activity, overwhelmed by the business of every day, he had not finished it. But he neither destroyed nor disavowed it. Perhaps he had decided that it would be imprudent to surrender his secret thought to the enemy, to tell him the tactics he had planned for the future. Perhaps, too, he was somewhat disconcerted by the events that followed the fall