To Willing Conflators Of The Young Marx And Jeremy Todd (Eighty Ninth Letter)

Dear Comrades,
You must know that everything is forcibly suppressed; a real anarchy of the mind, and the reign of stupidity itself, prevails. It therefore becomes increasingly obvious that a new rallying point must be sought for truly thinking and independent minds.  The internal difficulties seem to be almost greater than the external obstacles.  Not only has a state of general anarchy set in, but everyone will have to admit they have no exact idea what the future ought to be.
Until recent times, philosophers had the solution to all riddles lying in their writing-desks, and the stupid, exoteric world had only to open its mouth for the roast pigeons of absolute knowledge to fly into it.  Philosophy is now entirely recuperated within capitalist relations, rendering it mundane and ineffectual, and the most striking proof of this is that philosophical consciousness itself has been drawn into the torment of the struggle, not only externally but also internally. But, if constructing the future and settling everything for all times are not our affair, it is all the more clear what we have to accomplish at present: I am referring to ruthless criticism of all that exists, ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be.
Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.  As far as real life is concerned, it is precisely the political state – in all its modern forms – which, even where it is not yet consciously imbued with socialist demands, contains the demands of reason. And the political state does not stop there. Everywhere it assumes that reason has been realized. But precisely because of that it everywhere becomes involved in the contradiction between its ideal function and its real prerequisites.
We do not confront the world in a doctrinaire way with a new principle: Here is the truth, kneel down before it!  We develop new principles for the world out of the world’s own principles. We do not say to the world: Cease your struggles, they are foolish; we will give you the true slogan of struggle. We merely show the world what it is really fighting for, and consciousness is something that it has to acquire, even if it does not want to.
The reform of consciousness consists only in making the world aware of its own consciousness, in awakening it out of its dream about itself (this is why I continue with these Not Sent Letters).  It can’t be accomplished through dogmas, but by analyzing the mystical consciousness that is unintelligible to itself.  It is not a question of drawing a great mental dividing line between the past and the future, but of realizing the thoughts of the past.  This is the work of the world and for us.  It is a matter of a confession, and nothing more.