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INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST REVIEW
A Monthly Journal Of International Socialist Thought
In Memoriam-Karl Marx
Roosevelt's Place in History
Karl Marx on Sectarianism and Dogmatism
A Tallow Candle
Pause and Consider
The Economic Aspects of the Negro Problem
News and Views
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Editor's Chair: The Political Outlook; Two Points of View; How to Get Socialist Unity; Brains and Atmospheres; Unionism, Utopian and Scientific
Literature and Art
World of Labor
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ARCH-month of awakening spring. Nineteen hundred and eight-year of our presidental election, the greatest political battle of American Socialism against capitalism.
March 14, 1908, twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Karl Marx- what a glorious. opportunity to pay homage to his memory! To prove to the world that he lives in his work; that, "being dead he yet speaketh" as never before, calling the workers to unite and break their chains!
The 14th of March will not pass by without some recognition on the part of American Socialists. There will be some memorial observance of this twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of the greatest of modern Socialists, "the Aristotle of the nineteenth century." There will be some observance of the day, but not, let us hope, a mournful observance. We need no solemn funeral dirges; no useless regrets that so much that he had planned was left unfinished.
We shall remember the day. We shall remember the life and deed of the most loveable of all the revolutionary host most loveable and most learned. We shall rejoice that he was what he was; that he achieved what he did; that his achievements still endure to inspire the myriad slaves of earth.
"Most loveable and most learned"-"Most loveable of all the revolutionary host"- We know how learned he was: the world knows how great was his gigantic intellect, but how few of us know how loveable he was!
How little, alas! we know of the human Marx, of the lover and comrade he was! How little, after all, we know of the man! Of the philisopher, the political economist, the politician and revolutionist in the man we know, but we know little of his great human heart, so much bigger than even his mighty brain.
Liebknecht, with fine, sympathetic touch, . has given us a picture of the man-a small canvas, impressionistic, painted in the dim light of life's evening, wonderfully true in spirit but occasionally inaccurate in details. Magnificent in its feeling, the drawing is sometimes faulty. Liebknecht's little book is a sketch
the sketch of a great master, it is true, but still only a sketch.
The young artist stands before some rough, unfinished sketch by a great master: he sees a glory in the rough lines and feels something of what the master must have felt. The desire is born in his soul to try his hand upon the subject to paint what the master sketched but never finished. And so I have aimed these many years to picture Marx as he was. Not merely Marx the great thinker, but Marx the greater man: the jovial comrade, the profound lover.
Some day I shall do it, but today, on the eve of the twentyfifth anniversary of his death, there is no such picture. There are only sketches of details, meagre and fragmentary. Yet bare glimpses of the real Marx have their value — especially at this period of our history.
It is known that Marx the radical philosopher became a Socialist through the "New Christianity" of Saint Simon. This has puzzled many, so great seems the chasm that yawns between the religious mysticism of Saint Simon and the materialism of Marx. May it not be, nay, does it not seem certain, that underneath his materialism there was a great ethical or spiritual urge? The man whose life was an example of splendid idealism, who read his Dante with devotion, so that he could almost repeat the whole of the great divine comedy from end to end Purgatorio, Paradiso and Inferno, must surely have been of an intense spiritual nature!
And the great cosmic spirit of Whitman appealed to him from the first. When Harrison Riley, editor of "The International Herald," lately gone to his rest, introduced Whitman's writings to Marx he found a sympathetic listener. Marx returned again and again to the line
"Speaking of miracles, a hair on the back of my hand is as great a miracle as any" and to the noble lines in "Pioneers"
"All the past we leave behind;
We debouch upon a newer, mightier world, varied world; Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O, Pioneers!"
Many bitter attacks upon religion on the part of Marx are familiar not a few of them having been conveniently forged by the enemies of Socialism for their own purpose. But the Marx of middle life, the Marx of the International, was in fact one of the most gentle of critics, full of sympathy with the great underlying ethical principles of all religions, but an agnostic in his theology. "What are your reasons for believing?" he would ask, and no listener could be more patient, tolerant and gentle than he was. And his own position was always gently and frankly stated: "I do not know. I cannot understand it."
Descendant of a long line of Rabbis and son of remarkable parents, Marx came naturally by his spiritual instincts. His father, disciple of Voltaire, believed in God, he told his son, as Newton, Locke and Leibnitz had done. And his mother, when rallied upon her belief in God, replied that she believed in God, "not for God's sake, but for her own".
I like the gentle agnostic Marx; the patient, tolerant and earnest friend, listening with kindly spirit to the reasons his friends gave for their faith and saying for himself simply, "I do not know".
A glimpse of the happier side of the domestic life of our great comrade: Liebknecht has sketched some of the saddest incidents of that life, the sombre pages glorified by the beautiful love of the husband and father. Living the life of proletarian poverty, their little sons died as the children of the poor die, victims of that poverty. And we see him standing by the grave of his little son, frantic with grief and ready to jump into the grave, his friends closing around him to prevent that happening. Or we see him standing by the grave of the wife he loved so well, the beautiful Jennie von Westphalen, not ready to jump into the grave in frenzied grief, but almost dropping into it, almost as dead as her whose last words had been of her beloved "Karl". His friends knew how great was his love for his wife, and Engels said prophetically when she died that Marx was likewise dead.
In all the pages of history it would be hard to find a more idyllic love-story than that of Marx and his wife. He literally worshipped her beauty and the memory of his children, long years afterwards, was of their tall, handsome father proudly and