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In 1973 the bourgeoisie recognise that capitalist relations are no natural law; that they have to be defended and accounted for to the working class, because that working class is politically conscious. By 1890 we see that the bourgeoisie no longer had any natural law which ordered society. This disappearance of capitalism's natural laws underlies the disintegration of the Liberal Party. The ideology of the Liberal Party stemmed from these natural laws; individualism, Free Trade and antipathy to social control of any kind was no longer tenable and in its place remained nothing progressive except socialism. [3]

[3] We have of course seen the restoration of liberal natural law economics in more recent years. And liberalism restored as the only possible political ideology, common to all three major political parties. 

Engels wrote to Laura Lafargue [4] in l886: 

"The bourgeoisie, from the moment it is faced by a conscious and organised proletariat, becomes entangled in hopeless contradictions between its liberal and general tendencies here, and the repressive necessities of its defensive struggle against the proletariat there. A cowardly bourgeoisie, like the German and Russian, sacrifices its general class tendencies to the momentary advantages of brutal repression. But a bourgeoisie with a revolutionary history of its own, such as the English and particularly the French, cannot do that so easily. Hence that struggle within the bourgeoisie itself, which in spite of occasional fits of violence and oppression, on the whole drives it forward - see the various electoral reforms of Gladstone in England, and the advance of radicalism in France. This verdict (an acquittal in France) is a new étape (stage). And so the bourgeoisie, in doing its own work, is doing ours." (Selected Correspondence, pp.394-5)

[4] Laura Lafargue (1845-1911), Karl Marx’s second daughter, wife of Paul Lafargue. 

Some members of the Liberal Party adopted socialism as the new natural law; there were many defections from the Parliamentary Party on down to the Labour Party. By 1922 the Labour vote exceeded the Liberals' and the Liberals were never again to retake the lost votes.

The progressives who left the Liberals had been unable to convert the party to the necessary changes and the Liberal Party's demise marked the demise of the bourgeoisie as a conscious political power capable of forcing political changes which were exclusively in their own interest (e.g. Free Trade). The working class, on whose support the Liberal Party had had to depend to force changes in the direction of capitalism's natural laws, had recognised that their class interests were different from those of the bourgeoisie and consequently organised independently.