Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The man behind Marxism was as despicable as his ideology

Marx’s critique of capitalism and capitalist society has shaped much of the social thinking in Western countries that led to the welfare state and extensive government intervention into economic affairs. And it served as the ideological banner that inspired the socialist and communist revolutions of the twentieth century – beginning in Russia in 1917 and still retaining political power today in such countries as Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, and China.

Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in the Rhineland town of Trier. His parents were Jewish, with a long line of respected rabbis on both sides of the family.

After studying for a time in Bonn, he transferred to the University of Berlin to work on a doctoral degree in philosophy. But he was generally a lazy and good-for-nothing student. The money that his father sent to him for tuition at the University was spent on food and drink, with many of his nights spent at coffee houses and taverns getting drunk and arguing about Hegelian philosophy with other students.

Marx’s only real jobs during his lifetime were as occasional reporters for or editors of newspapers and journals most of which usually closed in a short period of time, either because of small readership and limited financial support or political censorship by the governments under which he was living ....