“Bernard Moss claims that ‘Engels’ work is marked by a dichotomy between an overarching historical determinism and instances of political voluntarism’ (1). This is a much better way of putting it than the common but implausible attempt to juxtapose Engels’ alleged determinism to Marx’s ‘humanism’ (2). But in fact Engels did not see determinism and voluntarism as a dichotomy. Rather, he recognised that history was made by social forces that transcended individuals; unlike Blanqui, he did not believe that a small group could impose its will on history. But at certain historical turning points, Engels realised that individual intervention could up the balance and decide between two possible futures. Hence the importance attributed to the symbolic figure of Kersausie. As Lenin wrote in December 1906, when the revolutionary wave of 1905 was ebbing: ‘The Marxists it the ‘last’ to leave the path of directly revolutionary struggle, he leaves it only when all possibilities have been exhausted, when there is not a ‘shadow’ of hope for a shorter way…’ (3). In the same spirit, Engels clung to the hope of victory in 1848 until all possibility of success had passed. It is easy to criticise his voluntarism in retrospect, but the problem of when to give priority to activism and when to analysis has always been a difficult one” [Ian Birchall, The Enigma of Kersausie: Engels in June 1848 (Marxists and Military Thinking), RH, 2002 vol 8 n° 2] [(1) B.H. Moss, ‘Marx and Engels on French Social Democracy: Historians or Revolutionaries?’ Journal of the History of Ideas, Volume 46, n° 4, October-December 1985, pp. 539-57; (2) For a critique of this position see J. Rees, ‘Engels’ Marxism’, International Socialism, n° 64, 1994, pp. 47-82; (3) V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, Volume 11, Moscow, 1960, p. 351] [V.I. Lenin – Materiali Bibliografici] [LBM*]