LASSALLE. la's:11'. 'FERDINAND (1S25-114). A celebrated Socialistic agitator, born at Breslau in 1325. His father, a Jewish silk merchant, planned a commercial career for him, and sent him at sixteen to the commercial high school at Leipzig. But Lassalle conceived an antipathy for trade, lett the college after two years. and en tered upon philosophical, philological, and archae ological studies at Breslau and Berlin. llis extraordinary brilliancy Won him many ad mirers at the university. among them Alexan der von Humboldt. At the university he began a philosophical work on Ileraclitus the Obscure, but, becoming, interested in the case of the mis used wife of Count von llatzfeldt, he spent his best energies for eight years in eonducting her suit for separation, and won a brilliant victory.
Die Philosophie 11( I-0;101os des Minkeln ap peared in 1S5S and was received with great favor in Berlin. In 13111 Lassalle published Das tem ill?• (rworin n, n Po:chic, pronounced by 811'i guy to be the ablest legal work written since the sixteenth century.
As early as 1s45 Lassalle had become a radical disciple of Marx. that year he was arrested for his hold denunciations of the reactionary party and after a long trial was condemned to six months' imprisonment. in 1362 he broke With the Progressists ('Fortschrittspartei'), and appeared as the champion of the working classes. He published several pamphlets. the circulation of which was prohibited. Nevertheless, copies of them were widely circulated and created a gen eral interest in Socialism among the working classes. His main theory was that there was no satisfactory prospect for the working classes under the wage system. He proposed to found
•oOperative associations for production. employ ing public credit to secure capital. in 1SG3 he founded lire alloetneine deutsche .4 rbeitercercin. the object of which was to secure to the workers political power. to he employed for the overthrow of the existing, economic order. While the society was still in its infancy. Iassalle was killed in a duel, the result of a love affair. Lasalle must be as the virtual founder of the German Social Democratic Party (q.v.), although the present of the party repudiate his ideas as antiquated.
Lassalle's socialistic writings added practically nothing to the teaching of Alarx, lint his learn ing and eloquence and his fascinating personality gave the labor movement a powerful impulse. :Mod ern Socialism as a political movement owes more to Lassalle than to any other man. The best edition of Lassalle's work. is that of Bernstein. Ferdinand Las.cancg Peden. and Sehriften 1:3 vols., Berlin. 1392-93). which ineludes a biography. A new edition of his Gcsnaihrerke is by Blinn. vols. i.-xiv. Several volumes of Lassalle's letters have been published: to Hans von Billow, (Dresden, 1331 to Karl Rodbertus (Berlin. 1s7S1 : to (neon_ Ilerwegh (Ziirieh. 1S901 : to Karl Alarx and Friedrich Engel (Stuttgart. 191)2). Consult. also: Aaherg. Ferdinand Las male ( Leipzig. 1P,S3) Bernstein, Lassale as a Social Reformer trans. London. 1°,911) ; Kohut. Pert/hum,/ LaRgatie ( Leipzig. I5991. For a brief account of his life and work, consult Ely, roma, and German socialism (New York, I