Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Karl Marx's skin lesions

Here's a story about Karl Marx. Dermatologists now think he had some skin disease, and they speculate that it affected both his life and work.

"In addition to reducing his ability to work, which contributed to his depressing poverty, hidradenitis greatly reduced his self-esteem... this explains his self-loathing and alienation, a response reflected by the alienation Marx developed in his writing."

So, it's not about the alienation of the lower classes, it's about skin lesions.

Does this tell us anything about Marx's modern day adherents?


Knumb said...

Nancy will be glad to know that her Mary Kay is fighting communism.

Andy said...

Marx's Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts was one of his earlier works, so if he only developed this skin problem later in life I think you have the cart leading the horse on the alienation issue...but it may explain Volume II of Das Kapital...brutal.

Jerry said...

Dermatologists of the world, unite!

Brad Wright said...

Very funny comments John and Jerry.

As usual Andy, you know too much about sociology! The article seems to indicate it was a life-long problem.

Andy said...

Well, if it had any impact on his writing, it got "wicked bad" right before volume II...

Anonymous said...

If Marx suffered from conditions of the skin I don't think it affected his intellect nor his ego. But if we were to read his ailment into his theory then what of the other giants?

Comte's later years were marked by what some regard as the consequences of syphilis. Might we read something into positivism?

Weber may never have consummated his marriage and it seems he waited til late in life even to have sex at all. Too much ethic and not enough spirit?

Herbert Spencer, the titan of libertarian sociology, never had sex at all. And he was an opium fiend to boot! Yet this asocial soul has as his progeny most of modern sociology.

At the very least, the carbuncles on the butt didn't affect the fertility of Marx nor did it do much for his fidelity. The guy had sex and revolution!