The minority puts a dogmatic view in place of the critical, and an idealist one in place of the materialist.
They regard mere discontent, instead of real conditions, as the driving wheel of revolution. Whereas we tell the
workers: You have to go through 15, 20, 50 years of civil wars and national struggles, not only in order to
change conditions but also to change yourselves and make yourselves capable of political rule; you, on the
contrary, say: “We must come to power immediately, or else we may as well go to sleep.” Whilst we
make a special point of directing the German workers’ attention to the underdeveloped state of the German
proletariat, you flatter the national feeling and the status-prejudice of the German artisans in the crudest
possible way—which, admittedly is more popular. Just as the word “people” has been made holy by the
democrats, so the word “proletariat” has been made holy by you.
Karl Marx — on the 1850 split in the German Communist League