Left-wing politicians are not unknown for peddling lies, but this reached a new height today when one of them lied about their god, Karl Marx. Kavita Krishnan, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI-ML), today said that Karl Marx came from an extremely poor family, and therefore comparing Kanhaiya Kumar with him is correct.
Kavita Krishnan was replying to a tweet by fellow leftist Kunal Kamra, who had agreed that people objecting to him calling Kanhaiya a modern-day Marx were right. He gave three reasons why the two were not same, Kanhaiya is from a poor family, he is popular while he is alive, he can be understood by masses.
But Kavita Krishnan didn’t agree with any of the points, and she rebutted them all. She said that Marx came from an extremely poor family, he too was popular when he was alive, and he was understood by masses. Although the later two are subjective topics subject to interpretation, the claim that Marx came from an extremely poor family is an absolute lie, because he came from a fairly wealthy middle-class family.
Karl Marx was the son of Heinrich Marx, who was a lawyer in Trier city now in Germany. The family lived a relatively wealthy and middle-class life, and was not ‘extremely poor’ as the Marxist leader is claiming. The Marx family lived in a three-storied house, where the family occupied a total of five rooms on the ground floor and first floor. Karl Marx was born in this house, which has been converted to a museum now. A year after Karl’s birth, the family had moved to a ten-room property in the same city. Heinrich Marx also owned a number of vineyards, and he occupied a respected in the social life of the town as a lawyer.
During childhood, Karl Marx was privately educated before he was admitted at the High School. After Schooling, he had enrolled in the University of Bonn, and later he was transferred to the University of Berlin by his father as his academic performance was not good. Far from being from an ‘extremely poor’ family, actually Karl Marx had led an extravagant lifestyle in university, which had made his father unhappy. An anguished Heinrich Marx had written to Karl that his son had spent almost 700 thalers in a single year, while the most wealthy didn’t spend more than 500 thalers a year.
Kavita Krishnan also added that Marx and his wife Jenny lived in poverty in London, and had lost three children to diseases. She wrote that while Jenny was from a wealthy family, she married an impoverished Karl. This also a lie, as Jenny had started dating Karl when he was at the university, leading an extravagant life according to his own father.
It is true that later Karl Marx lived as a poor man, but that is not because he came from an ‘extremely poor family’, but because of choices he had made in his life. He was not forced into poverty, he had chosen it. As a university educated graduate, Karl Marx could have taken any decent job at that time, but he had chosen to peruse the leftist ideology.
After completing education, he had become a journalist, and the first newspaper that he had joined was shut down after it published his articles, as the governments didn’t like his socialist ideas.
After he could not find a job any German newspaper, he had moved to Paris, but he was expelled from France for his writings, from there he had moved to Belgium, but he was expelled from Belgium also for the same reason. After that, he moved to England, where a large number of socialists expelled from Europe were living, and lived as a stateless person there for a long time. During this time, his source of income was limited, and mainly depended on aides given by people sympathetic to socialism. Even then, when he had received a large amount as inheritance after the death of his father, he had given away one-third of the same to workers organising revolutionary activities.
Therefore, although Karl Marx lived a poor man for a substantial part of his life, he didn’t come from an extremely poor family as Kavita Krishnan was claiming. He came from a relatively wealthy family, but fell into poverty due to his socialist ideas.