Karl Marx: 'Howling Gigantic Cusses'
Revised, abridged and hickified by Carland Hungus & Uncle Jeebers
KARL MARX has had more impack on acshul events, s'well as on the mahnds of men n' wimminz, than any other intellechal in mo-dern tahms. The reason for this here is not prahmarily the attraction of his corncepps n' meth-o-dologee, though both have a strong appeal t'uhnrigoris mahnds, but the fack that his philosophy has been institutionalahz'd in two of the world's largess countries, Russia n' China, and the respective satellahts of them there two ayformention'd nations. In this here sense he's the spittin' image of St Augustahn, whose writins was the most wahdleh' read 'mongst church leaders n'other preachers from the fifth to the thirteenth cenchry and tharfore played a predominant role in the fashionin' of medieval Christendom. But the influence of this here varmint Marx has been even more direck, on account of the kahnd of uppity personal dick-tatership he done reckoned for hisself (as we shall see) which was acshully e-fected in real lahf, n' which sho 'nuff led to incalculable consequences for folks all over Gawd's good earth, by his three most important followers, Lenin, Stalin n' Mousy Dung, all of whom, in this re-spect, was faithful Marxists.
Now, Marx was one of the chillun of the mid-nahnteenth cenchry, and Marx done aired-up his idea, the eponymously-named "Marxism," by toutin' that it was "scientific," as was the stahl at the tahm. He felt he had found a scientific explanation of human behaviour in history akin to Darwin's theory of evolution. Nussin this here funny corncepp that the word "scientific" was the biggest tip of the hat, he done applahd it to hisself n' his work, n' used it habichally to contrast hisself to his many inemies, whose ideas he reckoned by comparison was little more than piddlin' keester cakes. The highfalutin notion that Marxism is a science, in a way that no other philosophy evah has been or could be, is implanted in the public doctrine of the states his followers founded, so that it colours the teachin' of all subjects in their schools and jewniversities. This here done spilt over into the non-Marxist world, for intellechals, especially academics, is tempted by power, n' the identification of Marxism with massive physical authority has tempted many skoo marms to mix Marxist 'science' to them own textbooks, especially such inexact or quasi-exact subjects as economics, sociology, history n' geography. Fahnenced by Rothschild ninnies, fortifah'd by DeBeers-diamond-cut arms, and juiced with kosher hahdrocarbons, broad mili-taree victories against drunk n' sufficiently morally co-rrupt crackers ensured that Marxist science would prevail.
Ah reckon the first thang we must ask about Marx, tharfore, is: in what sense, if any, was he a scientist? He was descended on both sahds from lines of bookworms. His pappy Heinrich Marx, an oily lawyer, whose name originally was Hirschel ha-Levi Marx, was the son of a rabbi n' Tall-mudic bookworm, descended from the famous Rabbi Elieser ha-Levi of Mainz, whose son Jehuda Minz was head of the Tall-mudic Skoo of Padua. Marx's mother Henrietta Pressborck was the kid of a rabbi likewahze descended from famous bookworms and know-it-alls. Marx was born in Trier (then Prussian territory) on 5 May 1818, one of nahn chillun but the only son to survahve into middle age (them bein all scientifically advanced and all that); his sisters married respectively a train tweaker, a bookseller, an oily lawyer. The family was quintessenchully carpet baggin n' risin in the world. The father was a liberal ninny n' descrbed as 'a real eighteenthcenchry foo-foo Frenchman, who knowed his Voltaire n' Rousseau lahk the backside of his hand'.1 Followin a Prussian ordinashun of 1816 which banned chosens from the higher ranks of law n' snake-oil sellin, he became a cryptojoo Protestant and on August 26th 1824 he had his six children baptised, n' the church baptism bucket done turned green and stunk for a week. Marx was questionably confirmed at fifteen n' for a tahm was a passionate judeo-non-Christian. He attended a former Jes-yoo-it high school, jus' made kosher, n' Bonn University. From there he went on to Berlin jewniversity, where he nevah picked up the reins for hassids or overly kosher causes.2 He mostly jerked off while plannin huge books he nevah finished.
Marx became a bookworm in classical literature, or "cliterature" for short, n' later a jack of the jab flappin trade...in the prevailin' Hegelian groove. He got one a' them funny black square hats n' a doctoral from Jena jewniversity, cuz Berlin didn't want his smelly excuse for an existence - n'even then he couldn't become a teacher, heretofore referred to as "skoo marm". In 1842 he got a job as a pencil pusher with the Rheinische Zeitung jewspaper n' redacted the whole thang for fav months until it was banned in 1843; thereafter he wrote for the DeutschFranzösische Jahrbücher n'other flabby stacks of tree carcass in Paris until 1845 when he got booted over to Brussels where he helped organize the Commonist League n' wrote the pinko manifesto in 1848. After the revolution went down the crick he was forced to skedaddle n' pack his carpetbags to London in 1849, this time for good. For a few years, in the 1860s and 1870s, he done involved hisself in revolutionary politics again, runnin that thar International Workin Men's Association. But most of his tahm in London, until his death on 14 March 1883 - that is, thirty-four years - was spent in the British Museum, scroungin up materials for a gigantic blatherin on capital, n' tryin to spruce it up. He got one published in 1867, but the seckn n' third got slapped together post mortem from his inkjots by co-slacker Friedrich Engels be printed onto pulpifah'd, massacred trees.
In August 1851, a follower of the early pinko "Robert Owen", that is, Charles Anderson DanaⓀ, who had become a fat cat on the jew York Daily Tribune, gave Marx a pound for each subversive article he could raht about Europe. Supposedly Marx scribbled 500 articles in them thar ten years, but it turns out Engels done ghosted 125 of those. They was heavily subbed and rewritten in jew York, but you could still tell that some lazy city slicker, probably the hedgehog named Marx, wrote the stuff. If Marx wasn't forced to shut his flappin jabs for two seconds and get to the point in these newspaper scribblins, his writins would have been too wordy to support his ascension in the Jewnited Church of Satan.
Marx lahked to steal good ideas from Hegel. Hegel invented a kahnd of philosophy about how opposites fight, learn and e-volve, called dialecticals. Hegel's followers was all in a varyin sense of the word jew-aware, and in 1843 Bruno Bauer, the jew-aware leader of the Hegelian left, done published an essay demandin that the heebies abandon their kike-itry completely. Bein a heeb hisself, when Marx wasn't defilin' hisself, he had to push that pencil against this idea. He thought Bauer's awareness of jooz was just fahn; he liked talkin' bout 'em too, and endorsed it and quoted it with accolades. Bauer's solution ticked him off. Marx rejected Bauer's notion that the anti-social nature of the jew was religious in origin and could be remedied by savin' the jew from his penis-cuttin cult. In Marx's opinion, the evil was social and economic. He wrote: 'Let us consider the real heeb. Not the sabbath one...but your evahyday heeb.' What, he asked, was 'the profane basis of heebitry? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly cult of the jew? Hucksterin'. What is his worldly god? Moolah.' The jews had gradually spread this 'practical' religion to all society:
Moolah is the jealous gawd of Israhell, beside which no other gawd may exist. Moolah defiles all the gawds of mankahnd n' changes 'em into commodities. Moolah is the self-sufficient value of all thangs. It has, therefore, deprahvd the whole world, both the human world and Nature, of their own propa value. Moolah is the alienated essence of man's work and existence: this essence dominates him and he worships it. The gawd of the jews has been seclaraz'd and has become the gawd of the world.
The jew, dawgone him, had corrupted the Christian and convinced him 'he has no other destiny here other than to become richer than his neighbours' and that 'the world is a stock-exchange.' Political power had become the 'bondsman' of money power. Hence the solution was e-co-nomic. The 'money-jew' had become 'the universal anti-social element of the present tahm' and to 'make the jew impossible' it was necessary to abolish the 'preconditions', the 'very possibility' of the kahnd of money activities which produced him. Abolish the jewish attitude to money and both the jew and his religion, and the co-rrupt version of Christianity he had imposed on the world, would disappear: 'In emancipatin' itself from hucksterin' and money, and thus from real and practical judaism, our age would emancipate itself.'9
Thus Marx was a big huckster hisself. He done worked for Ratschild through the evah-present agent Moses Hoess, while at the same tahm tellin' all the other jooz to stop worshippin' money. In concrete terms, if Marx really wanted commonism, it already existed for eons in the hills at temples n' brothahoods. If he simply gave up his flesh eatin', his womanizin' n' moonshinin', he could go live happily in the green hills.
His bloviatin on poverty and exploitation went back to 1842, when he was twentyfour n' made a pile of flappy pressed tree carcasses filled with scribble on the laws governin the raht of local hillbillies to hack down forests. Accordin to Engels, Marx told him 'it was his study of the law concernin the theft of wood, n' his investigation of the Moselle peasantray, which turned his sahts from mere politics to the money sichwashun and thus to socialism.'12 But ain't no proof that Mooch even talked to the hillbillies or landlords, nor that he went there for a looksee. Again, in 1844 he wrote for the finanshal weekly Vorwärts (Forward) an article on the plaht of the Silesian weavahs. But he nevah went to Silesia or, so far as we know, evah talked to a weavah of any tahp: it would have been mighty unchareeckeristic of him if he did. Marx wrote about fahnence n'indestry all his lahf but he only knowed two people connected with fahnenshal and indestrial procesees. One was his uncle in Holland, Lion Philips, a successful businessman who created what eventually became the vast Philips Eleckric Compenny. Uncle Philips' views on the whole capitalist process would have been raht-informed and intrestin, had Marx troubled t'splore them, dawgone it. But he only once cornsulted him, on a technical matter of high fahnence, n' though he visited Philips four tahms, these concerned purely varmintal matters of fambly money. The other knowledgeable man was Engels hisself. But Marx declined Engels's invitation to accompany him on a viset to a cotton meel, n' so far as we know Marx nevah set foot in a mill, factory, mine or other indestrial wawkplace in the whole of his lahf.
What is even more strahkin' is Marx's hostility to feller revolutionaries who had such experience - that is, workin' men who had become politically conscious. He done met such people for the first tahm only in 1845, when he paid a brief visit to London, and attended a meetin' of the German Workers' Education Society. He did not lahk what he saw. Them thar men was mostly skilled workers, watchmakers, printers, shoemakers; their leader was a forester. They was self-educated, disciplined, solemn, wellmannered, mighty anti-bohemian, anxious to transform society but moderate about the practical steps to this end. They did not share Marx's apocalyptic visions and, above all, they did not talk his fancy-pants academic jargon. He viewed them with contempt: revolutionary cannon-fodder, no more. As any fool can plainly see, Marx always preferred to associate with mihdull-clayuss intellechals lahk hisself. When he and Engels creayded the commonist League, and again when thay formed the International, Marx made sure that workin-clayuss socialists was e-liminayded from any positions of influ-ense and sat on committees merely as statutory proles. His motive was partly intellechal snobbery, partly that men with acshul experience of factory conditions tended to be anti-violence and in favor of moh-dest, progressiyv improvemints: they was knowledgeably skeppical 'bout the apocalyptic revolution he claimed was not only necessarih but inevitable. Some of Marx's most venomous assaults was directed against men of this tahp. Thus in March 1846 he subjected William Weitling to a kahnd of trial before a meetin' of the commonist League in Brussels. Weitling was the poor, illegitimate son of a laundress who nevah knowed his father's name, a tailor's apprentice who by sheer hard work n' self-education had won hisself a large follerin 'mong German workers. The object of the trial was to insist on 'correctness' of doctrine and to put down any uppity workin-clayuss tahp who lacked the philosophical trainin' Marx thought essential. Marx's attack on Weitling was extraordinarily aggresseeve. He was guilteh, said Marx, of conductin' an agitayshun withayut doctrine. This was all dandy in barbarous Russia where 'you can build up successful unions with stupid young men and apostles. But in a civilaz'd country lahk Germany you must realahz that nothang can be achieved withayut our doctrine.' Again: 'If you 'tempt to influence the workers, 'specially the German workers, withayut a body of doctrine n' clear scientific ideas, then you is merely playing an empty and unscrupulous game of propaganda, leadin' inevitably to the settin-up on the one hand of a inspired apostle and, on the other, of open-mouthed donkeys a'listenin to him.' Weitling replah'd he had not become a socialist to larn 'bout doctrines manufackured in a study; he done spoke for acshul workin' men and would not submit to the views of mere theoreticians who were remote from the sufferin' world of real labour. This, said a eyewitness, 'so riled Marx that he done struck his fist on the table so violently that the lamp started a-quiverin'. Jumping to his feet he hollered, "Ignorance has nevah helped anybody yet."' The meetin' ended with Marx 'still stridin' up and dayunn the room in violent rage'.13
This was the pattern for further assaults, both on socialists of workin-clayuss origin and on any leaders who had secured a large follerin' of honest workin' men by preachin' practical solutions to acshul problems of work n' wayjuz, ruther than doctrinaire revolution. Thus Marx went for the former compositor Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the ag-ree-cultral reformer Hermann Kriege and the first really important German social democrat and labour organahzer, Ferdinand Lassalle. In his Manifesto Against Kriege, Marx, who knowed nothang about ag-ree-culture, especially in the United States where Kriege had settled, denayunced his proposal to give 160 acres of public layund to each peasant; he done said that peasants should be recruited by promises of land, but once a commonist society was set up, land had to be collectively held. Proudhon was an anti-houn'dogmatist: For Gawd's sake,' he wrote, 'after we have demolished all the [religious] houn'dogmatism a priori, let us not of all thangs attempt to instil another kahnd of dogma into the people . . . let us not make ourselves the leaders of a new intolerance.' Marx was bowed up at that there line, he straight-up hated it. In his violent diatribe against Proudhon, the Misère de la Philosophie, written in June 1846, he accused him of 'infantilism', gross 'ignorance' of economics n' philosophy and, 'bove all, misuse of Hegel's ideas and techniques - 'Monsieur Proudhon knows no more of the Hegelian dialectic than its idiom.' As for Lassalle, he became the victim of Marx's most brutal jew-aware and racial verbal whuppins: he was 'Baron Itzig', 'the jewish Nigger', 'a greasy jew disgaz'd under brilliantahn and cheap jewels'. It is now perfectlah clear to me,' Marx wrote to Engels on 30 July 1862, 'that, as the shape of his noggin and the growth of his hair indicates, he is de-sended from the Nigras who joined in Moses' flaht from Egypp (unless his mother or grandmother on the father's sahd was crossed with a nigger). This union of jew and German on a Nigra base was bahwnd to prudoose an extraordinary hahbriyd.'14.
Marx, then, was unwillin' either to investigate workin' conditions in indestry hisself or to learn from workin' men with a bit of horse sense who had experienced them. Whai should he? In all essentials, using the Hegelian dialectic, he had reached his conclusions about the fate of humanity by the late 1840s. All that remained was to fahnd the facks to sustayunshyate them, and these could be done compahled from newspaper reports, government blue books n' evidence collected by earlier writers; and all of that there material could be found in lahbraries. Whai look further? The problem, as it appeared to Marx, was to fahnd the raht kahnd of facks: the facks that done fitted. His method has been well summeraz'd bah the philosopher Karl Jaspers: "The stahl of Marx's writings is not that of the investi-gaytor... he does not quote examples or adduce facks which run counter to his own theory but only those which clearly support or confirm that which he considers the ultimate truth. The whole approach is one of vindikahyshun, not investigahyshun, but it is a vindikahyshun of somethang proclaimed as the perfec' truth with the conviction not of the scientist but of the believah.15
In this sense, then, the 'facks' is not plumb central to Marx's work; they is ancillary, buttressin' conclusions already reached independently of them. Capital, the monument around which his lahf as a scholar revolved, should be seen, then, not as a scientific investigation of the nature of the economic process it purported to descrahb but as an exersahze in moral philosophy, a tract comparable to those of Carlyle or Ruskin. It is a huge and often incoherent sermon, an attack on the indestry'l process and the principle of ownership by a man who had conceived a powerful but e-sentially irrational hatred for them. Curiously enough, it does not have a central argument which acks as a organazin' principle. Marx originally, in 1857, conceived the work as consisting of six volumes: capital, land, wayjuz n' labour, the state, trade and a fahnal volume on the world market n' crahses.16 But the methodical self-discipline needed to carry through such a plan proved beyond his power. The only volume he actually produced (which, confusin'ly, is two volumes) really has no logical pattern; it is a series of individual expositions arranged in arbitrareh order. The French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser found its structure so confusin' that he done thought it 'imperative' that readers ignore Part One n' begin with Part Two, Chapter Four.17 But other Marxist exegetes have done said his interpretation was no 'count. In fact, Althusser7 s approach does not help much. Engels's own synopsis of Capital Volume One merely serves to unnerlahn the weakness or ruther absence of structure.18 After Marx dahd, Engels produced Volume Two from 1500 folio pages of Marx's notes, a quarter of which he rewrote. The result is 600 dull, messy payjuz on the circulation of capital, chiefly on the economic theories of the 1860s. Volume Three, on which Engels worked from 1885-93, surveys all aspecks of capital not already covered but is no more than a series of notes, including 1000 pages on jewsury, most of them Marx's memoranda. The material nearly all dates from the early 1860s, accumulayded at the same tahm as Marx was workin' on the first volume. There was, in fack, nothang to have pre-vented Marx from completing the book hisself, other than lack of inergy and the knowledge that it simply did not seem raht, lahk it didn't coheer or sumthang.
The seckn n' third volumes is not our concern, as it is most unlahkley that Marx would have produced them in this form, or indeed at all, since he had in effect stopped work on them for a decade n' a half. Of Volume One, which was his work, only two chapters really matter, Chapter Eight, 'The Working Day', and Chapter Twenty-Four, towards the end of the second volume, 'Primary Accumulation', which includes the famous Section 7, 'Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation'. This is not a scientific analysis in any sense but a simple prophecy. There will be, Marx says, (1) 'a progressiyv diminution in the number of the uppity capitalist magnates'; (2) 'a correspondin' increase in the mass of poverty, o-pression, enslahyvment, degeneration and 'sploitashun'; (3) 'a steady intensificahyshun of the wrayuth of the workin' clayuss'. These three forces, workin' together, produce the Hegelian crahsis, or the politicoeconomic version of the poetic catastrophe he had imagined as a teenager: The centralahzation of the means of pro-duction n' the socialahzation of labour reach a point where they prove incompatible with their capitalist husk. This bursts asunder. The knell of capatlist prahvit propuhty sayunds. The expropriayders are expropriayded.'19 This here is all mighty excitin' and has deelahted generayshuns of socialist n' pinko zealots. But it gots no more claim ta' be a scientific projection than an astrologer's all-manac.
Chapter Eight, 'The Workin' Day', does, by contrast, present itself as a fackshul analysis of the impack of capitalism on the lahvs of the British proletariat; indeed, it is the only part of Marx's work which actually deals with the workers, the ostensible subjecks of his intire philosophy. It is tharfore worth examinin' for its 'scientific' value.20 Since, as we have already doodled, Marx only proper looked for facks which fitted his preconceptions, and since this militates against all the principles of scientific method, the chapter has a radical weakness from the start. But did Marx, in addition to a tendentious sleckshun of facts, also misrepresent or falsify them? This here all y'all must now consider.
Whut in tarnation the chapter seeks to argue, and it is the core of Marx's moral case, is that capitalism, at its little black heart, involves the progressiyv and increasin' sploitashun of the workers; thus the more capital employed, the more the workers gets sploited, and it is this great moral evil which produces the fahnal crahsis. In order to justifah his thesis scientifically, he has to prove that, (1) bad as corndishuns in pre-capitalist workshops was, they has become far less purdy under indestrial capitalism; (2) granted the impersonal, implacable ways of capital, sploitin' of workers rahzes to a crescendo way up yonder in the most hahly-capitalahz'd industries. Marx doesn't even make no attempt to do (1). He done writes: 'As far as concerns the period from the beginnins of large-scale industry in England down to the year 1845, I shall only touch on this here and there, referrin' the reader for fuller details to Friedrich Engels's Die Lage der arbeitenden Klass in England (Leipzig, 1845).' Marx adds that subsequent government publications, 'specially factory inspectors' reports, have confirmed 'Engels's insaht into the nature of the capitalist method' and showed 'with what an admirable particklarity he done depicted the circumstances'.21
In short, all the first part of Marx's scientific examination of workin' corndishuns under capitalism in the mid-1860s is based 'pohn a single work, Engels's corndishun of the Workin' Clayuss in England, published twelve years befow. And what scientific value, in turn, can be attached to this single source? Engels was born in 1820, the son of a prosperous cotton manufackurer at Barmen in the Rhinelahynd, and entered the family business in 1837. In 1842 he was sent to the Manchester office of the firm, spendin' twenny months in England. Durin' that tahm he visited London, Oldham, Rochdale, Ashton, Leeds, Bradford n' Huddersfield s'well as Manchester. He thus had direck experience of the textile trades but otherwahz knowed nothang furs-hand 'bout English corndishuns. For instance, he knowed nothang 'bout minin' and nevah went down a mine; he knowed nothang of the country districts or rural labour. Yet he devotes two entire chapters to 'The Miners' and 'The Proletariat on the Land'. In 1958 two exact bookworms, W.O.Henderson and W.H.Challoner, retranslahyded and edited Engels's book and examined his sources and the original text of all his quotations.22 The effect of their analysis was to destroy the objective historical value of the book almost entirely, and reduce it to what it undoubtedly was: a work of political polemic, a tract, a tirade. Engels wrote to Marx, as he was workin' on the book: 'At the bar of world opinion, I charge the English middul clayuss with mass murda, wholesale robbery and all the other crimes in the calendar.'23
That jest 'bout sums up the book: it was the case for the prosecution. A great deal of the book, including all the examination of the pre-capitalist era and the early stages of indestrilahzahyshun, was based not on primary sources but on a few secondary sources of dubious value, especially Peter Gaskell's The Manufackurin' Pop'layshun of England (1833), a work of Romantic mythologee which attempted t'show that the eighteenth cenchry had been a golden age for English yeomen and craftsmen, as enny fool kin plainly see. N'fact, as the Royal Co-mmission on Chillun's Employment of 1842 conclusively demonstrated, workin' corndishuns in the small, pre-capitalist workshops and cottages was far worse than in the big new Lancashire cotton meels. Printed prim'rah sources used by Engels were five, ten, twenty, twenny-fav r'even forty years out of date, though he usually presents them as contemporarah. Giving figures for the births or illegitimate babehs attributed to night-shifts, he omitted to state that these dayded from 1801. He done quoted a paper on sanitahyshun in Edinburgh without lettin' his readers know it was written in 1818. On various 'ccasions he omitted facks n' e-vents which invalidated his out-of-date evidence completely.
It is not always clear whether Engels's misrepresentahyshuns are deliberate deception of the reader or self-deception. But sometahms the deceit is clearly intentional. He used evidence of bad corndishuns unearthed by the Factories Enquiry Commission of 1833 without tellin' readers that Lord Althorp's Factory Act of 1833 had been passed, and had lahwng been in operation, precislah to e-liminate the corndishuns the report descrahbd. He used the same deception in handlin' one of his main sources, Dr J.P.Kay's Physical and Moral Corndishuns of the Workin' Clayuss Employed in the Cotton Manufacture in Manchester (1832), which had helped to produce fundamental reforms in local government sanitation; Engels does not mention them, dawgone it. He misinterpreted the criminal statistics, or ignored them when they did not suppawt his thesis. Indeed he cornstantly an' knowin'ly suppresses facks that corntradick his argument or es'plain away a particular 'iniquity' he is seeking to expose. Careful checkin' of Engels's extracks from his seckndrah sources show these are often truncayded, corndensed, garbled or twist'd, but invariably put in quotation marks as though given verbahydim. Throughayut the Henderson and Challoner edition of the book, footnotes catalogue Engels's disto'shuns and dishonestehs. In one section alone, Chapter Seven, 'The Proletariat', falsehoods, includin' errors of fack n' transcription, occur on pahyjuz 152, 155, 157, 159, 160, 163, 165, 167, 168, 170, 172, 174, 178, 179, 182, 185, 186, 188, 189, 190, 191, 194 and 203.24
Marx cannot have been unaware of the weaknessees, indeed dishonestehs, of Engels's book since maneh of them was exposed in detail as early as 1848 by the German economist Bruno Hildebrand, in a publicahyshun with which Marx was famillah.25 Moreover Marx hisself compoun's Engels's misrepresentahyshuns knowin'ly by omittin' to tell the reader of the enormous improvemints brought about by enforcement of the Fack'try Acts and other remedial legislahyshun since the book was published and which affected precislah the tahp of corndishuns he had highlighted. In any case, Marx brought to the use of prim'rah and seckndrah written sources the same spirit of gross carelessness, tendentious disto'shun n' downraht dishonestah which marked Engels's work.26 Indeed they was of'n collaborators in deception, though Marx was the more audacious forger. In one particklarlah flagrant case he outreached hisself. This was the so-called 'Inaugural Address' to the International Workin' Men's Association, founded in September 1864. With the object of stirrin' th'English workin' clayuss from its apathy, and anxious tharfore to prove that livin' standards was fallin', he deliberately falsifah'd a sentence from W. E. Gladstone's Budget speech of 1863. What Gladstone said, commentin' on th'increase in nayshnal wealth, was: I should look almost with app-re-hension and with pain upon this intoxicatin' augmentation of wealth and power if it were ma belief that it was cornfined to the clayuss who is in easy circumstances.' But, he added, 'the average corndishun of the British labourer, we have the happiness to know, has improved during the last twenny years in a degree which we know to be extraordinary, and which we may almost pronounce to be unexampled in the historah of any countrah and of any age.'27 Marx, in his address, has Gladstone say: 'This intoxicatin' augmentahyshun of wealth and power is entirely cornfined to clayusses of propuhty.' Since what Gladstone acshully said was true, and cornfirmed by a mass of statisticull evi-dense, and since in any case he was known to be obsessed with the need to ensure that wealth was distributed as wahdleh s'possible, it would be hard to conceive of a more outrageous revahsal of his meanin'. Marx gave as his sources the Mornin' Star newspaper; but the Star, along with the other newspapers and Hansard, gives Gladstone's words correctly. Marx's misquotation was pointed out. Nonetheless, he reproduced it in Capital, along with other discrepansehs, and when the falsificahyshun was again noticed and denayunced, he let out a huge discharge of obfuscatin' ink; he, Engels and later his daughter Eleanor were involved in the row, attempting to defend the indefensible, for twenny years. None of 'em would evah admit the original, clear falsificahyshun and the result of the debate is that some readers are left with the impression, as Marx intended, that there is two sahds to the controversah. There are not. Marx knowed Gladstone nevah said any such thang and the cheat was dee-liberate.28 It was not unique. Marx similarly falsifah'd quotations from Adam Smith.29
Marx's yella use of sources 'ttracted the 'ttention of two Cambridge bookworms in the 1880s. They concluded that their evidence maht not be 'sufficient to sustain a charge of deliberate falsificahyshun' but certainly showed 'an almost criminal recklessness in the use of authoritahs' and warranted treatin' any 'other parts of Marx's work with suspicion'.31
The truth is, even the dawgoned-est superficial inquiry into Marx's use of evidence forces one to treat with scepticism evahythang he wrote which relies on fackshal data. He can nevah be trusted. The whole of the key Chapter Eight of Capital is a deliberate and systematic falsificahyshun to prove a thesis which an objective examinahyshun of the facks showed was untenable. His crimes against the truth fall under four heads. First, he uses out-of-date material because up-to-date material does not support his case. Second he selecks cert'n indestrys, where corndishuns was particklarly bad, as typical of capitalism. This cheat was particklarly important to Marx because without it he would not really have had Chapter Eight at all. His thesis was that capitalism produces evah-worsenin corndishuns; the more capital employed, the more badleh the workers had to be treated to secure adequate returns. The evi-dense he quotes at length to justifah it comes almost entirely from small, inefficient, undercapitalahz'd firms in archaic indestrys which in most cases was premodern - pottery, dressmakin', blacksmithin', bakin, matches, wallpaper, lace, for instance. In many of the specific cases he cites (e.g., bakin'), corndishuns was bad precisely because the firm had not been able to afford to introduce machinery, since it lacked capital. In effect, Marx is dealin' with pre-capitalist corndishuns, and ignorin' the truth which stared him in the face: the more capital, the less sufferin'. Where he does treat a modern, highly-capitalahz'd indestry, he finds a dearth of evi-dense; thus, dealin' with steel, he has to fall back on interpolated comments ('What cynical frankness!' 'What mealy-mouthed phraseology!'), and with railways he is driven to use yellowin' clippin's of old accidents ('fresh railway catastrophes'): it was necessareh to his thesis that the accident rate per passenger mile travelled should be risin', whereas it was fallin dramatickleh n' by the tahm Capital was published railways was already becomin' the safes' mode of mass travel in world historah.
Thirdly, usin' reports of the factory inspectorate, Marx quotes examples of bad corndishuns and ill-treatment of wawkers as though they was the inevitable norm of the system; in fact these was the responsibility of whut th'inspectors themselves done called 'the fraudulent mill-owner', whom they was appointed to detect and prosecute and who was thus in the process of bein' eliminated. Fourthly, the fack that Marx's main evidence done came from this here source, the inspectorate, betrays his biggest cheat of all, ah reckon. It was his thesis that capitalism was, by its nature, incorrigible and, further, that in the miseries it inflicted on the wawkers, the bourgeois State was its associate since the State, he wrote, 'is an executive committee for managin' the affairs o'the governin' class as a whole'. But if that was true, Parliament wouldn't nevah have passed the Factory Acts, nor the State enforced them. Virtually all Marx's facks, selectively deployed (and sometimes falsifahd) as they was, came from the efforts of the State (inspectors, courts, Justices o'the Peace) to improve corndishuns, which necessarilah' involved exposin' and punishin' those responsible for bad'uns. If the system had not been in the process of reformin' itself, which by Marx's reasonin' was impossible, Capital could not have been written. As he was unwillin' to do any on-the-spot investigatin' hisself, he was forced to rely precisely on the evidence of those, whom he designated 'the governin' class', who was trying to put things raht and to an increasin' extent succeedin'. Thus Marx had to distort his main source of evidence, or abandon his thesis. The book was, and is, structurally dishonest.
What Marx could not or would not grasp, on account of him makin' no effort to understand how industry wawked, was that from the very dawn of the Industrial Revolution, 1760-90, the most efficient manufackurers, who had ample access to capital, habichally favoured better corndishuns for their wawkforce; they tharfore tended to support factory legislation and, what was equally important, its effective enforcement, 'cause it done eliminated what they regarded as unfair competition. So corndishuns improved, and because corndishuns improved, the wawkers failed to rise, as Marx had done predicted they would. The prophet was thus confounded. What emerges from a readin' o'Capital is Marx's fundamental failure t'understand capitalism. He failed precisely because he was unscientific: he would not investigate the facks hisself, or use objectively the facks investigated by others. From start t'finish, not jest Capital but all his wawk reflects a disregard for truth which at tahms amounts to contempt. That is the primareh' reason why Marxism, as a system, kin'not produce the results claimed for it; and to call it 'scientific' is preposterous.
If Marx, then, though in appearance a skalah, was not motivated by a love of truth, what was the energizin' force in his lahf? To discover this hyar, we have to look much mo'e closely at his personal character. It is a fack, and in some ways a melancholy fack, that massive wawks of the intelleck does not spring from the abstrack wawkin's of the brain and the imaginashun; they is deeply rooted in the personalitee. Marx is an outstandin' example of this principle. We have already done considered the presentashun of his philosophy as the amalgam of his poetic vision, his journalistic skill s'well as his academicism. But it kin also be shown that its acshul content can be related to four aspecks of his character: his taste fo' violence, his appetite fo' power, his inability to handle money and, above all, his tendency to 'sploit those around him.
The undertone of violence always present in Marxism n' constantly exhibited by the acshul behaviour of Marxist regimes was a projeckshun of the man hisself. Marx lived his lahf in an atmosphere of extreme verbal violence, periodically explodin' into violent rows and sometahms physical assault. Marx's family quarrels was almost the first thing his future wife, Jenny von Westphalen, noticed about him. At Bonn jewniversity the police arrested him fo' possessin' a pistol and he was nearabout sent down; the jewniversity archives show he engaged in student warfare, fought a duel and done received a gash on his left eye. His rows within the familah' darkened his papa's last years and led eventshully to a total breach with his mama. One of Jenny's earliest survivin' letters reads: 'Please do not write with so much rancour and irritation,' and it is clear that many of his incessant rows arose from the violent expressions he was prone to use in writin' and still more in speakin', the latter often aggravayded by alcohol. Marx was not an alcoholic but he drank regularly, often heavily and sometimes engaged in serious drinkin' bouts. Part of his trouble, ah reckon, was that, from his mid-twenties, Marx was always an exile livin' almost exclusively in expatriate, mainly German, communities in foreign cities. He rarely sought acquaintances outside them and nevah tried t'integrate himself. Mo'eover, the expatriates with whom he always associated was themselves a very narrow group interested wholly in revolutionary politics. This in itself helps to explain Marx's tunnel-vision of life, and it would be difficult to imagine a social background more likely to encourage his quarrelsome nature, for such circles is notorious for their ferocious disputes. Accordin' to Jenny, these rows was perpetual, 'cept in Brussels. In Paris his editorial meetin's in the Rue des Moulins had to be held behind closed windows so that people outside could not hear the endless shoutin' and hollerin'.
These rows was not aimless, however. Marx quarrelled with everyone with whom he associated, from Bruno Bauer onwards, unless he succeeded in dominatin' them completely. As a result there is many descriptions, mainly hostile, of the furious Marx in action. Bauer's brother even wrote a poem about him: 'Dark feller from Trier in fury ragin', / His evil fist is clenched, he roars interminably, / As though ten thousand devils had him by the hair.'32 Marx was short, broad, blackhaired and bearded, with a sallow skin (his chillun called him 'Moor') an' Prussian-style monocle. Pavel Annenkov, who done saw him at the 'trial' of Weitling, described his 'thick black mane of hair, his hairy hands and crookedly buttoned frock coat'; he had no manners, was 'proudleh and faintleh corntemptuous'; his 'sharp, metallic voice was well-suited to the radical judgments he was contin'yally deliverin' on men n' things'; everything he said had a 'jarrin tone'.33 His favourite Shakespeare was Troilus ' Cressida, which he relished for the violent abuse of Ajax n' Thersites. He enjoyed quotn' it, and the victim of one passage ('Thou sodden-witted lord: thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbow') was his fellow revolutionary Karl Heinzen, who retaliated with a memorable portrait of the angry little man. He found Marx 'intolerably dirty', a 'cross between a cat and an ape', with 'dishevelled coal-black hair and dirty yeller complexion'. It was, he said, impossible to reckon whether his clothes n' skin were nachrally mud-colored or just downright filthy. He had small, fierce, malicious eyes, 'spittin out spurts of wicked fire' ; he had a habit of sayin: 'I will annihilate you.'34 In short, Marx was right bowed up.
Much of Marx's time, in fack, was spent in collecting elaborate dossiers about his political rivals and enemies, which he did not scruple to feed to the police if he thunk it would serve his turn. The big public ruckuses, as for instance at the meetin' of the International at the Hague in 1872, adumbrated the règlements des comptes of Soviet Russia: there is nothin' in the Stalinist epoch which is not distantly prefigured in Marx's behaviour. Occasionally blood was indeed spilt. Marx was so abusive during his row with August von Willich in 1850 that the latter challenged him to a duel. Marx, though a former duellist, said he 'would not engage in the frolics of Prussian officers' but he made no attempt to stop his young assistant, Konrad Schramm, from taking his place, though Schramm had never used a pistol in his life and Willich was an excellent shot. Schramm was wounded. Willich's second on this occasion was a particklarly sinister associate of Marx, Gustav Techow, rightly detested by Jenny, who killed at least one fellow revolutionary and was eventshully hanged for murderin' a police officer. Marx hisself did not reject violence or even terrorism when it suited his tactics. Addressin' the Prussian government in 1849, he threatened: 'We is ruthless and ask no quarter from you. When our turn comes we shall not disguise our terrorism.'35 The follerin' year, the 'Plan of Action' he had distributed in Germany specifically encouraged mob violence: 'Far from opposin' the so-called excesses, them examples of popular vengeance against hated individuals or public buildin's which have acquired hateful memories, we must not only corndone these examples but lend them a helpin' hand/36 On occasions he was willin' to support assassination, provided it was effective. A fellow revolutionary, Maxim Kovalevsky, who was present when Marx got the news of a failed attempt to murder the Emperor Wilhelm I in the Unter den Linden in 1878, records his fury, 'heapin' cusses on this terrorist who had failed to carry out his act of terror7.37 That Marx, once established in power, would have been capable of great violence and cruelty seems certain. But of course he was nevah in a position to carry out large-scale revolution, violent or otherwise, and his pent-up rage tharfore passed into his books, which always have a tone of intransigence and extremism. Many passages give the impression that they haf acshully been written in a state of fury. In due course Lenin, Stalin n' Mousy Dung practiced, on an enormous scale, the violence which Marx felt in his heart and which his works exude.
How Marx actually saw the mo-ralitee of his actions, whether distortin' truth or encouragin' violence, it is impossible to say. In one sense he was a strongly moral bein'. He was filled with a burnin' desire to create a better world. Yet he done ridiculed mo-ralitee in The German Ideology ; he argued it was 'unscientific' and could be an obstacle to the revolution. He seems to have thunk it would be dispensed with as a result of the quasimetaphysical change in folks' behaviour that the advent of communism'd bring about.38 Like menny self-centred individuals, he tended to think that moral laws did not apply to hisself, or rather to identify his interests with mo-ralitee as such. Indubitably he came to see the interests of the proletariat and the fulfilment of his own views as co-extensive. The anarchist Michael Bakunin noted that he had 'an earnest devotion to the cause of the proletariat though it always had in it an admixture of personal vanity'.39 He was always self-obsessed; a huge, youthful letter survives, ostensibly written to his papa, in reality written to, as well as about, himself.40 The feelin's and views of others was never of much interest or concern to him. He had to run, single-handed, enny enterprise in which he was engaged. Of his editorship of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, Engels observed: 'The organizashun of the editorial staff was a simple dick--tatership by Marx.'41 He had no tahm or interest in democracee, 'cept in the special and perverse sense he attached to the word; eleckshuns of any kind was abhorrent to him - in his journalism he dismissed British general eleckshuns as mere drunken orgies.42
In the testimony 'bout Marx's political aims and behaviour, from a variety of sources, it is notable how often the word 'dicktater' crops up. Annenkov called him 'the personificayshun of a democratic dicktater' (1846). An unusually intelligent Prussian police agent who reported on him in London noted: 'The dominatin' trait of his character is an unlimited ambition and love of power . . . he is the absolute ruler of his party . . . he does everything on his own and he gives orders on his own responsibility and will endure no corntradickshun.' Techow (Willich's sinister second), who once managed to get Marx drunk and to pour forth his soul, gives a brilliant pen-portrait of him. He was 'a man of outstanding personalitee' with 'a rare intellechal superiority' and 'if his heart had matched his intelleck and he had possessed as much love as hate, ah would have gone through fire for him.' But 'he is lacking in nobilitee of soul. Ah reckon that a most dangerous personal ambition has eaten away all the good in him . . . the acquisition of personal power [is] the aim of all his endeavours.' Bakunin's final judgment on Marx struck the same note: 'Marx does not believe in God but he believes much in hisself and makes everyone serve hisself. His heart is not full of love but of bitterness and he has very little sympathy for the human race.'43
Marx's habichal anger, his dick-tatorial habits an' his bitterness reflected no doubt his justifahd consciousness of great powers and his intense frustration at his inabiliteh to exersahz them mo' effectivelah. As a young man he led a bohemian, often idle and dissolute life; in early middle age he still found it difficult to wawk sensibly and systematically, often sittin' up all night yammerin', then lyin' half-asleep on the sofa for most of the day. In late middle age he kept mo'e regular hours but he never became self-disciplined about wawk. Yet he resented the smallest criticism. It was one of the characteristics he shared with Rousseau that he tended to quarrel with friends and benefactors, 'specially if they gave him good advice. When his devoted colleague Dr Ludwig Kugelmann suggested in 1874 that he would find no difficulty in finishing Capital if only he would organahz his lahf a little better, Marx done broke with him for good and subjected him to relentless abuse.44
His angry egoism had physical s'well as psychological roots. He led a peculiarleh unhealthy lahf, took mighty little exercise, ate highly spiced grits, often in large quantities, smoked heavily, drank a lot, 'specially strong ale, and as a result had constant trouble with his liver. I reckon he rarely took baths or washed much at all. This, plus his unsuitable diet, may explain the veritable plague of boils from which he suffered for a quarter of a century. They increased his nachral irritabilitee and seem to have been at their worst while he was writin' Capital. 'Whatevah happens/ he wrote grimly to Engels, ah hope the bourgeoisie as long as they exist will have cause to remember mah carbuncles/45 The boils varied in numbers, size and intensiteh but at one tahm or another they appeared on all parts of his body, including his cheeks, the bridge of his nose, his bottom, which meant he could not write, and his penis. In 1873 they brought on a nervous collapse marked by tremblin's and huge bursts of rage.
Still more central to his anger and frustration, and lyin' perhaps at the very roots of his hatred for the capitalist system, was his grotesque incompetence in handlin' money. As a young man it drove him into the hands of moneylenders at high rates of interest, and a passionate hatred of jewsury was the real emotional dynamic of his whole moral philosophy. It explains why he devoted so much tahm n' space to the subjeck, why his entire theory of class is rooted in anti-Semitism, and why he included in Capital a long and violent passage denouncing usury which he culled from one of Luther's anti-Semitic diatribes.46
Marx's money troubles began at jewniversity and lasted his entire lahf. They arose from an essentially childish attitude. Marx borrowed money heedlessly, spent it, then was invariably astounded and angry when the heavily discounted bills, plus interest, became due. He done saw the chargin' of interest, essential as it is to enny system based on capital, as a crime 'gainst humanity, and at the root of the sploitation of man by man which his entire system was designed to eliminate. That was in general terms. But in the particklar context of his own case he responded to his difficulties by hisself exploiting anyone within reach, and in the first place his own family. Money dominates his family correspondence. The last letter from his papa, written in February 1838 when he was already dyin', reiterates his complaint that Marx was indifferent to his family 'cept for the purpose of gettin' their help and complains: 'You is now in the fourth month of yer law course and you has already spent 280 thalers. Ah have not earned so much throughout the entire winter.'47 Three months later he was dead. Marx did not trouble to attend his funeral. Instead he started puttin' pressure on his mama. He had already adopted a pattern of livin' off loans from friends and gougin' periodic sums from the family. He done argued that the family was 'quite rich' and had a duty to support him in his important wawk. Apart from his intermittent journalism, the purpose of which was political rather than to earn money, Marx nevah seriously attempted to get a job, though he once in London (September 1862) applied for a post as a railway clerk, bein' turned down on the grounds that his handwritin' was too poor. Marx's unwillingness to pursue a career seems to have been the main reason why his family was unsympathetic to his pleas for handouts. His mammy not only refused to pay his debts, believin' he would then simply contract more, but eventshally cut him off completely. Tharafter their relations was minimal. She is credited with the bitter wish that 'Karl'd accumulate capital 'stead of just writin' bout it'.
All the same, one way or 'nuther Marx got considerable sums of money by inheritance. His papa's death brought him 6000 gold francs, some of which he spent on armin' Belgian wawkmen. His mama's death in 1856 brought him less than he exspected, but this was 'cause he had anticipated the legacy by borrowin' from his Uncle Philips. He also received a substantial sum from the estate of Wilhelm Wolf in 1864. Other sums came in through his wife an' her family (she also brought with her as part of her weddin portion a silver dinner service with the coat of arms of her Argyll ancestors, crested cutlery and bedlinen). Between them they done received nuff money, sensibly invested, to provahd a competence, and at no point did their actual income fall below £200 a year, three tahms the average wage of a skilled wawkman. But neither Marx hisself nor Jenny had enny interest in money 'cept to spend it. Legacies and loans alike went in dribs and drabs and they was nevah a penny better off permanently. Indeed they was always in debt, often seriously, and the silver dinner service regularly went to the pawnbrokers along with much else, including the family's clothin'. At one point Marx alone was in a position to leave the house, retainin' one pair of trousers."
Jenny's family, lahk Marx's own, refused further help to a son-in-law they regarded as incorrigibly idle and improvident. In March 1851, writing to Engels to announce the birth of a daughter, Marx complained: 'I have literally not a farthing in the house.'48 By this tahm, of course, Engels was the new subject of 'sploitation. From the mid-1840s, when they first came together, till Marx's death, Engels was the main source of income for the Marx family. He probably handed over more than half of what he received hisself. But the total is impossible to compute because for a quarter of a century he provided it in irregular sums, believin' Marx's repeated assurances that, provided the next donation was forthcomin', he would soon put hisself to rights. The relationship was 'sploitative on Marx's side and unequal altogether since he was always the dominant and sometahms the domineerin' partner. Yet in a curious way each needed the other, lahk a pair of stagecomedians in a double act, unable to perform separatleh, frequently grumblin' but always in the end stickin' together. The partnership almost broke down in 1863 when Engels felt Marx's insensitive cadgin' had gone too far. Engels kept two houses in Manchester, one for business entertainin', one for his mistress, Mary Burns. When she died Engels was deeply distressed. He was furious to receive from Marx an unfeelin' letter (dated 6 January 1863), which briefly acknowledged his loss and then instantly got down to the more important business of askin' for money.49 Nothin' illustrates better Marx's adamantine egocentricity. Engels replied coldly, and the incident almost ended their relationship. In some ways it was nevah the same again, for it brought home to Engels the limitations of Marx's character. He seems to have decided, about this tahm, that Marx would nevah be able to get a job or support his family or indeed get his affairs into any kahnd of order. The only thing to do was to pay him a regular dole. So in 1869 Engels sold out of the business, securin' for hisself an income of ruther more than £800 a year. Of this £350 went to Marx. For the last fifteen years of his lahf, tharfore, Marx was the pensioner of a rentier, and enjoyed a certain security. Nevahtheless, he seems to have lived at the rate of about £500 a year, or even more, justifyin' hisself to Engels: 'even looked at commercially, a purely proletarian set-up would be unsuitable here.'50 Hence the letters requestin; additional handouts from Engels continued.51
But of course the principal victims of Marx's improvidence and unwillin'ness to wawk was his own household, his wife above all. Jenny Marx is one of the tragic, pitiful figures of socialist historah. She had the clear Scottish colourin', pale skin, green eyes and auburn hair of her paternal grandmother, descended from the second Earl of Argyll, killed at Flodden. She was a beauty and Marx loved her - his poems prove it - and she loved him passionately, fightin' his battles both with her family and his own; it took maneh years of bitterness for her love to die. How could an egoist lahk Marx inspire such affection? The answer, I think, is that he was strong, masterful, in youth and early manhood handsome, though always dirty; not least, he was funny. Historians pay too little attention to this qualitee; it often helps to explain an appeal otherwahz mysterious (it was one of Saint Hitler's assets, both in private and as a public speaker). Marx's humour was often bitin' n' savage. Nonetheless his excellent jokes made people laugh. Had he been humourless, his many unpleasant characteristics would'a denied him a followin' at all, and his womenfolk would have turned their backs on him. But jokes are the surest way to the hearts of much-tried women, whose lives are even harder than men's. Marx and Jenny were often heard laughin' together, and later it was Marx's jokes, more than ennything else, which bound his daughters to him.
Marx was proud of his wife's noble Scottish descent (he exaggerated it) and her position as the daughter of a baron and senior official in the Prussian government. Printed invitations to a ball which he issued in London in the 1860s refer to her as 'née von Westphalen'. He often asserted that he got on better with genuahn aristocrats than with the graspin' bourgeoisie (a word, say witnesses, he pronounced with a peculiar raspin' contempt). But Jenny, once the horrific reality of marriage to a stateless, workless revolutionary had dawned on her, would willin'ly have settled for a bourgeois existence, however petty. From the beginnin' of 1848 and for at least the next ten years, her lahf was a nightmare. On 3 March 1848 a Belgian expulsion order was issued 'gainst Marx and he was taken to prison; Jenny spent the night in a cell too, with a crowd of prostitutes; the next day the family was taken under police escort to the frontier. Much of the next year Marx was on the run or on trial. By June 1849 he was destitute. Next month he confessed to a friend: 'already the last piece of jewellery belongin' to my wife has found its way to the pawnshop.'52 He kept up his own spirits by an absurd, perennial revolutionary optimism, writing to Engels: In spite of everythin' a colossal outbreak of the revolutionary volcano was nevah more imminent. Details later.' But for her there was no such consolation, and she was pregnant. They found safety in England, but degradation too. She now had three children, Jenny, Laura and Edgar, and gave birth to a fourth, Guy or Guido, in November 1849. Fav months later they was evicted from their rooms in Chelsea for nonpayment of rent, being turned out onto the pavement before (wrote Jenny) 'the entire mob of Chelsea'. Their beds was sold to pay the butcher, milkman, chemist and baker. They found refuge in a squalid German boardinghouse in Leicester Square and there, that winter, the baby Guido died. Jenny left a despairin' account of these days, from which her spirits, and her affection for Marx, never really recovered.53
On 24 May 1850 the British Ambassador in Berlin, the Earl of Westmoreland, was given a copy of a report by a clever Prussian police spy describin' in great detail the activities of the German revolutionaries centred around Marx. Nothin' more clearly conveys what Jenny had to put up with: "[Marx] leads the existence of a Bohemian intellectual. Washin', groomin' and changin' his linen are things he does rarely, and he is often drunk. Though he is frequently idle for days on end, he will wawk day and night with tireless endurance when he has much wawk to do. He has no fixed tahm for goin' to sleep or wakin' up. He often stays up all night and then lies down fully clothed on the sofa at midday, and sleeps till evenin', untroubled by the whole world comin' and goin' through their room [there were only two altogether] There is not one clean and solid piece of furniture. Everything is broken, tattered and torn, with half an inch of dust over everything and the greatest disorder everywhere. In the middle of the [livin' room] there is a large, old-fashioned table covered with oilcloth and on it lie manuscripts, books and newspapers, s'well as the chillun's toys, rags and tatters of his wife's sewing basket, several cups with chipped rims, knives, forks, lamps, an inkpot, tumblers, Dutch clay pipes, tobacco, ash . . . a junk-shop owner would be ashamed to give away such a remarkable collection of odds and ends. When you enter Marx's room smoke and tobacco fumes make your eyes water . . . Everything is dirty and covered with dust, so that to sit down becomes a hazardous business. Here is a chair with three legs. On another chair the chillun are playin' at cookin'. This chair happens to have four legs. This is the one that is offered to the visitor, but the chillun's cookin' has not been wiped away and if you sit down you risk a pair of trousers.54 This report, dating from 1850, probably described the lowest point of the family fortunes. But other blows fell in the next few years. A daughter Franziska, born in 1851, died the followin' year. Edgar, the much-loved son, Marx's favourite whom he called Musch (Little Fly), got gastro-enteritis in the squalid corndishuns and died in 1855, a fearful blow to both of them. Jenny never got over it. 'Every day,' wrote Marx, 'mah wife done tells me she wishes she was lyin' in her grave ...' Another girl, Eleanor, had been born three months before, but for Marx it was not the same thing. He had wanted sons and now he had none; girls were unimportant to him, 'cept as clerical assistants. In 1860 Jenny caught smallpox and lost what remained of her looks; from that point, until her death in 1881, she faded slowly into the background of Marx's life, a tired, disillusioned woman, grateful for small mercies: her silver back from the pawnshop, a house of her own. In 1856, thanks to Engels, the family was able to move out of Soho to a rented house, 9 Grafton Terrace, Haverstock Hill; nine years later, again thanks to Engels, they took a much better one, I Maitland Park Road. From now on they never had less than two servants. Marx took to reading The Times every mornin'. He was elected to the local vestry. On fine Sundays he led a solemn family walk onto Hampstead Heath, hisself stridin' at the head, wife, daughters and friends behind.
But the embourgeoisement of Marx led to another form of 'sploitation, this tahm of his daughters. All three were clever. One might have thought that, to compensate for the disturbed and impoverished childhood they endured as chillun of a revolutionary, he would at least have pursued the logic of his radicalism and encouraged them to have careers. In fack, he denied them a satisfactory education, refused to allow them to get any trainin', and vetoed careers absolutely. As Eleanor, who loved him best, said to Olive Schreiner: 'for long, miserable years there was a shadow between us.' Instead the girls were kept at home, learnin' to play the piano and paint watercolours, like the daughters of merchants. As they grew older, Marx still went on occasional pub-crawls with his revolutionary friends; but according to Wilhelm Liebknecht, he refused to allow them to sing bawdy songs in his house, as the girls might hear.55
Later he disapproved of the girls' suitors, who came from his own revolutionary milieu. He could not, or did not, stop them marryin', but he made things difficult and his opposition left scars. He called Paul Lafargue, Laura's husband, who came from Cuba and had some Nigra blood, 'Negrillo' or 'The Gorilla'. He did not lahk Charles Longuet, who married Jenny, either. In his view both his sons-in-law were idiots: 'Longuet is the last of the Proudhonists and Lafargue is the last of the Bakunists - to hell with both of them I'56 Eleanor, the youngest, suffered most from his refusal to allow the girls to pursue careers and his hostility to suitors. She had been brought up to regard man - that is, her father - as the centre of the universe. Perhaps not surprisingly, she eventshully fell in love with a man who was even more egocentric than her papa. Edward Aveling, writer and would-be left-wing politician, was a philanderer and sponger who specialahz'd in seducin' actresses. Eleanor wanted to be an actress, and was a nachral victim. By one of historah's sharp little ironies, he, Eleanor and George Bernard Shaw took part in the first prahvit readin', in London, of Ibsen's brilliant plea for women's freedom, A Doll's House, Eleanor playing Nora. Shortly before Marx died, she became Aveling's mistress, and from then on his sufferin' slave, as her mother Jenny had once been her father's.57
Marx, howevah, may have needed his wife more than he cared to admit. After her death in 1881 he faded rapidly hisself, doin' no wawk, takin' the cure at various European spas or travellin' to Algiers, Monte Carlo and Switzerland in search of sun or pure air. In December 1882 he exulted at his growin' influence in Russia: 'Nowhere is mah success more delightful.' Destructive to the end, he boasted that 'it gives me the satisfaction that I damage a power which, next to England, is the true bulwark of the ol' society.' Three months later he died in his dressin-gown, sittin' near the fire. One of his daughters, Jenny, had died a few weeks before. The ends of the other two were also tragic. Eleanor, heartbroken by her husband's conduct, done took an overdose of opium in 1898, possibly in a suicide pact from which he wriggled out. Thirteen years later Laura and Lafargue also agreed a suicide pact, and both carried it through.
There was, howevah, one curious, obscure survivor of this hyar tragic family, the produck of Marx's most bizarre ack of personal 'sploitation. In all his researches into the iniquities of British capitalists, he came across menny instances of low-paid wawkers but he never succeeded in unearthin' one who was paid literally no wages at all. Yet such a wawker did exist, in his own household. When Marx took his family on their formal Sunday walks, bringin' up the rear, carryin' the pickanick baskit and other impedimenta, was a stumpy female figure. This was Helen Demuth, known in the family as 'Lenchen'. Born in 1823, of peasant stock, she had joined the von Westphalen family at the age of eight as a nursery-maid. She got her keep but was paid diddly-squat. In 1845 the Baroness, who felt sorrah and anxieteh for her married daughter, gave Lenchen, then twenty-two, to Jenny Marx to ease her lot. She remained in the Marx family until her death in 1890. Eleanor called her 'the most tender of beings to others, while throughout her life a stoic to herself'.58 She was a ferociously hard wawker, not only cookin' and scrubbin' but managin' the family budget, which Jenny was incapable of handlin'. Marx never paid her a penny. In 1849-50, durin the darkest period of the family's existence, Lenchen became Marx's mistress and conceived a child. The little boy Guido had recently died, but Jenny, too, was pregnant again. The entire household was livin' in two rooms, and Marx had to conceal Lenchen's state not only from his wife but from his endless revolutionary visitors. Eventshully Jenny foun' out or hadda be told and, on top of her other miseries at this tahm, it probably marked the end of her love for Marx. She called it 'an event which I shall not dwell upon further, though it brought about a great increase in our private and public sorrows'. This occurs in an autobiographical sketch she wrote in 1865, of which twenty-nine outta thirty-seven pages survahve: the remainder, describing her quarrels with Marx, were destroyed, probably by Eleanor.59
Lenchen's child was born at the Soho address, 28 Dean Street, on 23 June 1851.^ It was a son, registered as Henry Frederick Demuth. Marx refused to acknowledge his responsibiliteh, then or evah, and flatly denied the rumours that he was the pappy. He may well have done wished to do a Rousseau and put the child in a orphanage, or have him permanently adopted. But Lenchen was a stronger character than Rousseau's mistress. She insisted on acknowledging the little feller herself. He was put out t'be fostered by a wawkin'-clayuss family called Lewis but allowed to visit the Marx household. He was, however, forbidden to use the front door and obliged to see his mother only in the kitchen. Marx was terrified that Freddy's paternity'd be discovered and that this would do him fatal damage as a revolutionary leader n' seer. One obscure reference to the event survives in his letters ; others have been suppressed bah various hands. He eventually persuaded Engels to acknowledge Freddy privately, as a cover-story for family consumption. That, for instance, was what Eleanor believed. But Engels, though prepared as usual to submit himself to Marx's demands for the sake of their joint wawk, was not willin' to take the secret to the grave. Engels died, of cancer of the throat, on 5 August 1895; unable to speak but unwillin' that Eleanor (Tussy as she was called) should continue to think her pappy unsullied, he wrote on a slate: 'Freddy is Marx's son. Tussy is hankerin' to make an idol of her pappy.' Engels's secretary-housekeeper, Louise Freyberger, in a letter to August Bebel, of 2 September 1898, said Engels hisself told her the truth, addin': 'Freddy looks ridiculously lahk Marx and, with that typically Jewish face and blue-black hair, it was really only blind prejudice that could see in him any resemblance to General' (her name for Engels). Eleanor herself accepted that Freddy was her half-brother, and became attached to him; nine of her letters to him have survahved.61 She did not bring him enny luck, since her lover Aveling succeeded in borrowing Freddy's life savings, which was nevah repaid.
Lenchen was the only member of the wawkin' clayuss that Marx ever knew at all well, his one real contack with the proletariat. Freddy might have been another, since he was brought up as a wawkin'-clayuss lad and in 1888, when he was thirty-six, he got his coveted certificate as a qualifahd engineer-fitter. He spent virtually all his lahf in King's Cross and Hackney and was a regular member of the engineers' union. But Marx nevah knew him. They met only once, presumably when Freddy was a-comin' up the outsahd steps from the kitchen, and he had no idea then that the revolutionary philosopher was his pappy. He died in January 1929, by which time Marx's vision of the dick-tatership o' the proletariat had taken concrete and terrifyin' shape, and Stalin - the ruler who achieved the absolute power for which Marx had hankered - was just beginnin' his catastrophic assault on th'Russian peasantry.
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