Marx & Friends in their own words

Giving you all the quotations that Marxists hope you never hear about


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Sunday, February 03, 2008

From my own readings of Marx, what stood out was how he despised just about everybody. So I thought the small excerpt below from David Hulme about Marx was to the point:

A violent man will beget violent ideas. As noted earlier, Bruno Bauer had taught that a world catastrophe was in the making. From an early age Marx was possessed of the idea that Doomsday was around the corner. Johnson notes that Marx's poetry includes expressions of "savagery . . . intense pessimism about the human condition, hatred, a fascination with corruption and violence, suicide pacts and pacts with the devil." A poem about Marx, variously attributed to Engels and to Bauer's brother Edgar, describes him as "A dark fellow from Trier, a vigorous monster, / . . . / With angry fist clenched, he rants ceaselessly, / As though ten thousand devils held him by the hair."

In Marx's personal life, violence was never far from the surface. He was verbally abusive, and arguments were common within his family. According to an Encyclopedia Britannica account on Marx, his father even expressed fears that Jenny von Westphalen was "destined to become a sacrifice to the demon that possessed his son." Jenny commented early about the rancor and irritation she often experienced in dealing with her fiance.

Summarizing Marx's animosities, the late British historian Sir Arthur Bryant wrote: "Among his innumerable hates were the Christian religion, his parents, his wife's uncle—'the hound'—his German kinsfolk, his own race—'Ramsgate is full of fleas and Jews', the Prussian reactionaries, the Liberal and utopian Socialist allies, the labouring population—'Lumpenproletariat' or 'riff-raff'—democracy—'parliamentary cretinism'—and the British royal family—'the English mooncalf and her princely urchins,' as he called them. His self-imposed task he defined as 'the ruthless criticism of everything that exists.'"


Marx did of course have a nasty skin disease (hidradenitis suppurativa) which would probably have made most people pretty grumpy.

And Karl's father, Heinrich, was a real gentleman. You can read his letter to Karl about Jenny von Westfalen here