Napoleon's Love of Cologne May Be What Killed Him, Says UK Biochemist

Napoleon's Love of Cologne May Be What Killed Him, Says UK Biochemist

There has long been speculation about the true cause of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death on the island of St. Helena on May 5, 1821. As we mark the 200th anniversary of this event, a biochemist from De Montfort University in Leicester (United Kingdom) believes he has finally solved the mystery of what killed one of history’s most recognized figures.

It was his love of cologne that killed him, asserts Parvez Haris, a professor of biomedical science at De Montfort’s School of Allied Health Sciences . According to Dr. Haris, Napoleon slowly poisoned himself to death over a number of years, by heavily and continuously using a type of men’s cologne that contained potentially toxic ingredients.

The Fragrance of Death

“Napoleon was a great promoter of Colognes, which first went into commercial production in 1792,” Dr. Haris explained. “For at least 20 years he was bathing his body in it, pouring it over his head and, in some cases, he was quite literally lapping it up. He took bottles with him during his military campaigns and diplomatic missions. Records show he was going through two to three bottles a day when, even now, people may use a bottle a year!”

The two-time emperor of France was convinced his favorite cologne could protect him from illness and premature death. As strange as this idea sounds, there may have been some basis for his belief.

Napoleon’s Bathing Kit ( Louvre Museum / Wikimedia Commons)

Napoleon used a type of cologne that contained large amounts of alcohol, which is useful as an antiseptic. This may have helped him avoid bacterial and viral infections that were common among others who participated in his various military campaigns.

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It is known that Napoleon distrusted doctors, and he preferred to wash his body from head to toe with men’s perfume on a daily basis to preserve his health and vitality. He apparently even consumed it on occasion, so convinced was he that it contained magical ingredients that could keep him young forever.

A Modern Diagnosis

In limited doses, Napoleon’s favorite cologne might have been harmless, or even beneficial. Colognes get their distinctive odors from essential oils found in flowers and other plants. These oils can have some positive effects, if taken in limited doses. They can boost the functioning of the immune system, reduce inflammation, help reduce anxiety, and promote healthy sleep, among other possible benefits.

Longwood House, St. Helena, where Napoleon died in 1821 ( Michel Dancoisne-Martineau / Wikimedia Commons

But when consumed in significant quantities, essential oils can turn toxic. Modern research has shown that high levels of essential oils can cause serious hormone imbalances, which can lead to seizures, hair loss, and the development of breasts in men. Studies have also revealed that excessive essential oil consumption can put a person at risk for gastrointestinal (stomach) cancer.

Napoleon suffered from all of these problems, Haris points out. In fact, the general consensus has been that Napoleon most likely died from stomach cancer and stomach ulcers. Napoleon’s physician, François Carlo Antommarchi, performed the original autopsy on his most famous patient, and he listed gastrointestinal cancer as the official cause of Napoleon’s death.

Death of Napoleon by Charles de Steuben ( / Wikimedia Commons)

Several modern researchers who’ve looked into Napoleon’s death have agreed with this conclusion. Haris’s work does not contradict or dispute this finding, but goes deeper by identifying the likely cause of the cancer.

Debunking the Arsenic Poisoning Theory

Another popular theory claimed that Napoleon died of arsenic poisoning . This would mean he was intentionally poisoned and murdered by his enemies, most likely by the British guards who were assigned to watch over him during his exile on St. Helena. British forces had defeated and captured Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, and perhaps British leaders had decided it was time to speed his death.

This hypothesis wasn’t based purely on speculation. Hair samples were taken from Napoleon after his death, and testing revealed they contained high levels of arsenic. It is also known that Napoleon experienced symptoms of illness before his death that resembled those associated with arsenic poisoning.

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But later research undermined this theory. Scientists have analyzed additional hair samples from Napoleon, taken at various times in his life, and found disturbing quantities of arsenic in all of them. Arsenic was frequently used in glues and dyes in the 18th and early 19th centuries when Napoleon lived, and it was easy to pick it up from the surrounding environment. Researchers studied hair samples taken from other individuals who lived in Europe at the time, and found they also contained elevated levels of arsenic.

Napoleon’s health might have been compromised by exposure to arsenic throughout his lifetime. But since he always had arsenic in his body, there is no reason to think anyone poisoned him intentionally.

The Moral of the Story: Emperors Don’t Make Good Doctors

Lacking any real medical knowledge, Napoleon used far more cologne than his body could safely handle. He inhaled it, absorbed it through his skin, and drank it in such substantial amounts that a tragic outcome was probably inevitable.

“Napoleon, a great patron of science, slowly poisoned himself,” Haris explained. “It seems he was either not aware of, or did not care about, the famous dictum of the 16th century physician Paracelsus who stated that ‘What is there that is not poison? All things are poison and nothing is without poison. Solely the dose determines that a thing is not a poison’.”

Haris is certain that he has uncovered the real cause of Napoleon’s death. So certain that he would be willing to present it in a court of law if asked.

"There is no doubt in my view that Eau de Cologne was the main poison although co-exposure to other chemicals, including arsenic, must have contributed towards his ill health and ultimately his death from gastric cancer.”

If Dr. Haris is right, it means that one of history’s most celebrated and accomplished political and military leaders killed himself by foolishly trying to act as his own doctor.


Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German pianist and composer widely considered to be one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time. His innovative compositions combined vocals and instruments, widening the scope of sonata, symphony, concerto and quartet. He is the crucial transitional figure connecting the Classical and Romantic ages of Western music. 

Beethoven’s personal life was marked by a struggle against deafness, and some of his most important works were composed during the last 10 years of his life, when he was quite unable to hear. He died at the age of 56.


A Brief History of Toilets

While you're not likely to study the history of toilets in school, the story of what we don't normally talk about logically follows what we already know about historical eras. Public sanitation systems were sophisticated (if weird) during the Roman Empire, but were lost during the Dark Ages. Later developments led to better hygiene, but only for communities that could afford it, leading to global inequalities that continue today. By the way, this TED-Ed video shows cartoon defecation, in case that bothers you.

2

Napoleon’s contested legacy

The bronze statue of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Hotel des Invalides in Paris

Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images

Why is this anniversary significant?

On 5 May 1821, Napoleon died in exile, in a damp house on the bleak South Atlantic island of St Helena. Even in death, he was considered too dangerous to return to France: his desire to be buried in Paris was not granted by the British government until 1840, when his body was disinterred, shipped back and entombed in glory in the Dôme des Invalides church. Last week saw the last in a series of Napoleonic bicentenaries, which France has marked somewhat gingerly. In 2005, the then-president Jacques Chirac thought it best to sidestep the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of Austerlitz, regarded as Napoleon’s greatest victory. Many museums have designated 2021 the “Year of Napoleon” but the emperor’s reputation has become, as so often in French history, a cultural battlefield.

So this isn’t a new argument?

Ever since Napoleon’s reign, there have been two perceptions of his quest for supremacy. On the one hand, he has been seen as a national hero, a founder of modern France, the greatest soldier of his age on the other, as a tyrant, a betrayer of the Revolution, a warmonger. “Born largely to destroy, Bonaparte carries evil in his breast just as naturally as a mother bears her offspring, with joy and a sort of pride,” wrote Chateaubriand in 1814. Yet even after Waterloo and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, Napoleon remained very popular. An alternative cult emerged: of an egalitarian who saved the Revolution, a glorious military leader, a great statesman, a romantic hero. This ambivalence is visible in the very fabric of France. Modern Paris, which Napoleon did so much to create, is littered with streets, landmarks and railway stations commemorating his generals, armies and victories but only the narrow Rue Bonaparte bears his name. There are just two public statues of him in the city.

What were Napoleon’s greatest achievements?

His victories ensured that Revolutionary France, besieged by the monarchies of Europe, not only survived – ending a decade of chaos and civil strife – but conquered much of the continent. Yet in France today his reputation is perhaps greatest as an administrative reformer, during the period he served as first consul, from 1799 to 1804. Napoleon established the Conseil d’État, which still advises the French government today, along with the Bank of France, the regional prefectures, the lycées (high schools) and the baccalauréat exam system. Towering above all these, though, is the Napoleonic Code of 1804, created to sweep away the confusing, contradictory feudal laws and entrench modern legal rights. “My real glory isn’t that I won 40 battles Waterloo will erase most of them – but nothing will erase my Civil Code,” he said. The code is credited with hastening the end of feudalism across Europe: it was first imposed through Napoleon’s conquests, then voluntarily adopted not just in Europe, but in nations around the world.

And what’s on the charge sheet?

It is long. Napoleon took power in the coup of 18 Brumaire (9 November 1799) which ended the democratic experiment of the Revolution. He then established a dictatorship, complete with secret police and intolerance for dissent. Having established French supremacy in Europe, he launched immensely costly wars of aggression that ultimately he could not win, by invading first Spain and then Russia. The Napoleonic Wars cost between three and 6.5 million lives, including those of around a million French people – bringing more bloodshed to modern Europe than anyone before Hitler. “A man like me does not give a shit about the lives of a million men,” Napoleon memorably declared after the disastrous Russian campaign of 1812.

How is he seen today in modern France?

In the current climate, his attitudes towards race and women have come into the spotlight. He was an enthusiastic imperialist who conquered Egypt, and after the siege of Ottoman Jaffa had 3,000 enemy soldiers taken to the beach and shot. In 1794, Revolutionary France had declared the abolition of slavery in all of its territories, but Napoleon reinstated it in the French West Indies in 1802. Faced with rebellions in the colonies, he later despatched an army of 60,000 to Haiti, to crush the rebels. He also made laws forbidding “people of colour” to enter France, and forcing the break-up of interracial marriages. The Napoleonic Code, meanwhile, was a setback for nascent female equality. It confirmed the legal right of men to control women, who were forbidden from selling and buying property.

How did President Macron mark the anniversary?

Last Wednesday, President Macron – widely regarded as a rather Napoleonic figure – laid a wreath at his tomb in Les Invalides. It was a delicate balancing act for Macron, who insisted he was “commemorating not celebrating” the emperor’s legacy. “Napoleon could be both the soul of the world and the devil of Europe,” he said. Macron described the reintroduction of slavery as “a fault, a betrayal of the spirit of the Enlightenment”, but listed many of his achievements such as his support for meritocracy, and the arts and sciences. “We love Napoleon because his life gives us a taste of what is possible if we accept the invitation to take risks,” he declared.

How do the French people feel?

The feting of Napoleon is anathema to many activists. Generally, though, he has remained popular as an icon of French glory, particularly on the Right. “Will France be the only country in the world in 2021 not to admire Napoleon?” asked the conservative MP Julien Aubert recently. Frédéric Dabi, of the pollster Ifop, said most French people would support marking the anniversary because “they have a passion for French history”. The critics, he said, “are in reality very much a minority. Social networks aren’t France.”

The emperor’s last battle: St Helena

After Waterloo, Napoleon optimistically contemplated exile in the US or England. The British had other ideas and packed him off to St Helena, a rocky, windswept island six miles by ten miles, 1,200 miles from the African coast. Upon sighting it from HMS Northumberland, he remarked: “It seems no charming place to live in.” He was accompanied by a small coterie of loyal aides and servants, and was given lodgings appropriate to a captive general, but the deposed emperor chafed against the restrictions imposed: he had to be guarded by a British soldier if he left his garden, and had a 9pm curfew.

On St Helena, Napoleon reminisced in detail over his victories and defeats, railing against the subordinates that he held responsible. He read profusely, ate and drank a great deal, and developed a brief passion for gardening. But from 1817, he became withdrawn and depressed, and was often bed-bound. There are many theories about the causes of his death on 5 May 1821: doctors diagnosed stomach cancer and ulcers post-mortem, but some claim he was poisoned with arsenic or even by his own cologne. His last words were: “La France, l’armée, tête d’armée, Joséphine” (“France, the army, head of the army, Joséphine”).


15 facts about Napoleon You May Not Have Heard Before!

Napoleon rose to power with an aim, and he surely achieved it by becoming the Emperor of the French Empire. Famous for his ruthlessness and strategic skills, Napoleon ended up killing scores of human beings in a bid to gain more power and territories. Very few people know that despite his tyrant mindset, Napoleon had a very particular sense of humor and a set of other unusual traits that one might find strange if not amusing. Following are some of the unknown facts about Napoleon that you may not be aware of.

  1. Napoleon had a nickname that he reportedly was not particularly very fond of. Napoleon’s family and close friends always addressed him as ‘Nabulio’, though it had some similarity with his real name, Napoleon preferred not to be called by that name.
  1. At one time the most feared General and a ruthless tyrant, Napoleon had a very peculiar fear called ‘Ailurophobia’. Although it sounds as scary as Napoleon himself, however this phobia is the fear of cats.
  1. Despite being the most strategic Army General with a quiet upright personality, Napoleon fell ‘short’ when it came to his height. He was ridiculed among his rivals due to his unusually small stature – 1.7 meters.
  1. To overcome his complex regarding height, Napoleon always surrounded himself with unusually tall and muscular soldiers.

Napoleon enters Alexandria on 3 July 1798 by Guillaume-François Colson, 1800 [Via]

  1. Like all the other tyrants, Napoleon was particularly interested in making peculiar changes in the lands he ruled. One such change was the shift of the driving side from left to right. However, in the UK there was no change since Napoleon was never able to conquer UK.
  1. Napoleon and his sympathizers always took pride in his unusual strategic skills, however he was once beaten by the ‘Turk’. Turk was a fake chess playing machine which actually had a person hidden inside, obviously the ‘great’ Napoleon did not know that.
  1. Napoleon would roam the streets of Paris dressed as a poor homeless person, asking people question about himself. This way he was able to gauge his popularity among the common folk.
  1. Call it love or superstition Napoleon always carried a pocket size portrait of his wife, Josephine to all his battles. He believed that his wife’s portrait would bring him good luck and victory.

British etching from 1814 in celebration of Napoleon’s first exile to Elba at the close of the War of the Sixth Coalition [Via]

  1. Before Napoleon, Armies relied on a variety of different ways to carry food on them. Most of those methods miserably failed especially in long wars. Napoleon was the first General who introduced the idea of canned food among armies this way armies could stay fed and fight for longer periods of time.
  1. Napoleon reportedly had a very acute, Wolf-like sense of smell. He absolutely hated the smell of paints.
  1. One ‘ritual’ that people around Napoleon had to learn was that anyone who would come to see Napoleon had to make sure they shut the door behind them. Napoleon was absolutely terrified of open doors and could not concentrate if one was open.
  1. He would eat his meals real quick, like a medicine, and he needed absolute silence while having his meals, the India Today reports.

Napoleon’s withdrawal from Russia, a painting by Adolph Northen [Via]


Creed (perfume)

Creed is a niche perfume house, which has boutiques in Paris, London, New York City, Beverly Hills, Sydney, Dubai Mall, Kuwait, Vienna, Milan, and Miami in addition to stands in high end retailers across the world. The house purportedly creates its perfumes in-house by two perfumers: a father and his son. The current generation consists of Olivier Creed (who is credited for Green Irish Tweed, Millesime Imperial, Silver Mountain Water and Aventus among others) and his son Erwin Creed.

James Henry Creed supposedly founded the House of Creed in London in 1760 as a tailoring establishment, however, the earliest evidence of Creed's existence hark from the late 1960s or early 1970s. [2] It claims to have risen to fame in the mid 19th century under Henry Creed as tailors and habit makers for the fashionable dandy Count d'Orsay, Queen Victoria, and Empress Eugénie, who issued the firm of Creed & Cumberland a Royal Warrant for tailoring articles. [3] Olivier Creed's first eponymously named fragrance was a traditional eau de cologne with matching aftershave. Its release date is unknown, although bottles are still in circulation. Creed also has other high-profile creations in its catalog such as Angelique Encens, which was said to have been originally created in 1933 for the Bishop of Paris. [4]

In February 2020, the private equity group BlackRock announced that it would become the majority shareholder of Creed. [5]

Creed has stated that it has created perfumes exclusively for celebrities and well-known political figures. Creed claims that Tabarome "was commissioned by a legendary British statesman who loved fine brandy and highest quality cigars" but this is without historical confirmation.. [6] Also, Creed's Vetiver is marketed to have been created for "one of America's leading families, a political dynasty now known worldwide for its energy, vigor, and impeccable style". [7]

Mainstream success Edit

Creed's mainstream breakthrough success came in the mid-1980s with the fresh fougère fragrance Green Irish Tweed (1985), an eau de parfum composed by Olivier Creed. The first trademark for Creed perfume was registered in 1979 in France. [8]

Creed's marketing masterpiece, the fragrance Aventus (2010) has seen good commercial success. Erwin Creed stated that the popularity of Aventus enabled Creed to open its New York boutique location. [9]

Creed claims to make fragrances exclusively for their clients that are not available to their customers and that some of those fragrances are later released to the public. This is a list of the Creed fragrances that are (or were) sold to the general public. [ citation needed ]

Many of the fragrances on this list are not currently sold by Creed or authorized retailers because they were discontinued. Creed often discontinues ("vaults") fragrances. For example, Green Valley used to be a mainstream release but is no longer sold by Creed. Creed also claims to re-release fragrances that were created by the family many years ago in previous generations. Examples of this would include Selection Verte and (Vintage) Tabarome. [ citation needed ]


Fascinating History

The story of Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais has got to be one of the most passionate and stormy love affairs in history.

Josephine's husband had been executed at the guillotine during the Terror in Paris in 1794. As a widow however, she did not remain idle for long and became mistress to several prominent politicians of the time. In 1795 she started a relationship with Napoleon, who was 6 years younger than her and married him in March of the following year after an intense an all-consuming love affair. In 1810, after years of failing ot produce an heir for him they both agreed to divorce.

The intensity of their relationship comes across very strongly in Napoleon's letters to her, an example of which is the below:

I awake all filled with you. Your image and the intoxicating pleasures of last night, allow my senses no rest.
Sweet and matchless Josephine, how strangely you work upon my heart.
Are you angry with me? Are you unhappy? Are you upset?
My soul is broken with grief and my love for you forbids repose. But how can I rest any more, when I yield to the feeling that masters my inmost self, when I quaff from your lips and from your heart a scorching flame?
Yes! One night has taught me how far your portrait falls short of yourself!
You start at midday: in three hours I shall see you again.
Till then, a thousand kisses, mio dolce amor! but give me none back for they set my blood on fire. "


Contents

Youth Edit

Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was born in Venice in 1725 to actress Zanetta Farussi, wife of actor and dancer Gaetano Casanova. Giacomo was the first of six children, being followed by Francesco Giuseppe (1727–1803), Giovanni Battista (1730–1795), Faustina Maddalena (1731–1736), Maria Maddalena Antonia Stella (1732–1800), and Gaetano Alvise (1734–1783). [9] [10]

At the time of Casanova's birth, the city of Venice thrived as the pleasure capital of Europe, ruled by political and religious conservatives who tolerated social vices and encouraged tourism. It was a required stop on the Grand Tour, traveled by young men coming of age, especially men from the Kingdom of Great Britain. The famed Carnival, gambling houses, and beautiful courtesans were powerful drawing cards. This was the milieu that bred Casanova and made him its most famous and representative citizen. [11]

Casanova was cared for by his grandmother Marzia Baldissera while his mother toured about Europe in the theater. His father died when he was eight. As a child, Casanova suffered nosebleeds, and his grandmother sought help from a witch: "Leaving the gondola, we enter a hovel, where we find an old woman sitting on a pallet, with a black cat in her arms and five or six others around her." [12] Though the unguent applied was ineffective, Casanova was fascinated by the incantation. [13] Perhaps to remedy the nosebleeds (a physician blamed the density of Venice's air), Casanova, on his ninth birthday, was sent to a boarding house on the mainland in Padua. For Casanova, the neglect by his parents was a bitter memory. "So they got rid of me," he proclaimed. [14]

Conditions at the boarding house were appalling, so he appealed to be placed under the care of Abbé Gozzi, his primary instructor, who tutored him in academic subjects, as well as the violin. Casanova moved in with the priest and his family and lived there through most of his teenage years. [15] In the Gozzi household, Casanova first came into contact with the opposite sex, when Gozzi's younger sister Bettina fondled him at the age of 11. Bettina was "pretty, lighthearted, and a great reader of romances. . The girl pleased me at once, though I had no idea why. It was she who little by little kindled in my heart the first sparks of a feeling which later became my ruling passion." [16] Although she subsequently married, Casanova maintained a lifelong attachment to Bettina and the Gozzi family. [17]

Early on, Casanova demonstrated a quick wit, an intense appetite for knowledge, and a perpetually inquisitive mind. He entered the University of Padua at 12 and graduated at 17, in 1742, with a degree in law ("for which I felt an unconquerable aversion"). [18] His guardian's hope was that he would become an ecclesiastical lawyer. [15] Casanova had also studied moral philosophy, chemistry, and mathematics, and was keenly interested in medicine. ("I should have been allowed to do as I wished and become a physician, in which profession quackery is even more effective than it is in legal practice." [18] ) He frequently prescribed his own treatments for himself and friends. [19] While attending the university, Casanova began to gamble and quickly got into debt, causing his recall to Venice by his grandmother, but the gambling habit became firmly established.

Back in Venice, Casanova started his clerical law career and was admitted as an abbé after being conferred minor orders by the Patriarch of Venice. He shuttled back and forth to Padua to continue his university studies. By now, he had become something of a dandy—tall and dark, his long hair powdered, scented, and elaborately curled. [20] He quickly ingratiated himself with a patron (something he was to do all his life), 76-year-old Venetian senator Alvise Gasparo Malipiero, the owner of Palazzo Malipiero, close to Casanova's home in Venice. [21] Malipiero moved in the best circles and taught young Casanova a great deal about good food and wine, and how to behave in society. However, Casanova was caught dallying with Malipiero's intended object of seduction, actress Teresa Imer, and the senator drove both of them from his house. [17] Casanova's growing curiosity about women led to his first complete sexual experience, with two sisters, Nanetta and Marton Savorgnan, then 14 and 16, who were distant relatives of the Grimanis. Casanova proclaimed that his life avocation was firmly established by this encounter. [22]

Early career in Italy and abroad Edit

Scandals tainted Casanova's short church career. After his grandmother's death, Casanova entered a seminary for a short while, but soon his indebtedness landed him in prison for the first time. An attempt by his mother to secure him a position with Bishop Bernardo de Bernardis was rejected by Casanova after a very brief trial of conditions in the bishop's Calabrian see. [23] Instead, he found employment as a scribe with the powerful Cardinal Acquaviva in Rome. On meeting the pope, Casanova boldly asked for a dispensation to read the "forbidden books" and from eating fish (which he claimed inflamed his eyes). He also composed love letters for another cardinal. When Casanova became the scapegoat for a scandal involving a local pair of star-crossed lovers, Cardinal Acquaviva dismissed Casanova, thanking him for his sacrifice, but effectively ending his church career. [24]

In search of a new profession, Casanova bought a commission to become a military officer for the Republic of Venice. His first step was to look the part:

Reflecting that there was now little likelihood of my achieving fortune in my ecclesiastical career, I decided to dress as a soldier . I inquire for a good tailor . he brings me everything I need to impersonate a follower of Mars. . My uniform was white, with a blue vest, a shoulder knot of silver and gold. I bought a long sword, and with my handsome cane in hand, a trim hat with a black cockade, with my hair cut in side whiskers and a long false pigtail, I set forth to impress the whole city. [25]

He joined a Venetian regiment at Corfu, his stay being broken by a brief trip to Constantinople, ostensibly to deliver a letter from his former master the Cardinal. [26] Finding his advancement too slow and his duty boring, he managed to lose most of his pay playing faro. Casanova soon abandoned his military career and returned to Venice.

At the age of 21, he set out to become a professional gambler, but losing all the money remaining from the sale of his commission, he turned to his old benefactor Alvise Grimani for a job. Casanova thus began his third career, as a violinist in the San Samuele theater, "a menial journeyman of a sublime art in which, if he who excels is admired, the mediocrity is rightly despised. . My profession was not a noble one, but I did not care. Calling everything prejudice, I soon acquired all the habits of my degraded fellow musicians." [27] He and some of his fellows, "often spent our nights roaming through different quarters of the city, thinking up the most scandalous practical jokes and putting them into execution . we amused ourselves by untying the gondolas moored before private homes, which then drifted with the current". They also sent midwives and physicians on false calls. [28]

Good fortune came to the rescue when Casanova, unhappy with his lot as a musician, saved the life of a Venetian patrician of the Bragadin family, who had a stroke while riding with Casanova in a gondola after a wedding ball. They immediately stopped to have the senator bled. Then, at the senator's palace, a physician bled the senator again and applied an ointment of mercury—an all-purpose but toxic remedy at the time—to the senator's chest. This raised his temperature and induced a massive fever, and Bragadin appeared to be choking on his own swollen windpipe. A priest was called as death seemed to be approaching. However, despite protests from the attending physician, Casanova ordered the removal of the ointment and the washing of the senator's chest with cool water. The senator recovered from his illness with rest and a sensible diet. [29] Because of his youth and his facile recitation of medical knowledge, the senator and his two bachelor friends thought Casanova wise beyond his years, and concluded that he must be in possession of occult knowledge. As they were cabalists themselves, the senator invited Casanova into his household and became a lifelong patron. [30]

Casanova stated in his memoirs:

I took the most creditable, the noblest, and the only natural course. I decided to put myself in a position where I need no longer go without the necessities of life: and what those necessities were for me no one could judge better than me. No one in Venice could understand how an intimacy could exist between myself and three men of their character, they all heaven and I all earth they most severe in their morals, and I addicted to every kind of dissolute living. [31]

For the next three years under the senator's patronage, working nominally as a legal assistant, Casanova led the life of a nobleman, dressing magnificently and, as was natural to him, spending most of his time gambling and engaging in amorous pursuits. [32] His patron was exceedingly tolerant, but he warned Casanova that some day he would pay the price "I made a joke of his dire Prophecies and went my way." However, not much later, Casanova was forced to leave Venice, due to further scandals. Casanova had dug up a freshly buried corpse to play a practical joke on an enemy and exact revenge, but the victim went into a paralysis, never to recover. And in another scandal, a young girl who had duped him [ clarification needed ] accused him of rape and went to the officials. [33] Casanova was later acquitted of this crime for lack of evidence, but by this time, he had already fled from Venice.

Escaping to Parma, Casanova entered into a three-month affair with a Frenchwoman he named "Henriette", perhaps the deepest love he ever experienced—a woman who combined beauty, intelligence, and culture. In his words, "They who believe that a woman is incapable of making a man equally happy all the twenty-four hours of the day have never known an Henriette. The joy which flooded my soul was far greater when I conversed with her during the day than when I held her in my arms at night. Having read a great deal and having natural taste, Henriette judged rightly of everything." [34] She also judged Casanova astutely. As noted Casanovist J. Rives Childs wrote:

Perhaps no woman so captivated Casanova as Henriette few women obtained so deep an understanding of him. She penetrated his outward shell early in their relationship, resisting the temptation to unite her destiny with his. She came to discern his volatile nature, his lack of social background, and the precariousness of his finances. Before leaving, she slipped into his pocket five hundred louis, mark of her evaluation of him. [35]

Grand tour Edit

Crestfallen and despondent, Casanova returned to Venice, and after a good gambling streak, he recovered and set off on a grand tour, reaching Paris in 1750. [36] Along the way, from one town to another, he got into sexual escapades resembling operatic plots. [37] In Lyon, he entered the society of Freemasonry, which appealed to his interest in secret rites and which, for the most part, attracted men of intellect and influence who proved useful in his life, providing valuable contacts and uncensored knowledge. Casanova was also attracted to Rosicrucianism. [38] In Lyons, Casanova became companion and finally took the highest degree of Scottish Rite Master Mason. [39] [40] [41]

Regarding his initiation to the Scottish Rite Freemasonry in Lyons, the Memoirs said:

It was in Lyons that a respectable individual, whose acquaintance I made at the house of M. de Rochebaron, obtained for me the favour of being initiated in the sublime trifles of Freemasonry. I arrived in Paris a simple apprentice a few months after my arrival I became companion and master the last is certainly the highest degree in Freemasonry, for all the other degrees which I took afterwards are only pleasing inventions, which, although symbolical, add nothing to the dignity of master.

Casanova stayed in Paris for two years, learned the language, spent much time at the theater, and introduced himself to notables. Soon, however, his numerous liaisons were noted by the Paris police, as they were in nearly every city he visited. [43]

In 1752, his brother Francesco and he moved from Paris to Dresden, where his mother and sister Maria Maddalena were living. His new play, La Moluccheide, now lost, was performed at the Royal Theatre, where his mother often played in lead roles. [44] [45] He then visited Prague and Vienna, where the tighter moral atmosphere of the latter city was not to his liking. He finally returned to Venice in 1753. [46] In Venice, Casanova resumed his escapades, picking up many enemies and gaining the greater attention of the Venetian inquisitors. His police record became a lengthening list of reported blasphemies, seductions, fights, and public controversy. [47] A state spy, Giovanni Manucci, was employed to draw out Casanova's knowledge of cabalism and Freemasonry and to examine his library for forbidden books. Senator Bragadin, in total seriousness this time (being a former inquisitor himself), advised his "son" to leave immediately or face the stiffest consequences.

Imprisonment and escape Edit

On 26 July 1755, at age 30, Casanova was arrested for affront to religion and common decency: [48] "The Tribunal, having taken cognizance of the grave faults committed by G. Casanova primarily in public outrages against the holy religion, their Excellencies have caused him to be arrested and imprisoned under the Leads." [49] "The Leads" was a prison of seven cells on the top floor of the east wing of the Doge's palace, reserved for prisoners of higher status as well as certain types of offenders—such as political prisoners, defrocked or libertine priests or monks, and usurers—and named for the lead plates covering the palace roof. The following 12 September, without a trial and without being informed of the reasons for his arrest and of the sentence, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment. [48] [50]

He was placed in solitary confinement with clothing, a pallet bed, table, and armchair in "the worst of all the cells", [51] where he suffered greatly from the darkness, summer heat, and "millions of fleas". He was soon housed with a series of cellmates, and after five months and a personal appeal from Count Bragadin, was given warm winter bedding and a monthly stipend for books and better food. During exercise walks he was granted in the prison garret, he found a piece of black marble and an iron bar which he smuggled back to his cell he hid the bar inside his armchair. When he was temporarily without cellmates, he spent two weeks sharpening the bar into a spike on the stone. Then he began to gouge through the wooden floor underneath his bed, knowing that his cell was directly above the Inquisitor's chamber. [52] Just three days before his intended escape, during a festival when no officials would be in the chamber below, Casanova was moved to a larger, lighter cell with a view, despite his protests that he was perfectly happy where he was. In his new cell, "I sat in my armchair like a man in a stupor motionless as a statue, I saw that I had wasted all the efforts I had made, and I could not repent of them. I felt that I had nothing to hope for, and the only relief left to me was not to think of the future." [53]

Overcoming his inertia, Casanova set upon another escape plan. He solicited the help of the prisoner in the adjacent cell, Father Balbi, a renegade priest. The spike, carried to the new cell inside the armchair, was passed to the priest in a folio Bible carried under a heaping plate of pasta by the hoodwinked jailer. The priest made a hole in his ceiling, climbed across and made a hole in the ceiling of Casanova's cell. To neutralize his new cellmate, who was a spy, Casanova played on his superstitions and terrorized him into silence. [54] When Balbi broke through to Casanova's cell, Casanova lifted himself through the ceiling, leaving behind a note that quoted the 117th Psalm (Vulgate): "I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord". [55]

The spy remained behind, too frightened of the consequences if he were caught escaping with the others. Casanova and Balbi pried their way through the lead plates and onto the sloping roof of the Doge's Palace, with a heavy fog swirling. The drop to the nearby canal being too great, Casanova prised open the grate over a dormer window, and broke the window to gain entry. They found a long ladder on the roof, and with the additional use of a bedsheet "rope" that Casanova had prepared, lowered themselves into the room whose floor was 25 feet below. They rested until morning, changed clothes, then broke a small lock on an exit door and passed into a palace corridor, through galleries and chambers, and down stairs, where by convincing the guard they had inadvertently been locked into the palace after an official function, they left through a final door. [56] [ page needed ] It was 6:00 in the morning and they escaped by gondola. Eventually, Casanova reached Paris, where he arrived on the same day (5 January 1757) that Robert-François Damiens made an attempt on the life of Louis XV. [57] (Casanova would later witness and describe his execution.)

Thirty years later in 1787, Casanova wrote Story of My Flight, which was very popular and was reprinted in many languages, and he repeated the tale a little later in his memoirs. [58] Casanova's judgment of the exploit is characteristic:

Thus did God provide me with what I needed for an escape which was to be a wonder if not a miracle. I admit that I am proud of it but my pride does not come from my having succeeded, for luck had a good deal to do with that it comes from my having concluded that the thing could be done and having had the courage to undertake it. [59]

Return to Paris Edit

He knew his stay in Paris might be a long one and he proceeded accordingly: "I saw that to accomplish anything I must bring all my physical and moral faculties in play, make the acquaintance of the great and the powerful, exercise strict self-control, and play the chameleon." [60] Casanova had matured, and this time in Paris, though still depending at times on quick thinking and decisive action, he was more calculating and deliberate. His first task was to find a new patron. He reconnected with old friend de Bernis, now the Foreign Minister of France. Casanova was advised by his patron to find a means of raising funds for the state as a way to gain instant favor. Casanova promptly became one of the trustees of the first state lottery, and one of its best ticket salesmen. The enterprise earned him a large fortune quickly. [61] With money in hand, he traveled in high circles and undertook new seductions. He duped many socialites with his occultism, particularly the Marquise Jeanne d'Urfé, using his excellent memory which made him appear to have a sorcerer's power of numerology. In Casanova's view, "deceiving a fool is an exploit worthy of an intelligent man". [62]

Casanova claimed to be a Rosicrucian and an alchemist, aptitudes which made him popular with some of the most prominent figures of the era, among them Madame de Pompadour, Count de Saint-Germain, d'Alembert, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. So popular was alchemy among the nobles, particularly the search for the "philosopher's stone", that Casanova was highly sought after for his supposed knowledge, and he profited handsomely. [63] He met his match, however, in the Count de Saint-Germain: "This very singular man, born to be the most barefaced of all imposters, declared with impunity, with a casual air, that he was three hundred years old, that he possessed the universal medicine, that he made anything he liked from nature, that he created diamonds." [64]

De Bernis decided to send Casanova to Dunkirk on his first spying mission. Casanova was paid well for his quick work and this experience prompted one of his few remarks against the ancien régime and the class on which he was dependent. He remarked in hindsight, "All the French ministers are the same. They lavished money which came out of the other people's pockets to enrich their creatures, and they were absolute: The down-trodden people counted for nothing, and, through this, the indebtedness of the State and the confusion of finances were the inevitable results. A Revolution was necessary." [65]

As the Seven Years' War began, Casanova was again called to help increase the state treasury. He was entrusted with a mission of selling state bonds in Amsterdam, Holland being the financial center of Europe at the time. [66] He succeeded in selling the bonds at only an 8% discount, and the following year was rich enough to found a silk manufactory with his earnings. The French government even offered him a title and a pension if he would become a French citizen and work on behalf of the finance ministry, but he declined, perhaps because it would frustrate his Wanderlust. [67] Casanova had reached his peak of fortune, but could not sustain it. He ran the business poorly, borrowed heavily trying to save it, and spent much of his wealth on constant liaisons with his female workers who were his "harem". [68]

For his debts, Casanova was imprisoned again, this time at For-l'Évêque, but was liberated four days afterwards, upon the insistence of the Marquise d'Urfé. Unfortunately, though he was released, his patron de Bernis was dismissed by Louis XV at that time and Casanova's enemies closed in on him. He sold the rest of his belongings and secured another mission to Holland to distance himself from his troubles. [68]

On the run Edit

This time, however, his mission failed and he fled to Cologne, then Stuttgart in the spring of 1760, where he lost the rest of his fortune. He was yet again arrested for his debts, but managed to escape to Switzerland. Weary of his wanton life, Casanova visited the monastery of Einsiedeln and considered the simple, scholarly life of a monk. He returned to his hotel to think on the decision, only to encounter a new object of desire, and reverting to his old instincts, all thoughts of a monk's life were quickly forgotten. [69] Moving on, he visited Albrecht von Haller and Voltaire, and arrived in Marseille, then Genoa, Florence, Rome, Naples, Modena, and Turin, moving from one sexual romp to another. [70]

In 1760, Casanova started styling himself the Chevalier de Seingalt, a name he would increasingly use for the rest of his life. On occasion, he would also call himself Count de Farussi (using his mother's maiden name) and when Pope Clement XIII presented Casanova with the Papal Order of the Éperon d'or, he had an impressive cross and ribbon to display on his chest. [71]

Back in Paris, he set about one of his most outrageous schemes—convincing his old dupe the Marquise d'Urfé that he could turn her into a young man through occult means. The plan did not yield Casanova the big payoff he had hoped for, and the Marquise d'Urfé finally lost faith in him. [72]

Casanova traveled to England in 1763, hoping to sell his idea of a state lottery to English officials. He wrote of the English, "the people have a special character, common to the whole nation, which makes them think they are superior to everyone else. It is a belief shared by all nations, each thinking itself the best. And they are all right." [73] Through his connections, he worked his way up to an audience with King George III, using most of the valuables he had stolen from the Marquise d'Urfé. While working the political angles, he also spent much time in the bedroom, as was his habit. As a means to find females for his pleasure, not being able to speak English, he put an advertisement in the newspaper to let an apartment to the "right" person. He interviewed many young women, choosing one "Mistress Pauline" who suited him well. Soon, he established himself in her apartment and seduced her. These and other liaisons, however, left him weak with venereal disease and he left England broke and ill. [74]

He went on to the Austrian Netherlands, recovered, and then for the next three years, traveled all over Europe, covering about 4,500 miles by coach over rough roads, and going as far as Moscow and Saint Petersburg (the average daily coach trip being about 30 miles). Again, his principal goal was to sell his lottery scheme to other governments and repeat the great success he had with the French government, but a meeting with Frederick the Great bore no fruit and in the surrounding German lands, the same result. Not lacking either connections or confidence, Casanova went to Russia and met with Catherine the Great, but she flatly turned down the lottery idea. [75]

In 1766, he was expelled from Warsaw following a pistol duel with Colonel Franciszek Ksawery Branicki over an Italian actress, a lady friend of theirs. Both duelists were wounded, Casanova on the left hand. The hand recovered on its own, after Casanova refused the recommendation of doctors that it be amputated. [76] From Warsaw, he traveled to Breslau in the Kingdom of Prussia, then to Dresden, where he contracted yet another venereal infection. [77] [78] [79] He returned to Paris for several months in 1767 and hit the gambling salons, only to be expelled from France by order of Louis XV himself, primarily for Casanova's scam involving the Marquise d'Urfé. [80] Now known across Europe for his reckless behavior, Casanova would have difficulty overcoming his notoriety and gaining any fortune, so he headed for Spain, where he was not as well known. He tried his usual approach, leaning on well-placed contacts (often Freemasons), wining and dining with nobles of influence, and finally arranging an audience with the local monarch, in this case Charles III. When no doors opened for him, however, he could only roam across Spain, with little to show for it. In Barcelona, he escaped assassination and landed in jail for 6 weeks. His Spanish adventure a failure, he returned to France briefly, then to Italy. [81]

Return to Venice Edit

In Rome, Casanova had to prepare a way for his return to Venice. While waiting for supporters to gain him legal entry into Venice, Casanova began his modern Tuscan-Italian translation of the Iliad, his History of the Troubles in Poland, and a comic play. To ingratiate himself with the Venetian authorities, Casanova did some commercial spying for them. After months without a recall, however, he wrote a letter of appeal directly to the Inquisitors. At last, he received his long-sought permission and burst into tears upon reading "We, Inquisitors of State, for reasons known to us, give Giacomo Casanova a free safe-conduct . empowering him to come, go, stop, and return, hold communication wheresoever he pleases without let or hindrance. So is our will." Casanova was permitted to return to Venice in September 1774 after 18 years of exile. [82]

At first, his return to Venice was a cordial one and he was a celebrity. Even the Inquisitors wanted to hear how he had escaped from their prison. Of his three bachelor patrons, however, only Dandolo was still alive and Casanova was invited back to live with him. He received a small stipend from Dandolo and hoped to live from his writings, but that was not enough. He reluctantly became a spy again for Venice, paid by piece work, reporting on religion, morals, and commerce, most of it based on gossip and rumor he picked up from social contacts. [83] He was disappointed. No financial opportunities of interest came about and few doors opened for him in society as in the past.

At age 49, the years of reckless living and the thousands of miles of travel had taken their toll. Casanova's smallpox scars, sunken cheeks, and hook nose became all the more noticeable. His easygoing manner was now more guarded. Prince Charles de Ligne, a friend (and uncle of his future employer), described him around 1784:

He would be a good-looking man if he were not ugly he is tall and built like Hercules, but of an African tint eyes full of life and fire, but touchy, wary, rancorous—and this gives him a ferocious air. It is easier to put him in a rage than to make him gay. He laughs little, but makes others laugh. . He has a manner of saying things which reminds me of Harlequin or Figaro, and which makes them sound witty. [84]

Venice had changed for him. Casanova now had little money for gambling, few willing females worth pursuing, and few acquaintances to enliven his dull days. He heard of the death of his mother and, more paining, visited the deathbed of Bettina Gozzi, who had first introduced him to sex and who died in his arms. His Iliad was published in three volumes, but to limited subscribers and yielding little money. He got into a published dispute with Voltaire over religion. When he asked, "Suppose that you succeed in destroying superstition. With what will you replace it?" Voltaire shot back, "I like that. When I deliver humanity from a ferocious beast which devours it, can I be asked what I shall put in its place." From Casanova's point of view, if Voltaire had "been a proper philosopher, he would have kept silent on that subject . the people need to live in ignorance for the general peace of the nation". [85]

In 1779, Casanova found Francesca, an uneducated seamstress, who became his live-in lover and housekeeper, and who loved him devotedly. [86] Later that year, the Inquisitors put him on the payroll and sent him to investigate commerce between the papal states and Venice. Other publishing and theater ventures failed, primarily from lack of capital. In a downward spiral, Casanova was expelled again from Venice in 1783, after writing a vicious satire poking fun at Venetian nobility. In it, he made his only public statement that Grimani was his true father. [87]

Forced to resume his travels again, Casanova arrived in Paris, and in November 1783 met Benjamin Franklin while attending a presentation on aeronautics and the future of balloon transport. [88] For a while, Casanova served as secretary and pamphleteer to Sebastian Foscarini, Venetian ambassador in Vienna. He also became acquainted with Lorenzo Da Ponte, Mozart's librettist, who noted about Casanova, "This singular man never liked to be in the wrong." [89] Notes by Casanova indicate that he may have made suggestions to Da Ponte concerning the libretto for Mozart's Don Giovanni. [90]

Final years in Bohemia Edit

In 1785, after Foscarini died, Casanova began searching for another position. A few months later, he became the librarian to Count Joseph Karl von Waldstein, a chamberlain of the emperor, in the Castle of Dux, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). The Count—himself a Freemason, cabalist, and frequent traveler—had taken to Casanova when they had met a year earlier at Foscarini's residence. Although the job offered security and good pay, Casanova describes his last years as boring and frustrating, though it was the most productive time for writing. [91] His health had deteriorated dramatically, and he found life among peasants to be less than stimulating. He was only able to make occasional visits to Vienna and Dresden for relief. Although Casanova got on well with the Count, his employer was a much younger man with his own eccentricities. The Count often ignored him at meals and failed to introduce him to important visiting guests. Moreover, Casanova, the testy outsider, was thoroughly disliked by most of the other inhabitants of the Castle of Dux. Casanova's only friends seemed to be his fox terriers. In despair, Casanova considered suicide, but instead decided that he must live on to record his memoirs, which he did until his death. [92]

He visited Prague, the capital city and principal cultural center of Bohemia, on many occasions. In October 1787, he met Lorenzo da Ponte, the librettist of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, in Prague at the time of the opera's first production and likely met the composer, as well, at the same time. There is reason to believe that he was also in Prague in 1791 for the coronation of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II as king of Bohemia, an event that included the first production of Mozart's opera La clemenza di Tito. Casanova is known to have drafted dialogue suitable for a Don Juan drama at the time of his visit to Prague in 1787, but none of his verses were ever incorporated into Mozart's opera. His reaction to seeing licentious behavior similar to his own held up to moral scrutiny as it is in Mozart's opera is not recorded. [93]

In 1797, word arrived that the Republic of Venice had ceased to exist and that Napoleon Bonaparte had seized Casanova's home city. It was too late to return home. Casanova died on 4 June 1798 at the age of 73. His last words are said to have been "I have lived as a philosopher and I die as a Christian". [94] Casanova was buried at Dux (nowadays Duchcov in the Czech Republic), but the exact place of his grave was forgotten over the years, and remains unknown today.

The isolation and boredom of Casanova's last years enabled him to focus without distractions on his Histoire de ma vie, without which his fame would have been considerably diminished, if not blotted out entirely. He began to think about writing his memoirs around 1780 and began in earnest by 1789, as "the only remedy to keep from going mad or dying of grief". The first draft was completed by July 1792, and he spent the next six years revising it. He puts a happy face on his days of loneliness, writing in his work, "I can find no pleasanter pastime than to converse with myself about my own affairs and to provide a most worthy subject for laughter to my well-bred audience." [95] His memoirs were still being compiled at the time of his death, his account having reached only the summer of 1774. [96] A letter by him in 1792 states that he was reconsidering his decision to publish them, believing that his story was despicable and he would make enemies by writing the truth about his affairs, but he decided to proceed, using initials instead of actual names and toning down the strongest passages. [97] He wrote in French instead of Italian because "the French language is more widely known than mine". [98]

I begin by declaring to my reader that, by everything good or bad that I have done throughout my life, I am sure that I have earned merit or incurred guilt, and that hence I must consider myself a free agent. . Despite an excellent moral foundation, the inevitable fruit of the divine principles which were rooted in my heart, I was all my life the victim of my senses I have delighted in going astray and I have constantly lived in error, with no other consolation than that of knowing I have erred. . My follies are the follies of youth. You will see that I laugh at them, and if you are kind you will laugh at them with me. [99]

Casanova wrote about the purpose of his book:

I expect the friendship, the esteem, and the gratitude of my readers. Their gratitude, if reading my memoirs will have given instruction and pleasure. Their esteem if, doing me justice, they will have found that I have more virtues than faults and their friendship as soon as they come to find me deserving of it by the frankness and good faith with which I submit myself to their judgment without in any way disguising what I am. [100]

He also advises his readers that they "will not find all my adventures. I have left out those which would have offended the people who played a part in them, for they would cut a sorry figure in them. Even so, there are those who will sometimes think me too indiscreet I am sorry for it." [101] In the final chapter, the text abruptly breaks off with hints at adventures unrecorded: "Three years later I saw her in Padua, where I resumed my acquaintance with her daughter on far more tender terms." [102]

In their original publication, the memoirs were divided into twelve volumes, and the unabridged English translation by Willard R. Trask runs to more than 3,500 pages. Though his chronology is at times confusing and inaccurate, and many of his tales exaggerated, much of his narrative and many details are corroborated by contemporary writings. He has a good ear for dialogue and writes at length about all classes of society. [103] Casanova, for the most part, is candid about his faults, intentions, and motivations, and shares his successes and failures with good humor. [104] The confession is largely devoid of repentance or remorse. He celebrates the senses with his readers, especially regarding music, food, and women. "I have always liked highly seasoned food. . As for women, I have always found that the one I was in love with smelled good, and the more copious her sweat the sweeter I found it." [105] He mentions over 120 adventures with women and girls, with several veiled references to male lovers as well. [106] [107] He describes his duels and conflicts with scoundrels and officials, his entrapments and his escapes, his schemes and plots, his anguish and his sighs of pleasure. He demonstrates convincingly, "I can say vixi ('I have lived')." [95]

The manuscript of Casanova's memoirs was held by his relatives until it was sold to F. A. Brockhaus publishers, and first published in heavily abridged versions in German around 1822, then in French. During World War II, the manuscript survived the allied bombing of Leipzig. The memoirs were heavily pirated through the ages and have been translated into some twenty languages. But not until 1960 was the entire text published in its original language of French. [108] In 2010 the manuscript was acquired by the National Library of France, which has started digitizing it. [109]

For Casanova, as well as his contemporary sybarites of the upper class, love and sex tended to be casual and not endowed with the seriousness characteristic of the Romanticism of the 19th century. [110] Flirtations, bedroom games, and short-term liaisons were common among nobles who married for social connections rather than love.

Although multi-faceted and complex, Casanova's personality, as he described it, was dominated by his sensual urges: "Cultivating whatever gave pleasure to my senses was always the chief business of my life I never found any occupation more important. Feeling that I was born for the sex opposite of mine, I have always loved it and done all that I could to make myself loved by it." [105] He noted that he sometimes used "assurance caps" to prevent impregnating his mistresses. [111]

Casanova's ideal liaison had elements beyond sex, including complicated plots, heroes and villains, and gallant outcomes. In a pattern he often repeated, he would discover an attractive woman in trouble with a brutish or jealous lover (Act I) he would ameliorate her difficulty (Act II) she would show her gratitude he would seduce her a short exciting affair would ensue (Act III) feeling a loss of ardor or boredom setting in, he would plead his unworthiness and arrange for her marriage or pairing with a worthy man, then exit the scene (Act IV). [112] As William Bolitho points out in Twelve Against the Gods, the secret of Casanova's success with women "had nothing more esoteric in it than [offering] what every woman who respects herself must demand: all that he had, all that he was, with (to set off the lack of legality) the dazzling attraction of the lump sum over what is more regularly doled out in a lifetime of installments." [113]

Casanova advises, "There is no honest woman with an uncorrupted heart whom a man is not sure of conquering by dint of gratitude. It is one of the surest and shortest means." [114] Alcohol and violence, for him, were not proper tools of seduction. [115] Instead, attentiveness and small favors should be employed to soften a woman's heart, but "a man who makes known his love by words is a fool". Verbal communication is essential—"without speech, the pleasure of love is diminished by at least two-thirds"—but words of love must be implied, not boldly proclaimed. [114]

Casanova claimed to value intelligence in a woman: "After all, a beautiful woman without a mind of her own leaves her lover with no resource after he had physically enjoyed her charms." His attitude towards educated women, however, was an unfavorable one: "In a woman learning is out of place it compromises the essential qualities of her sex . no scientific discoveries have been made by women . (which) requires a vigor which the female sex cannot have. But in simple reasoning and in delicacy of feeling we must yield to women." [34]

Casanova's actions are understood by many in modern times to be predatory, despite his claims to contrary ("my guiding principle has been never to direct my attack against novices or those whose prejudices were likely to prove an obstacle") he frequently targeted young, insecure or emotionally exposed women. [116]

Despite detailing what was clearly an abduction and gang rape ("It was during one Carnival, midnight had struck, we were eight, all masked, roving through the city . "), Casanova convinced himself that the victim was willing. [117] He avoided easy conquests or overly difficult situations as not suitable for his purposes. [115]

Casanova writes that he stopped short of intercourse with a 13-year-old named Helene: "little Helene, whom I enjoyed, while leaving her intact." In 1765, when he was 40, he purchased a 12-year-old girl in St. Petersburg as a sexual slave. In the memoirs, he described the Russian girl as emphatically prepubescent: "Her breasts had still not finished budding. She was in her thirteenth year. She had nowhere the definitive mark of puberty." (III, 196–7 X, 116–17). In 1774, when he was almost 50, Casanova encountered in Trieste a former lover, the actress Irene, now accompanied by her nine-year-old daughter. "A few days later she came, with her daughter, who pleased me (qui me plut) and who did not reject my caresses. One fine day, she met with Baron Pittoni, who loved little girls as much as I did (aimant autant que moi les petites filles), and took a liking to Irene’s girl, and asked the mother to do him the same honor some time that she had done to me. I encouraged her to receive the offer, and the baron fell in love. This was lucky for Irene." (XII, 238). [118]

Gambling was a common recreation in the social and political circles in which Casanova moved. In his memoirs, Casanova discusses many forms of 18th-century gambling—including lotteries, faro, basset, piquet, biribi, primero, quinze, and whist—and the passion for it among the nobility and the high clergy. [119] Cheats (known as "correctors of fortune") were somewhat more tolerated than today in public casinos and in private games for invited players, and seldom caused affront. Most gamblers were on guard against cheaters and their tricks. Scams of all sorts were common, and Casanova was amused by them. [120]

Casanova gambled throughout his adult life, winning and losing large sums. He was tutored by professionals, and he was "instructed in those wise maxims without which games of chance ruin those who participate in them". He was not above occasionally cheating and at times even teamed with professional gamblers for his own profit. Casanova claims that he was "relaxed and smiling when I lost, and I won without covetousness". However, when outrageously duped himself, he could act violently, sometimes calling for a duel. [121] Casanova admits that he was not disciplined enough to be a professional gambler: "I had neither prudence enough to leave off when fortune was adverse, nor sufficient control over myself when I had won." [122] Nor did he like being considered as a professional gambler: "Nothing could ever be adduced by professional gamblers that I was of their infernal clique." [122] Although Casanova at times used gambling tactically and shrewdly—for making quick money, for flirting, making connections, acting gallantly, or proving himself a gentleman among his social superiors—his practice also could be compulsive and reckless, especially during the euphoria of a new sexual affair. "Why did I gamble when I felt the losses so keenly? What made me gamble was avarice. I loved to spend, and my heart bled when I could not do it with money won at cards." [123]

Casanova was recognized by his contemporaries as an extraordinary person, a man of far-ranging intellect and curiosity. [ citation needed ] Casanova has been recognized by posterity as one of the foremost chroniclers of his age. He was a true adventurer, traveling across Europe from end to end in search of fortune, seeking out the most prominent people of his time to help his cause. [ citation needed ] He was a servant of the establishment and equally decadent as his times, but also a participant in secret societies and a seeker of answers beyond the conventional. He was religious, a devout Catholic, and believed in prayer: "Despair kills prayer dissipates it and after praying man trusts and acts." Along with prayer he also believed in free will and reason, but clearly did not subscribe to the notion that pleasure-seeking would keep him from heaven. [124]

He was, by vocation and avocation, a lawyer, clergyman, military officer, violinist, con man, pimp, gourmand, dancer, businessman, diplomat, spy, politician, medic, mathematician, social philosopher, cabalist, playwright, and writer. [ citation needed ] He wrote over twenty works, including plays and essays, and many letters. His novel Icosameron is an early work of science fiction. [106]

Born of actors, he had a passion for the theater and for an improvised, theatrical life, but with all his talents he frequently succumbed to the quest for pleasure and sex, often avoiding sustained work and established plans, and got himself into trouble when prudent action would have served him better. His true occupation was living largely on his quick wits, steely nerves, luck, social charm, and the money given to him in gratitude and by trickery. [125]

Prince Charles de Ligne, who understood Casanova well, and who knew most of the prominent individuals of the age, thought Casanova the most interesting man he had ever met: "there is nothing in the world of which he is not capable." Rounding out the portrait, the Prince also stated:

The only things about which he knows nothing are those which he believes himself to be expert: the rules of the dance, the French language, good taste, the way of the world, savoir vivre. It is only his comedies which are not funny, only his philosophical works which lack philosophy—all the rest are filled with it there is always something weighty, new, piquant, profound. He is a well of knowledge, but he quotes Homer and Horace ad nauseam. His wit and his sallies are like Attic salt. He is sensitive and generous, but displease him in the slightest and he is unpleasant, vindictive, and detestable. He believes in nothing except what is most incredible, being superstitious about everything. He loves and lusts after everything. . He is proud because he is nothing. . Never tell him you have heard the story he is going to tell you. . Never omit to greet him in passing, for the merest trifle will make him your enemy. [126]

"Casanova", like "Don Juan", is a long established term in the English language. According to Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., the noun Casanova means "Lover esp: a man who is a promiscuous and unscrupulous lover". The first usage of the term in written English was around 1852. References in culture to Casanova are numerous—in books, films, theater, and music.


Contents

Childhood and early education: 1818–1836

Karl Heinrich Marx was born on 5 May 1818 to Heinrich Marx (1777–1838) and Henriette Pressburg (1788–1863). He was born at Brückengasse 664 in Trier, an ancient city then part of the Kingdom of Prussia's Province of the Lower Rhine. [23] Marx' family was originally (non-religious) Jewish, but converted formally to Christianity in his early childhood. His maternal grandfather was a Dutch rabbi, while his paternal line had supplied Trier's rabbis since 1723, a role taken by his grandfather Meier Halevi Marx. [24] His father, as a child known as Herschel, was the first in the line to receive a secular education. He became a lawyer with a comfortably upper middle class income and the family owned a number of Moselle vineyards, in addition to his income as an attorney. Prior to his son's birth and after the abrogation of Jewish emancipation in the Rhineland, [25] Herschel converted from Judaism to join the state Evangelical Church of Prussia, taking on the German forename Heinrich over the Yiddish Herschel. [26]

Largely non-religious, Heinrich was a man of the Enlightenment, interested in the ideas of the philosophers Immanuel Kant and Voltaire. A classical liberal, he took part in agitation for a constitution and reforms in Prussia, which was then an absolute monarchy. [29] In 1815, Heinrich Marx began working as an attorney and in 1819 moved his family to a ten-room property near the Porta Nigra. [30] His wife, Henriette Pressburg, was a Dutch Jewish woman from a prosperous business family that later founded the company Philips Electronics. Her sister Sophie Pressburg (1797–1854) married Lion Philips (1794–1866) and was the grandmother of both Gerard and Anton Philips and great-grandmother to Frits Philips. Lion Philips was a wealthy Dutch tobacco manufacturer and industrialist, upon whom Karl and Jenny Marx would later often come to rely for loans while they were exiled in London. [31]

Little is known of Marx's childhood. [32] The third of nine children, he became the eldest son when his brother Moritz died in 1819. [33] Marx and his surviving siblings, Sophie, Hermann, Henriette, Louise, Emilie, and Caroline, were baptised into the Lutheran Church in August 1824, and their mother in November 1825. [34] Marx was privately educated by his father until 1830 when he entered Trier High School (Gymnasium zu Trier [de] ), whose headmaster, Hugo Wyttenbach, was a friend of his father. By employing many liberal humanists as teachers, Wyttenbach incurred the anger of the local conservative government. Subsequently, police raided the school in 1832 and discovered that literature espousing political liberalism was being distributed among the students. Considering the distribution of such material a seditious act, the authorities instituted reforms and replaced several staff during Marx's attendance. [35]

In October 1835 at the age of 17, Marx travelled to the University of Bonn wishing to study philosophy and literature, but his father insisted on law as a more practical field. [36] Due to a condition referred to as a "weak chest", [37] Marx was excused from military duty when he turned 18. While at the University at Bonn, Marx joined the Poets' Club, a group containing political radicals that were monitored by the police. [38] Marx also joined the Trier Tavern Club drinking society (German: Landsmannschaft der Treveraner) where many ideas were discussed and at one point he served as the club's co-president. [39] [40] Additionally, Marx was involved in certain disputes, some of which became serious: in August 1836 he took part in a duel with a member of the university's Borussian Korps. [41] Although his grades in the first term were good, they soon deteriorated, leading his father to force a transfer to the more serious and academic University of Berlin. [42]

Hegelianism and early journalism: 1836–1843

Spending summer and autumn 1836 in Trier, Marx became more serious about his studies and his life. He became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, an educated member of the petty nobility who had known Marx since childhood. As she had broken off her engagement with a young aristocrat to be with Marx, their relationship was socially controversial owing to the differences between their religious and class origins, but Marx befriended her father Ludwig von Westphalen (a liberal aristocrat) and later dedicated his doctoral thesis to him. [43] Seven years after their engagement, on 19 June 1843, they married in a Protestant church in Kreuznach. [44]

In October 1836, Marx arrived in Berlin, matriculating in the university's faculty of law and renting a room in the Mittelstrasse. [45] During the first term, Marx attended lectures of Eduard Gans (who represented the progressive Hegelian standpoint, elaborated on rational development in history by emphasising particularly its libertarian aspects, and the importance of social question) and of Karl von Savigny (who represented the Historical School of Law). [46] Although studying law, he was fascinated by philosophy and looked for a way to combine the two, believing that "without philosophy nothing could be accomplished". [47] Marx became interested in the recently deceased German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, whose ideas were then widely debated among European philosophical circles. [48] During a convalescence in Stralau, he joined the Doctor's Club (Doktorklub), a student group which discussed Hegelian ideas, and through them became involved with a group of radical thinkers known as the Young Hegelians in 1837. They gathered around Ludwig Feuerbach and Bruno Bauer, with Marx developing a particularly close friendship with Adolf Rutenberg. Like Marx, the Young Hegelians were critical of Hegel's metaphysical assumptions, but adopted his dialectical method to criticise established society, politics and religion from a leftist perspective. [49] Marx's father died in May 1838, resulting in a diminished income for the family. [50] Marx had been emotionally close to his father and treasured his memory after his death. [51]

By 1837, Marx was writing both fiction and non-fiction, having completed a short novel, Scorpion and Felix a drama, Oulanem as well as a number of love poems dedicated to Jenny von Westphalen. None of this early work was published during his lifetime. [52] The love poems were published posthumously in the Collected Works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: Volume 1. [53] Marx soon abandoned fiction for other pursuits, including the study of both English and Italian, art history and the translation of Latin classics. [54] He began co-operating with Bruno Bauer on editing Hegel's Philosophy of Religion in 1840. Marx was also engaged in writing his doctoral thesis, The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature, [55] which he completed in 1841. It was described as "a daring and original piece of work in which Marx set out to show that theology must yield to the superior wisdom of philosophy". [56] The essay was controversial, particularly among the conservative professors at the University of Berlin. Marx decided instead to submit his thesis to the more liberal University of Jena, whose faculty awarded him his Ph.D. in April 1841. [2] [57] As Marx and Bauer were both atheists, in March 1841 they began plans for a journal entitled Archiv des Atheismus (Atheistic Archives), but it never came to fruition. In July, Marx and Bauer took a trip to Bonn from Berlin. There they scandalised their class by getting drunk, laughing in church and galloping through the streets on donkeys. [58]

Marx was considering an academic career, but this path was barred by the government's growing opposition to classical liberalism and the Young Hegelians. [59] Marx moved to Cologne in 1842, where he became a journalist, writing for the radical newspaper Rheinische Zeitung (Rhineland News), expressing his early views on socialism and his developing interest in economics. Marx criticised right-wing European governments as well as figures in the liberal and socialist movements, whom he thought ineffective or counter-productive. [60] The newspaper attracted the attention of the Prussian government censors, who checked every issue for seditious material before printing, as Marx lamented: "Our newspaper has to be presented to the police to be sniffed at, and if the police nose smells anything un-Christian or un-Prussian, the newspaper is not allowed to appear". [61] After the Rheinische Zeitung published an article strongly criticising the Russian monarchy, Tsar Nicholas I requested it be banned and Prussia's government complied in 1843. [62]

Paris: 1843–1845

In 1843, Marx became co-editor of a new, radical leftist Parisian newspaper, the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher (German-French Annals), then being set up by the German activist Arnold Ruge to bring together German and French radicals. [63] Therefore Marx and his wife moved to Paris in October 1843. Initially living with Ruge and his wife communally at 23 Rue Vaneau, they found the living conditions difficult, so moved out following the birth of their daughter Jenny in 1844. [64] Although intended to attract writers from both France and the German states, the Jahrbücher was dominated by the latter and the only non-German writer was the exiled Russian anarchist collectivist Mikhail Bakunin. [65] Marx contributed two essays to the paper, "Introduction to a Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right" [66] and "On the Jewish Question", [67] the latter introducing his belief that the proletariat were a revolutionary force and marking his embrace of communism. [68] Only one issue was published, but it was relatively successful, largely owing to the inclusion of Heinrich Heine's satirical odes on King Ludwig of Bavaria, leading the German states to ban it and seize imported copies (Ruge nevertheless refused to fund the publication of further issues and his friendship with Marx broke down). [69] After the paper's collapse, Marx began writing for the only uncensored German-language radical newspaper left, Vorwärts! (Forward!). Based in Paris, the paper was connected to the League of the Just, a utopian socialist secret society of workers and artisans. Marx attended some of their meetings but did not join. [70] In Vorwärts!, Marx refined his views on socialism based upon Hegelian and Feuerbachian ideas of dialectical materialism, at the same time criticising liberals and other socialists operating in Europe. [71]

On 28 August 1844, Marx met the German socialist Friedrich Engels at the Café de la Régence, beginning a lifelong friendship. [72] Engels showed Marx his recently published The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, [73] [74] convincing Marx that the working class would be the agent and instrument of the final revolution in history. [75] [76] Soon, Marx and Engels were collaborating on a criticism of the philosophical ideas of Marx's former friend, Bruno Bauer. This work was published in 1845 as The Holy Family. [77] [78] Although critical of Bauer, Marx was increasingly influenced by the ideas of the Young Hegelians Max Stirner and Ludwig Feuerbach, but eventually Marx and Engels abandoned Feuerbachian materialism as well. [79]

During the time that he lived at 38 Rue Vaneau in Paris (from October 1843 until January 1845), [80] Marx engaged in an intensive study of political economy (Adam Smith, David Ricardo, James Mill, etc.), [81] the French socialists (especially Claude Henri St. Simon and Charles Fourier) [82] and the history of France. [83] The study of political economy is a study that Marx would pursue for the rest of his life [84] and would result in his major economic work—the three-volume series called Das Kapital. [85] Marxism is based in large part on three influences: Hegel's dialectics, French utopian socialism and English economics. Together with his earlier study of Hegel's dialectics, the studying that Marx did during this time in Paris meant that all major components of "Marxism" were in place by the autumn of 1844. [86] Marx was constantly being pulled away from his study of political economy—not only by the usual daily demands of the time, but additionally by editing a radical newspaper and later by organising and directing the efforts of a political party during years of potentially revolutionary popular uprisings of the citizenry. Still Marx was always drawn back to his economic studies: he sought "to understand the inner workings of capitalism". [83]

An outline of "Marxism" had definitely formed in the mind of Karl Marx by late 1844. Indeed, many features of the Marxist view of the world's political economy had been worked out in great detail, but Marx needed to write down all of the details of his economic world view to further clarify the new economic theory in his own mind. [87] Accordingly, Marx wrote The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts. [88] These manuscripts covered numerous topics, detailing Marx's concept of alienated labour. [89] However, by the spring of 1845 his continued study of political economy, capital and capitalism had led Marx to the belief that the new political economic theory that he was espousing – scientific socialism – needed to be built on the base of a thoroughly developed materialistic view of the world. [90]

The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 had been written between April and August 1844, but soon Marx recognised that the Manuscripts had been influenced by some inconsistent ideas of Ludwig Feuerbach. Accordingly, Marx recognised the need to break with Feuerbach's philosophy in favour of historical materialism, thus a year later (in April 1845) after moving from Paris to Brussels, Marx wrote his eleven "Theses on Feuerbach". [91] The "Theses on Feuerbach" are best known for Thesis 11, which states that "philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point is to change it". [89] [92] This work contains Marx's criticism of materialism (for being contemplative), idealism (for reducing practice to theory), and, overall, philosophy (for putting abstract reality above the physical world). [89] It thus introduced the first glimpse at Marx's historical materialism, an argument that the world is changed not by ideas but by actual, physical, material activity and practice. [89] [93] In 1845, after receiving a request from the Prussian king, the French government shut down Vorwärts!, with the interior minister, François Guizot, expelling Marx from France. [94] At this point, Marx moved from Paris to Brussels, where Marx hoped to once again continue his study of capitalism and political economy.

Brussels: 1845–1848

Unable either to stay in France or to move to Germany, Marx decided to emigrate to Brussels in Belgium in February 1845. However, to stay in Belgium he had to pledge not to publish anything on the subject of contemporary politics. [94] In Brussels, Marx associated with other exiled socialists from across Europe, including Moses Hess, Karl Heinzen and Joseph Weydemeyer. In April 1845, Engels moved from Barmen in Germany to Brussels to join Marx and the growing cadre of members of the League of the Just now seeking home in Brussels. [94] [95] Later, Mary Burns, Engels' long-time companion, left Manchester, England to join Engels in Brussels. [96]

In mid-July 1845, Marx and Engels left Brussels for England to visit the leaders of the Chartists, a working-class movement in Britain. This was Marx's first trip to England and Engels was an ideal guide for the trip. Engels had already spent two years living in Manchester from November 1842 [97] to August 1844. [98] Not only did Engels already know the English language, [99] he had also developed a close relationship with many Chartist leaders. [99] Indeed, Engels was serving as a reporter for many Chartist and socialist English newspapers. [99] Marx used the trip as an opportunity to examine the economic resources available for study in various libraries in London and Manchester. [100]

In collaboration with Engels, Marx also set about writing a book which is often seen as his best treatment of the concept of historical materialism, The German Ideology. [101] In this work, Marx broke with Ludwig Feuerbach, Bruno Bauer, Max Stirner and the rest of the Young Hegelians, while he also broke with Karl Grün and other "true socialists" whose philosophies were still based in part on "idealism". In German Ideology, Marx and Engels finally completed their philosophy, which was based solely on materialism as the sole motor force in history. [102] German Ideology is written in a humorously satirical form, but even this satirical form did not save the work from censorship. Like so many other early writings of his, German Ideology would not be published in Marx's lifetime and would be published only in 1932. [89] [103] [104]

After completing German Ideology, Marx turned to a work that was intended to clarify his own position regarding "the theory and tactics" of a truly "revolutionary proletarian movement" operating from the standpoint of a truly "scientific materialist" philosophy. [105] This work was intended to draw a distinction between the utopian socialists and Marx's own scientific socialist philosophy. Whereas the utopians believed that people must be persuaded one person at a time to join the socialist movement, the way a person must be persuaded to adopt any different belief, Marx knew that people would tend, on most occasions, to act in accordance with their own economic interests, thus appealing to an entire class (the working class in this case) with a broad appeal to the class's best material interest would be the best way to mobilise the broad mass of that class to make a revolution and change society. This was the intent of the new book that Marx was planning, but to get the manuscript past the government censors he called the book The Poverty of Philosophy (1847) [106] and offered it as a response to the "petty-bourgeois philosophy" of the French anarchist socialist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon as expressed in his book The Philosophy of Poverty (1840). [107]

These books laid the foundation for Marx and Engels's most famous work, a political pamphlet that has since come to be commonly known as The Communist Manifesto. While residing in Brussels in 1846, Marx continued his association with the secret radical organisation League of the Just. [108] As noted above, Marx thought the League to be just the sort of radical organisation that was needed to spur the working class of Europe toward the mass movement that would bring about a working-class revolution. [109] However, to organise the working class into a mass movement the League had to cease its "secret" or "underground" orientation and operate in the open as a political party. [110] Members of the League eventually became persuaded in this regard. Accordingly, in June 1847 the League was reorganised by its membership into a new open "above ground" political society that appealed directly to the working classes. [111] This new open political society was called the Communist League. [112] Both Marx and Engels participated in drawing up the programme and organisational principles of the new Communist League. [113]

In late 1847, Marx and Engels began writing what was to become their most famous work – a programme of action for the Communist League. Written jointly by Marx and Engels from December 1847 to January 1848, The Communist Manifesto was first published on 21 February 1848. [114] The Communist Manifesto laid out the beliefs of the new Communist League. No longer a secret society, the Communist League wanted to make aims and intentions clear to the general public rather than hiding its beliefs as the League of the Just had been doing. [115] The opening lines of the pamphlet set forth the principal basis of Marxism: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles". [116] It goes on to examine the antagonisms that Marx claimed were arising in the clashes of interest between the bourgeoisie (the wealthy capitalist class) and the proletariat (the industrial working class). Proceeding on from this, the Manifesto presents the argument for why the Communist League, as opposed to other socialist and liberal political parties and groups at the time, was truly acting in the interests of the proletariat to overthrow capitalist society and to replace it with socialism. [117]

Later that year, Europe experienced a series of protests, rebellions, and often violent upheavals that became known as the Revolutions of 1848. [118] In France, a revolution led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the French Second Republic. [118] Marx was supportive of such activity and having recently received a substantial inheritance from his father (withheld by his uncle Lionel Philips since his father's death in 1838) of either 6,000 [119] or 5,000 francs [120] [121] he allegedly used a third of it to arm Belgian workers who were planning revolutionary action. [121] Although the veracity of these allegations is disputed, [119] [122] the Belgian Ministry of Justice accused Marx of it, subsequently arresting him and he was forced to flee back to France, where with a new republican government in power he believed that he would be safe. [121] [123]

Cologne: 1848–1849

Temporarily settling down in Paris, Marx transferred the Communist League executive headquarters to the city and also set up a German Workers' Club with various German socialists living there. [124] Hoping to see the revolution spread to Germany, in 1848 Marx moved back to Cologne where he began issuing a handbill entitled the Demands of the Communist Party in Germany, [125] in which he argued for only four of the ten points of the Communist Manifesto, believing that in Germany at that time the bourgeoisie must overthrow the feudal monarchy and aristocracy before the proletariat could overthrow the bourgeoisie. [126] On 1 June, Marx started the publication of a daily newspaper, the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, which he helped to finance through his recent inheritance from his father. Designed to put forward news from across Europe with his own Marxist interpretation of events, the newspaper featured Marx as a primary writer and the dominant editorial influence. Despite contributions by fellow members of the Communist League, according to Friedrich Engels it remained "a simple dictatorship by Marx". [127] [128] [129]

Whilst editor of the paper, Marx and the other revolutionary socialists were regularly harassed by the police and Marx was brought to trial on several occasions, facing various allegations including insulting the Chief Public Prosecutor, committing a press misdemeanor and inciting armed rebellion through tax boycotting, [130] [131] [132] [133] although each time he was acquitted. [131] [133] [134] Meanwhile, the democratic parliament in Prussia collapsed and the king, Frederick William IV, introduced a new cabinet of his reactionary supporters, who implemented counter-revolutionary measures to expunge leftist and other revolutionary elements from the country. [130] Consequently, the Neue Rheinische Zeitung was soon suppressed and Marx was ordered to leave the country on 16 May. [129] [135] Marx returned to Paris, which was then under the grip of both a reactionary counter-revolution and a cholera epidemic, and was soon expelled by the city authorities, who considered him a political threat. With his wife Jenny expecting their fourth child and not able to move back to Germany or Belgium, in August 1849 he sought refuge in London. [136] [137]

Move to London and further writing: 1850–1860

Marx moved to London in early June 1849 and would remain based in the city for the rest of his life. The headquarters of the Communist League also moved to London. However, in the winter of 1849–1850, a split within the ranks of the Communist League occurred when a faction within it led by August Willich and Karl Schapper began agitating for an immediate uprising. Willich and Schapper believed that once the Communist League had initiated the uprising, the entire working class from across Europe would rise "spontaneously" to join it, thus creating revolution across Europe. Marx and Engels protested that such an unplanned uprising on the part of the Communist League was "adventuristic" and would be suicide for the Communist League. [138] Such an uprising as that recommended by the Schapper/Willich group would easily be crushed by the police and the armed forces of the reactionary governments of Europe. Marx maintained that this would spell doom for the Communist League itself, arguing that changes in society are not achieved overnight through the efforts and will power of a handful of men. [138] They are instead brought about through a scientific analysis of economic conditions of society and by moving toward revolution through different stages of social development. In the present stage of development (circa 1850), following the defeat of the uprisings across Europe in 1848 he felt that the Communist League should encourage the working class to unite with progressive elements of the rising bourgeoisie to defeat the feudal aristocracy on issues involving demands for governmental reforms, such as a constitutional republic with freely elected assemblies and universal (male) suffrage. In other words, the working class must join with bourgeois and democratic forces to bring about the successful conclusion of the bourgeois revolution before stressing the working class agenda and a working-class revolution.

After a long struggle that threatened to ruin the Communist League, Marx's opinion prevailed and eventually, the Willich/Schapper group left the Communist League. Meanwhile, Marx also became heavily involved with the socialist German Workers' Educational Society. [139] The Society held their meetings in Great Windmill Street, Soho, central London's entertainment district. [140] [141] This organisation was also racked by an internal struggle between its members, some of whom followed Marx while others followed the Schapper/Willich faction. The issues in this internal split were the same issues raised in the internal split within the Communist League, but Marx lost the fight with the Schapper/Willich faction within the German Workers' Educational Society and on 17 September 1850 resigned from the Society. [142]

New-York Daily Tribune and journalism

In the early period in London, Marx committed himself almost exclusively to his studies, such that his family endured extreme poverty. [143] [144] His main source of income was Engels, whose own source was his wealthy industrialist father. [144] In Prussia as editor of his own newspaper, and contributor to others ideologically aligned, Marx could reach his audience, the working classes. In London, without finances to run a newspaper themselves, he and Engels turned to international journalism. At one stage they were being published by six newspapers from England, the United States, Prussia, Austria, and South Africa. [145] Marx's principal earnings came from his work as European correspondent, from 1852 to 1862, for the New-York Daily Tribune, [146] : 17 and from also producing articles for more "bourgeois" newspapers. Marx had his articles translated from German by Wilhelm Pieper [de] , until his proficiency in English had become adequate. [147]

The New-York Daily Tribune had been founded in April 1841 by Horace Greeley. [148] Its editorial board contained progressive bourgeois journalists and publishers, among them George Ripley and the journalist Charles Dana, who was editor-in-chief. Dana, a fourierist and an abolitionist, was Marx's contact. The Tribune was a vehicle for Marx to reach a transatlantic public, such as for his "hidden warfare" against Henry Charles Carey. [149] The journal had wide working-class appeal from its foundation at two cents, it was inexpensive [150] and, with about 50,000 copies per issue, its circulation was the widest in the United States. [146] : 14 Its editorial ethos was progressive and its anti-slavery stance reflected Greeley's. [146] : 82 Marx's first article for the paper, on the British parliamentary elections, was published on 21 August 1852. [151]

On 21 March 1857, Dana informed Marx that due to the economic recession only one article a week would be paid for, published or not the others would be paid for only if published. Marx had sent his articles on Tuesdays and Fridays, but, that October, the Tribune discharged all its correspondents in Europe except Marx and B. Taylor, and reduced Marx to a weekly article. Between September and November 1860, only five were published. After a six-month interval, Marx resumed contributions from September 1861 until March 1862, when Dana wrote to inform him that there was no longer space in the Tribune for reports from London, due to American domestic affairs. [152] In 1868, Dana set up a rival newspaper, the New York Sun, at which he was editor-in-chief. [153] In April 1857, Dana invited Marx to contribute articles, mainly on military history, to the New American Cyclopedia, an idea of George Ripley, Dana's friend and literary editor of the Tribune. In all, 67 Marx-Engels articles were published, of which 51 were written by Engels, although Marx did some research for them in the British Museum. [154] By the late 1850s, American popular interest in European affairs waned and Marx's articles turned to topics such as the "slavery crisis" and the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 in the "War Between the States". [155] Between December 1851 and March 1852, Marx worked on his theoretical work about the French Revolution of 1848, titled The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. [156] In this he explored concepts in historical materialism, class struggle, dictatorship of the proletariat, and victory of the proletariat over the bourgeois state. [157]

The 1850s and 1860s may be said to mark a philosophical boundary distinguishing the young Marx's Hegelian idealism and the more mature Marx's [158] [159] [160] [161] scientific ideology associated with structural Marxism. [161] However, not all scholars accept this distinction. [160] [162] For Marx and Engels, their experience of the Revolutions of 1848 to 1849 were formative in the development of their theory of economics and historical progression. After the "failures" of 1848, the revolutionary impetus appeared spent and not to be renewed without an economic recession. Contention arose between Marx and his fellow communists, whom he denounced as "adventurists". Marx deemed it fanciful to propose that "will power" could be sufficient to create the revolutionary conditions when in reality the economic component was the necessary requisite. The recession in the United States' economy in 1852 gave Marx and Engels grounds for optimism for revolutionary activity, yet this economy was seen as too immature for a capitalist revolution. Open territories on America's western frontier dissipated the forces of social unrest. Moreover, any economic crisis arising in the United States would not lead to revolutionary contagion of the older economies of individual European nations, which were closed systems bounded by their national borders. When the so-called Panic of 1857 in the United States spread globally, it broke all economic theory models, and was the first truly global economic crisis. [163]

Financial necessity had forced Marx to abandon economic studies in 1844 and give thirteen years to working on other projects. He had always sought to return to economics. [ citation needed ]

First International and Das Kapital

Marx continued to write articles for the New York Daily Tribune as long as he was sure that the Tribune ' s editorial policy was still progressive. However, the departure of Charles Dana from the paper in late 1861 and the resultant change in the editorial board brought about a new editorial policy. [164] No longer was the Tribune to be a strong abolitionist paper dedicated to a complete Union victory. The new editorial board supported an immediate peace between the Union and the Confederacy in the Civil War in the United States with slavery left intact in the Confederacy. Marx strongly disagreed with this new political position and in 1863 was forced to withdraw as a writer for the Tribune. [165]

In 1864, Marx became involved in the International Workingmen's Association (also known as the First International), [131] to whose General Council he was elected at its inception in 1864. [166] In that organisation, Marx was involved in the struggle against the anarchist wing centred on Mikhail Bakunin (1814–1876). [144] Although Marx won this contest, the transfer of the seat of the General Council from London to New York in 1872, which Marx supported, led to the decline of the International. [167] The most important political event during the existence of the International was the Paris Commune of 1871 when the citizens of Paris rebelled against their government and held the city for two months. In response to the bloody suppression of this rebellion, Marx wrote one of his most famous pamphlets, "The Civil War in France", a defence of the Commune. [168] [169]

Given the repeated failures and frustrations of workers' revolutions and movements, Marx also sought to understand capitalism and spent a great deal of time in the reading room of the British Museum studying and reflecting on the works of political economists and on economic data. [170] By 1857, Marx had accumulated over 800 pages of notes and short essays on capital, landed property, wage labour, the state, and foreign trade, and the world market, though this work did not appear in print until 1939 under the title Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy. [171] [172] [173]

In 1859, Marx published A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, [174] his first serious economic work. This work was intended merely as a preview of his three-volume Das Kapital (English title: Capital: Critique of Political Economy), which he intended to publish at a later date. In A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Marx expands on the labour theory of value advocated by David Ricardo. The work was enthusiastically received, and the edition sold out quickly. [175]

The successful sales of A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy stimulated Marx in the early 1860s to finish work on the three large volumes that would compose his major life's work – Das Kapital and the Theories of Surplus Value, which discussed the theoreticians of political economy, particularly Adam Smith and David Ricardo. [144] Theories of Surplus Value is often referred to as the fourth volume of Das Kapital and constitutes one of the first comprehensive treatises on the history of economic thought. [176] In 1867, the first volume of Das Kapital was published, a work which analysed the capitalist process of production. [177] Here Marx elaborated his labour theory of value, which had been influenced by Thomas Hodgskin. Marx acknowledged Hodgskin's "admirable work" Labour Defended against the Claims of Capital at more than one point in Das Kapital. [178] Indeed, Marx quoted Hodgskin as recognising the alienation of labour that occurred under modern capitalist production. No longer was there any "natural reward of individual labour. Each labourer produces only some part of a whole, and each part having no value or utility of itself, there is nothing on which the labourer can seize, and say: 'This is my product, this will I keep to myself'". [179] In this first volume of Das Kapital, Marx outlined his conception of surplus value and exploitation, which he argued would ultimately lead to a falling rate of profit and the collapse of industrial capitalism. [180] Demand for a Russian language edition of Das Kapital soon led to the printing of 3,000 copies of the book in the Russian language, which was published on 27 March 1872. By the autumn of 1871, the entire first edition of the German-language edition of Das Kapital had been sold out and a second edition was published.

Volumes II and III of Das Kapital remained mere manuscripts upon which Marx continued to work for the rest of his life. Both volumes were published by Engels after Marx's death. [144] Volume II of Das Kapital was prepared and published by Engels in July 1893 under the name Capital II: The Process of Circulation of Capital. [181] Volume III of Das Kapital was published a year later in October 1894 under the name Capital III: The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole. [182] Theories of Surplus Value derived from the sprawling Economic Manuscripts of 1861–1863, a second draft for Das Kapital, the latter spanning volumes 30–34 of the Collected Works of Marx and Engels. Specifically, Theories of Surplus Value runs from the latter part of the Collected Works' thirtieth volume through the end of their thirty-second volume [183] [184] [185] meanwhile, the larger Economic Manuscripts of 1861–1863 run from the start of the Collected Works' thirtieth volume through the first half of their thirty-fourth volume. The latter half of the Collected Works' thirty-fourth volume consists of the surviving fragments of the Economic Manuscripts of 1863–1864, which represented a third draft for Das Kapital, and a large portion of which is included as an appendix to the Penguin edition of Das Kapital, volume I. [186] A German-language abridged edition of Theories of Surplus Value was published in 1905 and in 1910. This abridged edition was translated into English and published in 1951 in London, but the complete unabridged edition of Theories of Surplus Value was published as the "fourth volume" of Das Kapital in 1963 and 1971 in Moscow. [187]

During the last decade of his life, Marx's health declined and he became incapable of the sustained effort that had characterised his previous work. [144] He did manage to comment substantially on contemporary politics, particularly in Germany and Russia. His Critique of the Gotha Programme opposed the tendency of his followers Wilhelm Liebknecht and August Bebel to compromise with the state socialism of Ferdinand Lassalle in the interests of a united socialist party. [144] This work is also notable for another famous Marx quote: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need". [188]

In a letter to Vera Zasulich dated 8 March 1881, Marx contemplated the possibility of Russia's bypassing the capitalist stage of development and building communism on the basis of the common ownership of land characteristic of the village mir. [144] [189] While admitting that Russia's rural "commune is the fulcrum of social regeneration in Russia", Marx also warned that in order for the mir to operate as a means for moving straight to the socialist stage without a preceding capitalist stage it "would first be necessary to eliminate the deleterious influences which are assailing it (the rural commune) from all sides". [190] Given the elimination of these pernicious influences, Marx allowed that "normal conditions of spontaneous development" of the rural commune could exist. [190] However, in the same letter to Vera Zasulich he points out that "at the core of the capitalist system . lies the complete separation of the producer from the means of production". [190] In one of the drafts of this letter, Marx reveals his growing passion for anthropology, motivated by his belief that future communism would be a return on a higher level to the communism of our prehistoric past. He wrote that "the historical trend of our age is the fatal crisis which capitalist production has undergone in the European and American countries where it has reached its highest peak, a crisis that will end in its destruction, in the return of modern society to a higher form of the most archaic type – collective production and appropriation". He added that "the vitality of primitive communities was incomparably greater than that of Semitic, Greek, Roman, etc. societies, and, a fortiori, that of modern capitalist societies". [191] Before he died, Marx asked Engels to write up these ideas, which were published in 1884 under the title The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.

Family

Marx and von Westphalen had seven children together, but partly owing to the poor conditions in which they lived whilst in London, only three survived to adulthood. [192] The children were: Jenny Caroline (m. Longuet 1844–1883) Jenny Laura (m. Lafargue 1845–1911) Edgar (1847–1855) Henry Edward Guy ("Guido" 1849–1850) Jenny Eveline Frances ("Franziska" 1851–1852) Jenny Julia Eleanor (1855–1898) and one more who died before being named (July 1857). According to his son-in-law, Paul Lafargue, Marx was a loving father. [193] In 1962, there were allegations that Marx fathered a son, Freddy, [194] out of wedlock by his housekeeper, Helene Demuth, [195] but the claim is disputed for lack of documented evidence. [196]

Marx frequently used pseudonyms, often when renting a house or flat, apparently to make it harder for the authorities to track him down. While in Paris, he used that of "Monsieur Ramboz", whilst in London, he signed off his letters as "A. Williams". His friends referred to him as "Moor", owing to his dark complexion and black curly hair, while he encouraged his children to call him "Old Nick" and "Charley". [197] He also bestowed nicknames and pseudonyms on his friends and family as well, referring to Friedrich Engels as "General", his housekeeper Helene as "Lenchen" or "Nym", while one of his daughters, Jennychen, was referred to as "Qui Qui, Emperor of China" and another, Laura, was known as "Kakadou" or "the Hottentot". [197]

Health

Although Marx had drunk alcohol before he joined the Trier Tavern Club drinking society in the 1830s [ when? ] , after he had joined the club he began to drink more heavily and continued to do so throughout his whole life. [40]

Marx was afflicted by poor health (what he himself described as "the wretchedness of existence") [198] and various authors have sought to describe and explain it. His biographer Werner Blumenberg attributed it to liver and gall problems which Marx had in 1849 and from which he was never afterward free, exacerbated by an unsuitable lifestyle. The attacks often came with headaches, eye inflammation, neuralgia in the head, and rheumatic pains. A serious nervous disorder appeared in 1877 and protracted insomnia was a consequence, which Marx fought with narcotics. The illness was aggravated by excessive nocturnal work and faulty diet. Marx was fond of highly seasoned dishes, smoked fish, caviare, pickled cucumbers, "none of which are good for liver patients", but he also liked wine and liqueurs and smoked an enormous amount "and since he had no money, it was usually bad-quality cigars". From 1863, Marx complained a lot about boils: "These are very frequent with liver patients and may be due to the same causes". [199] The abscesses were so bad that Marx could neither sit nor work upright. According to Blumenberg, Marx's irritability is often found in liver patients:

The illness emphasised certain traits in his character. He argued cuttingly, his biting satire did not shrink at insults, and his expressions could be rude and cruel. Though in general Marx had blind faith in his closest friends, nevertheless he himself complained that he was sometimes too mistrustful and unjust even to them. His verdicts, not only about enemies but even about friends, were sometimes so harsh that even less sensitive people would take offence . There must have been few whom he did not criticize like this . not even Engels was an exception. [200]

According to Princeton historian J.E. Seigel, in his late teens, Marx may have had pneumonia or pleurisy, the effects of which led to his being exempted from Prussian military service. In later life whilst working on Das Kapital (which he never completed), [201] Marx suffered from a trio of afflictions. A liver ailment, probably hereditary, was aggravated by overwork, a bad diet, and lack of sleep. Inflammation of the eyes was induced by too much work at night. A third affliction, eruption of carbuncles or boils, "was probably brought on by general physical debility to which the various features of Marx's style of life – alcohol, tobacco, poor diet, and failure to sleep – all contributed. Engels often exhorted Marx to alter this dangerous regime". In Professor Siegel's thesis, what lay behind this punishing sacrifice of his health may have been guilt about self-involvement and egoism, originally induced in Karl Marx by his father. [202]

In 2007, a retrodiagnosis of Marx's skin disease was made by dermatologist Sam Shuster of Newcastle University and for Shuster, the most probable explanation was that Marx suffered not from liver problems, but from hidradenitis suppurativa, a recurring infective condition arising from blockage of apocrine ducts opening into hair follicles. This condition, which was not described in the English medical literature until 1933 (hence would not have been known to Marx's physicians), can produce joint pain (which could be misdiagnosed as rheumatic disorder) and painful eye conditions. To arrive at his retrodiagnosis, Shuster considered the primary material: the Marx correspondence published in the 50 volumes of the Marx/Engels Collected Works. There, "although the skin lesions were called 'furuncles', 'boils' and 'carbuncles' by Marx, his wife, and his physicians, they were too persistent, recurrent, destructive and site-specific for that diagnosis". The sites of the persistent 'carbuncles' were noted repeatedly in the armpits, groins, perianal, genital (penis and scrotum) and suprapubic regions and inner thighs, "favoured sites of hidradenitis suppurativa". Professor Shuster claimed the diagnosis "can now be made definitively". [203]

Shuster went on to consider the potential psychosocial effects of the disease, noting that the skin is an organ of communication and that hidradenitis suppurativa produces much psychological distress, including loathing and disgust and depression of self-image, mood, and well-being, feelings for which Shuster found "much evidence" in the Marx correspondence. Professor Shuster went on to ask himself whether the mental effects of the disease affected Marx's work and even helped him to develop his theory of alienation. [204]

Death

Following the death of his wife Jenny in December 1881, Marx developed a catarrh that kept him in ill health for the last 15 months of his life. It eventually brought on the bronchitis and pleurisy that killed him in London on 14 March 1883, when he died a stateless person at age 64. [205] Family and friends in London buried his body in Highgate Cemetery (East), London, on 17 March 1883 in an area reserved for agnostics and atheists (George Eliot's grave is nearby). According to Francis Wheen there were between nine and eleven mourners at his funeral, [206] [207] however research from contemporary sources identifies thirteen named individuals attending the funeral. They were, Friedrich Engels, Eleanor Marx, Edward Aveling, Paul Lafargue, Charles Longuet, Helene Demuth, Wilhelm Liebknecht, Gottlieb Lemke, Frederick Lessner, G Lochner, Sir Ray Lankester, Carl Schorlemmer and Ernest Radford. [208] A contemporary newspaper account claims that 25 to 30 relatives and friends attended the funeral. [209] A writer in The Graphic noted that 'By a strange blunder . his death was not announced for two days, and then as having taken place at Paris. The next day the correction came from Paris and when his friends and followers hastened to his house in Haverstock Hill, to learn the time and place of burial, they learned that he was already in the cold ground. But for this secresy [sic] and haste, a great popular demonstration would undoubtedly have been held over his grave'. [210]

Several of his closest friends spoke at his funeral, including Wilhelm Liebknecht and Friedrich Engels. Engels' speech included the passage:

On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep – but forever. [211]

Marx's surviving daughters Eleanor and Laura, as well as Charles Longuet and Paul Lafargue, Marx's two French socialist sons-in-law, were also in attendance. [207] He had been predeceased by his wife and his eldest daughter, the latter dying a few months earlier in January 1883. Liebknecht, a founder and leader of the German Social Democratic Party, gave a speech in German and Longuet, a prominent figure in the French working-class movement, made a short statement in French. [207] Two telegrams from workers' parties in France and Spain [ which? ] were also read out. [207] Together with Engels's speech, this constituted the entire programme of the funeral. [207] Non-relatives attending the funeral included three communist associates of Marx: Friedrich Lessner, imprisoned for three years after the Cologne Communist Trial of 1852 G. Lochner, whom Engels described as "an old member of the Communist League" and Carl Schorlemmer, a professor of chemistry in Manchester, a member of the Royal Society and a communist activist involved in the 1848 Baden revolution. [207] Another attendee of the funeral was Ray Lankester, a British zoologist who would later become a prominent academic. [207]

Marx left a personal estate valued for probate at £250 (equivalent to £25,365 in 2019 [212] ). [213] Upon his own death in 1895, Engels left Marx's two surviving daughters a "significant portion" of his considerable estate (valued in 2011 at US$4.8 million). [194]

Marx and his family were reburied on a new site nearby in November 1954. The tomb at the new site, unveiled on 14 March 1956, [214] bears the carved message: "Workers of All Lands Unite", the final line of The Communist Manifesto and, from the 11th "Thesis on Feuerbach" (as edited by Engels), "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways—the point however is to change it". [215] The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) had the monument with a portrait bust by Laurence Bradshaw erected and Marx's original tomb had only humble adornment. [215] Black civil rights leader and CPGB activist Claudia Jones was later buried beside Karl Marx's tomb.

The Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm remarked: "One cannot say Marx died a failure" because although he had not achieved a large following of disciples in Britain, his writings had already begun to make an impact on the leftist movements in Germany and Russia. Within 25 years of his death, the continental European socialist parties that acknowledged Marx's influence on their politics were each gaining between 15 and 47 percent in those countries with representative democratic elections. [216]

Influences

Marx's thought demonstrates influences from many thinkers including, but not limited to:

    's philosophy [217]
  • The classical political economy (economics) of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, [218] as well as Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi's critique of laissez-faire economics and analysis of the precarious state of the proletariat [4] , [218] in particular the thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Henri de Saint-Simon, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Charles Fourier[219][220]
  • Earlier German philosophical materialism among the Young Hegelians, particularly that of Ludwig Feuerbach and Bruno Bauer, [79] as well as the French materialism of the late 18th century, including Diderot, Claude Adrien Helvétius and d'Holbach
  • The working class analysis by Friedrich Engels, [75] as well as the early descriptions of class provided by French liberals and Saint-Simonians such as François Guizot and Augustin Thierry
  • Marx's Judaic legacy has been identified as formative to both his moral outlook [221] and his materialist philosophy. [222]

Marx's view of history, which came to be called historical materialism (controversially adapted as the philosophy of dialectical materialism by Engels and Lenin), certainly shows the influence of Hegel's claim that one should view reality (and history) dialectically. [217] However, Hegel had thought in idealist terms, putting ideas in the forefront, whereas Marx sought to rewrite dialectics in materialist terms, arguing for the primacy of matter over idea. [89] [217] Where Hegel saw the "spirit" as driving history, Marx saw this as an unnecessary mystification, obscuring the reality of humanity and its physical actions shaping the world. [217] He wrote that Hegelianism stood the movement of reality on its head, and that one needed to set it upon its feet. [217] Despite his dislike of mystical terms, Marx used Gothic language in several of his works: in The Communist Manifesto he proclaims "A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre", and in The Capital he refers to capital as "necromancy that surrounds the products of labour". [223]

Though inspired by French socialist and sociological thought, [218] Marx criticised utopian socialists, arguing that their favoured small-scale socialistic communities would be bound to marginalisation and poverty and that only a large-scale change in the economic system can bring about real change. [220]

The other important contributions to Marx's revision of Hegelianism came from Engels's book, The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, which led Marx to conceive of the historical dialectic in terms of class conflict and to see the modern working class as the most progressive force for revolution, [75] as well as from the social democrat Friedrich Wilhelm Schulz, who in Die Bewegung der Produktion described the movement of society as "flowing from the contradiction between the forces of production and the mode of production." [5] [6]

Marx believed that he could study history and society scientifically and discern tendencies of history and the resulting outcome of social conflicts. Some followers of Marx, therefore, concluded that a communist revolution would inevitably occur. However, Marx famously asserted in the eleventh of his "Theses on Feuerbach" that "philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways the point however is to change it" and he clearly dedicated himself to trying to alter the world. [16] [215]

Marx's theories inspired several theories and disciplines of future including, but not limited to:

Philosophy and social thought

Marx's polemic with other thinkers often occurred through critique and thus he has been called "the first great user of critical method in social sciences". [217] [218] He criticised speculative philosophy, equating metaphysics with ideology. [224] By adopting this approach, Marx attempted to separate key findings from ideological biases. [218] This set him apart from many contemporary philosophers. [16]

Human nature

Like Tocqueville, who described a faceless and bureaucratic despotism with no identifiable despot, [225] Marx also broke with classical thinkers who spoke of a single tyrant and with Montesquieu, who discussed the nature of the single despot. Instead, Marx set out to analyse "the despotism of capital". [226] Fundamentally, Marx assumed that human history involves transforming human nature, which encompasses both human beings and material objects. [227] Humans recognise that they possess both actual and potential selves. [228] [229] For both Marx and Hegel, self-development begins with an experience of internal alienation stemming from this recognition, followed by a realisation that the actual self, as a subjective agent, renders its potential counterpart an object to be apprehended. [229] Marx further argues that by moulding nature [230] in desired ways [231] the subject takes the object as its own and thus permits the individual to be actualised as fully human. For Marx, the human nature – Gattungswesen, or species-being – exists as a function of human labour. [228] [229] [231] Fundamental to Marx's idea of meaningful labour is the proposition that for a subject to come to terms with its alienated object it must first exert influence upon literal, material objects in the subject's world. [232] Marx acknowledges that Hegel "grasps the nature of work and comprehends objective man, authentic because actual, as the result of his own work", [233] but characterises Hegelian self-development as unduly "spiritual" and abstract. [234] Marx thus departs from Hegel by insisting that "the fact that man is a corporeal, actual, sentient, objective being with natural capacities means that he has actual, sensuous objects for his nature as objects of his life-expression, or that he can only express his life in actual sensuous objects". [232] Consequently, Marx revises Hegelian "work" into material "labour" and in the context of human capacity to transform nature the term "labour power". [89]

Labour, class struggle and false consciousness

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

Marx had a special concern with how people relate to their own labour power. [236] He wrote extensively about this in terms of the problem of alienation. [237] As with the dialectic, Marx began with a Hegelian notion of alienation but developed a more materialist conception. [236] Capitalism mediates social relationships of production (such as among workers or between workers and capitalists) through commodities, including labour, that are bought and sold on the market. [236] For Marx, the possibility that one may give up ownership of one's own labour – one's capacity to transform the world – is tantamount to being alienated from one's own nature and it is a spiritual loss. [236] Marx described this loss as commodity fetishism, in which the things that people produce, commodities, appear to have a life and movement of their own to which humans and their behaviour merely adapt. [238]

Commodity fetishism provides an example of what Engels called "false consciousness", [239] which relates closely to the understanding of ideology. By "ideology", Marx and Engels meant ideas that reflect the interests of a particular class at a particular time in history, but which contemporaries see as universal and eternal. [240] Marx and Engels's point was not only that such beliefs are at best half-truths, as they serve an important political function. Put another way, the control that one class exercises over the means of production include not only the production of food or manufactured goods but also the production of ideas (this provides one possible explanation for why members of a subordinate class may hold ideas contrary to their own interests). [89] [241] An example of this sort of analysis is Marx's understanding of religion, summed up in a passage from the preface [242] to his 1843 Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right:

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. [243]

Whereas his Gymnasium senior thesis at the Gymnasium zu Trier [de] argued that religion had as its primary social aim the promotion of solidarity, here Marx sees the social function of religion in terms of highlighting/preserving political and economic status quo and inequality. [244]

Marx was an outspoken opponent of child labour, [245] saying that British industries "could but live by sucking blood, and children's blood too", and that U.S. capital was financed by the "capitalized blood of children". [223] [246]

Economy, history and society

— Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto [247]

Marx's thoughts on labour were related to the primacy he gave to the economic relation in determining the society's past, present and future (see also economic determinism). [217] [220] [248] Accumulation of capital shapes the social system. [220] For Marx, social change was about conflict between opposing interests, driven in the background by economic forces. [217] This became the inspiration for the body of works known as the conflict theory. [248] In his evolutionary model of history, he argued that human history began with free, productive and creative work that was over time coerced and dehumanised, a trend most apparent under capitalism. [217] Marx noted that this was not an intentional process, rather no individual or even state can go against the forces of economy. [220]

The organisation of society depends on means of production. The means of production are all things required to produce material goods, such as land, natural resources, and technology but not human labour. The relations of production are the social relationships people enter into as they acquire and use the means of production. [248] Together, these compose the mode of production and Marx distinguished historical eras in terms of modes of production. Marx differentiated between base and superstructure, where the base (or substructure) is the economic system and superstructure is the cultural and political system. [248] Marx regarded this mismatch between economic base and social superstructure as a major source of social disruption and conflict. [248]

Despite Marx's stress on the critique of capitalism and discussion of the new communist society that should replace it, his explicit critique is guarded, as he saw it as an improved society compared to the past ones (slavery and feudalism). [89] Marx never clearly discusses issues of morality and justice, but scholars agree that his work contained implicit discussion of those concepts. [89]

Marx's view of capitalism was two-sided. [89] [159] On one hand, in the 19th century's deepest critique of the dehumanising aspects of this system he noted that defining features of capitalism include alienation, exploitation and recurring, cyclical depressions leading to mass unemployment. On the other hand, he characterised capitalism as "revolutionising, industrialising and universalising qualities of development, growth and progressivity" (by which Marx meant industrialisation, urbanisation, technological progress, increased productivity and growth, rationality and scientific revolution) that are responsible for progress. [89] [159] [217] Marx considered the capitalist class to be one of the most revolutionary in history because it constantly improved the means of production, more so than any other class in history and was responsible for the overthrow of feudalism. [220] [249] Capitalism can stimulate considerable growth because the capitalist has an incentive to reinvest profits in new technologies and capital equipment. [236]

According to Marx, capitalists take advantage of the difference between the labour market and the market for whatever commodity the capitalist can produce. Marx observed that in practically every successful industry, input unit-costs are lower than output unit-prices. Marx called the difference "surplus value" and argued that it was based on surplus labour, the difference between what it costs to keep workers alive and what they can produce. [89] Although Marx describes capitalists as vampires sucking worker's blood, [217] he notes that drawing profit is "by no means an injustice" [89] and that capitalists cannot go against the system. [220] The problem is the "cancerous cell" of capital, understood not as property or equipment, but the relations between workers and owners – the economic system in general. [220]

At the same time, Marx stressed that capitalism was unstable and prone to periodic crises. [103] He suggested that over time capitalists would invest more and more in new technologies and less and less in labour. [89] Since Marx believed that profit derived from surplus value appropriated from labour, he concluded that the rate of profit would fall as the economy grows. [180] Marx believed that increasingly severe crises would punctuate this cycle of growth and collapse. [180] Moreover, he believed that in the long-term, this process would enrich and empower the capitalist class and impoverish the proletariat. [180] [220] In section one of The Communist Manifesto, Marx describes feudalism, capitalism and the role internal social contradictions play in the historical process:

We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged . the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces they became so many fetters. They had to be burst asunder they were burst asunder. Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted in it, and the economic and political sway of the bourgeois class. A similar movement is going on before our own eyes . The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring order into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. [14]

Marx believed that those structural contradictions within capitalism necessitate its end, giving way to socialism, or a post-capitalistic, communist society:

The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable. [14]

Thanks to various processes overseen by capitalism, such as urbanisation, the working class, the proletariat, should grow in numbers and develop class consciousness, in time realising that they can and must change the system. [217] [220] Marx believed that if the proletariat were to seize the means of production, they would encourage social relations that would benefit everyone equally, abolishing exploiting class and introduce a system of production less vulnerable to cyclical crises. [217] Marx argued in The German Ideology that capitalism will end through the organised actions of an international working class:

Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality will have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence. [250]

In this new society, the alienation would end and humans would be free to act without being bound by the labour market. [180] It would be a democratic society, enfranchising the entire population. [220] In such a utopian world, there would also be little need for a state, whose goal was previously to enforce the alienation. [180] Marx theorised that between capitalism and the establishment of a socialist/communist system, would exist a period of dictatorship of the proletariat – where the working class holds political power and forcibly socialises the means of production. [220] As he wrote in his Critique of the Gotha Program, "between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat". [251] While he allowed for the possibility of peaceful transition in some countries with strong democratic institutional structures (such as Britain, the United States, and the Netherlands), he suggested that in other countries in which workers cannot "attain their goal by peaceful means" the "lever of our revolution must be force". [252]

International relations

Marx viewed Russia as the main counter-revolutionary threat to European revolutions. [253] During the Crimean War, Marx backed the Ottoman Empire and its allies Britain and France against Russia. [253] He was absolutely opposed to Pan-Slavism, viewing it as an instrument of Russian foreign policy. [253] Marx had considered the Slavic nations except Poles as 'counter-revolutionary'. Marx and Engels published in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung in February 1849:

To the sentimental phrases about brotherhood which we are being offered here on behalf of the most counter-revolutionary nations of Europe, we reply that hatred of Russians was and still is the primary revolutionary passion among Germans that since the revolution [of 1848] hatred of Czechs and Croats has been added, and that only by the most determined use of terror against these Slav peoples can we, jointly with the Poles and Magyars, safeguard the revolution. We know where the enemies of the revolution are concentrated, viz. in Russia and the Slav regions of Austria, and no fine phrases, no allusions to an undefined democratic future for these countries can deter us from treating our enemies as enemies. Then there will be a struggle, an "inexorable life-and-death struggle", against those Slavs who betray the revolution an annihilating fight and ruthless terror – not in the interests of Germany, but in the interests of the revolution!" [254]

Marx and Engels sympathised with the Narodnik revolutionaries of the 1860s and 1870s. When the Russian revolutionaries assassinated Tsar Alexander II of Russia, Marx expressed the hope that the assassination foreshadowed 'the formation of a Russian commune'. [255] Marx supported the Polish uprisings against tsarist Russia. [253] He said in a speech in London in 1867:

In the first place the policy of Russia is changeless. Its methods, its tactics, its manoeuvres may change, but the polar star of its policy – world domination – is a fixed star. In our times only a civilised government ruling over barbarian masses can hatch out such a plan and execute it. . There is but one alternative for Europe. Either Asiatic barbarism, under Muscovite direction, will burst around its head like an avalanche, or else it must re-establish Poland, thus putting twenty million heroes between itself and Asia and gaining a breathing spell for the accomplishment of its social regeneration. [256]

Marx supported the cause of Irish independence. In 1867, he wrote Engels: "I used to think the separation of Ireland from England impossible. I now think it inevitable. The English working class will never accomplish anything until it has got rid of Ireland. . English reaction in England had its roots . in the subjugation of Ireland." [257]

Marx spent some time in French Algeria, which had been invaded and made a French colony in 1830, and had the opportunity to observe life in colonial North Africa. He wrote about the colonial justice system, in which "a form of torture has been used (and this happens 'regularly') to extract confessions from the Arabs naturally it is done (like the English in India) by the 'police' the judge is supposed to know nothing at all about it." [258] Marx was surprised by the arrogance of many European settlers in Algiers and wrote in a letter: "when a European colonist dwells among the 'lesser breeds,' either as a settler or even on business, he generally regards himself as even more inviolable than handsome William I [a Prussian king]. Still, when it comes to bare-faced arrogance and presumptuousness vis-à-vis the 'lesser breeds,' the British and Dutch outdo the French." [258]

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "Marx's analysis of colonialism as a progressive force bringing modernization to a backward feudal society sounds like a transparent rationalization for foreign domination. His account of British domination, however, reflects the same ambivalence that he shows towards capitalism in Europe. In both cases, Marx recognizes the immense suffering brought about during the transition from feudal to bourgeois society while insisting that the transition is both necessary and ultimately progressive. He argues that the penetration of foreign commerce will cause a social revolution in India." [259]

Marx discussed British colonial rule in India in the New York Herald Tribune in June 1853:

There cannot remain any doubt but that the misery inflicted by the British on Hindostan [India] is of an essentially different and infinitely more intensive kind than all Hindostan had to suffer before. England has broken down the entire framework of Indian society, without any symptoms of reconstitution yet appearing. [however], we must not forget that these idyllic village communities, inoffensive though they may appear, had always been the solid foundation of Oriental despotism, that they restrained the human mind within the smallest possible compass, making it the unresisting tool of superstition. [258] [260]

Marx's ideas have had a profound impact on world politics and intellectual thought. [16] [17] [261] [262] Followers of Marx have often debated among themselves over how to interpret Marx's writings and apply his concepts to the modern world. [263] The legacy of Marx's thought has become contested between numerous tendencies, each of which sees itself as Marx's most accurate interpreter. In the political realm, these tendencies include Leninism, Marxism–Leninism, Trotskyism, Maoism, Luxemburgism and libertarian Marxism. [263] Various currents have also developed in academic Marxism, often under influence of other views, resulting in structuralist Marxism, historical Marxism, phenomenological Marxism, analytical Marxism and Hegelian Marxism. [263]

From an academic perspective, Marx's work contributed to the birth of modern sociology. He has been cited as one of the 19th century's three masters of the "school of suspicion" alongside Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud [264] and as one of the three principal architects of modern social science along with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber. [265] In contrast to other philosophers, Marx offered theories that could often be tested with the scientific method. [16] Both Marx and Auguste Comte set out to develop scientifically justified ideologies in the wake of European secularisation and new developments in the philosophies of history and science. Working in the Hegelian tradition, Marx rejected Comtean sociological positivism in an attempt to develop a science of society. [266] Karl Löwith considered Marx and Søren Kierkegaard to be the two greatest Hegelian philosophical successors. [267] In modern sociological theory, Marxist sociology is recognised as one of the main classical perspectives. Isaiah Berlin considers Marx the true founder of modern sociology "in so far as anyone can claim the title". [268] Beyond social science, he has also had a lasting legacy in philosophy, literature, the arts and the humanities. [269] [270] [271] [272]

Social theorists of the 20th and 21st centuries have pursued two main strategies in response to Marx. One move has been to reduce it to its analytical core, known as analytical Marxism. Another, more common move has been to dilute the explanatory claims of Marx's social theory and emphasise the "relative autonomy" of aspects of social and economic life not directly related to Marx's central narrative of interaction between the development of the "forces of production" and the succession of "modes of production". This has been the neo-Marxist theorising adopted by historians inspired by Marx's social theory such as E. P. Thompson and Eric Hobsbawm. It has also been a line of thinking pursued by thinkers and activists such as Antonio Gramsci who have sought to understand the opportunities and the difficulties of transformative political practice, seen in the light of Marxist social theory. [273] [274] [275] [276] Marx's ideas would also have a profound influence on subsequent artists and art history, with avant-garde movements across literature, visual art, music, film, and theatre. [277]

Politically, Marx's legacy is more complex. Throughout the 20th century, revolutions in dozens of countries labelled themselves "Marxist"—most notably the Russian Revolution, which led to the founding of the Soviet Union. [278] Major world leaders including Vladimir Lenin, [278] Mao Zedong, [279] Fidel Castro, [280] Salvador Allende, [281] Josip Broz Tito, [282] Kwame Nkrumah, [283] Jawaharlal Nehru, [284] Nelson Mandela, [285] Xi Jinping, [286] Jean-Claude Juncker [286] [287] and Thomas Sankara [ citation needed ] have all cited Marx as an influence. Beyond where Marxist revolutions took place, Marx's ideas have informed political parties worldwide. [288] In countries associated with some Marxist claims, some events have led political opponents to blame Marx for millions of deaths, [289] but the fidelity of these varied revolutionaries, leaders and parties to Marx's work is highly contested and has been rejected, [290] including by many Marxists. [291] It is now common to distinguish between the legacy and influence of Marx specifically and the legacy and influence of those who have shaped his ideas for political purposes. [292] Andrew Lipow describes Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels as "the founders of modern revolutionary democratic socialism." [293]

Marx remains both relevant and controversial. In May 2018, to mark the bicentenary of his birth, a 4.5m statue of him by leading Chinese sculptor Wu Weishan and donated by the Chinese government was unveiled in his birthplace of Trier. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker defended Marx's memory, saying that today Marx "stands for things which he is not responsible for and which he didn't cause because many of the things he wrote down were redrafted into the opposite". [287] [294] In 2017, a feature film, titled The Young Karl Marx, featuring Marx, his wife Jenny Marx and Engels, among other revolutionaries and intellectuals prior to the Revolutions of 1848, received good reviews for both its historical accuracy and its brio in dealing with intellectual life. [295]


The Brimley/Cocoon Line

Malcolm-Jamal Warner has been jammin' on the one since Aug. 18, 1970. Today, the 'Cosby Show' star is 18,530 days old, making him the same age as Wilford Brimley on the day 'Cocoon' was released. Congrats @MalcolmJamalWar! You've reached the Brimley/Cocoon Line. pic.twitter.com/xfNPoSqUA7

— Brimley/Cocoon Line (@BrimleyLine) May 12, 2021

You might recall the 1985 film Cocoon as a rare science fiction movie about elderly people in a retirement home. One of the stars, Wilford Brimley, was only 49 years old when he got the part! When Cocoon was released on June 21, 1985, he was a mere 50 years, 9 months, and 3 days old (he died last year at the age of 85). To highlight the age anomaly of Brimley's Cocoon casting, the Brimley/Cocoon Line Twitter account was launched. The feed marks the day that celebrities reach the same age that Wilford Brimley was when Cocoon was released.

But why should celebrities have all the fun? Lindsey Smith, inspired by the Twitter feed, has posted an online calculator so that you can figure when you will cross the Brimley/Cocoon Line. I tried it, but got too tired clicking back to my birth year. Besides, I crossed that line long ago. -via Laughing Squid


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