“The most immediate source of Engels’ initial diagnosis of the condition of England was Moses Hess. It was Hess, at the time the foreign editor of the ‘Rheinische Zeitung’ in Cologne, who had encountered Engels on his way to England and claimed to have converted him to “communism”. Hess’s vision of “communism”, to which at that time Engels certainly subscribed, was outlined in his book ‘The European Triarchy’. He argued that the emancipation of mankind would be the task of three nations. Germany, the land of the Reformation, was to realise spiritual freedom. France, the country of the great revolution of 1789, was to attain political freedom. England was now on the verge of social revolution as a result of the mounting contradiction between “pauperism” and “the money aristocracy”. Its task was to realise social equality. Its revolution would be “social” because, as Hess stated in the ‘Rheinische Zeitung’ in the summer of 1842, industry had passed from the hands of the people to the machines of the capitalists. Commerce had become concentrated in the hands of “capitalists and adventures (i.e. swindlers)”. Through primogeniture, the land had fallen into the hands of “a few great families”. Writing at the time of the Lancashire plug-plot riots, Hess thought he could now detect the final onset of “the approaching catastrophe.” Engels, arriving a few months later, believed the same. It is noticeable that during the first fourteen months of his residence in England, Engels made no reference to an “industrial revolution”. Talk of competition, “the money aristocracy”, and the displacement of small capitalists by large was the common currency of radicals and socialists during the period. It did not entail a conception of industrialisation. Even in an essay written for the Paris-based ‘Deutsch-französische Jahrbücher’ on Thomas Carlyle, no reference was made to an “industrial revolution”. Carlyle thought the crisis in “the condition of England” was primarily the result of the loss of religious faith and the displacement of former feudal dependencies by the “cash nexus” (Frederick Engels, “The condition of England. ‘Past and Present’ by Thomas Carlyle, London 1843′ in MECW, vol. 3, 444-69). Similarly, the first essay of the same journal to ascribe a revolutionary role to “the proletariat”, put forward its argument in terms made familiar by the preceding pauperism debate in Germany. Karl Marx, the author of the essay, defined “the proletariat” as “a class of civil society, which is not a class of civil society, an estate which is the dissolution of all estates”. Although this proletariat was coming into being “as a result of rising industrial development”, it was also claimed to be the result of “the drastic dissolution of society”. What Marx at that point was describing was a social group outcast by the disintegration of estate society. Engels’ first use of the term “industrial revolution” occurred around February-March 1844 in an essay entitled “The Condition of England. 1. The Eighteenth Century”. In this account, Engels wrote of “the invention of the steam engine and of machinery for working cotton” that “gave rise, as is well known, to an industrial revolution”. But he also argued that “the historical importance” of this revolution was “only now beginning to be recognised”. Furthermore, the only sources mentioned – the 1844 edition of J.R. McCulloch’s ‘Dictionary of Commerce’ and G.R. Porter’s ‘Progress of the Nation (1836-43) – made no reference to such a revolution. Engels’ depiction of “the industrial revolution” was straightforwardly factual. It is therefore most likely that he read the account in Blanqui’s ‘Histoire de l’économie politique en Europe.” [Gareth Stedman Jones, Engels and the Industrial Revolution] [(in) The New Hegelians. Politics and Philosophy in the Hegelian School, 2006, a cura di Douglas Moggach]