Tuesday, October 30, 2007

On account of a boil, 85 million were lost

“The bourgeoisie will remember my carbuncles until their dying day,” Marx wrote to Engels

In case there were any who still doubt that the compassion purported to be at the base of communism is a flaming lie, here’s a dermatologist to present Karl Marx’s flaming boils:

Karl Marx, who complained of excruciating boils, actually suffered from a chronic skin disease with known psychological effects that may well have influenced his writings, a British expert said on Tuesday.

Sam Shuster, professor of dermatology at the University of East Anglia, believes the revolutionary thinker had hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) in which the apocrine sweat glands – found mainly in the armpits and groin – become blocked and inflamed.

“In addition to reducing his ability to work, which contributed to his depressing poverty, hidradenitis greatly reduced his self-esteem,” said Dr. Shuster, who published his findings in the British Journal of Dermatology.

“This explains his self-loathing and alienation, a response reflected by the alienation Marx developed in his writing.”

Dr. Shuster based his diagnosis on an analysis of Marx’s extensive correspondence, in which he wrote to friends about his health and described his skin lesions as “curs” and “swine.”

“The bourgeoisie will remember my carbuncles until their dying day,” Marx told Friedrich Engels in a letter from 1867.

Now, normally I would not endorse a dermatologist extrapolating the diagnosis of a skin condition to a psychological condition, but that last quote would seem to confirm that Marx was gonna make somebody pay for his pain. According to the Black Book of Communism, between 85 and 100 million paid with their lives.

Luca Manfredi has also blogged on this.

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