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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/210

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principles of the German State; it consists finally in the formation of a sphere that can emancipate itself only by emancipating at the same time all the other spheres of society; a sphere that embodies the total degradation of Man and that can, in consequence, realise itself again only by the complete restoration of Man."

I am of course aware that Marx is speaking here of Germany and of the special conditions of her enfranchisement. I know that he recognised in the social classes in France a higher historic idealism; that according to him they have the habit of regarding themselves as the guardians of the general good, so that for entire emancipation to be effected in France, it would be enough that this idealist action should pass from the bourgeoisie, whose humanitarian mission is limited and counteracted by the cares of property, to the French proletariat, in whom the humanitarian mission can develop to its full and universal significance without any obstacle.

Yes, he is dealing with Germany and the German proletariat. But who does not realise that, in spite of ethnic and historical differences, the German proletariat is, in Marx's mind, the representative and, because of the completeness of its destitution, the typical proletariat?

It is by a Hegelian transposition of Christianity that Marx pictures the movement of modern emancipation. Just as the Christian God humbled himself to the lowest depth of suffering hu-