KARL MARX part 1
Karl Marx was born on 5 May 1818 in the Rhineland city of Trier. His grandfather was a Rabbi
Marc Levy, who had gradually dropped the Levy, and changed the Marc to Marx. Shortly after
Karl's birth, his father too changed his name, from Heshel Marx to Heinrich Marx. He also
adopted the Lutheran religion, into which the boy Karl was baptized.
Karl's father was an attorney, who later branched into a career as an entrepreneur, chiefly
as a moneylender. He defended the predominance of Jews in the financial business "because
they had been barred from more socially useful occupations".
As on his paternal side, Marx's mother was descended from a long line of rabbis. She clung to
the family's traditional faith much longer than her husband. She was to make a profound
impression on her son Karl, who was the first son to survive through childhood. Many of her
characteristics appear to be those of a possessive, manipulative, stereotypical Jewish
Karl developed a love‑hate relationship toward his mother, and many Jewish commentators have
sought to explain Karl Marx's gross anti‑Semitic statements as a rebellion against his
mother's manipulation. For example:
"To begin with, Marx was a man who, unlike other Jewish sons, hated his mother. In his
innermost roots, he had none of the reassurances of maternal love...
"The Promethean complex, we perceive, is basically different from the kind associated with
Napoleonic ambition. A Napoleon could venture forth fortified by his mother's love, with
supreme self‑confidence, Marx, choosing Promethean revolt as his life's plan ‑‑ a perpetual
struggle against the gods ‑‑ was always to re‑enact a search for self confidence, always
seeking recognition as a god, always anticipating rejection. His world was always to be one
of struggle because he was never secure in love...
"Marx's hatred for Judaism ‑‑ otherwise inexplicable ‑‑ was the outcome of an animosity
toward all that his mother signified for him. His youthful essay On The Jewish Question
(1843) was the confused argument of a man who hates his Jewish heritage so much that he
cannot bring himself to say plainly that he supports political and civil rights for the
Jews." ‑‑ Lewis S. Feuer: Karl Marx and the Promethean Complex, Encounter, December 1968.
Although somewhat sophistic and casuistic (Marx also expressed equally vitriolic comments
about Christians, Negroes, Slavs, rivals and all) there is more than a grain of truth in this
Karl was almost certainly his mother's favorite. She called him her "child of fortune". Her
letters to him were addressed to "greatly beloved dear Carl" or to "dear darling Karl" and
were signed "your eternally loving Mother". In return, he referred to her as his "Angel
Mother". Her possessiveness over Karl extended right through to his death in 1863, when Marx
was middle‑aged. When he was a university student she would write him to remind him to "have
a weekly scrub with soap and water" (a piece of advice which, judging by the published
comments of his associates, he failed to heed throughout his life). His drunken rowdiness was
a source of maternal complaint from his university days through some two decades later.
Upon his father's death when Karl was 23, his mother argued that Karl should take up
remunerative work and fend for the family he now headed. Karl reacted with indignation,
suggesting in correspondence that his mother's continued tenure on life was standing between
him and the family fortune. His mother compounded her son's envy by steadily expanding her
investments, even though she was poorly educated and could write only fractured German.
Karl's correspondence with his mother increasingly became mere begging letters, and his
letters to friends became callous speculations about how much longer she would live. When
Engels' lover Mary Burns died suddenly in 1863, Marx expressed regret that it had been Mary
who had died and not his mother. However, Marx's mother was not long in fulfilling his
wishes, and on 2 December 1863 she passed away, leaving Marx with a more than proportionate
part of her estate. However, Marx had already borrowed enormous amounts of money from his
banker uncle, and thus most of his windfall went toward paying off that loan. The rest was
Marx then turned his attention to his patron, the Anglo‑German textile magnate, Friedrich
Engels. In almost every one of his letters to Engels, he begs for handouts. In one letter,
written from London, Marx complains that he is so hard up he has been obliged to pawn the
maid's shoes in order to pay for his daughter's private education. It is of course ironic
that Marx, the arch‑opponent of Capitalism, would rely on the profits of sweat and child
labor in the Manchester cotton mills for his living.
Most of what we know about Marx's personal, as opposed to published, views can be gleaned
from the Marx‑Engels correspondence. However, one has to be careful in dealing with published
editions of this correspondence. A German socialist edition, edited by Bebel and Bernstein,
and published in Berlin in 1927‑32, tones down many of Marx's slurs. Editions published in
Moscow and in post‑war East Germany also should be handled with care.
To trace the origins of Marx's ideology, we must go to the early part of his career, just
after he gained his mail‑order doctorate from Jena university. Marx drifted to Cologne, the
most liberal and richest city in the Rhineland. Here he met Moses Hess, a 30 year old Jewish
socialist, Zionist and mystic. Like Marx, Hess was descended from a long line of Talmudic
rabbis. He had been raised by his rabbi grandfather, and thus was thoroughly steeped in
Talmudic traditions. Hess believed that Communism could best be brought about by the
promotion of Zionism and Hassidism (Orthodox Judaism). Hess is still recognized today as
being one of the founding fathers of Zionist thought, for in 1954 his remains were
disinterred from their European burial place and shipped to Israel, where they were reburied
alongside the ancient Kabbalistic rabbi Simon Ben Yohai (see Jewish Voice 29 October 1954).
Yohai's best‑known contribution to Zionist theology was his scholarly slogan: "Tob shebe ‑
goyyim harog" ‑‑ "The best of the Goyim deserve to be killed". The modern‑day Israelis
obviously thought that Hess would feel at home in such distinguished company. After all,
Hess's Communism has been responsible for the deaths of millions of the best "Goys" right up
until the present day!
Hess negotiated with some of his wealthy Jewish business friends in Cologne for Marx to be
given an editorial job on the Neue Rheinische Zeitung newspaper, which was just starting up
in 1842. During this period, Marx editorially attacked just about every ideology:
Christianity, despotism and once or twice, Communism. But the newspaper was to be
short‑lived, for the Prussian censorship board closed it down.
Marx worked with Hess in writing Die Deutsche Ideologie (1845), and it is possible he may
have inspired Hess's most famous book Rom und Jerusalem. This corner‑stone of Zionist thought
was not published in English until 1945, by the Jewish publishing specialists Bloch & Co. of
New York City. This book is a hymn of praise to the Jewish people, and predicts how the
future world will be ruled by the Jews from Palestine, which of course is strategically
located "between Europe and far Asia ... the roads that lead to India and China ... the World
will once again pay homage to the oldest of peoples." (pp 139‑140)
When he was not formulating the founding principles of Communism for his protege Marx, and
the theological underpinnings for Zionism (to be picked up later by the journalist Theodore
Herzl), Hess also found time to indulge in his mystical interests. He was a great admirer of
the supposedly supernatural powers of the Kabbalistic Hassidic Jews, from which origins he
himself had sprung. Hess effectively translated the abstract messianic notions of Hassidism
from the ancient Talmudic books of magick, into his own practical formula of political
Communism, which in turn became a battering‑ram for Zionism.
After more flitting around the European continent, Marx and his family eventually settled in
London. Here he lived in Soho ‑‑ at that time something of a bohemian quarter; today it is
London's red light district. Despite his shortcomings in the English language, he was
appointed London correspondent of the New York Daily Tribune, the largest and most
influential newspaper in America. His friend Engels translated Marx's writings from German
into English, and also wrote about a third of the articles himself. Later, Engels would also
write much of "Marx's" weighty Das Kapital, which Marx spent many years researching in the
dusty library of the British Museum.
It was during this period that Marx exhibited one of the most extraordinary phenomena of
psychohistory: a gross, neurotic anti‑Semitism. Of course, anti‑Semitism was nothing new to
Marx. While still in Germany he had penned a short essay "On the Jewish Question". This had
contained such niceties as:
"What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self‑interest. What is the worldly
cult of the Jews? Haggling. What is his worldly god? Money! ... What is contained abstractly
in the Jewish religion ‑‑ contempt for theory, for art, for history, for man as an end in
Nor was his contempt limited to generalities. Every other Jew who crossed Marx's path was
subjected to anti‑Semitic ridicule, usually of the most puerile kind, dealing with physical
features and so on. One of the principal victims of Marx's slurs was Ferdinand Lassalle, a
rival German‑Jewish socialist with whom Marx worked from time to time. In a letter to Engels
dated 30 July 1862, Marx wrote that "the Jewish Nigger, Lassalle" was fortunately leaving
London that weekend to return to Germany, adding:
"It is now absolutely clear to me that, as both the shape of his head and his hair texture
shows ‑‑ he descends from the Negroes who joined Moses' flight from Egypt (unless his mother
or grandmother on the paternal side hybridized with a Nigger). Now this combination of
Germanness and Jewishness with a primary Negro substance necessarily creates a strange
product. The pushiness of this fellow is also Niggerish."
After a run‑in with Fleet Street's Daily Telegraph, Marx launched into a diatribe against
Moses Joseph Levy, the newspaper's editor. In a bizarre attack on Levy, Marx wrote that "the
great art of Levy's nose consists in the fact that it caresses foul odors, and that it can
sniff them out over a hundred miles and attract them ... an elephant's trunk, an antenna, a
lighthouse, a telegraph."
Marx then continued his attack with the even more curious insinuation that a man named Moses
Joseph Levy was trying to conceal his Jewish origin. Marx argued that Levy was not a Jewish
name, and therefore the editor had changed his real Jewish name to Levy to pretend that he
was not Jewish! This incident would appear to be a straight case of projection, for Marx's
true family name was of course Levy, and his family's adoption of token Christianity was
purely for business, rather than theological reasons.
Many of Marx's contributions to the Tribune were anti‑Semitic in nature. Just by way of
example, his feature published on 4 January 1856 read as follows:
"Take Amsterdam, for instance, a city harboring 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 out of there too and eventually found a place of retreat in Holland ..., 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 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 these little Jews about any loose capital in the hands of a
"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 fact that 1,855 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, again happen
to be Jews is perhaps no more than a historic coincidence."
Marx himself was extremely sensitive about his own Jewish origins. He married a Gentile
woman, Jenny von Westphalen, a beautiful aristocratic Prussian who had fallen under Marx's
spell in their hometown of Trier. Marx himself was typically Jewish in appearance. According
to Karl Peter Heinzen who worked with Marx in the 1840s, Marx had "wildly dishevelled,
coal‑black hair, and his complexion was dirty yellow. Whether the dirty complexion was as
nature made it, or whether the dirt came from outside, can no more be decided than whether
his shirt and his clothes were originally made in a dirty color or merely acquired dirt." ‑‑
Robert Payne: The Unknown Karl Marx (pp 154‑5).
On one occasion when Marx's son‑in‑law Charles Longuet wrote a flattering article about Marx
in a Paris newspaper, he inadvertently outraged his subject by referring to his Jewish
origins. Marx flew into a rage and demanded that the unfortunate Longuet never mention his
name again in his writings.
Marx's second daughter Laura married a Paul Lafargue in 1845. Marx had done everything
possible to prevent the marriage, totally on account of Lafargue's small portion of Negro
blood. But when Lafargue's wealthy parents promised a groom's dowry of 100,000 francs, Marx's
attitude reversed. However, when the gift did not materialize, Marx reverted to racist slurs
against his daughter's husband. Marx remarked that one of his daughters was doing her bit in
solving the color question by marrying "a nigger". He often referred to Lafargue as "the
little Negro" or as "the Gorilla". When Laura bore a second child in 1870, Jenny Marx wrote
Engels that she hoped her daughter would practice reproductive restraint and not produce "ten
little nigger boys". When Lafargue decided to run in the municipal Paris elections, Engels
too remarked that this was appropriate since the district contained the Paris Zoo, and "a
nigger is a degree nearer to the animal kingdom than the rest of us".
In fact, Karl Marx was as racist as any Ku Klux Klansman. He believed that slavery was
essential to American progress. He supported the idea of a Greater German Empire extending
over the "lumpengesindle" (rabble) to the east. Many examples of this attitude are quoted in
Nathaniel Weyl's stunning book Karl Marx: Racist, Arlington House, 1979.
Weyl reveals that little of Marx's economic theorizing was his own. Even his most famous
slogan in The Communist Manifesto "Workers of the World unite! You have nothing to lose but
your chains and a World to gain!" was lifted verbatim from a German revolutionary, Karl
Schapper. The "Marxian" idea that society can be divided into two classes was as old as the
hills. It had been propounded by Helvetius, by Marat, by Baboeuf and many others. The term
"class struggle" had been in use in Britain as early as 1844 in the agitational writings of
Chartist leader, Fergus O'Connor. The idea that "the working man has no country" was put
forward long before Marx by the English novelist, Edward Bulwer‑Lytton, in 1833. His notion
of thesis plus antithesis bringing about synthesis was originally put forward by Hegel.
In 1867 the first volume of Das Kapital was published in German. Marx had offered to dedicate
it to Charles Darwin, but was politely declined. (Marx had earlier described Darwin's book
The Origin of the Species as being "developed in the coarse English manner".) The first
volume did not appear in English until 1887, translated by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling,
the latter being the common‑law husband of Marx's youngest daughter Eleanor. The second
volume of the work was issued by Engels in 1885 after the death of Marx. The third volume
appeared in 1894, and the final portion did not see the light of day until 1905‑1910, under
the editorship of Karl Kautsky (Jew).
[ZOGs_WAR] KARL MARX (part 2)
Fri, 3 Jan 2003 03:31:57 ‑0800
"hengist" <[email protected]>
"ZOGs_WAR" <[email protected]>
KARL MARX (part 2)
By DAVID McCALDEN
The Russian Anarchist Michael Bakunin was originally taken in by Marx's rhetoric. In 1868 he began to
translate Das Kapital into Russian, but he abandoned the project when he began to realize the true
nature of Marxist theory, and the man behind it. He wrote:
"We met fairly often, because I very much admired him for his knowledge and for his passionate and
earnest devotion to the cause of the proletariat, although it always had in it an admixture of personal
vanity; and I eagerly sought his conversation, which was witty so long as it was not inspired by petty
spite ‑‑ which unfortunately happened very often. But there was never any real intimacy between us.
Our temperaments did not allow it. He called me a sentimental idealist; and he was right. I called
him morose, vain and treacherous; and I too was right. " ‑‑ E. H. Carr: Michael Bakunin, (p 129).
The friendship did not last long. When Bakunin began to emerge as an ideological rival to Marx, the
latter resorted to every dirty trick in the book to discredit him. In 1848 he published some tittle‑tattle in
the Neue Rheinische Zeitung that it was rumored that Bakunin was a Tsarist spy. This totally
mendacious smear was afterwards withdrawn. Later, when the two actually did contend for the
leadership of the First International, Marx referred to Bakunin's "Russian cunning" and described all his
followers as "Cossacks". According to Nathaniel Weyl:
"Marx won the battle for control of the International, primarily because he had rich friends who paid
the travel expenses of the delegates he needed to give him a majority. Bakunin lacked such
Bakunin was quick to realize that there was more to this "Marxism" than met the eye. In Max Nomad's
Apostles of Revolution he is quoted as saying:
"That minority, the Marxists say, will consist of workers. Yes, perhaps of former workers. And these,
as soon as they become rulers or representatives of the people, will cease to be workers and will look
upon the entire world of manual workers from the heights of the State. They will no longer represent
the people, but themselves and their own pretensions to rule the people. Whoever has any doubt about
that does not know human nature."
Later, Bakunin would become even more embittered, and even more insightful:
"Marx is a Jew and is surrounded by a crowd of little, more or less intelligent, scheming, agile,
speculating Jews, just as Jews are everywhere ‑‑ commercial and banking agents, writers, politicians,
correspondents for newspapers of all shades; in short, literary brokers, just as they are financial
brokers, with one foot in the bank and the other in the socialist movement, and their arses sitting
upon the German press. They have grabbed hold of all newspapers, and you can imagine what a
nauseating literature is the outcome of it.
"Now this entire Jewish world, which constitutes an exploiting sect, a people of leeches, a voracious
parasite, closely and intimately connected with another, regardless not only of frontiers but of
political differences as well ‑‑ this Jewish world is today largely at the disposal of Marx or
Rothschild. I am sure that, on the one hand, the Rothschilds appreciate the merits of Marx, and that
on the other hand, Marx feels an instinctive inclination and a great respect for the Rothschilds. This
may seem strange. What could there be in common between communism and high finance? Ho ho!
The communism of Marx seeks a strong state centralization, and where this exists, there the parasitic
Jewish nation ‑‑ which speculates upon the labor of people ‑‑ will always find the means for its
"In reality, this would be for the proletariat a barrack‑regime, under which the workingmen and the
workingwomen, converted into a uniform mass, would rise, fall asleep, work, and live at the beat of
the drum. The privilege of ruling would be in the hands of the skilled and the learned, with a wide
scope left for profitable crooked deals carried on by the Jews, who would be attracted by the
enormous extension of the international speculations of the national banks..." ‑‑ Michael Bakunin:
Polemique contre les Juifs, 1872.
Bakunin must have had a crystal ball, for his native homeland became the first to fall victim to this
enormous and cruel confidence trick. Incited by the Jewish Bolsheviks, the Russian people rose up
against the ruling class, only to find that the Tsars would be replaced by the Bolsheviks, and the country
turned into a financial strip‑mine for western Jewish capitalists from Olaf Aschberg and Jacob Schiff
who financed the Bolshevik takeover, to Armand Hammer, who makes vast profits from exclusive trade
deals with the supposedly "anti‑Semitic" commissars today.
Unlike Marx, who had studiously avoided physical involvement in revolution on the streets, Bakunin
had manned the barricades in the 1848 rebellion in Dresden and the 1870 rebellion in Lyons. For his
troubles in Dresden, he was to spend many years in the Peter and Paul prison in St. Petersburg from
which he emerged prematurely aged and toothless. In 1873, Bakunin wrote of Marx in State and
"In origin, Herr Marx is a Hebrew. He unites in himself, one may say, all the characteristics and
shortcomings of this gifted tribe. Nervous, as they say, to the point of cowardice, he is
extraordinarily ambitious and vain, quarrelsome, intolerant and absolutist like Jehovah, the Lord
God of his ancestors, who is like Marx himself, vengeful to the point of madness. There is no lie or
calumny that he is not capable of inventing against anyone who has had the misfortune of arousing
his jealousy, or ‑‑ which is the same thing ‑‑ his hatred."
Bakunin was not the only one to attribute Marx's character to his ancestry. While Editor of the Neue
Rheinische Zeitung, Marx had chosen as his Vienna correspondent a notorious Germanophile and
anti‑Semite, Eduard von Muller‑Tellering. After the relationship soured (did Tellering discover his
Editor's ethnic origins?) the Austrian authored the very first pamphlet to attack Marx. He called Marx
"cowardly ... garlic‑smelling ... arrogantly Jesuitical ... a Chief Rabbi". For the first time in his life, Marx
was speechless for a response.
An insight into Marx's psychology may be garnered by examining his attitudes towards bodily functions.
According to Weyl "his favorite expression in his correspondence with Engels is sh*t". In his attack on
the Jewish editor of the Daily Telegraph Marx wrote that just as "all the lavatories of London spew
their physical filth into the Thames" so too did all the "social filth" pour into the "central sewer called the
Daily Telegraph". He suggested that, as Levy was the presiding alchemist of this sewer system, he
should have a plaque on his office building inscribed "Wayfarer, stop and piss". In attacks on everyone,
Marx would call them "that shit". Even when he was tired of writing his own books, he would describe
his work as "this shit". When an infant daughter died, Marx wrote Engels that "this time the whole shit
has affected me deeply". After his death, Marx's youngest daughter made a diligent effort to piece
together scraps of information about her late father's childhood in Trier. Although she "idolized her
father and made up the most beautiful legends" there is a ring of truth to this vignette of his childhood:
"I have heard my aunts say that as little boy, he was a terrible tyrant to his sisters whom he would
'drive' down the Markusberg in Trier at full speed. And worse, he would insist on their eating the
'cakes' he made with dirty dough and dirtier hands. But they stood the 'driving' and the 'cakes'
without a murmur for the sake of the stories Karl would tell them as a reward for their virtue."
Two familiar Marxian characteristics emerge from this story. First, Marx's passionate need to dominate
others; and second, his almost obsessional preoccupation with dirt and excrement, or as he would put it
in his correspondence with Engels, crap ("Dreck") and shit ("Scheiss").
Marx also exhibited many of the personality characteristics described by Eric Fromm in The Anatomy of
Human Destructiveness (1973) as "necrophilous". Although Fromm focussed on the German National
Socialist leaders Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, he might well have found a better candidate for this
particular dysfunction in Karl Marx. In Marx's early, feeble attempts at poetry, his world is one devoid
of joy, happiness, or sunshine. When nature appears to Marx it is a hostile and destructive force grim,
menacing and implacable. The following lines are typical of his approach:
Marble pillar towers high,
Jagged summit saves the air.
Putrefaction, life's decay,
Moulders in the abyss down there.
Grim the cliff that upward climbs,
Clamps the ground with iron limbs.
‑‑ Karl Marx: Collected Works
Further lines from the same collection include: "Waves are murderers every one; they gnaw his ancient
skeleton" ... "The Mannikin plucks out his eyes, digs himself a hole deep down; Digs his own grave and
lies, buried, buried underground."
Inspired by his own self‑praise, Marx then set out to write ‑‑ but never finished ‑‑ a tragedy play called
Oulanem. The characters ‑‑ mostly projections of Marx's own personality ‑‑ seethe with hatred against
the world; and vow for its destruction. Several characters appear to be also synonymous with the Devil.
Perhaps Marx sometimes thought of himself as Satan. He would often sign his letters "old Nick" (a
Victorian form of slang for Satan), and would tell his children endless ghost stories which bordered on
Marx's legitimate children (three out of six survived infancy) were soon exhibiting the same neurotic
symptoms as their father. Marx doted on the three girls, and they on him; maintaining a cool distance
from their mother. In many ways their relationship was potentially incestuous. But in any case it was
certainly kronist. Kronism, named after the Greek god Cronus, is used to describe those animals which
devour their own young. Although certain historical tribes ‑‑ particularly the Biblical Hebrews (see
Judges in the Holy Bible) and the Carthaginians ‑‑ sacrificed their first‑born, in this case we mean that
the children were psychologically devoured by their parent.
Marx's favorite among the girls was Jenny, the eldest, who was born in Paris in 1844. She was the
image of her father, and she emulated his career almost to every detail. As a school‑girl she attempted to
write poetry in five languages. She was prone to fantasies. She helped her father with his political
agitation. But soon, she would suffer from a long series of psychosomatic ailments, including asthma,
chronic coughing and insomnia. Her marriage to the Socialist Charles Longuet was a disaster, lurching
from one crisis to the next. However, they still managed to produce six children. Longuet deliberately
tried to act as a father‑substitute to Jenny, but when this failed he was overcome with guilt. Eventually
Jenny died at the age of 39, after suffering cancer of the bladder.
The Marxes' second daughter Laura was born in Brussels in 1845. Also committed to her father's ideals,
Laura helped out in translating both her father's and Engels' writings into various languages. She fell in
love with the French‑Creole Paul Lafargue, and despite her parents' racist epithets, married him. All of
their three children died in infancy. Lafargue drifted from his medical profession into Socialist politics.
But one day in November 1911 they committed suicide together, and were found stone dead sitting side
by side in their Paris home.
The youngest daughter Eleanor was born in 1855. Whereas her sister Laura was somewhat cool and
aloof, Eleanor was highly charged emotionally. She was dark and Semitic in appearance, and initially
was something of a tomboy. From an early age she wanted to go on the stage. Then in 1872, at the age
of 17, she fell in love with a 34 year old Frenchman. Her father forbade the relationship, and she
eventually acceded to his wishes. But the price was a lifetime of neurotic, psychosomatic ailments.
When Marx finally died, and she no longer had to be his "little princess" she took her revenge by taking
up with Edward Aveling, an evil rogue who was condemned by everyone within and without Marxist
circles. Aveling, who was already married to another woman, lived and travelled with Eleanor for 14
years. Eventually, he (bigamously) married a young actress, and in desperation Eleanor swallowed
cyanide. There is some evidence that Aveling had promised her a suicide pact and betrayed her.
Marx also sired an illegitimate son, Freddy, by the household servant Lenchen Demuth. But in order not
to upset his wife, he prevailed upon Engels to acknowledge paternity over the boy. No one was taken in
by this feeble ruse, but at least it enabled Marx to renege on any financial responsibilities for the boy,
and pass these over to the gullible Engels.
Eleanor grew very close to Freddy Demuth, and experienced great difficulty in reconciling her adulation
of her father with his treatment of the boy ‑‑ leaving him to sink or swim in the London slums. Two
months before her suicide she wrote Freddy:
"I sometimes feel like you, Freddy, that nothing ever goes well with us. Of course, poor Jenny had her
full share of sorrow and trouble, and Laura lost her children. But Jenny was fortunate enough to die,
and sad as that was for the children, there are times when I think it was fortunate. I would not have
wished Jenny to have lived through what I have done."
In choosing a relationship with the sadistic exploiter Aveling, was Eleanor reenacting the masochistic role
that her father had thrust upon her when he insisted on her rejection of her French suitor and instead
taking care of the number one man in her life ‑‑ Daddy? Were the suicides of both Laura and Eleanor ‑‑
and the psychosomatic death of Jenny ‑‑ belated and indirect acts of rebellion and aggression against
their tyrannical father? Psychohistorian Arnold Künzli argues:
"It is a frequent experience of depth psychology that the unconscious conflicts in the psyche of the
parents break out in the children. The suicide of the daughters can be interpreted as a delayed,
surrogate suicide of Karl Marx himself. 'I will take proud revenge on myself' he had written as a
young man ... Thus in the tragic destiny of the daughters of Karl Marx, the existential alienation of
the father was repeated in shattering fashion." ‑‑ Arnold Künzli. Karl Marx, Eine Psychographie,
Perhaps the most profound summary of all was provided by Karl Marx himself a short time before his
death of bronchitis, at the age of 64, in 1883. In a rare moment of candor, he had told his octoroon
son‑in‑law Paul Lafargue: "Ce qu'il y a certain c'est que moi, je ne suis pas Marxiste" ‑‑ "One thing I
am certain of: that is that I myself am not a Marxist."
What better summary could there be of a man who was tormented throughout his life by hypocrisy. On
the one hand he despised workers, Slavs, Negroes, and proletarians generally. Yet at the same time he
wrote about the eventual takeover by the working class. He loathed Jews and Jewish characteristics, yet
he knew deep down that he himself was a Jew through and through, and that that could never change.
He was pursued by the hereditary Jewish fixations on excrement, death, putrefaction, and dirt. And yet
he sought to conquer those primeval fears through over‑compensating pushiness, arrogance,
manipulation, demanding, and even megalomania. He sought refuge with his WASP aristocratic wife
Jenny von Westphalen and with the Germanic Friedrich Engels, but nowhere could he escape the
eternal truth of his own origins. He was rebelling against himself. He was caught up in an eternal Jewish
struggle ‑‑ the underlying self‑hate, and the overlay of compensatory arrogance and "assimilation".
The eternal struggle became too much for his daughters, who tried to wriggle free of the vice‑like grip of
their own psyche. Each of them rebelled against the eternal truth of their own Jewish genetics, and took
up with Gentiles (curiously, all Frenchmen). But each in turn was dragged back by their father into the
cauldron of torment that is being Jewish. Like a drowning man clutching at the river bank they tried to
save themselves from being swept away. But swept away they were; in Laura's case taking her rescuer
with her. The other two sisters went on a course marked "self‑destruct" and whether that course was
labelled "groin cancer" or "falling in love with a sadist and then committing suicide" makes no
difference. Each was but a terminal symptom of the disease we must surely recognize as "Jewish
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