Question, which famous Socialist philosopher often described the workers in quite insulting terms?
Question, which famous Socialist philosopher lived from the fruits of his Capitalist patron, a man who used child labour in his factories?
Question, which famous Socialist philosopher was not able to visit his Capitalist patron, because his own wife looked down upon that patron’s common-law marriage with a British dyers daughter (herself a devoted Socialist)?
Question, which famous Socialist philosopher got chased by the police after getting drunk on a pub crawl down the tottenham court road and vandalising gas lights?
Question, which famous Socialist philosopher apparently wrote ‘The hellish vapours rise and fill the brain, till I go mad and my heart is utterly changed. See this sword? The prince of darkness sold it to me.’ ???
(was he bonkers!)
Question, which famous Socialist philosopher apparently wrote ‘With disdain I will throw my gauntlet full in the fact of the world and see the collapse of this pygmy giant. Then will I wander god-like and victorious through the ruins of the world. And giving my words an active force, I will feel equal to the Creator.’ ???
(what a loon! this is the sort of poo poo you may expect from Nietzsche)
Question, which famous Socialist philosopher has variously been described by biographers as querulous, a liar, a snob, an adulterer, a sponger, a domestic tyrant, a hypocrite, someone who destroyed destroyed everything he touched, a waster of legacies, a man of violent and paranoid racial prejudices and as a speculator on the stock exchange ???
Question, which famous Socialist philosopher forbade his daughter to marry her true love and instead connected her to one of his followers who made her his mistress ???
Question, which famous Socialist philosopher long lived in a menage a trois with his wife and maid, and whilst accepting his ‘official’ children tried to send his son by his maid away to avoid scandal ???
Question, which famous Socialist philosopher was himself of Jewish origins, but spoke of the Jews in highly racist terms ???
Question, which famous Socialist philosopher was described by Giuseppe Mazzini as ‘a man of domineering disposition, jealous of the influence of others, ruled by no earnest philosophical, or religious belief, having, I fear, more elements of anger than of love in his nature”. ???
I grew up in a very Labour household, full of Left Wing books and Labour Party Posters. Many of my childhood memories involve trips to Labour Party offices, photocopiers, leaflets and posters related to unwon campaigns in the era of Margaret Thatcher – to my mind a figure of utter evil comparable to the figure of Dearth Vader in Starwars. Family friends were mostly also Labour Party members or supporters. And Labour then, was a very different thing from today. Before the rise of the Neil Kinnock and his heirs the Labour Party’s superheroes included Michael Foot and Tony Ben and a myriad of others who leaned strongly to the Left. Along with more palatable figures such as William Morris, Karl Marx was at that time a fond figure for my parents. We often visited his grave in Highgate Cemetery when in London, not quite with the awe of the dedicated Communists, but with some fondness.
Later, and long after Labour had dropped its truly Left Wing pretensions, I started to plough through a large collection of old left wing books that were on our bookshelves. Mostly written in the early and mid 20th century they had some interesting perspectives and through them I gained much sympathy for the struggling Communist die-hards in the rapidly capitalising lands of the former Soviet Union. Yet as time passed I started to find out disturbing realities about the Soviet Union. Everyone in England of course knew that the Soviet Union was a police state, they also knew about the murders of the Romanov family and the existence of the Gulags…..
Sympathetic Left Wingers had a glossy view of the Soviets and they developed ways to explain these sort of things away, but no one can explain away the luxury lives of the upper Communists versus the humble lives of the people – the pre-revolutionary wealthy elites had simply been replaced by a new one that was happy to make itself comfortable at the expense of others. No one can explain away the deliberate agricultural destruction that caused the deaths of millions or any one of hundreds of cruel, tyrannical and unjust facets of the Soviet system. The injustices began with Lenin and ended with the fall of the system and its replacement with a Capitalist one that soon began its own tally of injustices.
Similarly broad, strong and justified criticisms could be made against every other Marxist regime, excluding perhaps the odd state here and there such as Fidel Castro’s Cuba or President Tito’s Yugoslavia. In regards criticisms of the Soviets and other tyrannical Marxist states Western Marxists have tended to promote the idea “don’t blame Marx for what people have done in his name, blame them”. For them Marx was the genius who discovered the reality of Dialectical Materialism, a Mega-Mind, indeed a prophet of the future of Socialism. But actually I do blame him. Marx preached a harsh attitude towards those standing in the way of the revolution, be they peasants, the bourgeoisie or anyone else. His concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat is no tea party. He introduced a whole range of bonkers and irrational notions and his heirs, following his writings, subverted the movements for the wellbeing of the European poor, taking them away from their Monotheistic roots and towards the darkness of secular fundamentalism and brutality. I don’t think he was a genius, I think he was a very naughty boy.