- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Petite Bourgeois Sentimentality

Posted by: Krasny ( Internationale, All Countries... ) on January 31, 19100 at 13:19:53:

In Reply to: Marx's personal life was a mess! posted by Joe Adelphio on January 30, 19100 at 20:39:56:

: Pinko Central is right! Marx's personal life was a mess! He spoke out against the family--saying "the bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education . . .becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry . . ."

: Can you believe that chickenshit Marx? And anybody who knows anything knows that his family lived in dire poverty. In London, no less, which was the hub of commerce in the 19th century.


*First off, can you show me where in this clipped remark of Marx that he is disparaging the family per se? As I read it, he's (rightly) attacking the hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie in his own day who preach the 'family' while operating factories which were little better than comcentration camps:
" Every day the factory whistle shrieked tremulously in the grimy, greasy air above the workers' settlement. And in obedience to its summons sullen people, roused before sleep had refreshed their muscles, came scuttling out of their grey houses like frightened cockroaches. They walked through the cold darkness, down the unpaved street to the high stone cells of the factory, which awaited them with cold complacency, its dozens of square oily eyes lighting up the road. The mud smacked beneath their feet. They shouted in hoarse sleepy voices and rent the air with ugly oaths, while other sounds came floating to meet them: the heavy hum of machinery, and the hiss of steam. Tall black smokestacks, stern and gloomy, loomed like thick clubs above the settlement.

In the evening, when the setting sun found weary reflection in the windows of the houses, the factory expelled the people from its stone bowels as though they were so much slag, and they climbed the street again -- grimy, black-faced, their hungry teeth glittering, their bodies giving off the sticky odor of machine oil. Now their voices were lively, even joyful, for work was over for another day, and supper and rest awaited them at home.

The day had been devoured by the factory, whose machines sucked up as much of the workers' strength as they needed. The day was struck out, leaving not a trace, and Man had advanced one more step towards his grave." --Maxim Gorky

That's really a great thing for a family, eh? Add to the scene the *fact* that entire families - men, women and children - were forced into these places out of dire necessity and I'd say the bourgeois concept of 'family' was/is a pretty empty one for the working classes.

On your second point... Marx probably could have gone into business with Engels (who was, BTW a successful industrialist) instead of trying to organise the working classes and providing them with a doctrine designed to overthrow nothing less than the very property relations which allowed for that pleasant bourgeios family at the proletariats' expense. Furthermore, I'd like to see just how 'successful' *your* whitebread, 'Leave it to Beaver,' upbringing would prepare you if you were expelled from America and found yourself in, say, Tokyo, Japan as Marx was expelled from the Continent while taking up residence in London, England. Add to this the fact that, unlike your sorry ass, he was *the* focus of revolutionary activity for the working classes and it's not surprising that the guy didn't get any table scraps from the bourgeoisie. --K

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