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The first great step of importance for every country newly entering into the movement is always the organisation of the workers as an independent political party, no matter how, so long as it is a distinct workers' party. And this step has been taken, far more rapidly than we had a right to hope, and that is the main thing. That the first programme of this party is still confused and highly deficient, that it has set up the banner of Henry George, these are inevitable evils but also only transitory ones. The masses must have time and opportunity to develop and they can only have the opportunity when they have their own movement--no matter in what form so long as it is only their own movement--in which they are driven further by their own mistakes and learn wisdom by hurting themselves. The movement in America is in the same position as it was with us before 1848; the really intelligent people there will first of all have the same part to play as that played by the Communist League among the workers' associations before 1848. Except that in America now things will go infinitely more quickly; for the movement to have attained such election successes after scarcely eight months of existence is absolutely unheard of. And what is still lacking will be set going by the bourgeoisie; nowhere in the whole world do they come out so shamelessly and tyrannically as here, and your judges have got Bismarck's smart practitioners in the German Reich brilliantly driven off the field. Where the bourgeoisie conducts the struggle by methods of this kind, things come rapidly to a decision, and if we in Europe do not hurry up the Americans will soon be ahead of us. But it is just now that it is doubly necessary to have a few people there from our side with a firm seat in their saddles where theory and long-proved tactics are concerned, and who can also write and speak English; for, from good historical reasons, the Americans are worlds behind in all theoretical things, and while they did not bring over any medieval institutions from Europe they did bring over masses of medieval traditions, religion, English common (feudal) law, superstition, spiritualism, in short every kind of imbecility which was not directly harmful to business and which is now very serviceable for making the masses stupid. And if there are people at hand there whose minds are theoretically clear, who can tell them the consequences of their own mistakes beforehand and make it clear to them that every movement which does not keep the destruction of the wage system in view the whole time as its final aim is bound to go astray and fail--then many a piece of nonsense may be avoided and the process considerably shortened. But it must take place in the English way, the specific German character must be cut out and for that the gentlemen of the Sozialist have hardly the qualifications, while those of the Volkszeitung are only more intelligent where business is concerned.

full: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1886/letters/86_11_29.htm

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