The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association
I am writing from home, half a mile from the sea, in Eastbourne, this wind-blown bastion of Communism where Friedrich Engels lived and worked towards the end of the 19th century until his death in 1895 when he was cremated and his ashes scattered from Beachy Head.
He was the close friend of Karl Marx and with him co-authored The Communist Manifesto and The German Ideology. With Marx, he was prominent in the forging and development of classical Marxism specifically. But like Marx, Engels was, as he himself claimed, “above all a revolutionary” who also played his part in all the seditions, privy conspiracy and rebellions going at the time, such as the German Revolution of 1848 and in the shenanigans of the International Socialist Movement.
Like any self-respecting bourgeois gentlemen, Marx and Engels had visited many Victorian seaside resorts, such as Margate, Ramsgate and the Isle of Wight, but Eastbourne was Engels’ favourite place and where he holidayed for extended periods during the summers in later life. Perhaps it was something to do with the excellent fish ‘n’ chips at The Holiday Inn?
As goes without saying, Brighton University has many modules featuring Engels’ poisonous rubbish – sorry, I mean his enlightened economic and political philosophy - as well as a lovingly updated blog.
I reckon it’s time to take another look at Marx and Engels now that we are beset by the rioting, looting thugs in Black Lives Matter and the stultifying tosh of wokery. For both these diseases are the symptoms of neo-Marxism. So here are a few facts about this delightful pair – facts which should become more widely-known.
Marx wrote: “Capitalists are parasites on the working class. All property is theft.”
Ah, so very true! But then he discovered that, in order to be a seriously successful Communist, one needs a good start in life, and in this he was most fortunate. His father owned many fine vineyards in the Moselle and his mother came from a wealthy family of factory-owners who would eventually found the Philips Electronics Company.
So he was able to attend Bonn and Berlin universities and turn his mind to planning the Communist revolution. It was so inconsiderate of the authorities to disapprove of his political programme and he was obliged to flee to London, where he penned, after many beseechings from his admirers, these few short paragraphs outlining the course of his life.
Here too he found that the true prophet of Communism that he was, requires not merely a sound financial foundation on which to build his programme, but further considerable provision to sustain his aims to abolish all privilege and create the conditions for the flourishing of the working class and the eventual dictatorship of the proletariat. So once again he might thank God – except he didn’t believe in God – for his uncle Ben Philips, the wealthy banker, who bankrolled him while he was dedicating himself to revolutionary socialism in Soho.
He knew too that it was important for him, as the aspiring leader of the workers of the world, to marry into the aristocracy. Again, he was well looked after, for he became engaged to Baroness Jenny von Westphalen who subsequently became his wife. They had children: two daughters, one nicknamed Qui, Qui, Empress of China and the other Kakadou the Hottentot. And he instructed all his children to address him as Old Nick. But then, you see, one begins to worry about what will become of one’s children when one is gone. How reassuring then when Friedrich Engels, his lifelong friend and co-author with him of The Communist Manifesto, promised to leave them a substantial portion of his $4.8million estate. Indeed, as Engels always said, “You can’t beat working-class solidarity!” Friedrich lived in Manchester and Liverpool for some years and wrote his Conditions of the Working Class in England in 1844. He repeated Marx’s slogan PROPERTY IS THEFT. And how prophetic that was – for they say that among the Scousers, all property is theft!
He knew that Russia’s rural commune – once all the pernicious free-market influences had been eliminated – would form the basis of his Communist utopia. And, because Engels was a true visionary, he even predicted that in the 20th century a man would arise in Russia who would exceed anyone in history in the elimination of…well, in the elimination of nearly everybody actually.
As his bestowing those nicknames on his girls demonstrated, he was no humourless academic philosopher. And when he was an old man he recalled with affection his trip to Bonn with his friend Bauer and how they were drunk for days on end, got thrown out of church for laughing at the Lutheran Pastor and ended up charging through the narrow streets on donkeys and knocking over all those working women!
And don’t forget, you’ll get more bang for your bucks from Marx and Engels than you’ll ever get from those bourgeois Jews Marks & Spencer.
It only remained for Karl to ensure himself the biggest memorial in Highgate cemetery. Somehow, I don’t think the louts in BLM will tear it down.
All views expressed in contributions by named authors are their own and may not reflect the views of The Freedom Association.