Karl Marx Lions PawMarx Quote –I should not be surprised, indeed, to find the Pope setting down the whole insurrection to their account.

“1871 Interview with Karl Marx, the prophet, Pope and head of L’Internationale

Landor:    …what is the International Society?

Dr. Marx:    You have only to look at the individuals of which it is composed — workmen.

Landor:    Yes, but the soldier need be no exponent of the statecraft that sets him in motion. I know some of your members, and I can believe that they are not of the stuff of which conspirators are made. Besides, a secret shared by a million men would be no secret at all. But what if these were only the instruments in the hands of a bold, and, I hope you will forgive me for adding, not overscrupulous conclave?

Dr. Marx:    There is nothing to prove.

Landor:    The last Paris insurrection?

Dr. Marx:    I demand firstly the proof that there was any plot at all — that anything happened that was not the legitimate effect of the circumstances of the moment; or the plot granted, I demand the proofs of the participation in it of the International Association.

Landor:    The presence of the communal body of so many members of the Association.

Dr. Marx:    Then it was a plot of the Freemasons, too, for their share in the work as individuals was by no means a slight one. I should not be surprised, indeed, to find the Pope setting down the whole insurrection to their account. But try another explanation. The insurrection in Paris was made by the workmen of Paris. The ablest of the workmen must necessarily have been its leaders and administration, but the ablest of the workmen happen also to be members of the International Association. Yet, the Association, as such, may be in no way responsible for their action.


The special productivity of labor in any particular sphere, or in any individual business of this sphere, interests only those capitalists who are directly engaged in it, since it enables that particular sphere, or that individual capitalist, to make an extra profit over that of the total capital.

Here, then, we have the mathematically exact demonstration, how it is that the capitalists form a veritable freemason society arrayed against the whole working class, however much they may treat each other as false brothers in the competition among themselves.


When the “fete of the international fraternity of the workers” was held at the Freemasons’ Tavern, on the 5th of August, 1862;

Odger read the address of welcome to the French and German workers. Although it has often been claimed either that Marx wrote or that he at least sketched this address, it is almost certain that he had nothing to do with it, for anything more unlike his views it would be impossible to imagine. It was a very moderate address, far less radical than Odger’s speeches generally were upon such occasions. After a felicitous welcome to the visitors, and some platitudinous moralising which must have seemed rather dull to the Frenchmen, the address continued:

“As long as there are employers and labourers, as there is competition between employers, and disputes concerning wages, union among workingmen will be their only means of safety.

“Concord between us and our employers is the sole means of diminishing the difficulties by which we are surrounded.


  1. “Interview with Karl Marx, head of L’Internationale,” by R. Landor, New York World, July 18, 1871, reprinted Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly, August 12, 1871
  2. The First International, founded in London as the International Working Men’s Association in London on September 28, 1964.
  3. The Commune of Paris (March 18, 1871 – May 28, 1871) was an insurrection by the newly-elected Paris government against the Versailles government, precipitated by France’s defeat in the Franco-German war and the collapse of Napoleon III’s Second Empire (1852-70), and motivated by a fear that the National Assembly, with a royalist majority, would restore the monarchy. It was quickly suppressed with the burning of the Tuileries Palace and City Hall, the killing of some 20,000 insurrectionists and the subsequent arrest of another 38,000, 7,000 of whom were deported.

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