by Locker Room contributor
Yesterday I mentioned Paul Johnson?s excellent 1988 book
Intellectuals. Johnson writes chapter length biographies of the intellectuals whose
ideas shaped the 19th and 20th centuries: Rousseau, Marx,
Ibsen, Hemingway, Russell, Sartre, etc. Johnson?s theme in these chapters is to
demonstrate that each of these intellectuals was a hypocrite who told society
?do as I say, not as I do.?
His chapter on Marx is a masterpiece. Johnson shows that Marx falsified much
of the data used to prove his thesis.
The whole of the key Chapter Eight of Capital is a
deliberate and systematic falsification to prove a thesis which an objective
examination of the facts shows was untenable?. Thus, Marx had to distort his main source of evidence, or abandon
his thesis. The book was, and is, structurally dishonest. (p. 68-69)
But perhaps the most devastating critique is the discussion
of Marx?s personal life.
In all of his researches into the iniquities of British
capitalists, he came across many instances of low-paid workers but he never
succeeded in unearthing one who was paid literally no wages at all. Yet such a
worker did exist, in his own household.? This was Helen Demuth, known in the
family as ?Lenchen??.She got her keep but was paid nothing?. Marx never paid
her a penny. In 1849-50, during the darkest period of the family?s existence,
Lenchen became Marx?s mistress and conceived a child.?Marx refused to
acknowledge his responsibility, then or ever, and flatly denied the rumours
that he was the father. (p. 79-80)