“That is why we find in Marx, side by side with comparisons with natural history whose purpose was doubtless to draw attention to the novelty of this theory, clear indications that he meant social and historical laws to be understood as ‘laws having the characters of tendencies’. “Under capitalist production, the general law act as the prevailing tendency only in a very complicated and approximate manner, as a never ascertainable average of ceaseless fluctuations” (‘Capital’ III, p. 159). A passage from a letter to Dr Ludwig Kugelmann of 17 April 1871 shows how little inclined Marx was to compare historical development with Hegel’s ‘sun in its course’: “World history would indeed be very easy to make, if the struggle were taken up only on condition of infallibly favourable chances. It would, on the other hand, be of a very mystical nature, if ‘accidents’ played no part. These accidents themselves fall naturally into the general course of development and are compensated again by other accidents. But acceleration and delay are very dependent upon such ‘accidents’, which include the ‘accident’ of the character of those who at first stand at the head of the movement” (‘Letters to Dr Kugelmann, p. 125). Even laws of nature are only an expression of maximum probability. The laws of social movement have the character of tendencies” [Ernst Fischer, in collaborazione con Franz Marek, Marx in his own words, 1973]