Marx & Friends in their own words

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


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Thursday, March 31, 2005

"The plentiful meat and milk diet among the Aryans and the Semites, and particularly the beneficial effects of these foods on the development of children, may, perhaps, explain the superior development of these two races."

No Marxist has dared to put this online yet so I cannot provide a link for context. The quotation is from Engels, "Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State", Fourth revised edition, 1891, in Marx & Engels, Selected Works In One Volume, Lawrence & Wishart: London, 1980, p 464.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Engels. "Notes to Anti-Duehring": "On the other hand, modern natural science has extended the principle of the origin of all thought content from experience in a way that breaks down its old metaphysical limitation and formulation. By recognising the inheritance of acquired characters, it extends the subject of experience from the individual to the genus; the single individual that must have experienced is no longer necessary, its individual experience can be replaced to a certain extent by the results of the experiences of a number of its ancestors. If, for instance, among us the mathematical axioms seem self-evident to every eight-year-old child, and in no need of proof from experience, this is solely the result of "accumulated inheritance." It would be difficult to teach them by a proof to a bushman or Australian negro".

Context here

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Well, the hiatus did not last long! I have just dug up out of my files another set of famous Marx words that I will gradually put online. The first is below. I will not this time bother with digging up the original German.

Capital, vol. 3, chapter 47: "The possibility is here presented for definite economic development taking place, depending, of course, upon favourable circumstances, inborn racial characteristics, etc."

Context here

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I have now come to the end of the Marx & Engels quotations that I intended to feature. So any further posts on this blog will be dependant on readers sending me any favourite quotations of theirs that I might have missed.

The one thing that does to my mind stand out in the quotations below is the utter hatred and contempt Marx had for just about everybody. Like the Greenies of today, Marx despised people generally (see my post of 7th March), he despised poor people (24th Feb.), he was utterly contemptuous of the Russians (2nd Feb) and he even showed contempt for his fellow Germans (post of 15th March). And he was of course both a social Darwinist and a racist (16th and 21st Feb). He even had contempt for his mother (31st Jan.) and his antisemitic utterances are too numerous to mention. He also advocated race-war (30th Jan,). I could go on ....

Engels is similarly hate-filled but the gloom is in his case slightly relieved by his passionate German nationalism (e.g. post of 12th Feb.). Like Hitler, the one love Engels seemed to have was a love for his German nation.

I believe that it is this constant undercurrent of hatred and anger in the works of Marx that accounts for his appeal to Leftists generally. Whatever they think of his theories or what he says in detail is secondary. The main attraction is that they recognize a kindred spirit bubbling up with hatred and anger when they come across one.

And this lack of the milk of human kindness was conspicuous in Lenin too. Take this quotation from a speech that Lenin gave in the earliest days of Bolshevik power:

"The Congress therefore declares that it recognises the primary and fundamental task of our Party, of the entire vanguard of the class-conscious proletariat and of Soviet power, to be the adoption of the most energetic, ruthlessly determined and Draconian measures to improve the self-discipline and discipline of the workers and peasants of Russia, to explain the inevitability of Russia’s historic advance towards a socialist, patriotic war of liberation, to create everywhere soundly co-ordinated mass organisations held together by a single iron will".

No pussy-footing there: "Draconian measures" to discipline the workers and the need to bend them to "a single iron will". It is well in line with Hegel's vision of an antlike future for humanity but pitiless power is its its theme and respect for the individual is not even thought of. Compare it with Mussolini's definition of the Fascist ideal: "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato" (Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State) or Hitler's famous slogan: "Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Fuehrer" (One State, One People, One Leader). There's not a dime's worth of difference.

And this quote is very obviously another part of the same tradition: "If we are to go forward we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because, without such discipline, no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good".

So who said that? It's mainstream Fascism/Marxism, isn't it? Totally submerging the individual into an army that works only for the common good rather than individual good. It is an excerpt from the First Inaugural Address of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Some things never change.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Engels, The Armies of Europe: "But up to the present time, the Russians of all classes are too fundamentally barbarous to find any enjoyment in scientific or intellectual pursuits of any kind (except intrigues), and, therefore, almost all their distinguished men in the military service are either foreigners, or, what nearly amounts to the same, “ostzeïski,” Germans from the Baltic provinces. So was the last and most distinguished specimen of this class, General Todtleben, the chief engineer at Sebastopol, who died in July from the effects of a wound. He was certainly the cleverest man at his trade in the whole siege, either in the Russian or the Allied camp; but he was a Baltic German, of Prussian extraction.

Context here

Some of the German

Engels, „Die Armeen Europas“, Putnam’s Monthly, No. XXXIII, September 1855

"Aber bis zum heutigen Tage sind die Russen aller Klassen viel zu barbarisch, um an wissenschaftlicher oder geistiger Tätigkeit irgendwelcher Art (ausser Intrigen) Gefallen zu finden (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 11, 452.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Engels, “Germany and Pan-Slavism”, 1855: "The Slavic race, long divided by inner struggles, pushed back to the east by the Germans, subjugated in part by Germans, Turks and Hungarians, silently re-uniting its branches after 1815 by the gradual growth of Pan-Slavism, it now makes sure of its unity for the first time, and with that declares war to-the-death on the Roman-Celtic and German races, who have ruled Europe until now."

Listed, but with no translation here

The German

Engels, "Deutschland und der Panslawismus", 1855

"Die slawische Race, lang geteilt durch innere Zwiste, nach dem Osten zurückgetrieben durch die Deutschen, unterjocht, zum Teil von Deutschen, Türken und Ungarn, still ihre Zweige wiedervereinend, nach 1815, durch das allmähliche Wachstum des Panslawismus, sie versichert nun zum ersten Mal ihre Einheit und erklärt damit Krieg auf den Tod den römisch-keltischen und deutschen Racen, die bisher in Europa geherrscht haben."

MEW a.a.O. 11, 198,f.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

(In a letter to his uncle)

Marx to Lion Philips, November 29, 1864: "At a public meeting this week the fellow-member of our race Benjamin Disraeli has again made a dreadful laughing-stock of himself by assuming the mantle of guardian angel of the High Church and Church rates, repudiating criticism in religious affairs. He furnishes the best evidence of how a great talent unaccompanied by conviction creates rogues, albeit gold-braided and 'Right Honorable' ones."

Context here

The German

Marx an Lion Philips, 29. November 1864

„unser Stammesgenosse Benjamin Disraeli hat sich in dieser Woche wieder sehr blamiert, indem er als warnender Schutzengel der high church, der church rates und als Abwehrer gegen Kritik in religiösen Dingen sich auf einem öffentlichen Meeting breitmachte. Er ist der beste Beweis, wie großes Talent ohne Überzeugung Lumpen schafft (…)“

MEW, a.a.O. 31, 432.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Marx to Engels, 12. September 1863: “Our fatherland looks damned pitiful. Without a thrashing from outside nothing can be achieved with these sons-of-bitches.”

From the letter about Lapinski

The German

Marx an Engels, 12. September 1863

„Unser Vaterland sieht gottsjämmerlich aus. Ohne Keile von außen ist mit diesen Hunden nichts anzufangen.“

MEW a.a.O. 30, 370.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What he says below is actually pretty good compared to what he says about other nationalities

Marx to J.P. Becker, 26 Feb., 1862: "You should know that the Germans, young and old, are merely self-important, solid men of a practical bent, who consider people like you and me immature fools who still have not been cured of their revolutionary delusions. And the domestic riff-raff is as bad as the foreign kind. (…) Add to that their spent souls - a good thrashing is the only way to resurrect the German Joe (…)"

Listed, but with no translation here

The German

Marx an Johann Philipp Becker, 26. Februar 1862

„Sie müssen wissen, daß die Deutschen, jung und alt, lauter überkluge, gediegene, praktisch einsichtige Männer sind, die Leute wie Sie und mich für unreife Narren halten, die immer noch nicht von der Revolutionsphantasterei geheilt sind. Und so schlimm wie im Ausland ist das inländische Gesindel. (...)
Dazu diese Seelenmattigkeit -- Prügel ist das einzige Resurrektionsmittel für den deutschen Michel (...)

MEW a.a.O. 30, 619

Monday, March 14, 2005

Engels to Marx, October 29, 1857: "The American crash is wonderful and not over by a long shot. We still have to see the collapse of the majority of the import firms, so far just a few seem to have crashed. The effect on England seems also to have started in the Liverpool Borough-Bank. Tant mieux (so much the better)"

Context here

The German

Engels an Marx, 29. Oktober 1857

„Der American crash ist herrlich und noch lange nicht vorbei. Den Sturz der Masse der Importhäuser haben wir noch zu erwarten, bis jetzt scheinen nur einzelne gefallen zu sein. Die Rückwirkung auf England scheint auch in der Liverpooler Borough-Bank eröffnet. Tant mieux.

MEW a.a. O. 29, 204.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Marx, Engels, “The Boring War”, 1854: “Even with Europe in decay, still a war should have roused the healthy elements; a war should have awakened a lot of hidden powers, and surely so much energy would have been present among 250 million people that at least a respectable battle would have occurred, in which both parties could have reaped some honor, as much honor as courage and bravery can gain on the battlefield.”

Source (In German only). This was originally published in English but the original seems to be unavailable. The quote above is translated from the German.

The German

Marx, Engels, „Der langweilige Krieg“, 1854

„Mag Europa verfault sein, ein Krieg hätte jedoch die gesunden Elemente aufrütteln müssen; ein Krieg hätte manche verborgenen Kräfte wecken müssen, und sicherlich wären unter 250 Millionen Menschen soviel Energie vorhanden gewesen, daß wenigstens ein ordentlicher Kampf zustande gekommen wäre, in dem beide Parteien etwas Ehre geerntet hätten, soviel wie Mut und Tapferkeit eben auf dem Schlachtfeld zu erringen vermögen.“

MEW a.a.O. 10, 379

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Heinrich Marx to son Karl, 10 February 1838: "(...) ,and I do not deny that at times I reproach myself with having left you all too loose a rein in this respect. Thus we are now in the fourth month of the law year and you have already drawn 280 Thalers. I have not yet earned that much this winter.... I am exhausted, dear Karl, and must close."

Context here

The German

Heinrich Marx an Sohn Karl, 10. Feb. 1838

"(...) ich leugne nicht, daß ich mir zuweilen Vorwürfe mache, allzu schwach Dir den Zügel gelassen zu haben. So sind wir jetzt im vierten Monat des Justizjahres, und schon hast Du 280 Taler gezogen. So viel hab' ich diesen Winter noch nicht verdient (...) Ich bin erschöpft, lieber Karl, und muß schließen."

MEGA a.a.O. 1. Abt. Bd. 1f 2. Halbbd. S. 228 f.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Heinrich Marx to son Karl, 9 December 1837: "As if we were men of wealth, in one year my lord son disposes of almost 700 Taler against all agreements, against all customs, while the wealthiest people don’t even spend 500 (…)”

Context here

The German

Heinrich Marx an Sohn Karl, 9. Dez. 1837

„(…) Als wären wir Goldmännchen, verfügt der Herr Sohn in einem Jahre für beinahe 700 Taler gegen alle Abrede, gegen alle Gebräuche, während die Reichsten keine 500 ausgeben (…)“

MEW a.a.O. Ergbd. 1, S. 635 ff

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Heinrich Marx to son Karl, 19 March 1836: "As regards your letter containing the accounts, I already told you at the time that I could not make head or tail of them. This much I did see, that you need money, and therefore I sent you 50 talers. With what you took with you, that makes 160 talers. You have been away five months in all, and now you do not even say what you need."

Context here

The German

Heinrich Marx an Sohn Karl, 19. März 1836

"Was Dein Brief mit der Rechnung betrifft, so sagte ich Dir schon damals, daß ich nicht drauskommen konnte. Soviel sah ich, daß Du Geld brauchst, und deswegen habe ich Dir 50 Taler geschickt. Das macht mit dem, was Du mitgenommen, immerhin 160 Taler. Du bist im Ganzen fünf Monate weg, und jetzt sagst Du nicht einmal, was Du brauchst."

MEGA a.a.O. 1. Abt. Bd 1f 2. Halbbd. S.190 f.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Certainly no Christian influence there

Engels to August Bebel, 25 August 1881: “Don’t forget any affront done to you and to all our people, the time of revenge will come and must be put to good use.”

The German

Engels an August Bebel, 25 August 1881

"Vergeßt nur keine Euch und allen unsern Leuten getane Niedertracht, die Zeit der Rache kommt und muß redlich ausgenutzt werden."

MEW a.a.O. 35, 222

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Engels to Eduard Bernstein, 12 March 1881: “The paper must carry this fresh air to Germany, and the best way to do that is to treat the opponent with contempt and ridicule.”

Context here

The German

Engels an Eduard Bernstein, 12. März 1881

"Diese freie Luft muß das Blatt nach Deutschland hineintragen, und dazu dient vor allem, daß der Gegner mit Verachtung behandelt, verhöhnt wird."

MEW a.a.O. 35, 171.,

Monday, March 07, 2005

“When this morning we inquired at the Hotel de l’Europe, fortunately it so happened that 60 Frenchmen were preparing to leave, while on the other hand the steam ships loaded with fresh human debris had not arrived yet.”

Abstract only here

The German:

Marx an Engels, 14. August 1879

"Als wir heut morgen im Hôtel de l'Europe anfrugen, traf es sich glücklich so, daß grade 60 Franzosen sich auf die Abreise vorbereiteten, während andrerseits die mit frischem Menschenkehricht belasteten steamers noch nicht eingetroffen."

MEW a.a.O. 34, 89.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Interview with Karl Marx, Chicago Tribune, January 5 1879: "Well, then, to carry out the principles of socialism do its believers advocate assassination and bloodshed?" "No great movement," Karl answered, "has ever been inaugurated Without Bloodshed."

Context here

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Marx to Friedrich Adolph Sorge, October 19, 1877: "The compromise with the followers of Lassalle has also led to compromises with other half-baked elements, (…) but also with a whole gang of immature students and overly wise PhDs who want to give a “higher, ideal” twist to socialism, i.e. to replace its materialistic foundation through modern mythology with their goddesses of Justice, Liberty, Equality and fraternité [brotherhood] .... The workers themselves, when they give up working and become professional literati like Mr. Most and his ilk, always incite “theoretical” trouble and are always ready to attach themselves to muddleheads from the alleged "learned" caste."

Context here

The German

Marx an Adolph Sorge, 19. Oktober 1877

"Der Kompromiß mit den Lassallianern hat zu Kompromiß auch mit andren Halbheiten geführt,
(...) außerdem aber mit einer ganzen Bande halbreifer Studiosen und überweiser Doctores, die dem Sozialismus eine 'höhere, ideale' Wendung geben wollen, d.h. die materialistische Basis (...) zu ersetzen durch moderne Mythologie mit ihren Göttinnen der Gerechtigkeit, Freiheit, Gleichheit und fraternité (...)
Die Arbeiter selbst, wenn sie wie Herr Most et Cons. das Arbeiten aufgeben und Literaten von Profession werden, stiften stets 'theoretisch' Unheil an (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 34, 302 f.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Such an idealist!

Marx to Engels, 1 August 1877: "For when the little chap (Wedde) was in London for the first time I used the expression "modern mythology" to describe the goddesses of "Justice, Freedom, Equality, etc." who were now all the rage again; this made a deep impression on him, as he has himself done much in the service of these higher beings."

Context here

The German

Marx an Engels, 1. August 1877

"Als nämlich das Kerlchen (Wedde) das erstemal in London war, bediente ich mich des Ausdrucks 'moderne Mythologie' zur Bezeichnung der wieder grassierenden Göttinnen der 'Gerechtigkeit, Freiheit, Gleichheit etc.' was tiefen Eindruck auf ihn gemacht hat, da er selbst viel im Dienst dieser höheren Wesen gemacht."

MEW a.a.O. 34, 66.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Marx: "Margin notes to the Program of the German Labor Party", 1875: “Between the capitalist and the communist society is the era of the revolutionary transformation of one into the other. This corresponds to a political transitional era, in which the State cannot be anything except the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.

Now the Program has nothing to do with the latter, nor with the nature of the future State in communist society. Its political demands contain nothing besides the generally known democratic litany: universal voting rights, direct legislation, popular justice, a people’s militia etc. ....

But the entire Program, in spite of all its democratic bells and whistles, is completely infested by the Lassalle sect’s abject belief in the State or, even worse, by democratic faith in miracles. (…)"

Context here

The German

Marx, „Randglossen zum Programm der deutschen Arbeiterpartei“, 1875: "Zwischen der kapitalistischen und der kommunistischen Gesellschaft liegt die Periode der revolutionären Umwandlung der einen in die andre. Der entspricht auch eine politische Übergangsperiode, deren Staat nichts andres sein kann als die revolutionäre Diktatur des Proletariats.

Das Programm nun hat es weder mit letzterer zu tun, noch mit dem zukünftigen Staatswesen der kommunistischen Gesellschaft. Seine politischen Forderungen enthalten nichts außer der Welt bekannten demokratischen Litanei: allgemeines Wahlrecht, direkte Gesetzgebung, Volksrecht, Volkswehr etc. (...)

Doch das ganze Programm, trotz alles demokratischen Geklingels, ist durch und durch vom Untertanenglauben der Lassalleschen Sekte an den Staat verpestet oder, was nicht besser, vom demokratischen Wunderglauben (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 19, 31 f.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Engels: “This miserable debris of former nations, Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks and other thieving rabble, whom the liberal Philistine raves about in the interest of the Russians, deny each other the very air they are breathing, and have to slit each others’ greedy throats.”

The German

Engels: "Diese elenden Trümmerstücke ehemaliger Nationen, Serben, Bulgaren, Griechen und andres Räubergesindel, für die der liberale Philister im Interessen der Russen schwärmt, gönnen also einander die Luft nicht, die sie einatmen, und müssen sich untereinander die gierigen Hälse abschneiden."

MEW a.a.O. 36, 390.

Source (German only)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Marx to Engels, 1875: "In London a sly-looking little Jew got into our carriage in a big hurry, with a small suitcase under his arm

Listed, but with no translation here

The German

Marx an Engels, 21. August 1875

"In London stieg in unsren waggon in großer Hast ein pfiffig aussehendes Jüdel, mit einem kleinen Koffer unter dem Arm."

MEW a.a.O. 34, 7 f.