Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Acclaimed biographer Mary Gabriel brings to light the story of Karl and Jenny Marx's marriage. In Love and Capital, she follows them as they roam Europe, on the run from governments amidst an age of revolution and a secret network of would-be revolutionaries. Gabriel paints Karl not only as an intellectual, but as a father and loving husband, a revolutionary, a jokester, and a man of tremendous political and personal passions.


Mary Gabriel

Comments [21]


By the way, for the record: I'm not a capitalist. I'm a free marketer. We have capitalism in the United States, but we sure as hell don't have a free market. Also, like JJ, I am far from a millionaire, i.e., I'm not a "stooge" for Warren Buffet or Donald Trump.

For those of you following this thread who have never studied economics, here is the best primer for understanding how a bourgeois free market economy works—as opposed to the progressive command (i.e., socialist) economy works:

Since I've already posted the major work of the command ("socialist/communist") economy, here is the major tome of the free market ("capitalist") economy. (Don't be surprised when you see that it is not Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations.)

JJ writes: "Marx, you, nor I have any idea as to what the new society will be or look like, and we’ll most likely be dead anyway."

I, being a voluntaryist, also don't know exactly what a totally voluntary society (i.e., one functioning without a forced monopoly of force called government) would look like. But here's a terrific book that discusses the advantages of a voluntary society over even a society under a Constitutional representative government:

Nov. 17 2011 06:14 PM
Ed from Larchmont

I remember the story that Marx was very happy with Darwin's Origin of Species because Darwin had 'explained things without reference to God', so Marx was a determined atheist. And many were killed by actions based on his ideas.

Nov. 17 2011 04:06 PM
JJ from JJ

It is against my nature to respond, but I’m bored.

First lets go over a few simple but fundamental concepts of Marx:

1] The “successful” socialist revolution will occur in the MOST developed society, which fits the West, not Russia, China or Cuba. Marx: “The country that is more developed industrially only shows, to the less developed the image of its own future.” As I say this I laugh, because we seem to be close to this point in the present.

2] The new society is developed within the womb of the existing society e.g., capitalism developed in the womb of feudalism. I do not have time nor space to delineate this further, but examples run rampant.

3] Marx, you, nor I have any idea as to what the new society will be or look like, and we’ll most likely be dead anyway; Marx himself said: “He is not a chef in the future kitchens of the world.” Point: it is not up to Marx , you, or I to lead anybody into the new society, we are all in the same boat , albeit some are riding in first class, other in coach; sort of like the Titanic, but the water is the same temperature for all. According to bourgeois ideology the socialist must have detailed plans, no scoundrels in their ranks, a perfectly excuted revolution, and a completely mapped plan with non-provable proofs before any change could even be entertained. Yet the radical bourgeois of the 18th century never had to produce such to bring their society into being, but that is how bourgeois ideology works e.g., it is ok for the U.S. to torture, but not the enemy.

4] What is possible and desirable is inevitable.

5] The capitalist, “at once distinguished and barbaric” MUST take his unheroic cause all over the world to consistently expand his markets and find cheaper labor (i.e., more humans to exploit), for not to grow is death for the capitalist……This looks and sounds familiar…….Problem here because the world is a finite entity, Another timely Marx insight: “At the present time, the system of protection is conservative, whereas the system of free trade is destructive: it dissolves old nationalities and pushes extreme antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat. In a word, the system of commercial freedom hastens the social revolution.”

One time Marx was giving a speech at a political rally when a sarcastic idiot shouted “but who will shine my shoes”, not missing a beat Marx replied “you will”. And this sums up things pretty well.

As a side note: I make a very decent income so egoistically I have little to gain and much to lose in any socialist society but my deficits have no bearing on Marxist theory.

Nov. 17 2011 03:55 PM

If there is anyone following this discussion between JJ and myself, here is some literature on the topic:

Das Kapital

From Marx to Mises: Post Capitalist Society and the Challenge of Economic Calculation


Economic Calculation in the Socialist Society

Nov. 17 2011 03:40 PM

I repeat my challenge: Since JJ feels that he knows the real Marxism (I'm not being sarcastic)—as opposed to Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Mao, and the former people who ran the socialist economy in India—let him and others who believe they know what Marx really meant by his superior economic system show us the way to prosperity.

Nov. 17 2011 12:49 PM
JJ from NJ

I really do not want to get into a debate about bourgeoisie economics it only makes me ill. It is old and dying. Its fate has been cast long ago. My point was that David knows nothing about Marx or Marxism, and what is even more sorrowful is that he does not know that he knows nothing about it, which is always risky when discussing philosophy. Knowing what one does not know is so important, for it dictates ---should I be inquisitive or instructive as to the matter. A wrong turn here in the folk and you become absurd.

I’ll leave you with this from the Master:

“Communism is the riddle to history and it knows itself to be”.

Stop and carefully think about it for a while.

Will Man be able to fix His deformed ego that is the question? If He can, Marx will have his Michael Corleone moment, where the lesser have to come and kiss is hand.

If He cannot well Man is in for a rough go in the near future; put your helmet on because it is going to hurt. Capitalism from cradle to grave is about to get nasty.

Man has a choice: Prometheus or Epimetheus, or put another way socialism or barbarism.

Nov. 17 2011 12:23 PM

(JJ, this is a continuation of what I wrote below. The comment section has a maximum number of allowable characters in any one comment.)

The OWS crowd should be angry, but not at banks themselves, but at the fraudulent banking system that has been established in this country for almost 100 years now.

The great depression and all of the other booms and busts that the U.S. economy has experienced in the last 100 years have been brought on because of this fraudulent banking system that is protected by the Federal government—which the people of the U.S. erroneously believe is "protecting" them from the Banksters through "regulation." (As someone who worked in the financial industry for almost 20 years, I can testify that the financial system is one of the most regulated sectors of the economy in the U.S.)

Regulating the current banking system we have now would be like the government legalizing rape—but regulating rape (e.g., no murdering your victim, you have to use a condom). The only people who would be happy about that would be rapists, and, of course, they wouldn't care how much government regulation there was of rape so long as rape was legal. It's the same for the banks. Their system is raping most of us for their own great financial benefit. They couldn't care less how much "regulation" there is. The "regulation" is just a cover to make the rest of us believe we are being protected from the Banksters, while in truth it just perpetuates the current fraudulent monetary system.

As far as 1929 is concerned, the stock market is also a total scam. It's not a true free market in equity exchanges, but a personal cash-cow for the specialists who are there to allegedly keep it "orderly" and the big banksters who make exponentially more money off of it than most regular investors. The crash of 1929 was a controlled event purposely brought on by the market specialists and the Federal Reserve.By the way, the great depression did NOT start under FDR, it started under Hoover. FDR and his banking masters just continued to promote economic policies that prolonged the depression until AFTER World War II was over; then they switched to their "boom" phase of their artificially created economic cycle which helped usher in the economic prosperity of the middle class after WWII.

I don't know if this will mean anything to you, JJ, but I used to be what is referred to as a far-left liberal (I wasn't a communist, but I certainly believed in a mixed economy.) One of the two reasons I changed my political and economic views (over 20 years ago) was because I realized that BOTH major political parties in this country are controlled by the big money interests. I believe that many people are starting to see this scam too now. Unfortunately, as I've tried to convey above, their belief that bigger government is going to protect them from these greedy corporations is exactly what these corporations want.

Nov. 17 2011 09:02 AM

JJ: What failed in 1929 was not "capitalism." In 1913, as I'm sure you are aware, the Banksters gained what little control they didn't have over the monetary system of the United States and took total control over it through the creation of the Federal Reserve. Since then, the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar has lost 95% of its value due to the Banksters replacing a monetary system based on something of real value (gold and silver) with fiat paper currency. (This total replacement didn't happen over night. It has taken close to a century.) What the 99% are experiencing today is the final result of this scam that has been perpetrated by the Banksters and their Republican and Democratic stooges in the Congress and the White House.

Many people are starting to wake up to the fact that certain big corporations (primarily the banks, but also companies like GE, Big Pharmaceuticals, and Health Insurance companies) control the government and use the guns of government to promote (and even help write!!) laws and business regulations for their own companies in order to stifle competition and to make even more money for themselves. These corporations LOVE big government and regulations. So long as most people don't understand this scam, most people will continue to call for more "regulation," while the government-privileged corporations will feign resentment towards regulation, but, in reality, be thrilled by it.

Nov. 17 2011 09:01 AM
JJ from NJ

David, Marx wrote very, very little as to future societies....he analyzed capitalism, which he thought produced more in a 100 yrs than any other system ever, nonetheless, it contained contradictions that would fail it. Now this may take hundreds or thousands of years but capitalism will fail. And I remind you that the capitalism that Marx wrote about failed in 1929 and the State had to intervene.

I'm quite sure you have read scant on Marx or Marxism. I'd be happy to provide a reading list, but until you know what it is about one should be silent.

Like, I'm not knowledgeable as to Chaos Theory, very interested in, but know nothing about it, so I do not get on a Site and spout nonsense as to it. You do not have to agree with Marxism, just be knowledgeable about it. That is all I'm saying.

Nov. 17 2011 07:40 AM

JJ: Why would you think I watch Faux News? The people on Faux News worship Ronbo Reagan. Do you think that because I know that communism is an economic system always doomed for ultimate failure I also think that Fascism is wonderful? The institution of government itself is a fraud, including (especially) the Constitutional one like we used to have here in the United States.

I'm a voluntaryist. (I know—you're shocked. You probably believe like most people that only communists don't believe in the institution of government.)

I would be very interested in seeing you TRUE communists implement your economic system—so long as you don't implement it by forcing me or anyone else to join it by putting a gun to our heads. And I'm not being sarcastic here either.

(By the way, your calling me "stupid" I'm sure looks very civil to the other people reading this public site.)

Nov. 16 2011 08:20 PM
JJ from NJ

Look, David, the more you write on this public site the more stupid you so prove yourself to be. It is clear that you have a Fox News education, good luck with that. I just cannot be bothered with your complete ignorance as to Marx and Marxism, especially western Marxism as apposed to Stalin, Mao or Lenin versions. Nonetheless, you seem to be focused on the violence of it, yet you forget how the system you so love came into this world…..I’ll leave you with a quote from the Master:

“But unheroic though bourgeois society is, it nevertheless needed heroism, sacrifice, terror, civil war, and national wars to bring it into being”.

PS. I notice you left out Fascism, which of course directly opposed any form of Marxism and embraced state capitalism, as China does today as well.

Nov. 16 2011 04:20 PM

JJ, I just realized something: I'm wrong! The Soviet Union didn't collapse because of its ridiculous command economy. It collapsed because Ronbo Reagan single-handedly brought it down. Phew! Sure glad I straightened that "error" out.

To paraphrase another Marx (Chico): Who should we all believe, you or what's taken place in the world in the last 20 years in Russia, China, India, et al.?

Nov. 16 2011 02:40 PM

JJ: Forgive my "stupidity." I guess Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Castro et al. just didn't read the manual (Das Kapital) properly. Perhaps you can show us the way to economic prosperity through the most ridiculous economic system ever devised.

(Next you'll be writing to inform me that the current United States economic debacle is because of the "free market" we have here and not enough financial regulation.)

There's still time for N. Korea and Cuba. I'm sure they'd love to have you.

Nov. 16 2011 02:34 PM
JJ from NJ

David if stupidity had any monetary value at all you'd be a very rich man. Your intellectual shallowness as to the matter is startling. I certainly do hope that Mommy and Daddy did not expend to much of their hard earned $$ on your education.


Nov. 16 2011 02:00 PM

Even BHL (Bernard Henri Levy) faults Marxist (and Maoist) theory because it was so destructive and failed because it took away existing culture which IMHO was far wiser and deeper than Marx the mooch would ever understand.

Nov. 16 2011 09:49 AM

"Gabriel paints Karl not only as an intellectual, but as a father and loving husband, a revolutionary, a jokester, and a man of tremendous political and personal passions."

He was also a colossal MOOCH!

Nov. 16 2011 09:44 AM

And just look at that great "philosopher" Marx's three greatest disciples: mass murderers Stalin, Mao, and National Socialist Hitler.

Some philosopher. Some philosophy.

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."

I couldn't have said it better about that great "philosopher" Marx and his pseudo-economics.

JJ from NJ: You still have either North Korea or Cuba to move to. (Better hurry up though. I hear that Raul Castro is starting to bring some "evil" economic reforms to that worker's paradise.

Nov. 16 2011 01:06 AM
jj from nj


lighten up on marx, he was probably the greatest philosopher of all time......

A BBC 2003 poll found him to be the greatest philosopher of all time by a wide margin i might add.

Nov. 15 2011 03:17 PM
Sheldon from brooklyn

Back then - religion kept people from doing a lot of things.

Nov. 15 2011 01:56 PM
Hayne Bayless from Connecticut

Did Ms. Gabriel really mean to imply that religion is the only thing keeping people from killing themselves? That's a rather bigoted statement coming from someone so intelligent.

Nov. 15 2011 01:49 PM
Ed from Larchmont

What was her religious affiliation and practice, if any?

Nov. 15 2011 07:58 AM

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