Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Marx, Engles, Lenin and Friends

John Ray deserves credit for collecting this information

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Karl Marx: Radical Antisemitism

Post by Michael Ezra

In a review of the recently published book, Antisemitic Myths: A Historical and Contemporary Anthology, edited by Marvin Perry and Frederick M. Schweitzer, David Hirsh has argued that it is a “standard misreading” of Marx to say that “Marx was an antisemite.” With this, he concurs with Robert Fine, who attempted to “explode the myth” of Marx’s antisemitism. As far as Professor Fine is concerned, those who believe this “myth” have an “inability” to read Marx or comprehend Marx’s “ironic style” of writing.

What truth is there in this argument? Marx’s essay, On the Jewish Question, originally published in 1844 contains the following:
What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.…. Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities…. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange…. The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.

Marx argues that, “In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism. Larry Ray explains, “Marx’s position is essentially an assimilationist one in which there is no room within emancipated humanity for Jews as a separate ethnic or cultural identity.” Dennis Fischman puts it, “Jews, Marx seems to be saying, can only become free when, as Jews, they no longer exist.”

The British journalist and historian Paul Johnson has argued that “The second part of Marx’s essay is almost a classic anti-Semitic tract, based upon a fantasied Jewish archetype and a conspiracy to corrupt the world.” The American historian, Gertrude Himmelfarb argued that it cannot be denied that in his essay On the Jewish Question, Marx expressed views that “were part of the classic repertoire of anti-Semitism.”

And so it goes on. Noted expert on antisemitism, Robert Wistrich, declared, (Soviet Jewish Affairs, 4:1, 1974) “the net result of Marx’s essay [On The Jewish Question] is to reinforce a traditional anti-Jewish stereotype - the identification of the Jews with money-making - in the sharpest possible manner.” In his book, Political Discourse in Exile: Karl Marx and the Jewish Question , Denis Fischman comments that in the second section of his essay, “Marx seems fairly to bristle with anti-Jewish sentiments.”

Even the anti-Zionist Joel Kovel, whose political views I normally have no time for, has said:
By anti-Semitism I mean the denial of the right of the Jew to autonomous existence, i.e., to freely determine his/her own being as Jew. Anti-Semitism therefore entails an attitude of hostility to the Jew as Jew. This is an act of violence, addressed to an essential property of humanity: the assertion of an identity, which may be understood as a socially shared structuring of subjectivity. To attack the free assumption of identity is to undermine the social foundation of the self. Judged by these criteria, OJQ [On the Jewish Question] is without any question an anti-Semitic tract - significantly, only in its second part, “Die Fähigkeit.” No attempt to read these pages as a play on words can conceal the hostility which infuses them, and is precisely directed against the identity of the Jew.

In fact, so commonly held is the view that Marx was an anti-Semite that in 1964, Shlomo Avineri, a leading commentator on Marx, stated (“Marx and Jewish Emancipation,” Journal of the History of Ideas, 1964) “That Karl Marx was an inveterate antisemite is today considered a commonplace which is hardly ever questioned.” Despite the opinions of numerous commentators, for Professor Fine, Marx’s stated views are not anti-Semitic but “witty” and “ironic.” In On the Jewish Question, Marx discusses the “practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world.” I am not sure whether this is “witty” or “ironic.” Perhaps Professor Fine would like to explain. Marx’s essay also contains accusations against the Jewish religion which Marx says has “Contempt for theory, art, history, and for man as an end in himself.” Witty? Ironic? I think not.

To the credit of Professor Fine, he does not exonerate the left: “modern, political anti-Semitism is a creature of the left as well as the right” but what he does seem to do is disassociate left antisemitism from Marx.

Ulrike Meinhof of the Marxist Red Army Faction posed the question “How was Auschwitz possible, what was anti-Semitism?” and stated the opinion that “Auschwitz means that six million Jews were murdered and carted on to the rubbish dumps of Europe for being that which was maintained of them—Money-Jews.” As far as she was concerned, hatred of Jews was actually the hatred of capitalism and hence the murder of the Israeli Olympic team, at 1972 Munich Olympics, was not only justified but something that could be praised. Whilst Meinhof’s explanation is perverse, it seems to me that such an interpretation can be explained if one’s understanding of how Marxists should view Jews is obtained from Marx’s own essay,On the Jewish Question.

When considering Marx and his views towards Jews, one must go further than his infamous essay, his correspondence also needs to be considered. Marx used the Bambergers to borrow money but showed contempt for them. In a derogatory fashion he referred to the father and son as “Jew Bamberger” or “little Jew Bamberger.” Similarly, Spielmann, whose name appears frequently in correspondence between Marx and Engels was referred to as “Jew Spielmann.” When on holiday in Ramsgate in 1879, Marx reported to Engels that the resort contained “many Jews and fleas.” In an earlier letter to Engels, Marx referred to Ferdinand Lassalle as a “Jewish nigger.” Professor Fine has not discussed this but I do not see such comments as “witty” or “ironic,” they are simply racist.

If they are not ignoring such expressions, apologists for Marx will even try and whitewash them. In a 1942 Soviet English language publication of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: Selected Correspondence, 1846-1895, such terminology could not be ignored and the following note (cited by Diane Paul, “‘In the Interests of Civilization’: Marxist Views of Race and Culture in the Nineteenth Century,” Journal of the History of Ideas, 1981) was included:
With reference to the use of the word “nigger” which occurs in this book: Marx used the word while living in England, in the last century. The word does not have the same connotation as it has now in the U.S. and should be read as “Negro” whenever it occurs in the text.

The excuse seems to be along the lines of: “Yes, a racist term is used, but pretend that a non racist term was used instead.” It is a simply ludicrous excuse and it exposes the depths to which apologists of Marx will sink.

It was in his article, “The Russian Loan,” published in the New-York Daily Tribune on January 4, 1856, that the grotesque antisemitism of Karl Marx’s writing was on full display:
Thus we find every tyrant backed by a Jew, as is every pope by a Jesuit. In truth, the cravings of oppressors would be hopeless, and the practicability of war out of the question, if there were not an army of Jesuits to smother thought and a handful of Jews to ransack pockets.

… the real work is done by the Jews, and can only be done by them, as they monopolize the machinery of the loanmongering mysteries by concentrating their energies upon the barter trade in securities… Here and there and everywhere that a little capital courts investment, there is ever one of these little Jews ready to make a little suggestion or place a little bit of a loan. The smartest highwayman in the Abruzzi is not better posted up about the locale of the hard cash in a traveler’s valise or pocket than those Jews about any loose capital in the hands of a trader… The language spoken smells strongly of Babel, and the perfume which otherwise pervades the place is by no means of a choice kind.

… Thus do these loans, which are a curse to the people, a ruin to the holders, and a danger to the governments, become a blessing to the houses of the children of Judah. This Jew organization of loan-mongers is as dangerous to the people as the aristocratic organization of landowners… The fortunes amassed by these loan-mongers are immense, but the wrongs and sufferings thus entailed on the people and the encouragement thus afforded to their oppressors still remain to be told.

… The fact that 1855 years ago Christ drove the Jewish moneychangers out of the temple, and that the moneychangers of our age enlisted on the side of tyranny happen again chiefly to be Jews, is perhaps no more than a historical coincidence. The loan-mongering Jews of Europe do only on a larger and more obnoxious scale what many others do on one smaller and less significant. But it is only because the Jews are so strong that it is timely and expedient to expose and stigmatize their organization.

A Marxist website has provided a list of articles written by Karl Marx between 1852 and 1861 for the New York Daily Tribune. It does not surprise me that “The Russian Loan” does not appear on this list. When apologists for Marx’s antisemitism run out of explanations, they simply ignore his words.


Note from JR: The Marx article referred to immediately above was however reprinted in "Karl Marx, The Eastern Question" (ed. by Eleanor Marx & Edward Aveling, 1897: new ed. 1969). pp. 600-606. I have also previously excerpted it here

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

Saturday, July 07, 2007


(The article below is from Encounter of July 1975, pages 18-23. The authors, W. O. Henderson and W. H. Chaloner, translated and edited a 1971 edition of Engels' The Condition of the Working Class in England. The article below was part of a "Men and Ideas" series. You can see a photocopy of the original article here. The quotations given are fairly fully footnoted except for the initial selection, which mostly come from Zur Judenfrage. Zur Judenfrage is available in German here and in English here. Online links for most of the quotes can be found via Google once allowance for differences in translation are made. The translations below are generally very elegant. Where Google does not satisfy, most works by Marx and Engels can be found online in order of date at the Marx/Engels library)

Marx/Engels and Racism

By W. H. Chaloner & W. O. Henderson

WHILE Scholars on the Continent have long been aware of the fact that Karl Marx held anti-Semitic views, the same cannot generally be said of their colleagues in England and America.

Marx was a Jew; and when he was growing up in Trier the Jews, though not persecuted, were treated as second-class citizens and excluded from certain professions. No Jew could hold a commission in the Prussian army or practise as a lawyer at the bar. To continue as a member of the legal profession Marx's father became a Christian and was baptised by a Lutheran army chaplain.

As a boy Marx realised that he was different from his fellows. He had been baptised, but he was "a Jew by race" and suffered from the anti-Semitism prevalent in Germany in his day. His reaction to the situation was an extraordinary one. He ranged himself with the anti-Semites and denounced his own people in a most violent fashion. [1]

His attitude towards the Jews was made clear in two articles which he wrote in 1843 at the age of 25. They were reviews of a book and an article by Bruno Bauer on the Jewish question, and they appeared in the Deutsch-Franzoesische Jahrbuecher (published in Paris in 1844) [2]. Marx regarded capitalism, as operated by the middle classes, as inherently evil; and he argued that Jewish money-making activities lay at the very heart of the obnoxious capitalist system. The following extracts from Marx's articles indicate his point of view of the Jewish question in his day.

"What is the worldly raison d'etre of Jewry [Judaism]? The practical necessity of Jewry is self-interest."

"What is the worldly religion of the Jews? It is the petty haggling of the hawker."

"What is his worldly God?" "It is money."

"So in Jewry we recognise a contemporary universal anti-social phenomenon, which has reached its present pitch through a process of, historical development in which the Jews have zealously co-operated. And this evil anti-social aspect of Jewry has grown to a stage at which: it must necessarily collapse."

"The Jews have emancipated themselves in a Jewish fashion. Not only have they mastered the; power of money but - with or without the Jews - money has become a world power. The Jews have emancipated themselves by turning Christians into Jews:"

"Money is the most zealous God of Israel and no other God can compete with him. Money debases all human Gods and turns them into goods. Money is the universal value of everything."

"The God of the Jews has become secularised and bas become a World God. The bill of exchange is the real God of the Jews."

"Jewry reaches its climax in the consummation of bourgeois society - and bourgeois society has reached its highest point in the Christian world."

In 1845, in The Holy Family, Marx claimed that in his articles in the Deutsch-Franzoesische Jahrbuecher he had "proved that the task of abolishing the essence of Jewry is in truth the task of abolishing Jewry in civil society, abolishing the inhumanity of today's practice of life, the summit of which is the money system." [3]

In 1849 an article in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (of which Marx was the editor) criticised the notion that Jews living in Prussia's Polish provinces should be regarded as Germans. The article declared that these Jews were "the filthiest of all races." "Neither by speech nor by descent - but only by their greed for profit - can they be looked upon as relatives of the Germans in Frankfurt."

One of Marx's critical biographers has remarked: "this solution of the Jewish question was not very different from Adolf Hitler's, for it involved the liquidation of Judaism.." [4]

THERE ARE NUMEROUS uncomplimentary references to Jews in Karl Marx's letters to his close friend Friedrich Engels in the 1850s and 1860s. At that time Marx was living in London and his earnings as a free-lance journalist - he was a regular contributor to the New York Daily Tribune - were quite insufficient for his needs. Engels, then employed as a clerk by the firm of Ermen & Engels in Manchester, sent him small remittances whenever he could. Even so Marx failed to make ends meet and - when there was nothing more to pledge at the pawnbrokers - he borrowed money from anyone who would lend it.

He had many dealings with Jewish financial agents in the City of London. The Bambergers (father and son) [5], as well as Stiefel and Spielmann, were German Jews whose names frequently crop up in the Marx-Engels correspondence. Marx made use of the Jews to raise small loans and, to discount bills of exchange received from Charles A. Dana (editor of the New York Tribune) in advance payment of articles which Marx had agreed to write. Marx complained bitterly that the Jews would not discount his bills until confirmation from Dana had been received; [6] and he was furious when they pressed him to honour debts due-for repayment. Marx showed his contempt by always referring to them as "Jew [or "little Jew"] Bamberger" and "Jew Spielmann", or by imitating the nasal twang characteristic of the way in which some Jews from Eastern Europe spoke German. [7]

Yet Marx had cause to regret the day when the Bambergers were not in business in London any more and were no longer available to discount his bills of exchange. In 1859 he wrote to Engels: "it is the devil of a nuisance that I have no Bamberger in London any more.." [8]

MARX'S ANTI-SEMITISM may be illustrated by examining his attitude towards Ferdinand Lassalle, who was a Jew from Breslau in Silesia. As. a young man Lassalle had led the workers of Duesseldorf during the revolution of 1848. But he had never been a member of the Communist League, since his application to join the Cologne branch had been turned down: and he had taken no part in the risings in Germany in 1849 in support of the Frankfurt constitution, since he had been in jail at that time.

Consequently in the 1850s, while nearly all the former supporters of the revolution were either in prison or in exile, Lassalle was able to live in Duesseldorf, without being unduly molested by the authorities. It was to Marx's advantage to keep in touch with Lassalle, who gave him news of the underground workers' movement "in the Rhineland. And through his aristocratic connections - he was a close friend of the Countess of Hatzfeld - he was sometimes able to provide Marx with useful political information which he could use in articles contributed to the New York Tribune and Die Presse. But while Marx regarded himself as the head or a great politica1 movement who should be obeyed by his followers, Lassalle declined to be a mere disciple and was determined to be a leader of the German workers in his own right.

The correspondence between Marx and Lassalle [9] suggests that the two men were colleagues who - despite certain differences of opinion - were collaborating to achieve a common aim. But the letters exchanged between Marx and Engels tell a very different story. Here Marx showed his contempt for the Jew who presumed to have opinions and ambitions of his own. When Lassalle was Marx's guest in London in 1862 Marx wrote to Engels:

"It is now perfectly clear to me that, as the shape of his head and the growth of his hair indicate, he is descended from the negroes who joined in the flight of Moses from Egypt (unless his mother or grandmother on the father's side was crossed with a nigger). Now this union of Jewishness to Germanness on a negro basis was bound to produce an extraordinary hybrid. The importunity of the fellow is also niggerlike." [10]

Marx referred to his guest as a "Jewish nigger" who was "completely deranged." He frequently used derogatory epithets when writing about Lassalle, such as "Itzig" (Ikey), "Ephraim Gescheit" and "Judel Braun." And Marx's wife, in a letter to Engels, called Lassalle "the little Berlin Jew."

AFTER LASSALLE'S DEATH in 1864 there are fewer uncomplimentary remarks about Jews in the Marx-Engels correspondence than before. In that year Engels became a partner in the firm of Ermen & Engels, and from 1867 onwards he paid Marx an annual allowance of 350 pounds. So, although Marx's financial problems were by no means solved, he had less need than formerly to try to borrow money from Jews - such as Ignaz Horn [12] and Leo Frankel [13].

He wrote to Engel's in 1875 that he had got into conversation with "a sly looking Yid" on a journey from London to Rotterdam. He was clearly delighted to be able to report that his loquacious Jewish travelling companion had been the victim of some sharp practice in a business deal [14]. And in his old age when on holiday in Ramsgate, Marx declared that there were "many Jews and fleas" at the resort [15].

IT WAS NOT ONLY in private letters to his closest friend that Marx indulged in anti-Semitic outbursts. In an article in the New York Tribune (4 January 1856), in which he discussed an international loan to be raised by the Russian government to finance the war in the Crimea, Marx savagely attacked the Jewish financiers who co-operated to place the loan [16]. Marx wrote:

"This loan is brought out under the auspices of the house of Stieglitz at St Petersburg. Stieglitz is to Alexander what Rothschild is to Francis Joseph, what Fould is to Louis Napoleon. The late Czar Nicholas made Stieglitz a Russian baron, as the late Kaiser Franz made old Rothschild an Austrian baron, while Louis Napoleon has made a cabinet minister of Fould, with a free ticket to the Tuileries for the females of his family. Thus we find every tyrant backed by a Jew. as is every Pope by a Jesuit. In truth, the cravings of oppressors would be hopeless, and the practicability of war out of the question, if there were not an army of Jesuits to smother thought and a handful of Jews to ransack pockets."

Hope & Co. of Amsterdam played an important role in placing the Russian loan. This was not a Jewish firm, but Marx declared that

"the Hopes lend only the prestige of their name; the real work is done by Jews, and can only be done by them as they monopolise the machinery of the loan-mongering mysteries by concentrating their energies upon the barter-trade in securities, and the changing of money and negotiating of bills in a great measure arising there from.

Take Amsterdam for instance, a city harbouring many of the worst descendants of the Jews whom Ferdinand and Isabella drove out of Spain, and who, after lingering a while in Portugal, were driven thence also, and eventually found a safe place of retreat in Holland. In Amsterdam alone they number not less: than 35,000, many of whom are engaged in this gambling and jobbing of securities... Their business is to watch the monies available for investment and keenly observe where they lie. Here and there and everywhere that a little capital courts investment there is ever one of these little Jews ready to make a little suggestion or place a little bit of a loan. The smartest highwayman in the Abruzzi is not better posted about the locale of the hard cash in a traveller's valise or pocket, than those Jews about any loose capital in the hands of a trader."

Marx went on to attack the Jewish finance houses of Koenigswarter, Raphael, Stem, Bischoffsheim, Rothschild, Mendelssohn, Bleichroeder, Fould and many others. He declared that many of these families were linked by marriage and he observed that

"the loan mongering Jews derive much of their strength from these family relations, as these, in addition to their lucre affinities, give a compactness and unity to their operations which ensure their success."

Marx concluded his article as follows:

"This Eastern war is destined at all events to throw some light upon this system of loan-mongering as well as other systems. Meanwhile the Czar will get his fifty millions and let the English journals say what they please, if he wants five fifties more, the Jews will dig them up. Let us not be thought too severe upon these loan-mongering gentry. The fact that 1855 years ago Christ drove the Jewish money-changers out of the temple, and that the money-changers of our age enlisted on the side of tyranny happen again chiefly to be Jews, is perhaps no more than a historical coincidence.

The loan-mongering Jews of Europe do only on a larger and more obnoxious scale what many others do on one smaller and less significant. But it is only because the Jews are so strong that it is timely and expedient to expose and stigmatise their organisation."

There was a kind of bitter justice in the fact that Marx, who detested his own race, should have suffered from the anti-Semitic views of others. There were those who attacked Marx because he was a Jew and who branded the political movement that he led as a Jewish conspiracy. [16a]

ENGELS' ATTITUDE towards the Jews was quite different from that of Marx. [17] He had never denounced the Jews as a race of petty traders and money-lenders and as Marx had done in his youthful article in the Deutsch-Franzoesische Jahrbuecher [18]. Indeed he later declared that anti-Semitism was the mark of a backward culture and was confined to Russia, Austria and Prussia [19].

In 1881 Eduard Bernstein sent Engels some examples of anti-Semitic propaganda in Germany. Engels replied that he had never seen anything so stupid or childish. He praised the Sozial-Demokrat - the leading socialist paper in Germany at the time of Bismarck's Anti-Socialist Law - for coming out firmly against anti-Semitism. Engels quoted with approval a passage from a letter which he had recently received from a Jewish correspondent (Carl Hirsch), who had just been to Berlin. Hirsch had written that "the official press which prints anti-Semitic articles has few readers."

"While it is true that the Germans have a natural antipathy towards the Jews, it is also a fact that the working class, the radical petty bourgeoisie, and the middle-class philistines hate the government far more than they hate the Jews."

Bernstein, however disagreed with "Hirsch and claimed that anti-Semitic propaganda was falling upon fertile soil in Germany as far as civil servants, teachers, craftsmen, and peasants were concerned.

Ten years later Engels wrote to August Bebel that he was glad to learn that new Jewish recruits were joining the German Social Democrat Party. But he warned Bebel that socialists would have to keep a watchful eye on these Jewish colleagues because they were cleverer than the average bourgeois socialist and were - owing to centuries of oppression - in the habit of pushing themselves forward! [20]

ALTHOUGH ENGELS DISAPPROVED of anti-Semitism and welcomed Jews like Karl Kautsky and Alfred Adler as party colleagues, he did criticise particular Jews and groups of Jews. For example, in a comment on English politics in 1852 he contemptuously dismissed Disraeli as a "Jewish swindler." A few years later when he wished to express his disapproval of Lassalle's conduct, he referred to him as "a real Jew from the Slav frontier" and as "a greasy Jew disguised under brilliantine and flashy jewels." [22] In 1862, in a letter to Carl Siebel, he attacked the Jewish members of a German club (the Schiller Anstalt) in Manchester. He declared that he seldom visited this veritable "Jerusalem Club" any more because the noisy behaviour of the Jews inconvenienced other members.

"What has happened is what always happens when Jews are about. At first they thank God that they had a Schiller Anstalt, but hardly had they got inside than they declared that it was not good enough for them and that they wanted to build a bigger club house - a true temple of Moses - to which the Schiller Anstalt could be moved. This would indeed be the quickest road to bankruptcy . Look out! In a year or two you will get a circular reading like this: 'In view of the bankruptcy of the late Schiller Anstalt'" [23]

A few years later, however, when he was President of the Schiller Anstalt, Engels played a leading part in securing the larger premises that the Jewish members desired.

In 1864, during the crisis in the Lancashire cotton industry at the time of the American Civil War, Engels complained of the vexations that he had to endure in the office of Ermen & Engels because of "Jewish chicaneries." [24] In October 1867 and again in May 1868, Engels complained that his time was being wasted by visits from "that damned old Jew" Leibel Choras, who was a refugee from Moldavia where the Jews were being persecuted [25]. Engels obviously had little sympathy for Leibel Choras. And in 1870 Engels dismissed Leo Frankel as "a real little Yid" [26]

In 1892 in a letter to the French socialist leader Paul Lafargue - Marx's son-in-law - Engels even expressed a certain sympathy for the anti-Jewish movement in France. He wrote:

"I begin to understand French anti-Semitism when I see how many Jews of Polish origin with German names intrude themselves everywhere to the point of arousing public opinion in the ville lumiere, of which the Parisian philistine is so proud and which he believes to be the supreme power in the universe." [27]

Engels also expressed his contempt for the Polish Jews who were, in his view, "caricatures of Jews" [27]. He wrote to Laura Lafargue:

Business principle of the Polish Jew to ask much so as to be able to rebate, as for instance: "How much is a yard of this cloth?" "15 groschen." "He says 15, he means 12.5, he would take 10, and the cloth is worth 7.5. I am prepared to pay 5 so I will offer him 2.5 groschen." [29]

JUST AS ENGELS RARELY SHOWED any antipathy towards the Jews, so he had no prejudices against coloured peoples. He rejected the view commonly expressed by explorers and missionaries in his day that native peoples were "heathen savages" who were obviously inferior to white races. Indeed he argued that primitive peoples were superior to modern Europeans because they did not recognise private property or capitalism, or the state. In 1884 in his book on The Origin of the Family - based upon the researches of the American anthropologist L. H. Morgan - Engels gave a lyrical account of the "wonderful child-like simplicity" of the way of life in the Iroquois Indian tribes.

"Everything runs smoothly without soldiers, gendarmes, or police; without nobles, kings, governors, prefects, or judges, without prisons, without trials. All quarrels and disputes are settled by the whole body of those concerned. The household is run in common and communistically by a number of families, the land is tribal property, only the small gardens being temporarily assigned to the households. Not a bit of our extensive and complicated machinery of administration is required. There can be no poor or needy - the communistic household and the gens know their obligations towards the aged, the sick, and those disabled in war. All are free and equal - including the women. There is, as yet, no room for slaves nor, as a rule, for the subjugation of alien tribes." [30]

As an admirer of primitive races, Engels (like Marx) was strongly opposed to the exploitation of native peoples by white colonists. He denounced the expansion of the empires of European states in India, Java, Algiers and elsewhere. For Marx and Engels the rising in India in 1857 was no mere mutiny of Sepoy troops but a national revolt against the English oppressors. In a series of articles in the New York Tribune they analysed the causes and events of the Mutiny, which they regarded as an illustration of the "general disaffection exhibited against English supremacy on the part of the great Asiatic nations." [31]

In view of Engels's attitude towards the Jews, the Iroquois, and the natives in colonial territories, his attitude towards some of the Slavs is difficult to understand. When a Pan-Slav movement developed with Russian support in central and eastern Europe during the revolution of 1848 Engels rejected the demands of the Czechs, Serbs, Croats, and Ruthenians for independence from Habsburg or Turkish rule. Early in 1849 (in two articles in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung [32]) he argued that these peoples had no natura1 capacity for self-government and were for ever doomed to be ruled by more advanced nations. They were "peoples without any history."

Engels asserted that these peoples would always be subject races and would "never achieve national independence." "They are peoples who were either already under foreign rule when they entered into the first primitive phase of civilisation or who were actually forced into earliest phase of civilisation by their foreign masters." In the true spirit of Pan-Germanism, Marx and Engels considered the Czechoslovakian peoples and the South Slavs to be "ethnic trash."

TWO THINGS EMERGE from this study. The first is the extent to which Marx's anti-Semitism has been played down, or even ignored, in some popular socialist accounts of Marx's career and doctrines published in the West and intended for radical and socialist consumption. Thus, readers of Franz Mehring's Karl Marx (first published in English translation in 1936) will find little to enlighten them on Marx's anti-Semitism.

There may not be exactly a conspiracy of silence but attention may be drawn to the fact that there is a difference between telling the truth and telling the whole truth. Deception by omission is still deception. Western commentators, too, with a few honourable exceptions, have tended to dodge the issue or to gloss over unwelcome facts. Scholars unfamiliar with the German language, who rely only upon English translations of the writings of Marx and Engels, may be led astray if they use selections compiled by Marxists who are prepared to suppress evidence which might display their hero in a somewhat unfavourable light.

The second point is the striking contrast between Marx's benevolent desire to liberate the toiling masses from the tyranny of their capitalist exploiters and his ferocious attacks upon those; who appeared to stand in the way of his messianic hopes - the "idiotic" peasants and the "rapacious" Jews for example. Long after Marx's death his followers in Soviet Russia were acting quite in accordance with their master's views when they eliminated the Kulaks and persecuted the Jews.


1. Arnold Kuenzii has examined the psychological roots of Marx's anti-Semitism in Karl Marx: eine Psychographie (Vienna, 1966), esp. pp. 33-169, 195-226, 289-93. See also Camillo Berneri, Le Juif anti-Semite (Paris, 1935).

Yet even in West Germany an attempt is apparently being made to counter this realist view. There has recently been published in Hamburg a selection of Marxist pronouncements on the Jewish question (but omitting Marx's "Zur Judenfrage" of 1844 on the grounds that it is "easily available" elsewhere) - see: Marxisten gegen Antisemitismus (Hoffmann & Campe, 1974), with heavily pro-Marxist introductions by Iring Fetscher and Ilse Yago-Jung. One wonders whether a more appropriate title for this volume might not have been Marxisten gegen Judentum und Zionismus.

2. Karl Marx, "Zur Judenfrage" in Deutsch-Franzoesische Jahrbuecher (Paris, 1844), reprinted in Karl Marx/Friedrich 'Engels, Werke, Vol. 1 (1964), pp. 347-377; A World without Jews (tr. D.D. Runes, 1959). The first article reviewed Bruno Bauer, Die Judenfrage (1843), the second Bruno Bauer's article on "Die Fahigheit der heutigen Juden und Christen frei zu werden" in Einundzwanzig Bogen aus der Schweiz (ed. Georg Herwegh, 1843, pp.56-71). A reprint of the D-.F. Jahrbuecher has recently been issued in Leipzig, Verlag Reclam (1973); Marx's article appears on pp. 295-333.

The most recent discussion of Marx's views is R. S. Wistrich, "Karl Marx and the Jewish Question", Soviet-Jewish Affairs, vol. IV, No. 1 (Spring 1974), pp. 53-60, which contains copious documentation. See, especially, Arthur Prinz., "New Perspectives on Marx as a Jew" Leo Baeck Year Book (1970), pp. 107-25; it includes the revealing text of a letter by Heinrich Graetz, the Jewish historian and a friend of Marx.

3. Marx/Engels, The Holy Family (1845; Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1956), p.148.

4. Neue Rheinische Zeitung (No. 285 Sunday 29 April 1849), p. 1, col. 1. Marx was probably the author of the article. The Unknown Karl Marx; Documents concerning Karl Marx (ed. R. Payee. 1972), pp.14-15.

5. A small colony of Bambergers can be traced in the City of London during the mid-1850s, based on King Street, Snowhill. Zacharias Bamberger (of 19 King Street, ship and commission agents) was a partner in the firm of Prager & Bamberger, 84 Lower Thomas Street, while Louis Bamberger and Co., merchants, and Abraham Bamberger & Co., wholesale boot manufacturers, both operated from 20 King Street., Snowhill. See: Kelly & Co., Post Office London Directory (1855), p. 813. Of these Zacharias Bamberger seems most likely to have been Marx's money-lender.

6. See Marx to Engels, 31 July 1851, in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii, Vol. I, p. 224; and 21 January 1852, p. 444.

7. For example: "Spielmann always sends one away with the nasal Jewish remark 'Kaine Nootiz da' [i.e. Keine Notiz da]": Marx to Engels, 18 August 1853 in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii, Vol. 1. p.˜492. The word Yiddish, used to describe this form of speech, is noted as first appearing in print in English in the mid-1880s (Oxford English Dictionary).

8. Marx to Engels, 21 September 1859, in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii, Vol. 2, p. 416.

9. Gustav Mayer, Der Briefwechsel zwischen Lassalle und Marx, Vol. 3 of Ferdinand Lassalle: Nachgelassene Briefe und Schriften (first edition 1922; new edition issued by the Historical Commission of the Bavarian Academy of Science, 1967).

10. Marx to Engels, 30 July 1862, in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii. Vol. 3, pp. 82-84. On Marx as "at once a racialist himself and the cause of racialism in others", see George Watson, The English Ideology (1973), p. 211.

11. Jenny Marx to Engels, 9 April 1858, in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii. Vol. 2, p. 314. See also the malicious and anti-Semitic gossip about Moses and Sybille Hess, in Marx to Engels, 22 September 1856, Part iii, Vol. 2, p. 147.

12. Marx to Engels, 10 February 1865 ("Jud Horn") and 14 November 1868 ("Rabbi A Einhorn generally known by the name of A. E. Horn") in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii, Vol. 3, p.232; and Vol. 4, p. 124.

13. Marx to Engels, 14 April and 8 July 1870 ("little Jew Leo Frankel") in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii, Vol. 4, pp. 302, 338.

14. Marx to Engels, 21 August 1875, in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii, Vol. 4, pp. 428-9.

15. Marx to Engels, 25 August 1879 in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii, Vol. 4, p.490.

16. Reprinted in Karl Marx, The Eastern Question (ed. by Eleanor Marx & Edward Aveling, 1897: new ed. 1969). pp. 600-606.

16a. See, for example, Edward von Mueller-Tellering, Vorgeschmack in die kuenftige deutsche Diktatur von Marx und Engels (1850).

17. For the attitude of socialists to the Jews, see E. Silberner, Sozialisten zur Judenfrage (1962) and George Lichtheim, "Socialism and the Jews" in Dissent (New York), July-August 1968.

18. Karl Marx, "Zur Judenfrage", in the Deutsch Franzoesische Jahrbuecher (1844), reprinted in Marx/Engels, Werke, Vol. 1 (1964), pp, 347-77. See also, Marx/Engels, The Holy Family (Moscow, 1965), pp.149-150.

19. Engels to a correspondent in Vienna, 19 April 1890, in Marx/Engels, Werke, Vol. XXII, p. 49. See, however, Engels' 1892 preface to the London edition of his Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), where he refers to "the pettifogging business tricks of the Polish Jew, the representative: in Europe of commerce at its lowest stage" (p. 360 in 1971 edition by Henderson & Chaloner).

20. Engels to Bernstein, 17 August 1881, in Eduard Bernsteins Briefwechsel mit Friedrich Engels (ed. Hirsch, 1970), pp. 28-29. Bernstein to Engels, 9 September 1881: Briefwechsel, p. 37. Engels to Bebel. 1 December 1891, in August Bebels Briefwechsel mit Friedrich Engels (ed. Blumenberg, 1965), p. 487.

21. Engels to Marx, 24 September 1852, in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii. Vol. 1, p. 405.

22. Engels to Marx, 7 March 1856 in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii, Vol. 2, p. 122. English translation: Engels: Selected Writings (ed. Henderson. Penguin, 1967), pp. 129-30.

23. Engels to Carl Siebel, 4 June 1862, in Friedrich Engels Profile (ed. Hirsch, 1970) p. 250.

24. Engels to Marx, 2 November 1864, in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii, Vol. 3, p. 192.

25. Engels to Marx, 11 October 1867 and 6 May 1868, in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii, Vol. 3. p. 432 and Vo1. 4, p. 52. It has not proved possible to identify Choras further.

26. Engels to Marx, 15 April 1870, in Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe , Part iii, Vol. 4, p. 305.

27. Engels to Paul Lafargue, 22 July 1892, in F.Engels - Paul and Laura Lafargue: Correspondence (Moscow). Vol. iii, 1891-95, p.˜184.

28. Engels to Pau1 Ernst, 5 June 1890, in Engels Profile, p. 190.

29. Engels to Laura Lafargue, 27 October 1893, in Engels-Lafargue: Correspondence, Vol iii, 1891?95, p.307.

30. Engels, Der Ursprung der Familie, des Privateigentums und des Staates (1884: new ed., 1962), p.96. English translation: Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (Moscow), p. 159. Engels' book was based upon Lewis Henry Morgan, Ancient Society, or Researches in the Line of Human Progress from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilisation (1877). Engels also made use of the notes which Karl Marx had made (probably in the winter of 1880-1) on Morgan's book, The Ethnological Notebooks of Karl Marx (ed. Lawrence Krader, 1972).

31. For selections of articles and letters written by Marx and Engels on colonisation, see Marx/Engels, On Colonisation (Moscow) and The First Indian War of Independence, 1857-1859 (Moscow; London, 1960).

32. Engels, "Der magyarische Kampf" and "Der demokratische Panslavismus", in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, 13 January and 15 February 1849; reprinted in Karl Marx/Engels Werke, Vol. VI p. 165 ff. P. W. Blackstock and B. F. Hoselitz have translated and edited a useful anthology of these in Marx/Engels, The Russian Menace to Europe (1952). Pages 56-9, and 241 are important for "peoples without a history."

Monday, January 29, 2007


Note the open avowal of terrorism

"As for slavery, there is no need for me to speak of its bad aspects. The only thing requiring explanation is the good side of slavery. I do not mean indirect slavery, the slavery of proletariat; I mean direct slavery, the slavery of the Blacks in Surinam, in Brazil, in the southern regions of North America. Direct slavery is as much the pivot upon which our present-day industrialism turns as are machinery, credit, etc. … Slavery is therefore an economic category of paramount importance."
- Karl Marx
(Letter to Pavel Vasilyevich Annenkov, December 28, 1846)

"… the very cannibalism of the counterrevolution will convince the nations that there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror."
- Karl Marx
("The Victory of the Counter-Revolution in Vienna," Neue Rheinische Zeitung, November 7, 1848)

"All the other large and small nationalities and peoples are destined to perish before long in the revolutionary world storm… these residual fragments of peoples always become fanatical standard-bearers of counter-revolution and remain so until their complete extirpation or loss of their national character… [A general war will] wipe out all these petty hidebound nations, down to their very names. The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward."
- Friedrich Engels
("The Magyar Struggle,"
Neue Rheinische Zeitung, January 13, 1849)

"… only by the most determined use of terror against these Slav peoples can we [Germans], jointly with the Poles and Magyars, safeguard the revolution… there will be a struggle, an ‘inexorable life-and-death struggle,’ against those Slavs who betray the revolution; an annihilating fight and ruthless terror - not in the interests of Germany, but in the interests of the revolution!"
- Friedrich Engels
("Democratic Pan-Slavism, Cont.,"
Neue Rheinische Zeitung, February 16, 1849)

"We have no compassion and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."
- Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
("Suppression of the
Neue Rheinische Zeitung," Neue Rheinische Zeitung, May 19, 1849)

"Psychologically, this talk of feeding the starving is nothing but an expression of the saccharine-sweet sentimentality so characteristic of our intelligentsia."
- V. I. Lenin
(Robert Conquest,
The Harvest of Sorrow [London: Arrow Books, 1988], p234)

"... whoever recognizes class war must recognize civil wars, which in any class society represent the natural and, in certain circumstances, inevitable continuation, development and sharpening of class war."
- V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov,
Lenin: Life and Legacy [London: HarperCollins, 1994], p196)

"Until we apply terror to speculators - shooting on the spot - we won’t get anywhere."
- V. I. Lenin
(George Leggett,
The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p55)

"Let them shoot on the spot every tenth man guilty of idleness."
- V. I. Lenin
(George Leggett,
The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p55)

"Surely you do not imagine that we shall be victorious without applying the most cruel revolutionary terror?"
- V. I. Lenin
(George Leggett,
The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p57)

"You can tell Ter [a local Cheka commander] that if there is an offensive, he must make
all preparations to burn Baku down totally, and this should be announced in print in Baku."
- V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov,
Lenin: Life and Legacy [London: HarperCollins, 1994], p202)

"Merciless war against these kulaks! Death to them!"
- V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov,
Lenin: Life and Legacy [London: HarperCollins, 1994], p197)

"... carry out merciless mass terror against the kulaks, priests and White Guards; unreliable elements to be locked up in a concentration camp outside the town."
- V. I. Lenin
(George Leggett,
The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p103)

"I am confident that the suppression of the Kazan Czechs and White Guards, and likewise of the bloodsucking kulaks who support them, will be a model of mercilessness."
- V. I. Lenin
(George Leggett,
The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p119)

"When we are reproached with cruelty, we wonder how people can forget the most elementary Marxism."
- V. I. Lenin
(Robert Conquest,
The Human Cost of Soviet Communism [Washington: Committee on the Judiciary, US Senate, 91st Congress, 2nd Session, 1970], p10)

"... catch and shoot the Astrakhan speculators and bribe-takers. These swine have to be dealt [with] so that everyone will remember it for years."
- V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov,
Lenin: Life and Legacy [London: HarperCollins, 1994], p201)

"Russians are too kind, they lack the ability to apply determined methods of revolutionary terror."
- V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov,
Lenin: Life and Legacy [London: HarperCollins, 1994], p203)

"Dictatorship is rule based directly on force and unrestricted by any laws. The revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat is rule won and maintained through the use of violence by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, rule that is unrestricted by any laws."
- V. I. Lenin
(Stephan Courtois, "Conclusion," in
The Black Book of Communism, ed. Stephane Courtois [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999], p741)

"I come to the inescapable conclusion that we must now launch the most decisive and merciless battle against the Black Hundreds clergy and crush their resistance with such ferocity that they will not forget it for several decades... The bigger the number of reactionary clergy and reactionary bourgeois we manage to shoot in the process, the better."
- V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov,
Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary [London: HarperCollins, 1996], p227)

"But couldn’t this correlation [of political and social forces] be altered? Say, through the subjection or extermination of some classes of society?"
- Feliks Dzerzhinsky
(George Leggett,
The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p252)

"Do not believe that I seek revolutionary forms of justice. We don’t need justice at this point... I propose, I demand, the organization of revolutionary annihilation against all active counterrevolutionaries."
- Feliks Dzerzhinsky
(Michel Heller and Aleksandr Nekrich,
Utopia in Power: A History of the USSR From 1917 to the Present [London: Hutchinson, 1986], p54)

"[The Red Terror involves] the extermination of enemies of the revolution on the basis of their class affiliation or of their pre-revolutionary roles."
- Feliks Dzerzhinsky
(George Leggett,
The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p114)

"In not more than a month’s time terror will assume very violent forms, after the example of the great French Revolution; the guillotine... will be ready for our enemies... that remarkable invention of the French Revolution which makes man shorter by a head."
- Leon Trotsky
(George Leggett,
The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p54)

"Root out the counterrevolutionaries without mercy, lock up suspicious characters in concentration camps... Shirkers will be shot, regardless of past service..."
- Leon Trotsky
(Dmitri Volkogonov,
Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary [London: HarperCollins, 1996], p213)

"We have to run a hot iron down the spine of the Ukrainian kulaks - that will create a good working environment."
- Leon Trotsky
(Dmitri Volkogonov,
Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary [London: HarperCollins, 1996], p183)

"As for us, we were never concerned with the Kantian-priestly and vegetarian-Quaker prattle about the ‘sacredness of human life.’"
- Leon Trotsky
Terrorism and Communism: A Reply to Karl Kautsky [London: New Park Publications, 1975], p82)

"The Red Terror is a weapon utilized against a class, doomed to destruction, which does not wish to perish... the Red Terror hastens the destruction of the bourgeoisie."
- Leon Trotsky
Terrorism and Communism: A Reply to Karl Kautsky [London: New Park Publications, 1975], p83)

"... the road to socialism lies through a period of the highest possible intensification of the principle of the state… Just as a lamp, before going out, shoots up in a brilliant flame, so the state, before disappearing, assumes the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the most ruthless form of state, which embraces the life of the citizens authoritatively in every direction..."
- Leon Trotsky
Terrorism and Communism: A Reply to Karl Kautsky [London: New Park Publications, 1975], p177)

"... the very principle of labour conscription has replaced the principle of free labour as radically and irreversibly as socialization of the means of production has replaced capitalist ownership."
- Leon Trotsky
(Dmitri Volkogonov,
Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary [London: HarperCollins, 1996], pp216-7)


Monday, May 16, 2005


"I have allowed myself to be persuaded by the arguments of my brother-in-law [Emil Blank] and the doleful expression on both my parents’ faces to give huckstering another trial and for [...] days have been working in the office. Another motive was the course my love affair was taking. But I was sick of it all even before I began work; huckstering is too beastly, Barmen is too beastly, the waste of time is too beastly and most beastly of all is the fact of being, not only a bourgeois, but actually a manufacturer, a bourgeois who actively takes sides against the proletariat. A few days in my old man’s factory have sufficed to bring me face to face with this beastliness, which I had rather overlooked. I had, of course, planned to stay in the huckstering business only as long as it suited me and then to write something the police wouldn’t like so that I could with good grace make off across the border, but I can’t hold out even till then."


Monday, May 02, 2005

I expect that this will be the last post on this blog for a while but readers with interesting quotes are welcome to send them in for possible posting.


The summary below accords with my reading of Marx. He hated everybody and that angry hatred has always been his chief attraction to Leftists. They instinctively recognize in him a kindred spirit.

"Karl Marx was the foremost hater and most incessant whiner in the history of Western Civilization. He was a spoiled, overeducated brat who never grew up; he just grew more shrill as he grew older. His lifelong hatred and whining have led to the deaths (so far) of perhaps a hundred million people, depending on how many people perished under Mao’s tyranny. We will probably never know.

Whiners, if given power, readily become tyrants. Marx was seen by his contemporaries as a potential tyrant. Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-72), the Italian revolutionary, and a rival of Marx’s in the International Workingmen’s Association in the mid- 1860’s, once described Marx as “a destructive spirit whose heart was filled with hatred rather than love of mankind . . . extraordinarily sly, shifty and taciturn. Marx is very jealous of his authority as leader of the Party; against his political rivals and opponents he is vindictive and implacable; he does not rest until he has beaten them down; his overriding characteristic is boundless ambition and thirst for power. Despite the communist egalitarianism which he preaches he is the absolute ruler of his party; admittedly he does everything himself but he is also the only one to give orders and he tolerates no opposition"

Source (PDF)

Sunday, May 01, 2005


Written in 1872

The reasoning of Marx ends in absolute contradiction. Taking into account only the economic question, he insists that only the most advanced countries, those in which capitalist production has attained greatest development, are the most capable of making social revolution. These civilized countries, to the exclusion of all others, are the only ones destined to initiate and carry through this revolution. This revolution will expropriate either by peaceful, gradual, or by violent means, the present property owners and capitalists. To appropriate all the landed property and capital, and to carry out its extensive economic and political programs, the revolutionary State will have to be very powerful and highly centralized. The State will administer and direct the cultivation of the land, by means of its salaried officials commanding armies of rural workers organized and disciplined for this purpose. At the same time, on the ruins of the existing banks, it will establish a single state bank which will finance all labor and national commerce.

It is readily apparent how such a seemingly simple plan of organization can excite the imagination of the workers, who are as eager for justice as they are for freedom; and who foolishly imagine that the one can exist without the other; as if, in order to conquer and consolidate justice and equality, one could depend on the efforts of others, particularly on governments, regardless of how they may be elected or controlled, to speak and act for the people! For the proletariat this will, in reality, be nothing but a barracks: a regime, where regimented workingmen and women will sleep, wake, work, and live to the beat of a drum; where the shrewd and educated will be granted government privileges; and where the mercenary-minded, attracted by the immensity of the international speculations of the state bank, will find a vast field for lucrative, underhanded dealings.

There will be slavery within this state, and abroad there will be war without truce, at least until the “inferior” races, Latin and Slav, tired of bourgeois civilization, no longer resign themselves to the subjection of a State, which will be even more despotic than the former State, although it calls itself a People’s State.

Context here

Saturday, April 30, 2005

I have now finished the quotes from Marx that I wanted to put up but I still have a few quotes about Marx from others that may be of interest:


Written when Karl was still only 19. Heinrich seems to have been a decent and generous guy. It must have pained him greatly to see how his son turned out.

Letter from Heinrich Marx to son Karl, written in Trier, March 2, 1837: "It is remarkable that I, who am by nature a lazy writer, become quite inexhaustible when I have to write to you. I will not and cannot conceal my weakness for you. At times my heart delights in thinking of you and your future. And yet at times I cannot rid myself of ideas which arouse in me sad forebodings and fear when I am struck as if by lightning by the thought: is your heart in accord with your head, your talents? Has it room for the earthly but gentler sentiments which in this vale of sorrow are so essentially consoling for a man of feeling? And since that heart is obviously animated and governed by a demon not granted to all men, is that demon heavenly or Faustian? Will you ever -- and that is not the least painful doubt of my heart -- will you ever be capable of truly human, domestic happiness? Will -- and this doubt has no less tortured me recently since I have come to love a certain person [Jenny von Westfalen] like my own child -- will you ever be capable of imparting happiness to those immediately around you?

What has evoked this train of ideas in me, you will ask ? Often before, anxious thoughts of this kind have come into my mind, but I easily chased them away, for I always felt the need to surround you with all the love and care of which my heart is capable, and I always like to forget. But I note a striking phenomenon in Jenny. She, who is so wholly devoted to you with her childlike, pure disposition, betrays at times, involuntarily and against her will, a kind of fear, a fear laden with foreboding, which does not escape me, which I do not know how to explain, and all trace of which she tried to erase from my heart, as soon as I pointed it out to her. What does that mean, what can it be? I cannot explain it to myself, but unfortunately my experience does not allow me to be easily led astray.

Context here

Friday, April 29, 2005


Engels to August Bebel In Berlin, 19 September, 1891: "In any case we must declare that since 1871 we have always been ready for a peaceful understanding with France, that as soon as our Party comes to power it will be unable to exercise that power unless Alsace-Lorraine freely determines its own future, but that if war is forced upon us, and moreover a war in alliance with Russia, we must regard this as an attack on our existence and defend ourselves by every method, utilising all positions at our disposal and therefore Metz and Strasbourg also..... so our army will have to lead and sustain the main push.... So much seems certain to me: if we are beaten, every barrier to chauvinism and a war of revenge in Europe will be thrown down for years hence. If we are victorious our Party will come into power. The victory of Germany is therefore the victory of the revolution, and if it comes to war we must not only desire victory but further it by every means...."

Context here

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Engels, London, December 15, 1887: “. . . No war is any longer possible for Prussia-Germany except a world war and a world war indeed of an extent and violence hitherto undreamt of. Eight to ten millions of soldiers will massacre one another and in doing so devour the whole of Eurepe until they have stripped it barer than any swarm of locusts has ever done. The devastations of the Thirty Years’ War compressed into three or four years, and spread over the whole Continent; famine, pestilence, general demoralisation both of the armies and of the mass of the people produced by acute distress; hopeless confusion of our artificial machinery in trade, industry and credit, ending in general bankruptcy; collapse of the old states and their traditional state wisdom to such an extent that crowns will roll by dozens on the pavement and there will be no body to pick them up; absolute impossibility of foreseeing how it will all end and who will come out of the struggle as victor; only one result is absolutely certain: general exhaustion and the establishment of the conditions for the ultimate victory of the working class.

“This is the prospect when the system of mutual outbidding in armaments, taken to the final extreme, at last bears its inevitable fruits. This, my lords, princes and statesmen, is where in your wisdom you have brought old Europe. And when nothing more remains to you but to open the last great war dance—that will suit us all right (uns kann es recht sein ). The war may perhaps push us temporarily into the background, may wrench from us many a position already conquered. But when you have unfettered forces which you will then no longer be able again to control, things may go as they will: at the end of the tragedy you will be ruined and the victory of the proletariat will either be already achieved or at any rate (doch ) inevitable".

Some context here

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


And Hitler again waged exactly the war that Marx predicted

Marx, SECOND ADDRESS On The War To the Members of the International Working-Men’s Association, 1870: "If the fortune of her arms, the arrogance of success, and dynastic intrigue lead Germany to a spoliation of French territory, there will then only remain two courses open to her. She must at all risks become the avowed tool of Russian aggrandisement, or, after some short respite, make again ready for another “defensive” war, not one of those new-fangled “localised” wars, but a war of races — a war with the combined Slavonian and Roman races".

Context here

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


I guess Hitler got that message too

Marx to Engels, July 20, 1870: "The French need a thrashing. If the Prussians win, the centralisation of the state power will be useful for the centralisation of the German working class. German predominance would also transfer the centre of gravity of the workers' movement in Western Europe from France to Germany, and one has only to compare the movement in the two countries from 1866 till now to see that the German working class is superior to the French both theoretically and organisationally. Their predominance over the French on the world stage would also mean the predominance of our theory over Proudhon's, etc."

Context here

Monday, April 25, 2005


And Hitler carried it out

Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 42, July 12, 1848: "Only a war against Russia would be a war of revolutionary Germany, a war by which she could cleanse herself of her past sins, could take courage, defeat her own autocrats, spread civilisation by the sacrifice of her own sons as becomes a people that is shaking off the chains of long, indolent slavery"

It is not clear whether it was Marx or Engels that wrote this. Context here

Sunday, April 24, 2005


As did many others in the 19th and early 20th centuries -- including Mussolini, Hitler and "Progressive" U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt

Marx, Sept 24, 1855: "The redeeming feature of war is that it puts a nation to the test. As exposure to the atmosphere reduces all mummies to instant dissolution, so war passes supreme judgment upon social systems that have outlived their vitality".

(Full context for this quote does not appear to be available online but it is mentioned in various places on the net -- e.g. here. See also Collected Works, vol. 14, p. 516)

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Marx's second daughter, Laura, married Paul Lafargue who, Engels said, had "one eighth or one twelfth Nigger blood". In 1887, Paul was a candidate for the Paris Municipal Council, in a district which contained the Jardin des Plantes and the Zoo. In a letter to Laura (April 26, 1887), Engels referred to:

"Paul, the candidate of the Jardin des Plantes - and the animals" and added: "Being in his quality as a nigger a degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us, he is undoubtedly the most appropriate representative of that district."

This letter (in German translation) is in Marx & Engels Werke vol. 36, 1967, p. 645. It is not online but is mentioned here

Friday, April 22, 2005


Letter from Engels to Marx, October 2, 1866: "I have arrived at the conviction that there is nothing to his [Tremaux's] theory if for no other reason than because he neither understands geology nor is capable of the most ordinary literary historical criticism. One could laugh oneself sick about his stories of the nigger Santa Maria and of the transmutations of the whites into Negroes. Especially, that the traditions of the Senegal niggers deserve absolute credulity, just because the rascals cannot write! . . . Perhaps this man will prove in the second volume, how he explains the fact, that we Rhinelanders have not long ago turned into idiots and niggers on our own Devonian Transition rocks . . . Or perhaps he will maintain that we are real niggers."

(Not fully online. Source: Quoted by Diane Paul, "'In the Interests of Civilization': Marxist Views of Race and Culture in the Nineteenth Century", Journal of the History of Ideas, Jan-March 1981, p 123. [Werke, Vol. 31, p 256.])

Note that Engels uses both the neutral term "negroes" and the derogatory "nigger". So he clearly knew what the different implications of the two terms were. "Nigger" was not as verboten in the 19th century as it is now but it was still derogatory -- and it is presumably because of that aspect of the word that both Marx and Engels used what is after all an English word in their German writings.

To undersrtand what Engels was talking about, one needs to realize that both Marx and Engels were Lamarckians -- they believed that acquired characteristics could be inherited. That fact is no doubt part of the reason why Stalin so heavily sponsored the ideas of the Lamarckian Trofim Lysenko right into the 20th century -- long after Lamarckian theories had been generally discredited in the West. And the particular strand of Lamarckian thinking that appealed most strongly to both Marx and Engels was that the type of soil and landscape in which a nation grew up could influence their national character. Just what the relationship between geology and national characteristics was, however, they did not fully agree. The following commentary on the matter may also be helpful:

To cite one final anecdote, the scholarly literature frequently cites Marx's great enthusiasm (until the more scientifically savvy Engels set him straight) for a curious book, published in 1865 by the now (and deservedly) unknown French explorer and ethnologist Pierre Tremaux, Origine et transformations de l'homme et des autres etres (Origin and transformation of man and other beings). Marx professed ardent admiration for this work, proclaiming it "einen Fortschritt uber Darwin" (an advance over Darwin). The more sober Engels bought the book at Marx's urging, but then dampened his friend's ardor by writing: "I have arrived at the conclusion that there is nothing to his theory if for no other reason than because he neither understands geology nor is capable of the most ordinary literary historical criticism."

I had long been curious about Tremaux and sought a copy of his book for many years. I finally purchased one a few years ago--and I must say that I have never read a more absurd or more poorly documented thesis. Basically, Tremaux argues that the nature of the soil determines national characteristics and that higher civilizations tend to arise on more complex soils formed in later geological periods. If Marx really believed that such unsupported nonsense could exceed the Origin of Species in importance, then he could not have properly understood or appreciated the power of Darwin's facts and ideas.

More here

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Letter from Marx to Pavel Vasilyevich Annenkov, 1846: "As for slavery, there is no need for me to speak of its bad aspects. The only thing requiring explanation is the good side of slavery. I do not mean indirect slavery, the slavery of proletariat; I mean direct slavery, the slavery of the Blacks in Surinam, in Brazil, in the southern regions of North America.

Direct slavery is as much the pivot upon which our present-day industrialism turns as are machinery, credit, etc. Without slavery there would be no cotton, without cotton there would be no modern industry. It is slavery which has given value to the colonies, it is the colonies which have created world trade, and world trade is the necessary condition for large-scale machine industry. Consequently, prior to the slave trade, the colonies sent very few products to the Old World, and did not noticeably change the face of the world. Slavery is therefore an economic category of paramount importance. Without slavery, North America, the most progressive nation, would he transformed into a patriarchal country. Only wipe North America off the map and you will get anarchy, the complete decay of trade and modern civilisation. But to do away with slavery would be to wipe America off the map. Being an economic category, slavery has existed in all nations since the beginning of the world. All that modern nations have achieved is to disguise slavery at home and import it openly into the New World"

Context here

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Engels to Paul Lafargue, July 22, 1892: "I begin to understand French anti-Semitism when I see how many Jews of Polish origin and with German names intrude themselves everywhere, arrogate everything to themselves and push themselves forward to the point of creating public opinion in the ville lumiere [Paris], of which the Paris philistine is so proud and which he believes to be the supreme power in the universe."

(Not online but found in Frederick Engels, Paul and Laura Lafargue, Correspondence, Vol iii, Moscow. p 184.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1886 Appendix to the American Edition: "The pettifogging business-tricks of the Polish Jew, the representative in Europe of commerce in its lowest stage, those tricks that serve him so well in his own country, and are generally practiced there, he finds to be out of date and out of place when he comes to Hamburg or Berlin"

Context here

Monday, April 18, 2005


Marx, New-York Daily Tribune, June 25, 1853: "England, it is true, in causing a social revolution in Hindoostan, was actuated only by the vilest interests, and was stupid in her manner of enforcing them. But that is not the question. The question is, can mankind fulfil its destiny without a fundamental revolution in the social state of Asia? If not, whatever may have been the crimes of England she was the unconscious tool of history in bringing about that revolution".
Context here

Sunday, April 17, 2005


For once I think he was right

Engels in The Northern Star January 22, 1848: "Upon the whole it is, in our opinion, very fortunate that the Arabian chief has been taken. The struggle of the Bedouins was a hopeless one, and though the manner in which brutal soldiers, like Bugeaud, have carried on the war is highly blamable, the conquest of Algeria is an important and fortunate fact for the progress of civilisation. The piracies of the Barbaresque states, never interfered with by the English government as long as they did not disturb their ships, could not be put down but by the conquest of one of these states. And the conquest of Algeria has already forced the Beys of Tunis and Tripoli, and even the Emperor of Morocco, to enter upon the road of civilisation. They were obliged to find other employment for their people than piracy, and other means of filling their exchequer than tributes paid to them by the smaller states of Europe. And if we may regret that the liberty of the Bedouins of the desert has been destroyed, we must not forget that these same Bedouins were a nation of robbers, — whose principal means of living consisted of making excursions either upon each other, or upon the settled villagers, taking what they found, slaughtering all those who resisted, and selling the remaining prisoners as slaves. All these nations of free barbarians look very proud, noble and glorious at a distance, but only come near them and you will find that they, as well as the more civilised nations, are ruled by the lust of gain"

Context here

Saturday, April 16, 2005


I excerpt the statement below from a comment in Front Page Magazine:

Marx, as we all know, was as rabid a foe of Judaism and Christianity as were his spiritual godfathers, Voltaire and the other Enlightenment philosophers.... Marx remains the greatest advocate of the "naturalistic worldview" in modern times. He was a true "bright"; a child of the "Enlightenment". In this passage from a letter written to Engels in 1862, he criticized his political opponent, the French Socialist Ferdinand LaSalle:

I now see clearly that he is descended, as the shape of his head and his hair clearly indicate, from the Negroes who were joined to the Jews at the time of the exodus from Egypt ( unless it was his mother or paternal grandmother who mated with a Negro). But this mixture of Judaism and Germanism with a negro substance as a base was bound to yield a most curious product. The importunity of the man also is negroid...One of the great discoveries of this Negro, which he confided to me, is that the Pelasgians are descended from the Semites. His main proof is that, according to the Book of Maccabees, the Jews sent messenger to Greece to ask for help and appealed to their tribal relationship..."

The above passage is interesting in three respects; it unmasks Marx's prejudices, it shows he was well within the mainstream of the "scientific" racists of his day, and also shows his willingness to slander and vilify a political opponent. This says much about one of the greatest, if not the greatest, propagandists for the "naturalistic worldview". .... You continue to evade the fact that the United States of America was founded upon Judeo-Christian values, and the liberty you so cherish is the gift of the Judeo-Christian culture you, like Voltaire and Marx, despise. The U.S is not, I repeat not, a nation with a "naturalistic worldview". That distinction is reserved for places like the former USSR, the PRC, Cuba, etc. Frankly, since Cuba is only 90 miles from our shores I wonder you and your ilk don't go there.

Context for the Marx quote above is here -- at the end of the letter to Engels and in a postscript to the letter. The translations differ slightly, however.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Marx-Engels Correspondence 1866: "For certain questions, such as nationality, etc., only here has a basis in nature been found. E.g., he [Tremaux] corrects the Pole Duchinski, whose version of the geological differences between Russia and the Western Slav lands he does incidentally confirm, by saying not that the Russians are Tartars rather than Slavs, etc., as the latter believes, but that on the surface-formation predominant in Russia the Slav has been tartarised and mongolised; likewise (he spent a long time in Africa) he shows that the common negro type is only a degeneration of a far higher one".

Context here

Thursday, April 14, 2005


And Hitler tried to do it. Like Hitler, Marx saw race as a criterion of entitlement

Marx to Engels, 1865: "It has ditto been shown geologically and hydrographically that a great ‘Asiatic’ difference occurs east of the Dnieper, compared with what lies to the west of it, and that (as Murchison has already maintained) the Urals by no means constitute a dividing line. Result as obtained by Duchinski: Russia is a name usurped by the Muscovites. They are not Slavs; they do not belong to the Indo-Germanic race at all, they are des intrus [intruders], who must be chased back across the Dnieper, etc."

Context here

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Marx, Engels and Hitler were all favourably disposed towards their "racial brethren" in Britain and the USA. It was Slavs whom they really despised. So it is a considerable irony that a Slavic nation was the first to take up Marxism in a big way and that it was primarily the same Slavic nation that defeated Hitler

Engels in Deutsche-Brüsseler-Zeitung 1848: "In America we have witnessed the conquest of Mexico and have rejoiced at it. It is also an advance when a country which has hitherto been exclusively wrapped up in its own affairs, perpetually rent with civil wars, and completely hindered in its development, a country whose best prospect had been to become industrially subject to Britain — when such a country is forcibly drawn into the historical process. It is to the interest of its own development that Mexico will in future be placed under the tutelage of the United States. The evolution of the whole of America will profit by the fact that the United States, by the possession of California, obtains command of the Pacific"

Context here

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


But he thought British were superior and that their rule was a good thing

Marx, New-York Daily Tribune, August 8, 1853: "Indian society has no history at all, at least no known history. What we call its history, is but the history of the successive intruders who founded their empires on the passive basis of that unresisting and unchanging society. The question, therefore, is not whether the English had a right to conquer India, but whether we are to prefer India conquered by the Turk, by the Persian, by the Russian, to India conquered by the Briton.....

The British were the first conquerors superior, and therefore, inaccessible to Hindoo civilization. They destroyed it by breaking up the native communities, by uprooting the native industry, and by levelling all that was great and elevated in the native society. The historic pages of their rule in India report hardly anything beyond that destruction. The work of regeneration hardly transpires through a heap of ruins. Nevertheless it has begun.

The political unity of India, more consolidated, and extending farther than it ever did under the Great Moguls, was the first condition of its regeneration. That unity, imposed by the British sword, will now be strengthened and perpetuated by the electric telegraph. The native army, organized and trained by the British drill-sergeant, was the sine qua non of Indian self-emancipation, and of India ceasing to be the prey of the first foreign intruder. The free press, introduced for the first time into Asiatic society, and managed principally by the common offspring of Hindoos and Europeans, is a new and powerful agent of reconstruction".

Context here

Monday, April 11, 2005


Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung No. 222, February 1849: "We repeat: apart from the Poles, the Russians, and at most the Turkish Slavs, no Slav people has a future, for the simple reason that all the other Slavs lack the primary historical, geographical, political and industrial conditions for independence and viability. Peoples which have never had a history of their own, which from the time when they achieved the first, most elementary stage of civilization already came under foreign sway, or which were forced to attain the first stage of civilization only by means of a foreign yoke, are not viable and will never be able to achieve any kind of independence. And that has been the fate of the Austrian Slavs. The Czechs, among whom we would include the Moravians and Slovaks, although they differ in respect of language and history, have never had a history of their own"

Context here

Sunday, April 10, 2005


I guess Chairman Mao did not read these bits!

Marx, "Revolution in China and in Europe" (May 20, 1853): "It is almost needless to observe that, in the same measure in which opium has obtained the sovereignty over the Chinese, the Emperor and his staff of pedantic mandarins have become dispossessed of their own sovereignty. It would seem as though history had first to make this whole people drunk before it could rouse them out of their hereditary stupidity".

Engels, "Persia and China" (June 5,1857): "... China, the rotting semi-civilization of the oldest State in the world . . . In short, instead of moralizing on the horrible atrocities of the Chinese, as the chivalrous English press does, we had better recognize that this is a war pro aris et focis, a popular war for the maintenance of Chinese nationality, with all its overbearing prejudice, stupidity, learned ignorance and pedantic barbarism . . .

Context for the quote from Marx is here

The latter part of the quote from Engels is online here but the rest is not freely online. See Marx & Engels On Colonialism, 6th printing, Moscow, 1976, pp. 120 & 124.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


(At least Engels had TWO master races in his thinking: Germans and Hungarians ("Magyars"))

Engels: The condition of the working class in England, 1892 "The southern facile character of the Irishman, his crudity, which places him but little above the savage, his contempt for all humane enjoyments, in which his very crudeness makes him incapable of sharing, his filth and poverty, all favour drunkeness. . . . the pressure of this race has done much to depress wages and lower the working-class. . . . That poverty manifests itself in Ireland thus and not otherwise, is owing to the character of the people, and to their historical development. The Irish are a people related in their whole character to the Latin nations, to the French, and especially to the Italians.... With the Irish, feeling and passion predominate; reason must bow before them. Their sensuous, excitable nature prevents reflection and quiet, persevering activity from reaching development -- such a nation is utterly unfit for manufacture as now conducted. . . . Irish distress cannot be removed by any Act of Repeal. Such an Act would, however, at once lay bare the fact that the cause of Irish misery, which now seems to come from abroad is really to be found at home"

Context here

Friday, April 08, 2005


Engels in Neue Rheinische Zeitung September 1848; "Scandinavianism is enthusiasm for the brutal, sordid, piratical, Old Norse national traits, for that profound inner life which is unable to express its exuberant ideas and sentiments in words, but can express them only in deeds, namely, in rudeness towards women, perpetual drunkenness and the wild frenzy of the Berserker alternating with tearful sentimentality".

Context here

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Engels to August Bebel, November 17, 1885. "These wretched, ruined fragments of one-time nations, the Serbs, Bulgars, Greeks, and other robber bands, or, behalf of which the liberal philistine waxes enthusiastic in the interests of Russia, are unwilling to grant each other the air they breathe, and feel obliged to cut each other's greedy throats... the lousy Balkan peoples . . . ".

(Not online. From Marx-Engels, Briefe an A. Bebel, W. Liebknecht, K. Kautsky und Andere, Moscow, 1933, pp 411, 412; translation by Bertram D. Wolfe, Marxism, 1967, p 68.)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Neue Rheinische Zeitung February 1849: "And if during eight centuries the "eight million Slavs" have had to suffer the yoke imposed on them by the four million Magyars, that alone sufficiently proves which was the more viable and vigorous, the many Slavs or the few Magyars! .... what a "crime" it is, what a "damnable policy" that at a time when, in Europe in general, big monarchies had become a "historical necessity", the Germans and Magyars untied all these small, stunted and impotent little nations into a single big state and thereby enabled them to take part in a historical development from which, left to themselves, they would have remained completely aloof! Of course, matters of this kind cannot be accomplished without many a tender national blossom being forcibly broken. But in history nothing is achieved without violence and implacable ruthlessness... In short, it turns out these "crimes" of the Germans and Magyars against the said Slavs are among the best and most praiseworthy deeds which our and the Magyar people can boast in their history".

Context here

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Marx, "British Politics" (April 7, 1853), Collected Works, Vol. 112, p.7: "The real point at issue always is, Turkey in Europe--the great peninsula to the south of the Save and Danube. This splendid territory has the misfortune to be inhabited by a conglomerate of different races and nationalities, of which it is hard to say which is the least fit for progress and civilization."

Context here

Monday, April 04, 2005


Marx, 1852. "Revolution and counter-revolution in Germany". Collected Works vol. 11, pp. 47, 71: "Neither Bohemia nor Croatia was strong enough to exist as a nation by herself. Their respective nationalities, gradually undermined by the action of historical causes that inevitably absorbs into a more energetic stock, could only hope to be restored to anything like independence by an alliance with other Slavonic nations.....

Scattered remnants of numerous nations, whose nationality and political vitality had long been extinguished .... the same as the Welsh in England, the Basques in Spain, the Bas-Bretons in France, and at a more recent period the Spanish and French Creoles in those portions of North America occupied of late by the Anglo-American race —these dying nationalities, the Bohemians, Carinthians, Dalmatians, etc., had tried.... to restore their political status quo of A. D. 800. The history of a thousand years ought to have shown them that such a retrogression was impossible.... this fact merely proved the historical tendency, and at the same time physical and intellectual power of the German nation to subdue, absorb, and assimilate its ancient eastern neighbors; that this tendency of absorption on the part of the Germans had always been, and still was one of the mightiest means by which the civilization of Western Europe had been spread in the east of that continent.... and that, therefore, the natural and inevitable fate of these dying nations was to allow this process of dissolution and absorption by their stronger neighbors to complete itself".

Context here and here.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Engels. "Democratic Pan-Slavism" (NRZ February 16. 1849), Collected Works, Vol. 8 p 378. ". . . hatred of Russia was and still is the primary revolutionary passion among Germans; that since the revolution, hatred of Czechs and Croats has been added, and that only by the most determined use of terror against these Slav peoples can we, jointly with the Poles and Magyars, safeguard the revolution."

(No Marxist seems to have put this online. I can't imagine why!)

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Marx & Engels, "The German Ideology", Chap. 3: "He has not the slightest idea that the ability of children to develop depends on the development of their parents and that all this crippling under existing social relations has arisen historically, and in the same way can be abolished again in the course of historical development. Even naturally evolved differences within the species, such as racial differences, etc., which Sancho does not mention at all, can and must be abolished in the course of historical development. Sancho — who in this connection casts a stealthy glance at zoology and so makes the discovery that “innate limited intellects” form the most numerous class not only among sheep and oxen, but also among polyps and infusoria, which have no heads at all — has perhaps heard that it is possible to improve races of animals and by cross-breeding to create entirely new, more perfect varieties both for human enjoyment and for their own self-enjoyment.. “Why should not” Sancho be able to draw a conclusion from this in relation to people as well?"

Context here

Friday, April 01, 2005


Engels: (Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. 3, p. 502.): "We regard economic conditions as the factor which ultimately determines historical development. But race is itself an economic factor".

Context here

German reference: "Brief an W. Borgius" 25.1.1894. MEW, Bd. 39, S. 205. (Not apparently online).

Monday, February 28, 2005


Engels to August Bebel, March 18-28, 1875: "All these things have been done by our people to oblige the Lassalleans. And what have the others conceded? That a host of somewhat muddled and purely democratic demands should figure in the programme, some of them being of a purely fashionable nature -- for instance "legislation by the people" such as exists in Switzerland and does more harm than good, if it can be said to do anything at all.... Now, since the state is merely a transitional institution of which use is made in the struggle, in the revolution, to keep down one's enemies by force, it is utter madness to speak of a free people's state; so long as the proletariat still makes use of the state, it makes use of it, not for the purpose of freedom, but of keeping down its enemies."

Context here

"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.

The German

Engels an August Bebel, 18./28. März 1875

"Daß ein Haufen ziemlich verworrener rein demokratischer Forderungen im Programm figurieren, von denen manche reine Modesache sind, wie z.B. die 'Gesetzgebung durch das Volk' (...)
Da nun der Staat doch nur eine vorübergehende Einrichtung ist, deren man sich im Kampf, in der Revolution bedient, um seine Gegner gewaltsam niederzuhalten, so ist es purer Unsinn, vom freien Volksstaat zu sprechen: solange das Proletariat den Staat noch gebraucht, gebraucht es ihn nicht im Interesse der Freiheit, sondern der Niederhaltung seiner Gegner (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 34, 130., Rotbuch S. 209

Sunday, February 27, 2005


Engels to Wilhelm Blos, February 21, 1874: “The man is too wise. And on top of that, such offensive, vulgar, democratic arguments! To denigrate violence as something to be rejected, when we all know that in the end nothing can be achieved without violence!”

Listed, but with no translation here

The German

Engels an Wilhelm Blos, 21. Februar 1874

"Der Mann ist zu weise. Und dabei so ganz platte, vulgärdemokratische Gründe! Auf die Gewalt zu schimpfen als etwas Verwerfliches an sich, wo wir doch alle wissen, daß schließlich ohne Gewalt nichts durchzusetzen ist!"

MEW a.a.O. 33, 617.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


Karl Marx, Capital, Volume One, Part II: The Transformation of Money and Capital CHAPTER FOUR: THE GENERAL FORMULA FOR CAPITAL: "The capitalist knows that all commodities, however scurvy they may look, or however badly they may smell, are in faith and in truth money, inwardly circumcised Jews, and what is more, a wonderful means whereby out of money to make more money."

Context here

The German

Marx, „Das Kapital“, 1. Bd.

"Der Kapitalist weiß, daß alle Waren, wie lumpig sie immer aussehn oder wie schlecht sie immer riechen, im Glauben und in der Wahrheit Geld, innerlich beschnittne Juden sind, und zudem wundertätige Mittel, um aus Geld mehr Geld zu machen."

MEW a.a.O. 23, 169

Friday, February 25, 2005


Although a lot of still-quoted economics (Ricardo, Smith etc) had already been written by that time

Marx To Engels, 23 May 1868: "You seem to be on the wrong track with your reluctance to present such simple formulas as M - C - M [Money-Commodity-Money], etc. to the English review philistines. On the contrary. If you were forced, as I am, to read the economic articles of Messrs Lalor, Herbert Spencer, Macleod, etc., in The Westminster Review, etc., you would see that all of them are fed up with the economic trivialities - and know their readers are fed up, too - so they try to give their scribblings some flavour through pseudo-philosophical or pseudo-scientific slang. The pseudo-character in no way makes the writing (which by itself = 0) understandable. On the contrary. The trick lies in so mystifying the reader and causing him to rack his brain, that he may finally be relieved to discover that these hard words are only fancy dress for commonplaces."

Context here

The German

Marx an Engels, 23. Mai 1868

"Du scheinst auf dem Holzweg zu sein mit Deiner Scheu, so einfache Figuren wie G-W-G etc. dem englischen Revuephilister vorzuführen. (...) Der Pseudocharakter macht die Sache (die an sich = 0) keineswegs leicht verständlich. Umgekehrt. Die Kunst besteht darin, den Leser so zu mystifizieren und ihm Kopfbrechen zu verursachen, damit er schließlich zu seiner Beruhigung entdeckt, daß diese hard words [gewichtige Worte] nur Maskeraden von loci communes [Gemeinplätzen] sind."

MEW a.a.O. 32, 91.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Marx: “General Council to the Federal Council of Romance Switzerland”, 1870: “The Lumpenproletariat [rag-proletariat], this residue of the degenerated members of all classes that has its headquarters in the big cities, is the worst of all possible allies. This riff-raff is totally for sale and totally obnoxious.”

Listed, but with no translation here

The German

Marx: „Der Generalrat an den Föderalrat der romanischen Schweiz“, 1870

"Das Lumpenproletariat, dieser Abhub der verkommenen Subjekte aller Klassen, der sein Hauptquartier in den großen Städten aufschlägt, ist von allen möglichen Bundesgenossen der schlimmste. Dies Gesindel ist absolut käuflich und absolut zudringlich."

MEW a.a.O. 16, 398., Rotbuch 176.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Marx to Engels, February 10. 1866: "I will chew out Wilhelm [Liebknecht] with a few lines about his feebleness. For what we want is exactly the demise of the “Social-Democrat” and of all that Lassalle-crap".

Listed, but with no translation here

The German

Marx an Engels, 10. Februar 1866

"Dem Wilhelm [Liebknecht] werde ich einige Donnerzeilen über seine Schwachleibigkeit schreiben. Was wir wollen, ist ja grade der Untergang des 'Social - Demokrat' und der ganzen Lassallescheiße."

MEW a.a.O. 31, 175.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Engels To Marx, 7 November 1864: "What was obviously fatal to Lassalle was that he didn’t immediately throw the creature on the bed at the boarding house and properly have his way with her, she didn’t want his beautiful mind but his Jewish rod. This is yet another affair that could only happen with Lassalle.”

Context here

The German

Engels an Marx, 7. November 1864

"Der Lassalle ist offenbar daran kaputtgegangen, daß er das Mensch nicht sofort in der Pension aufs Bett geworfen und gehörig hergenommen hat, sie wollte nicht seinen schönen Geist, sondern jüdischen Riemen. Es ist eben wieder eine Geschichte, die nur dem Lassalle passieren konnte."

MEW a.a.O. 31, 17.

Monday, February 21, 2005


Marx To Engels, 12 September 1863: "The most interesting acquaintanceship I have struck up here is that of Colonel Lapinski. He is without doubt the cleverest Pole - besides being an homme d'action [man of action] - that I have ever met. His sympathies are all on the German side, though in manners and speech he is also a Frenchman. He cares nothing for the struggle of nationalities and only knows the racial struggle. He hates all Orientals, among whom he numbers Russians Turks, Greeks, Armenians, etc., with equal impartiality.... His aim now is to raise a German legion in London, even if only 200 strong, so that he can confront the Russians in Poland with the black, red and gold flag, partly to 'exasperate' the Parisians, partly to see whether there is any possibility whatsoever of bringing the Germans in Germany back to their senses. What's lacking is money. Efforts are being made down here to exploit all the German societies, etc., to this end. You must be the best judge of whether anything can be done in this line in Manchester. The cause itself would seem to be above reproach.”

Context here

The German

Marx an Engels, 12. September 1863

"Die interessanteste Bekanntschaft, die ich hier gemacht, ist die des Oberst Lapinski. Er ist unbedingt der geistreichste Pole - dabei homme d'action -, den ich bisher kennengelernt (...)
Statt des Nationalitätenkampfs kennt er nur den Rassenkampf. Er haßt alle Orientalen, wozu er Russen Türken, Griechen, Armenier usw. mit gleicher Vorliebe zählt (...)
Sein Zweck in London ist jetzt, eine deutsche Legion, wenn auch nur von 200 Mann auf die Beine zu bringen, um mit der schwarzrotgoldnen Fahne den Russen in Polen gegenüberzutreten (...)
Was fehlt, ist Geld. Es werden hier Versuche gemacht, sämtliche deutsche Vereine usw. für diesen Zweck zu exploitieren. Du mußt am besten wissen, ob in Manchester etwas in dieser line zu tun ist. Die Sache selbst wäre vorzüglich."

MEW a.a.O. 30, 371 ff., Rotbuch S. 143

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Engels To Marx, 8 August 1862: "But all this is marginal stuff and, unless we can discover the art of shitting gold, there would hardly seem to be any alternative to your extracting something from your relations by one means or another."

Context here

The German

Engels an Marx, 8. August 1862

"(...) und falls wir nicht die Kunst erfinden, Gold zu scheißen, wird schwerlich etwas andres übrigbleiben, als daß Du auf die eine oder die andre Weise etwas aus Deinen Verwandten herausschlägst."

MEW a.a.O. 30, 273.

Saturday, February 19, 2005


Marx To Engels, 18 June 1862: "Every day my wife says she wishes she and the children were safely in their graves, and I really cannot blame her, for the humiliations, torments and alarums that one has to go through in such a situation are indeed indescribable. As you know, the 50 pounds went on debts, more than half of which remain to be paid.... a week ago, my wife attempted to sell some books of mine 'in vain'. I feel all the more sorry for the unfortunate children in that all this is happening during the Exhibition Season, when their friends are having fun, whereas they themselves live in dread lest someone should come and see them and realise what a mess they are in..... For the rest, I myself, by the by, am working away hard and, strange to say, my grey matter is functioning better in the midst of the surrounding misery than it has done for years. I’m further expanding this volume, since the German sons-of-bitches value a book according to its cubic content.”

Context here

Some of the German

Marx an Engels, 18. Juni 1862

"Ich dehne diesen Band mehr aus, da die deutschen Hunde den Wert der Bücher nach dem Kubikinhalt schätzen."

MEW a.a.O. 30, 248 f., Rotbuch S. 139

Friday, February 18, 2005


Yes. That was Marx, not Hitler

Marx to Antoinette Philips, March 24, 1861: “This young lady, who instantly overwhelmed me with her kindness, is the ugliest creature I have seen in my entire life, with repulsive Jewish facial features.”

Listed, without translation here

The German

Marx an Antoinette Philips, March 24. 1861

"Dieses Fräulein, das mich mit ihrem Wohlwollen direkt überschwemmte, ist das häßlichste Geschöpf, das ich je in meinem Leben gesehen habe, mit einer garstigen jüdischen Physiognomie (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 30, 591.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Always sponging and cheating

Marx to Engels, November 6, 1861: “I got a reply from the old lady yesterday. Nothing but “tender” expressions, but no cash. She also tells me something I already knew, that she is 75 years old and feeling a lot of the infirmities of old age.”

(No other translation available on the net)

The German

Marx an Engels, 6. November 1861

"Von meiner Alten erhielt ich gestern Antwort. Nichts als 'zärtliche' Redensarten, but no cash. Außerdem teilt sie mir mit, was ich längst wußte, daß sie 75 Jahre alt ist und manche Gebresten des Alters fühlt."

MEW a.a.O. 30, 198.

Marx to Lassalle, February 15, 1861: "You know that I want to settle difficult money matters here with my uncle (who manages my mother’s fortune and earlier on has often given me significant advances on my inheritance). The man is tough, but takes a lot of pride in my position as an author. That’s why in your letter to me you must speak of the success (lucus a non lucendo [even though the opposite is the case]) of my most recent piece against Vogt, of our joint plans for a newspaper and so on, and generally arrange your letter in such a way that I can grant my uncle “the confidence” of sharing the letter with him.”

(No other translation available on the net)

The German

Marx an Lassalle, 15. Februar 1861

"Du weißt, daß ich hier mit meinem Onkel (der das Vermögen meiner Mutter verwaltet und in frühren Zeiten mir öfter bedeutende Vorschüsse auf mein Erbteil gemacht) schwierige Geldverhältnisse in Ordnung bringen will. Der Mann ist zäh, hat aber viel Eitelkeit auf mein Schriftstellertum. Du mußt daher in Deinem Brief an mich von dem Erfolg (lucus a non lucendo) [obgleich das Gegenteil der Fall ist]) meiner letzten Schrift gegen Vogt, von gemeinschaftlichen Zeitungsplänen usf. sprechen, überhaupt Deinen Brief so einrichten, daß ich dem Herrn Onkel 'das Vertrauen' schenken kann, ihm den Brief mitzuteilen."

MEW a.a.O. 30, 588. [lucus a non lucendo = obwohl das Gegenteil der Fall ist]

Source in German only

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Marx To Ferdinand Lassalle, 16 January 1861: "Darwin's work is most significant and suits me as a natural science underpinning for historic class struggle. One does, of course, have to put up with the clumsy English style of argument. Despite all shortcomings, it is here that, for the first time, 'teleology' in natural science is not only dealt a mortal blow but its rational meaning is empirically explained."

Context here

The German

Marx an Lassalle, 16. Januar 1861

"Sehr bedeutend ist Darwins Schrift und paßt mir als naturwissenschaftliche Unterlage des geschichtlichen Klassenkampfes."

MEW a.a.O. 30, 578.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Marx To Engels, 7 May 1861: "First, then, to business. For a start, I squeezed 160 pounds out of my uncle so that we were able to pay off the greater part of our debts. My mother, with whom any discussion about cash is out of the question, but who is rapidly nearing her end, destroyed some I.O.U.s I had given her in the past. That was the distinctly pleasant result of the two days I spent with her. I myself said nothing to her about money matters and it was she who took the initiative in this connection."

Context here

The German

Marx an Engels, 7. Mai 1861

"Meinem Onkel habe ich zunächst 160 £ abgepreßt, so daß wir den größten Teil unsrer Schulden abzahlen konnten. Meine Mutter, bei der von barem Geld nicht die Rede ist, die aber rasch ihrer Auflösung entgegengeht, hat einige frühere Schuldscheine, die ich ihr ausgestellt, vernichtet (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 30, 161 ff.

Monday, February 14, 2005


Marx: “Mr. Vogt”, 1860: "But how much good does it do Mr. Levy to attack Mr. Disraeli and to turn an I into a Y, since Mother Nature has inscribed his family tree in the craziest lettering right in the middle of his face."

(No other translation available online)

The German

Marx, „Herr Vogt“, 1860

"Aber was nützt es dem Herrn Levy, den Herrn Disraeli anzugreifen und ein Y für ein I zu machen, da Mutter Natur seinen Stammbaum in tollster Frakturschrift ihm mitten ins Gesicht geschrieben hat."

MEW a.a.O. 14, 599 ff.

(Listed here but untranslated)

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Engels to Marx, 1860: "I intend to write to Ephraim Artful [Ferdinand Lassalle] tomorrow; a diplomatic missive such as this ought not to be sent off without due reflection.... Moreover, little Jew Braun will now see.... ".

Context here

The German

Engels an Marx, 31. Januar 1860

"Ich denke morgen an Ephraim Gescheit zu schreiben; dies diplomatische Sendschreiben darf nicht unüberlegt fortgeschickt werden (...) Jüdel Braun wird jetzt auch einsehen, (....)"

MEW a.a.O. 30, 14.

Marx to Engels,25 February 1859: "Admittedly, little Jew Braun [Ferdinand Lassalle] hasn't written to me since my manuscript arrived, and that was over four weeks ago."

Context here

The German

Marx an Engels, 25. Februar 1859

"Das Jüdel Braun hat mir zwar nicht geschrieben, seit mein Manuskript angekommen ist, und das sind über vier Wochen. (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 29, 405.

Saturday, February 12, 2005


Karl Marx, "A Contribution to the Critique of Political economy" (Review by Frederick Engels), Das Volk, 30 No. 14, August 6, 1859: "The Germans have long since shown that in all spheres of science they are equal, and in most of them superior, to other civilised nations. Only one branch of science, political economy, had no German name among its foremost scholars."

Context here

The German

Engels: Karl Marx' "Zur Kritik der politischen Ökonomie", 1859

"Auf allen wissenschaftlichen Gebieten haben die Deutschen längst ihre Ebenbürtigkeit, auf den meisten ihre Überlegenheit gegenüber den übrigen zivilisierten Nationen bewiesen. (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 13, 476.

Friday, February 11, 2005


Marx to Engels,25 February 1859: "Those dogs of democrats and liberal riff-raff will see that we're the only chaps who haven't been stultified by the ghastly period of peace."

Context here

The German

Marx an Engels, 25. Februar 1859

"Die Hunde von Demokraten und liberalen Lumpen werden sehn, daß wir die einzigen Kerls sind, die nicht verdummt sind in der schauderhaften Friedensperiode."

MEW a.a.O. 29, 401.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Marx to Engels, December 17, 1858: "The industriousness of these little Baden fleas, bred from democratic piss-sewage, is touching.”

The German

Marx an Engels, 17. Dezember 1858

"Die Betriebsamkeit dieser kleinen aus der demokratischen Pißjauche ausgebrüteten badensischen Flöhe ist rührend."

MEW a.a.O. 29, 376., Rotbuch S. 119

Engels to Marx, letter of May 11th, 1857: “I’m returning the letter by Lassalle. A loony Jew, from top to toe.”

The German

Engels an Marx, 11. Mai 1857

"Hierbei der Brief von Lassalle zurück. Dorch un dorch der läppische Jüd."

MEW a.a.O. 29, 134., Rotbuch 115.


Note: Several of the quotations I have put up recently are from documents listed by the Marxists among the official list of Marx & Engels works but which have not been reproduced in full nor translated. See for instance here. I guess they were just too embarrassing.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Marx to Engels, February 16, 1857: "… the Jew Steinthal is supposed to have got hold of Weerth’s diaries. (…) that sweetly grinning haggler. (…) Since of course in my own crisis it is very gratifying to hear about crises, please let me know in a few lines how things are in the industrial areas".

The German

Marx an Engels, 16. Februar 1857

"... der Jude Steinthal habe sich der Weerthschen Tagebücher bemächtigt (...) Dieser süß grinsende Schacherer. (...)
Da es mir jetzt in meiner eignen Krise natürlich sehr erbaulich ist, von Krisen zu hören, so laß mich in ein paar Zeilen wissen, wie es mit den Industriebezirken steht."

MEW a.a.O. 29, 104 ff.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


It is possible that I could disgrace myself. But there's always a bit of Dialectic to help out. I have naturally expressed my statements so that I am also right if the opposite thing happens.

(No other English translation available online)

The German

Marx an Engels, 15. August 1857

"Es ist möglich, daß ich mich blamiere. Indes ist dann immer mit einiger Dialektik zu helfen. Ich habe natürlich meine Aufstellungen so gehalten, daß ich im umgekehrten Fall auch Recht habe."

MEW a.a.O. 29, 161., Rotbuch S. 115


Monday, February 07, 2005


Engels to Marx: "The Lasalle manoeuvres have amused me greatly, the frizzy Jew-head now has to very charmingly distinguish himself in the red nightshirt and Marquis garb -- from which at every movement the Polish kike looks out. Seeing it must give the impression of louse-like repulsiveness."

(No other English translation available online)

The German

Engels an Marx, 14.April 1856

"Die Lassalliaden haben mich sehr erheitert, der krause Juddekopp muß sich über dem roten Schlafrock und in der Marquisen-Draperie, wo bei jeder Bewegung der polnische Schmuhl durchguckt, sehr reizend ausnehmen. Gesehen, muß der Kerl einen höchst lausig-widerwärtigen Eindruck machen."

MEW a.a.O. 29, 43.



Since I posted the above, a reader has sent me a more polished translation than my own rather laboured version. To wit:

“The volleys from Lassalle have amused me greatly, the kinky Jewface must look very enticing above his red nightgown and in the garments of a Marquis that with every movement show his Polish mug. In person, the guy must make a highly dirty and disgusting impression.”

Sunday, February 06, 2005


Marx, The Russian loan: "So we find that behind every tyrant stands a Jew just as there is a Jesuit behind every Pope. Truly, the lusts of the oppressors would be hopeless and the possibility of war unimaginable if it were not for an army of Jesuits to throttle thought and a handful of Jews to pick pockets"

(No other English version available online even though the article was originally published in English. The version above is my translation from the German)

The German

Marx, „Die russische Anleihe“, 1856

"So finden wir, daß hinter jedem Tyrannen ein Jude, wie hinter jedem Papst ein Jesuit steht. Wahrlich, die Gelüste der Unterdrücker wären hoffnungslos, die Möglichkeit von Kriegen unvorstellbar, gäbe es nicht eine Armee von Jesuiten das Denken zu drosseln, und eine Handvoll Juden, die Taschen zu plündern."

Eleanor Marx a.a.O. S.600., Rotbuch S. 113

Source in German

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Ferdinand Lasalle was born of Jewish stock on April 11, 1825 in Breslau, Germany (now in Poland). He was one of the earliest advocates of working-class political activism and is regarded as the founder of the German SPD (Social Democratic Party) which rules Germany today. His vision was however much more humane than Marx and centred on the formation of worker co-operatives rather than on revolution. So Marx saw him as an enemy -- but still tried to borrow money off him! Privately, however both Marx and Engels were deeply contemptuous of Lasalle and used every possible term of abuse for him -- the most famous of which is "Jewish nigger". Excerpt follows:

Marx to Engels. "The Jewish nigger Lassalle who, I'm glad to say, is leaving at the end of this week, has happily lost another 5,000 talers in an ill-judged speculation. The chap would sooner throw money down the drain than lend it to a `friend', even though his interest and capital were guaranteed. In this he bases himself on the view that he ought to live the life of a Jewish baron.... And on top of it all, the sheer gluttony and wanton lechery of this `idealist'! It is now quite plain to me - as the shape of his head and the way his hair grows also testify - that he is descended from the negroes who accompanied Moses' flight from Egypt (unless his mother or paternal grandmother interbred with a nigger). Now, this blend of Jewishness and Germanness, on the one hand, and basic negroid stock, on the other, must inevitably give rise to a peculiar product. The fellow's importunity is also nigger-like".

Context here

The German

Marx an Engels, 1862

"Der jüdische Nigger Lassalle, der glücklicherweise Ende dieser Woche abreist, hat glücklich wieder 5000 Taler in einer falschen Spekulation verloren... Es ist mir jetzt völlig klar, daß er, wie auch seine Kopfbildung und sein Haarwuchs beweist, von den Negern abstammt, die sich dem Zug des Moses aus Ägypten anschlossen (wenn nicht seine Mutter oder Großmutter von väterlicher Seite sich mit einem Nigger kreuzten). Nun, diese Verbindung von Judentum und Germanentum mit der negerhaften Grundsubstanz müssen ein sonderbares Produkt hervorbringen. Die Zudringlichkeit des Burschen ist auch niggerhaft."

Marx an Engels, 1862 (MEW Band 30, Seite 257).

Engels on Lasalle:

Lasalle. "Moreover, this mania of the greasy Breslau Jew, using all sorts of pomades and rouges to pretty himself up, to force himself into the distinguished world -- to "arrive" (even if only to appearances) -- was always repulsive"

(No other English translation available online)

The German

Engels an Marx, 7. März 1856

"Lassalle. (...) Dann diese Sucht, sich in die vornehme Welt einzudrängen, de parvenir, wenn auch nur zum Schein, den schmierigen Breslauer Jud mit allerhand Pomade und Schminke zu übertünchen, waren immer widerwärtig."

MEW a.a.O. 29, 31.


Friday, February 04, 2005


Marx, About the emancipation of the small-farmers in Russia: "But it is well-known that the Russian nobility are, moreover, indebted, to a large extent, to private individuals, bankers, tradesmen, Jews and usurers, and that the great majority are so heavily encumbered as to leave them but a nominal interest in their possessions"

Context here

The German

Marx, „Über die Bauernbefreiung in Rußland“, 1858

"Es ist wohlbekannt, daß der russische Adel überdies in großem Maße an Privatpersonen, an Bankiers, Händler, Juden und Wucherer verschuldet ist (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 12, 677

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Marx to Engels: "Yesterday we were informed of a very happy event, the death of my wife's uncle, aged 90. As a result, my mother-in-law will save an annual impost of 200 talers and my wife will get almost £100; more if the old dog hasn't made over to his housekeeper that part of his money that was not tied up".

Context here

The German

Marx an Engels, 8. März 1855

"A very happy Event, der Tod des 90jährigen Onkels meiner Frau wurde uns gestern mitgeteilt. (...) meine Frau wird an 100 £ bekommen; mehr, wenn der alte Hund den Teil seines Geldes, der nicht fidei commiß war, nicht seiner Haushälterin vermacht."

MEW a.a.O. 28, 438.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


"In the Russian vocabulary there is no such word as honour"

Context here

The German

Marx, „Lord Palmerston“, 1853

"In dem russischen Vokabularium existiert das Wort 'Ehre' nicht."

MEW a.a.O. 9, 396.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


"Austria's Bankruptcy: The Austrian Kaiser's dependency on the Jews of the Vienna Bank grows in tandem with the military character of his rule"

(No other English version available online even though it was originally published in English. Source in German here)

The German

Marx, „Österreichs Bankrott“ 1854

"So wächst die Abhängigkeit des Kaisers von den Juden der Wiener Bank in demselben Maße wie der militärische Charakter seiner Herrschaft."

MEW a.a.O. 10, 109.
Monday, January 31, 2005


Marx to Engels: "If a negotiation I have initiated with Lassalle succeeds, and he lends me £30, and you lend me the remainder, I would at last be independent again and reorganise all my domestic arrangements, whereas at present I have to pay out 25 per cent to the pawnshop alone, and in general am never able to get things in order because of arrears. As has once again been demonstrated in Trier, nothing will be achieved with my old lady until I can go and personally sit on her throat".

Context here

The German

Marx an Engels, 13. September 1854

"Mit meiner Alten ist, wie sich noch einmal in Trier bewährt, nichts zu machen, bis ich ihr direkt auf dem Halse sitze."

MEW a.a.O. 28, 391., Rotbuch S. 108

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Karl Marx: Advertisement Duty -- Russian Movements -- Denmark. 19.Aug.1853:

"The Scandinavians and the Germans have in this way found that they cannot base their respective national claims on the feudal laws of royal succession. They have had the even stronger experience that they, the Germans and the Scandinavians -- who both belong to one overall race -- will only pave the way for their hereditary enemy, the Slavs, if they fight with one-another rather than uniting."

The German

Marx: Die Annoncensteuer - Russische Schritte - Dänemark - Die Vereinigten Staaten in Europa:

"Die Skandinavier und die Deutschen haben auf diese Weise die Erfahrung gemacht, daß sie ihren respektiven nationalen Ansprüchen nicht die feudalen Gesetze der königlichen Erbfolge zugrunde legen dürfen. Sie haben die noch bessere Erfahrung gemacht, daß sie, die Deutschen und die Skandinavier, die beide zu der gleichen großen Rasse gehören, nur den Weg für ihren Erbfeind, den Slawen, bereiten, wenn sie miteinander streiten, statt sich zu verbinden."

Karl Marx - Friedrich Engels - Werke, Band 9, S. 245-251. MEW a.a.O. 9, 248.

Context in German only here

Note: This was originally published in English but is not available in English online. I hope my back-translation measures up.

Saturday, January 29, 2005


And expressed not the slightest regret about it

Karl Marx in the New York Tribune 1853, "Forced Emigration":

"Society is undergoing a silent revolution, which must be submitted to, and which takes no more notice of the human existences it breaks down than an earthquake regards the houses it subverts. The classes and the races, too weak to master the new conditions of life, must give way.

Context here

Friday, January 28, 2005


(I imagine the text below is a translation of a German original in which Engels originally wrote: "Kleinbürger" or "petit bourgeois" for "petty trader".)

"The practical revolutionary experience of 1848-49 confirmed the reasonings of theory, which led to the conclusion that the democracy of the petty traders must first have its turn, before the Communist working class could hope to permanently establish itself in power"

Originally published in English. See here

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Marx to Engels (letter, 21.Jan.1853) "The little Jew Bamberger hasn't given me a centime so far, though he promised, and until he comes, I will draw at least 15 pounds on a bill to him, little by little".

(No other English translation available online)

The German

Marx an Engels, 21. Januar 1853

"Jüdchen Bamberger hat mir bisher noch keinen Centime gegeben, aber versprochen, und ich werde ihm nach und nach auf den Wechsel wenigstens 15 £ (bis er kömmt) abpressen."

MEW a.a.O. 28, 207.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Marx to Adolf Cluss (letter, 20.Jul.1852): "There are no bigger donkeys than these workers.... Look at our "craftsmen"; Sad that world history should be be made with such people".

(No other English translation available online)

The German

Marx an Adolf Cluß, 20. Juli 1852

"Komplettere Esel als diese Arbeiter gibt es wohl nicht (...) Voilà unsere Straubinger; schlimm, daß mit solchen Leuten Weltgeschichte gemacht werden soll (...)"

MEW a.a.O. 28, 537.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


I have pointed out previously that Marx & Engels got a lot of their ideas from Hegel and I picked out a quote from Hegel to illustrate what his central message was. In pointing to the "origin" of any idea or type of thinking, however, we of course run into Solomon's old and wise observation that "there is nothing new under the sun". So the obvious next question is: "Where did Hegel get his ideas from?"

It is getting too far away from the main purpose of this blog to attempt to answer that in any detail but if a one-word answer is possible the answer is "Plato". Plato's Republic with its ideal of a polity ruled by "philosopher kings" has always had a lot of appeal to Leftists -- who mentally elect themselves as the philosopher kings concerned -- so it should be no surprise that Hegel liked Plato too. I am indebted to a commentator here for drawing my attention to some excellent quotes from a Marxist site which spell that all out: The quotes are from an article on Hegel by Z. A. Pelczynski . We start with an excerpt from Pelczynski and then go on to a quote from Hegel himself:


In Hegel’s Lectures on the History of Philosophy (the Haldane-Simson translation in three volumes published 1892-6) Hegel gives Plato’s Republic twenty-six pages of print, compared with the less than four that he gives to Aristotle’s Politics. He regarded Aristotle’s main political work as a common-sense but pedantic and largely empirical treatise, while the Republic seemed to him a work of true genius and a most profound theory expressing the essence of Greek society and culture (PhR, Preface). The fundamental presupposition of the Republic and ancient Greek political life generally (Hegel argues) was the absolute priority of the community over the individual. Hegel refers to it usually as the ‘substantiality’ of the polis or ‘the substantial character of ethical life’ in Greece. The ancient Greek thought of himself as a political animal by nature. He saw himself as a son of his city, a member of an ongoing and historical community and not as an independent individual, facing other similar individuals in an atomistic state of nature or some rather loosely structured society which they had voluntarily established. A Greek citizen was so wholly immersed in the politics and ethos of his city that he cared little for himself. He guided his actions not by his self-interest or some private conception of happiness and virtue, but by the traditional ideals of his city, which he accepted without questioning.’ One could say that he had no individuality in the full sense of the word; he was merely an instrument, a member of an organism, which acted through him in pursuit of its own universal ends.


We are accustomed to take our start from the fiction of a condition of nature, which is truly no condition of mind, of rational will, but of animals among themselves: wherefore Hobbes has justly remarked that the true state of nature is a war of every man against his neighbour . . . The fiction of a state of nature starts from the individuality of the person, his free will, and his relation to other persons according to this free will. What has been called natural law is law in and for the individual, and the condition of society and the state has been looked upon as the means of the individual person, who is the fundamental end. Plato, in direct contrast with this lays as his foundation the substantial, the universal, and he does this in such a way that the individual as such has this very universal as his end, and the subject has his will, activity, life and enjoyment in the state, so that it becomes his second nature, his habits and his customs. This ethical substance which constitutes the spirit, life and being of individuality, and which is its foundation, systematises itself into a living, organic whole, and at the same time it differentiates itself into its members, whose activity brings the whole into existence.

I am not of course going to argue with Hegel's reasoning and analysis here. The whole idea of a "state of nature" or an "original state" of mankind is a theoretical invention much beloved of all sorts of Leftists from Rousseau to Rawls but rests entirely on unsubstantiated assertions. If you could get a libertarian to venture into such speculations he would probably counter-assert that the state of nature is voluntary co-operation between free, happy and autonomous individuals. And conservatives, of course, are concerned only about what has developed so far, rather than any high-flown theories that reduce the vast complexity of humanity to simple generalizations.

Monday, January 24, 2005


And welcomed economic difficulties

Engels: "There seems little doubt about the advent of the crisis, even if the recent bankruptcies were no more than precursors. Unfortunately the harvests in North-East Germany, Poland and Russia show signs of being passable, and in places even good. Here the recent good weather has likewise borne fruit. But France is still in the soup, and that's enough to be going on with."

Context here

The German

Engels an Marx, 24. August 1852

"Leider scheint die Ernte in Nordostdeutschland, Polen und Russland passabel, stellenweise gut zu werden. Hier hat auch das letzte gute Wetter gefruchtet. Aber Frankreich bleibt in der Sauce, und das ist schon viel."

MEW a.a.O. 28, 118.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


I deliberately called this blog "Marx and Friends" because I wanted to give a few quotes from related thinkers at some stage. So I am now going to inflict Hegel on whoever is reading this. Hegel is VERY heavy going but he seems to have had practically all of the many second-rate 19th century German and American thinkers enraptured so it seems important to get at least some idea of what he was on about. The excerpt below is from an essay called "The Nature of Spirit". And I have highlighted in red what I think are the most significant phrases:

"We have considered subjective volition where it has an object which is the truth and essence of a reality, viz. where it constitutes a great world-historical passion. As a subjective will, occupied with limited passions, it is dependent, and can gratify its desires only within the limits of this dependence. But the subjective will has also a substantial life -- a reality, -- in which it moves in the region of essential being, and has the essential itself as the object of its existence. This essential being is the union of the subjective with the rational will: it is the moral whole, the state, which is that form of reality in which the individual has and enjoys his freedom; but on the condition of his recognizing, believing in and willing that which is common to the whole. And this must not be understood as if the subjective will of the social unit attained its gratification and enjoyment through that common will; as if this were a means provided for its benefit; as if the individual, in his relations to other individuals, thus limited his freedom, in order that this universal limitation -- the mutual constraint of all -- might secure a small space of liberty for each. Rather, we affirm, are law, morality, government, and they alone, the positive reality and completion of freedom. Freedom of a low and limited order, is mere caprice; which finds its exercise in the sphere of particular and limited desires.

Aaaargh! Is that what you are saying? I don't blame you. Anyone used to Anglo-Saxon ideals of making things clear should gag on that lot. I hope the red bits helped, anyway. So let me try to sum up in plain words what Hegel is on about. Very cheeky of me to think I can do that in just a few paragraphs but we Anglo-Saxon analytical philosophers are a disrespectful lot.

Hegel's basic idea -- and the idea that absolutely GRABBED Marx, Engels and Hitler -- was that history is ORDERLY -- rather than just repeating itself, it is actually a progression towards an endpoint of perfection. And that perfect end is freedom -- but not freedom as we would know it. And history somehow also has a spirit -- in a way that makes sense only to German philosophers as far as I can see. So M, E & H all thought they saw the perfection of human history gradually unfolding before their eyes and wanted to give it a kick along. And they were greatly motivated by Hegel's view that some people and events are of "world-historical" significance. Anybody reading this blog will have noticed that phrase cropping up and, as you can see from the excerpt above, the phrase comes from Hegel. In other words, some people and events are major influences in giving history a kick along in its journey towards its ultimate end. And guess who wanted to be counted among those "world-historical" figures? Our old friends M, E and H, of course. Being a world-historical figure would have to be the ultimate ego-trip.

So you also see where Marx's theory of historical stages comes from. It is just an attempt to firm up Hegel's basic idea.

And you also note what an Orwellian view of freedom Hegel had. THE STATE is the essential reality and embodies all of human progress. And we are free only when we are all merged into a common will within the State. So the ultimate freedom is the freedom of the ant -- freedom to march happily and voluntarily in lockstep with everybody else. Any other freedom is "of a low and limited order" and "mere caprice".

Horrific? Maybe to most people reading this but the political Left of today still seems to have that ideal. That is where the political correctness movement seems to be marching off towards -- a total uniformity of thought and speech where nobody is "offended" and everybody lives by "enlightened" rules.

And you can also see the foundation for the ideas that Hitler, Mussolini and Lenin had about the supremacy of the State over the individual. And hopefully, seeing how those particular States ended up warns us of how dangerous Hegel's seemingly obscure ideas in fact are.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


Marx to Engels: "The only good news we have received came from my Sheriff's-wife sister-in-law, the news about the illness of my wife's indestructible uncle. If the dog dies now, I'm out of trouble".

MEW a.a.O. 28,30.

(No version in English available elsewhere online)

The German

Marx an Engels, 27. Februar 1852

"Die einzige gute Nachricht haben wir von meiner ministeriellen Schwägerin erhalten, die Nachricht von der Krankheit des unverwüstlichen Onkels meiner Frau. Stirbt der Hund jetzt, so bin ich aus der Patsche heraus."

MEW a.a.O. 28,30., Rotbuch S. 98

Note: I don't know enough about the life and times of Marx's family to be 100% certain of the translation of "ministeriellen" above but Brockhaus tells me that "der Ministeriale" is a sheriff, presumably an official of a court of justice.


I have now had it on good authority that "ministeriell" should be translated as "bossy". So the translation now reads: "The only good news we have received came from my bossy sister-in-law, the news about the illness of my wife's indestructible uncle. If the dog dies now, I'm out of trouble".

I am still rather bemused by the fact that I, as a conservative with a very imperfect grasp of German, seem to be the first person to put English translations of some Marxian texts onto the net. Fortunately, I do have some helpers but occasional expressions in Marx's German puzzle all of us at times -- probably because the expressions were common at the time Marx wrote but are no longer so.

Friday, January 21, 2005


"May the devil take these peoples movements, especially when they are "peaceful""

(No version in English available elsewhere online)

The German

Marx an Engels, 4. Februar 1852

"Der Teufel soll diese Volksbewegung holen und gar, wenn sie pacifiques sind."

MEW a.a.O. 28, 19.

Note: Marx used a French word in this letter to Engels: "pacifiques". In French, it just means any peaceful people, not pacifists. At least, that is what my Larousse tells me.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Marx: "It would perhaps be as well if things were to remain quiet for a few years yet, so that all this 1848 democracy has time to rot away."

Context here

The German

Marx an Joseph Weydemayer, 27. Juni 1851

"Es wäre vielleicht gut, wenn es noch einige Jahre ruhig bliebe, damit diese gesamte Demokratie von 1848 Zeit fände zu verfaulen."

MEW a.a.O. 27, 558 ff.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Nice type

Marx: "Then I wrote to my mother, threatening to draw bills on her and, in case of non-payment, to go to Prussia and get myself locked up."

Context here

The German

Marx an Engels, 31. März 1851

„Dann schrieb ich meiner Mutter, drohte ihr, Wechsel auf sie zu ziehn und im Nichtzahlungsfall nach Preußen zu gehn und mich einsperren zu lassen (...)“

MEW a.a.O. 27, 226 f.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Rules written by Marx and others

Rules of the Communist League (Art. 42): Removed and expelled members, like suspect individuals in general, are to be watched in the interest of the League, and prevented from doing harm. Intrigues of such individuals are at once to be reported to the community concerned.

Context here

The German

Marx u.a.: „Statuten des Kommunistischen Bundes“, 1850

„4. Wer die Bedingungen der Mitgliedschaft verletzt, wird ausgeschlossen (...)
Die Ausgeschlossenen werden dem ganzen Bunde angezeigt und gleich allen verdächtigen Subjekten von Bundes wegen überwacht.“

MEW a.a.O. 7, 565 f.

Monday, January 17, 2005


Engels: "We discovered that in connection with these figures the German national simpletons and money-grubbers of the Frankfurt parliamentary swamp always counted as Germans the Polish Jews as well, although this dirtiest of all races, neither by its jargon nor by its descent, but at most only through its lust for profit, could have any relation of kinship with Frankfurt".

Context here

The German

Engels, NRZ 29. Apr. 1849

„... daß die deutschen Nationalgimpel und Geldmacher des Frankfurter Sumpfparlaments bei diesen Zählungen immer noch die polnischen Juden zu Deutschen gerechnet, obwohl diese schmutzigste aller Rassen weder in ihrem Jargon, noch ihrer Abstammung nach, sondern höchstens durch ihre Profitwütigkeit mit Frankfurt im Verwandtschaftsverhältnis stehen kann (...)“

MEW a.a.O. 6, 448 f.

Sunday, January 16, 2005


And dismissed justice and morality from consideration in the matter. And he didn't think much of brotherhood either

(...)Justice and other moral considerations may be damaged here and there; but what does that matter to such facts of world-historic significance?
Following that, Bohemia and Moravia passed definitely to Germany and the Slovak regions remained with Hungary. And this historically absolutely non-existent "nation" puts forward claims to independence?
Of course, matters of this kind cannot be accomplished without many a tender national blossom being forcibly broken. But in history nothing is achieved without power and implacable ruthlessness,
To the sentimental phrases about brotherhood which we are being offered here on behalf of the most counter-revolutionary nations of Europe, we reply that hatred of Russians was and still is the primary revolutionary passion among Germans; that since the revolution hatred of Czechs and Croats has been added, and that only by the most determined use of terror against these Slav peoples can we, jointly with the Poles and Magyars, safeguard the revolution.
Then there will be a struggle, an "unrelenting life-and-death struggle" against those Slavs who betray the revolution; an annihilating fight and most determined terrorism -- not in the interests of Germany, but in the interests of the revolution!

Context here

The German

Engels, NRZ 15. Feb. 1849

„... die 'Gerechtigkeit' und andere moralische Grundsätze mögen hier und da verletzt sein; aber was gilt das gegen solche weltgeschichtlichen Tatsachen? (....)

Dann kommt Böhmen und Mähren definitiv zu Deutschland, und die slowakischen Gegenden bleiben bei Ungarn. Und diese geschichtlich gar nicht existiende 'Nation' macht Ansprüche auf Unabhängigkeit? (...)

Freilich, dergleichen läßt sich nicht durchsetzen ohne manch sanftes Nationenblümlein gewaltsam zu zerknicken. Aber ohne Gewalt und ohne eherne Rücksichtslosigkeit wird nichts durchgesetzt in der Geschichte, (...)

Auf die sentimentalen Brüderschaftsphrasen, die uns hier im Namen der kontrevolutionärsten Nationen Europas dargeboten werden, antworten wir, daß der Russenhaß die erste revolutionäre Leidenschaft bei den Deutschen war und noch ist; daß seit der Revolution der Tschechen- und Kroatenhaß hinzugekommen ist und daß wir, in Gemeinschaft mit Polen und Magyaren, nur durch den entschiedensten Terrorismus gegen diese slawischen Völker die Revolution sicherstellen können (....)

Dann Kampf, 'unerbittlicher Kampf auf Leben und Tod' mit dem revolutionsverräterischen Slawentum; Vernichtungskampf und rücksichtslosen Terrorismus - nicht im Interesse Deutschlands, sondern im Interesse der Revolution!“

MEW a.a.O. 6, 286.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


He thought the Yugoslavs in particular deserved to be wiped out .... Hmmmm

"Among all the nations and sub-nations of Austria, only three standard-bearers of progress took an active part in history, and are still capable of life -- the Germans, the Poles and the Magyars. Hence they are now revolutionary. All the other large and small nationalities and peoples are destined to perish before long in the revolutionary world storm.


This remnant of a nation that was, as Hegel says, suppressed and held in bondage in the course of history, this human trash, becomes every time -- and remains so until their complete obliteration or loss of national identity -- the fanatical carriers of counter-revolution, just as their whole existence in general is itself a protest against a great historical revolution.


Such, in Austria, are the pan-Slavist Southern Slavs, who are nothing but the human trash of peoples, resulting from an extremely confused thousand years of development.


The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is progress.

A source in English

The German

Friedrich Engels, NRZ 13. Jan. 1849

„Unter all den Nationen und Natiönchen Österreichs sind nur drei, die die Träger des Fortschritts waren, die aktiv in die Geschichte eingegriffen haben, die jetzt noch lebensfähig sind - die Deutschen, die Polen, die Magyaren. Daher sind sie jetzt revolutionär. Alle anderen großen und kleinen Stämme und Völker haben zunächst die Mission, im revolutionären Weltsturm unterzugehen. (...)

Diese Reste einer von dem Gang der Geschichte, wie Hegel sagt, unbarmherzig zertretenen Nationen, diese Völkerabfälle werden jedesmal und bleiben bis zu ihrer gänzlichen Vertilgung oder Entnationalisierung die fanatischen Träger der Kontrerevolution, wie ihre ganze Existenz überhaupt schon ein Protest gegen eine große geschichtliche Revolution ist (...)

So in Österreich die panslawistischen Südslawen, die weiter nichts sind als der Völkerabfall einer höchst verworrenen tausendjährigen Entwicklung. (...)

Der nächste Weltkrieg wird nicht nur reaktionäre Klassen und Dynastien, er wird auch ganze reaktionäre Völker vom Erdboden verschwinden machen. Und das ist auch ein Fortschritt.“

MEW a.a.O. 6, 176.

Friday, January 14, 2005


"(...) In Vienna, Croats, Pandours, Czechs, Serezhans and similar rabble throttled German liberty, and the Tsar is now omnipresent in Europe"


The German

Karl Marx, NRZ 1. Jan. 1849

„(...) in Wien erwürgten Kroaten, Panduren, Tschechen, Sereczaner und ähnliches Lumpengesindel die germanische Freiheit (...)“

MEW a.a.O. 6, 150.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Engels: "And the farmers have over six million votes, over two thirds of all votes in the elections in France. (...) The French proletariat, before it can accomplish its demands, will have to defeat a general farmer's war."

The German

Friedrich Engels, „Von Paris nach Bern“, 1848

„Und die Bauern haben über sechs Millionen Stimmen, über zwei Drittel aller Stimmen bei den Wahlen in Frankreich (...) Das französische Proletariat, ehe es seine Forderungen durchsetzt, wird zuerst einen allgemeinen Bauernkrieg zu unterdrücken haben (...)“

MEW a.a.O. 5, 474 f.

No respect for the voters there! Military oppression instead is envisaged. And Stalin and others did just that.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


"And as for the Jews, who since the emancipation of their sect have everywhere put themselves, at least in the person of their eminent representatives, at the head of the counter-revolution -- what awaits them?"


The German

Karl Marx, NRZ 17. Nov.1848

„Und nun gar die Juden, die seit der Emanzipation ihrer Sekte wenigstens in ihren vornehmen Vertretern überall an die Spitze der Kontrerevolution getreten sind, was harrt ihrer?“

MEW a.a.O. 6, 25.

Marx is here gloating that the conservatism of the German Jews has not saved them from loss of their rights at the hands of the government. At least that's one way Hitler and Marx differed. Hitler thought the Jews were too revolutionary and Marx thought they were too conservative. Either way it was tough luck to be a Jew, though.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Nice guy. He got his wish, though

The purposeless massacres perpetrated since the June and October events, the tedious offering of sacrifices since February and March, the very cannibalism of the counterrevolution will convince the nations that there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terrorism.


The German:

Karl Marx, NRZ 7.Nov. 1848

„...daß es nur ein Mittel gibt, die mörderischen Todeswehen der alten Gesellschaft, die blutigen Geburtswehen der neuen Gesellschaft abzukürzen, zu vereinfachen, zu konzentrieren, nur ein Mittel - den revolutionären Terrorismus.“

MEW a.a.O. 5, 457.

I note that the Marxists translate "Terrorismus" above as "Terror". If Marx had meant "terror" he would presumably have said so. The word is the same in English and in German. In fact what he clearly said was "terrorism".

Monday, January 10, 2005


Far from starting futile quarrels with the democrats, in the present circumstances, the Communists for the time being rather take the field as democrats themselves in all practical party matters. In all civilised countries, democracy has as its necessary consequence the political rule of the proletariat, and the political rule of the proletariat is the first condition for all communist measures. As long as democracy has not been achieved, thus long do Communists and democrats fight side by side, thus long are the interests of the democrats at the same time those of the Communists. Until that time, the differences between the two parties are of a purely theoretical nature and can perfectly well be debated on a theoretical level without common action being thereby in any way prejudiced. Indeed, understandings will be possible concerning many measures which are to be carried out in the interests of the previously oppressed classes immediately after democracy has been achieved, e.g. the running of large-scale industry and the railways by the state, the education of all children at state expense, etc.


The first part in German:

Friedrich Engels, „Die Kommunisten und Karl Heinzen“, 1847

„Die Kommunisten, weit entfernt, unter den gegenwärtigen Verhältnissen mit den Demokraten nutzlose Streitfragen anzufangen, treten vielmehr für den Augenblick in allen praktischen Parteifragen selbst als Demokraten auf. (...) Solange die Demokratie noch nicht erkämpft ist, solange kämpfen Kommunisten und Demokraten also gemeinsam (...)“

MEW a.a.O. 4, 317.

This passage is of course a classical formulation of the "fellow-traveller" doctrine. As we saw in my post of 2nd., Engels despised democracy but above he sees Communism as the ultimate endpoint of democracy so says that Communists and democrats should work together to achieve State control of industry and education as the final steps before Communism is achieved.

The State control of industry has fallen by the wayside in modern times but education still seems to be well on track.

Sunday, January 09, 2005


Every provisional political set-up following a revolution requires a dictatorship, and an energetic dictatorship at that.


The German

Karl Marx, NRZ 14. Sep. 1848

„Jeder provisorische Staatszustand nach einer Revolution erfordert eine Diktatur, und zwar eine energische Diktatur.“

MEW a.a.O. 5, 401.

Saturday, January 08, 2005


Because Germany was more "civilized"! Adolf, of course, agreed

"By the same right under which France took Flanders, Lorraine and Alsace, and will sooner or later take Belgium -- by that same right Germany takes over Schleswig; it is the right of civilization as against barbarism, of progress as against stability. Even if the agreements were in Denmark's favor -- which is very doubtful-this right carries more weight than all the agreements, for it is the right of historical evolution"


The German:

Friedrich Engels, NRZ 10. Sep. 1848 (NRZ = Neue Rheinische Zeitung)

„Mit demselben Recht, mit dem die Franzosen Flandern, Lothringen und Elsaß genommen haben und Belgien früher oder später nehmen werden, mit demselben Recht nimmt Deutschland Schleswig: mit dem Recht der Zivilisation gegen die Barbarei, des Fortschritts gegen die Stabilität.“

MEW a.a.O. 5, 395.

I note that the Marxists I link to above have translated the "Stabilität" that Engels referred to as "static stability" rather than just "stability". I wonder why? Let me guess: Stability is good once the Marxists are in charge. That is "progressive" stability, not "static stability". So the enforced inertia and uniformity of the old USSR was "progressive stability". Too bad they made such little progress that they eventually collapsed! But how sad it is that the Marxists have to mistranslate their own founding fathers to justify themselves! I can't say I am surprised, though.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Marx to Engels:

I have devised an infallible plan for extracting money from your old man, as we now have none.

Write me a begging letter (as crude as possible), in which you retail your past vicissitudes, but in such a way that I can pass it on to your mother. The old man's beginning to get the wind up.

More here

The German:

Karl Marx an Engels, 29. November 1848

„Ich habe einen sicheren Plan entworfen, Deinem Alten Geld abzupressen, da wir jetzt keins haben. Schreib einen Geldbrief (möglichst graß an mich), worin Du Deine bisherige Fata erzählst, aber so, daß ich ihn Deiner Mutter mitteilen kann. Die Alte fängt an, Furcht zu bekommen.“

MEW a.a.O. 27, 131.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


Sounds a lot like Pol Pot, funnily enough

Feuerbach starts out from the fact of religious self-alienation, of the duplication of the world into a religious world and a secular one. His work consists in resolving the religious world into its secular basis. But that the secular basis detaches itself from itself and establishes itself as an independent realm in the clouds can only be explained by the cleavages and self-contradictions within this secular basis. The latter must, therefore, in itself be both understood in its contradiction and revolutionized in practice. Thus, for instance, after the earthly family is discovered to be the secret of the holy family, the former must then itself be annihilated in theory and in practice.

The German

Karl Marx, „Thesen über Feuerbach“, 1845

„....Also nachdem z.B. die irdische Familie als das Geheimnis der Heiligen Familie entdeckt ist, muß nun erstere selbst theoretisch und praktisch vernichtet werden.“

MEW a.a.O. 3, 6.

See also here

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Another indication of how hate-filled Leftists are. And how odd that his followers -- such as Lenin and Hitler -- actually put his vision into practice!

"The proletarians, driven to despair, will seize the torch which Stephens has preached to them; the vengeance of the people will come down with a wrath of which the rage of 1795 gives no true idea. The war of the poor against the rich will be the bloodiest ever waged".


Tuesday, January 04, 2005


He was good at despising. Just like modern-day Leftist elitists, Engels thought country-people were stupid

Firstly, the farmers, the most stupid set of people in existence, who, clinging to feudal prejudices, burst forth in masses, ready to die rather than cease to obey those whom they, their fathers and grandfathers, had called their masters; and submitted to be trampled on and horse-whipped by.

Context here

The original German follows:

Friedrich Engels, „Deutsche Zustände“, 1845

„Zunächst die Bauernschaft, die stupideste Menschenklasse auf Erden, eine Klasse, die, feudalen Vorurteilen anhängend, (...)“

MEW a.a.O. 2, 570., Rotbuch S. 49

Note: I have translated "Bauernschaft" as "farmers" above rather than as "peasantry" because "peasant" is derogatory. "Bauer" is the normal German word for "farmer". "Schaft" means something like "fraternity". So "farming fraternity" would be a third possible translation. However you translate it, however, it is clear that Engels was referring to the small farmers of his day.

Monday, January 03, 2005


He despised both

The French Revolution was the rise of democracy in Europe. Democracy is, as I take all forms of government to be, a contradiction in itself, an untruth, nothing but hypocrisy (theology, as we Germans call it), at the bottom. Political liberty is sham-liberty, the worst possible sort of slavery; the appearance of liberty, and therefore the worst servitude. Just so also is political equality for me; therefore democracy, as well as every other form of government, must ultimately break to pieces.

Another translation and more context here

The original German follows:

Friedrich Engels, „Frankreich“, 1843

„Demokratie ist - und so schätze ich alle Regierungsformen ein - ein Widerspruch in sich, eine Unwahrheit, im Grunde nichts als Heuchelei (...) Politische Freiheit ist Scheinfreiheit, die schlimmste Art von Sklaverei, der Schein der Freiheit und deshalb die schlimmste Knechtschaft. Ebenso verhält es sich mit der politischen Gleichheit, deshalb muß die Demokratie so gut wie jede andere Regierungsform schließlich in Scherben gehen: (...)“

MEW a.a.O. 1, 481.

Sunday, January 02, 2005


His words:

"I have just been visited by the president of the Israelites here, who has asked me for a petition for the Jews to the Provincial Assembly, and I am willing to do it. Given how repellent the Israelite faith is to me, Bauer's view seems to me too abstract. It is still however worthwhile to knock as many breaches as possible into the Christian state and to smuggle in as much good sense as we can. At least, it must be attempted--and the embitterment grows with every petition that is rejected with protestations".

So, in order to further his political ends, Marx was prepared to pretend that he favoured a group that he really loathed. Sounds VERY familiar -- like the modern day American Leftists who despise "rednecks" and "trailer trash" but still pretend to be for "the little guy".

The original German follows:

Karl Marx an Arnold Ruge, 13. März 1843

„Soeben kömmt der Vorsteher der hiesigen Israeliten zu mir und ersucht mich um eine Petition für die Juden an den Landtag, und ich will's tun. So widerlich mir der israelitische Glaube ist, so scheint mir Bauers Ansicht doch zu abstrakt. Es gilt so viele Löcher in den christlichen Staat zu stoßen als möglich und das Vernünftige, soviel an uns, einzuschmuggeln.“

MEW a.a.O. 1, 338.,

There is a more sanitized translation here

Saturday, January 01, 2005


Leftist psychologists have, since the 1950 work of Theodor Adorno and his collaborators, been enthusiastic in claiming that conservatives are "authoritarian" -- despite much contrary evidence. But Engels had a very different view of the matter -- a much more straightforward one:

"Revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon" (Friedrich Engels -- from his controversy with the Anarchists).

This rather obvious insight from Karl Marx's collaborator -- which associates authoritarianism with Leftism -- seems to have been totally overlooked by psychologists. This is rather surprising when we realize that the tradition of research into psychological authoritarianism traces back to The Authoritarian Personality by Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson and Sanford (1950). And the leading author (Adorno) of the study concerned was a prominent Marxist theoretician! One might have thought that a Marxist would have made the quotation mentioned central to his discussion of authoritarianism.

This overlooking of the obvious by the Adorno team was however symptomatic of their whole approach. Apparently, as committed Leftists, they wanted to explain Nazism and Fascism in a way that discredited Rightists rather than Leftists. But the theoretical convolutions required for that were from the outset truly heroic -- considering that Hitler was a socialist rather than a conservative, considering that Mussolini was a prominent Marxist theoretician, considering that Stalin had been a willing ally of Hitler as long as Hitler wanted him and considering that Hitler's most unrelenting enemy was no Leftist but the arch-Conservative Winston Churchill.

But facts never trouble Leftists.

Friday, December 31, 2004


I have noted previously important ways in which Friedrich Engels had similar views to Hitler. The most spectacular aspect of Nazism, however, was surely its antisemitism. And that had a grounding in Marx himself. The following passage is from Marx but it could just as well have been from Hitler:

"Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew -- not the Sabbath Jew, as Bauer does, but the everyday Jew. Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew. What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Jewry, would be the self-emancipation of our time.... We recognize in Jewry, therefore, a general present-time-oriented anti-social element, an element which through historical development -- to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed -- has been brought to its present high level, at which it must necessarily dissolve itself. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Jewry".

Note that Marx wanted to "emancipate" (free) mankind from Jewry ("Judentum" in Marx's original German), just as Hitler did and that the title of Marx's essay in German was "Zur Judenfrage" -- which is exactly the same expression ("Jewish question") that Hitler used in his famous phrase "Endloesung der Judenfrage" ("Final solution of the Jewish question"). And when Marx speaks of the end of Jewry by saying that Jewish identity must necessarily "dissolve" itself, the word he uses in German is "aufloesen", which is a close relative of Hitler's word "Endloesung" ("final solution"). So all the most condemned features of Nazism can be traced back to Marx and Engels. The thinking of Hitler, Marx and Engels differed mainly in emphasis rather than in content. All three were second-rate German intellectuals of their times.

Marx's original German for confirming the translation above is given below:

Zur Judenfrage

"Welches ist der weltliche Grund des Judentums? Das praktische Bedürfnis, der Eigennutz. Welches ist der weltliche Kultus des Juden? Der Schacher. Welches ist sein weltlicher Gott? Das Geld. Nun wohl! Die Emanzipation vom Schacher und vom Geld, also vom praktischen, realen Judentum wäre die Selbstemanzipation unsrer Zeit.... Wir erkennen also im Judentum ein allgemeines gegenwärtiges antisoziales Element, welches durch die geschichtliche Entwicklung, an welcher die Juden in dieser schlechten Beziehung eifrig mitgearbeitet, auf seine jetzige Höhe getrieben wurde, auf eine Höhe, auf welcher es sich notwendig auflösen muß. Die Judenemanzipation in ihrer letzten Bedeutung ist die Emanzipation der Menschheit vom Judentum."

(MEW a.a.O. 1, 372 f.)

Find a translation into English by Marxists here. They do their best to "correct" it.

Thursday, December 30, 2004


Who wrote a poem containing this verse?

Like unto a God I dare
Through that ruined realm in triumph roam.
Every word is Deed and Fire,
And my bosom like the Creator's own.

It was our old friend, Herr Karl Marx, no less. So modern Leftist elitism is not exactly new. In this poem, old Karl actually compares himself to God. Beat that! Not much doubt about where he was coming from. Modern day Leftist elitists are actually quite modest by comparison.

For those who doubt the translation, the original German is:


"Goetteraehnlich darf ich wandeln,
Siegreich ziehn durch ihr Ruinenreich,
Jedes Wort ist Glut und Handeln,
Meine Brust dem Schoepferbusen gleich."

Old Karl was quite a poet -- with about 150 of his poems on record.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Engels was a German nationalist

This is our calling, that we shall become the templars of this Grail, gird the sword round our loins for its sake and stake our lives joyfully in the last, holy war which will be followed by the thousand-year reign of freedom.

So Engels said. See here.

And who does not know of Hitler's glorification of military sacrifice and his aim to establish a "thousand-year Reich"? What a copycat old Adolf was!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


A typical Hitler rant: "True, it is a fixed idea with the French that the Rhine is their property, but to this arrogant demand the only reply worthy of the German nation is Arndt's: "Give back Alsace and Lorraine". For I am of the opinion, perhaps in contrast to many whose standpoint I share in other respects, that the reconquest of the German-speaking left bank of the Rhine is a matter of national honour, and that the Germanisation of a disloyal Holland and of Belgium is a political necessity for us. Shall we let the German nationality be completely suppressed in these countries, while the Slavs are rising ever more powerfully in the East?" But it was not Hitler who said it. It was written in 1841 by Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx's co-author.

The original German of the above quote is: "...Allerdings ist es eine fixe Idee bei den Franzosen, dass der Rhein ihr Eigentum sei, aber die einzige des deutschen Volkes wuerdige Antwort auf diese anmassende Forderung ist das Arndtsche 'Heraus mit dem Elsass und Lothringen!' Denn ich bin - vielleicht im Gegensatz zu vielen, deren Standpunkt ich sonst teile - allerdings der Ansicht, dass die Wiedereroberung der deutschsprechenden linken Rheinseite eine nationale Ehrensache, die Germanisierung des abtruennig gewordenen Hollands und Belgiens eine politische Notwendigkeit fuer uns ist. Sollen wir in jenen Laendern die deutsche Nationalitaet vollends unterdruecken lassen, waehrend im Osten sich das Slawentum immer maechtiger erhebt?" Nazism was Marxist!

Monday, December 27, 2004


Who said this? "It is high treason to pay taxes. Refusal to pay taxes is the primary duty of the citizen!". It was none other than Karl Marx!.

Friday, December 24, 2004


"In January 1849, months before he migrated to London, Karl Marx published an article by Friedrich Engels in Die Neue Rheinische Zeitung announcing that in Central Europe only Germans, Hungarians and Poles counted as bearers of progress. The rest must go. "The chief mission of all other races and peoples, large and small, is to perish in the revolutionary holocaust."

Genocide arose out of Marx's master-theory of history -- feudalism giving place inevitably to capitalism, capitalism to socialism. The lesser races of Europe -- Basques, Serbs, Bretons and others -- being sunk in feudalism, were counter-revolutionary; having failed to develop a bourgeoisie, they would be two steps behind in the historical process. Engels dismissed them as left-overs and ethnic trash (Voelkerabfall), and called for their extinction.

So genocide was born as a doctrine in the German Rhineland in January 1849, in a Europe still reeling from the revolutions of 1848. It was to become the beacon light of socialism, proudly held and proudly proclaimed."

The above is a quote from the latest article by George Watson -- a literary historian specializing in the early history of socialism (I have an earlier article of his posted here and there is a review of his major book here). The quote is taken from an article in the December 2004 issue of Quadrant, Australia's premier intellectual conservative magazine. The article will not be online for a month or so yet but I have temporarily posted here a PDF of the first page.

I have of course for some time been pointing out that eugenics was a great Leftist cause right up until Hitler thoroughly discredited the idea with his atrocities. Documenting the Leftist infatuation with eugenics in the first half of the 20th century is all too easy. But the fact that the idea largely originated with Marx and Engels themselves has been hidden from public awareness with almost total success. There are many avid scholars of Marx's every word but some things are just too embarrassing to mention. I earnestly hope that the Marxian origin of Hitler's doctrines will become increasingly well-known.

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