Friday, April 21, 2017

Proletarier aller Lander vereinigt Euch!

"Charles Marx, Squire of London"

     The words with which Karl Marx "checked in" whenever he "took the cure at Carlsbad".  R. J. W. Evans, quoting David Clay Lodge, The grand spas of Central Europe:  a history of intrigue, politics, art, and healing (Lanham, MD:  Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), in "A liberal empire?  Ruled from the spas?," The New York review of books 64, no. 5 (March 23, 2017):  36 (36-38).  In the header are, of course, the closing words of the Manifesto of the Communist Party of 1848.  My assumption is that a "Squire" (whatever the original; perhaps Landjunker?) would not have been considered a member of the proletariat, but then surely Marx never considered himself a member of the proletariat anyway.  Lodge says only "checked in quaintly as", so perhaps the incongruity was relative to Marx's financial circumstances (or landlessness) alone?  The whole comment may be of some relevance:  "The first of these [rivals of liberal imperialism] was socialism.  Yet socialism, on this reading, did not seriously jeopardize the imperial enterprise in Hapsburg Central Europe.  Karl Marx, after all, repeatedly took the cure at Carlsbad (were--Large tells us--he checked in quaintly as 'Charles Marx, Squire of London')."

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