COMMUNISTS: Dr. Crankley's Children

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Marx also conducted the first Party purges. He denounced anyone who disagreed with him as an "unscientific socialist." The usual instrument of execution was slander, from stories that the accused had embezzled workers' funds to rumors that he had gonorrhea.

It was Mikhail Bakunin, the legendary Russian anarchist, who was the first to spot Karl Marx as a tyrant. Cried he: "I hate Communism. . . . It is the negation of liberty." Marx drove him from the First International by accusing him (falsely) of being a blackmailer and a Czarist agent. (In the process, Marx helped wreck the International).

"Baring his teeth and grinning," an acquaintance once said, "Marx will slaughter anybody who blocks his way."

Marx hated "sentimental socialism," was bitterly impatient of efforts to better the lot of the workers by gradual progress. As the years went on, he spoke more & more of the necessity of "capturing" the state (with its police power) rather than of "destroying" the state, as other socialists hoped to do. Toward the end of his life he wrote the words "dictatorship of the proletariat" to describe the post-revolutionary period which was to precede the classless society. That phrase had always been buried in Marx's thought; he had in fact used it in conversation. Written down, it was to become an extension of his own tyrannical political methods, the excuse for the most pitiless tyranny the world has ever seen.

Father Marx. Yet the man was certainly not without pity and warm humanity. The children of his neighborhood in London (where he spent most of his life), as well as the members of his party, called him "Father Marx." With children, he lost all the hatred and suspicion he constantly harbored toward grownups. On Sunday nights, he would read fairy tales to his children (Bluebeard, Snow White, Rumpelstilschen) or build paper boats for them (which he usually set on fire like Zeus destroying a mortal fleet). He took the children for picnics on Hampstead Heath, where he rode the donkeys with them or led them to the year's first forget-me-nots in defiance of bourgeois "no trespassing" signs. Once he answered a dinner invitation for his daughter:

Dear Miss Lilliput,

. . . Having ascertained your respectability and the high tone of your transactions with your tradespeople, I shall feel happy to seize this rather strange opportunity of getting at your eatables and drinkables. . . . Being somewhat deaf in the right ear, please put a dull fellow, of whom I daresay your company will not be in want, at my right side. . . . Having [through] former intercourse with Yankees taken to the habitude of spitting, I hope spittoons will not be missing. Being rather easy in my manners and disgusted at the hot and close English atmosphere, you must prepare for seeing me in a dress rather adamatic. I hope your female guests are somewhat in the same line.

Addio, my dear unknown little minx,

Yours forever, Dr. Crankley

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