An Exegesis of Marx's Facial Boils

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If you have yet dive into the latest issue of the British Journal of Dermatology—and you are seriously remiss if you haven't—Reuters provides a Monarch Note version of the journal's latest foray into controversy. According to an article by Dr. Sam Shuster, professor of dermatology at the University of East Anglia, Karl Marx was a miserable old sod who hated bourgeois convention and advocated class war not because of his experience in a German factory, but because of a face full of painful boils. Seriously:

[Shuster] believes the revolutionary thinker had hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) in which the apocrine sweat glands—found mainly in the armpits and groin—become blocked and inflamed. "In addition to reducing his ability to work, which contributed to his depressing poverty, hidradenitis greatly reduced his self-esteem," said Shuster, who published his findings in the British Journal of Dermatology.

"This explains his self-loathing and alienation, a response reflected by the alienation Marx developed in his writing." While HS is linked to boil-like lumps, the painful condition also causes more widespread infection, swelling, skin thickening and scarring. It could also explain a number of Marx's other complaints, not previously linked, such as joint pain and a painful eye condition which often stopped him working.

Shuster based his diagnosis on an analysis of Marx's extensive correspondence, in which he wrote to friends about his health and described his skin lesions as "curs" and "swine." "The bourgeoisie will remember my carbuncles until their dying day," Marx told Friedrich Engels in a letter from 1867.

Full story.

(Thanks to reader Ryan S.)

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  1. Zits cause communism?!?

  2. Read Paul Johnson’s book “The Intellectuals” and get the sororiety slam book version of what a miserable rotten bastard Marx was.

  3. My British Journal of Dermatology must be late this month

  4. Waht’s next, Hitler had hemmorhoids? Mao and psoriasis?

  5. “The bourgeoisie will remember my carbuncles until their dying day,”

    Believe it or not, I had forgotten about them, until Moynihan brought them up.
    I just never liked Karl, because he was snippy to Michael Bakunin, my hero.

  6. Hey, I am living proof that psoriasis makes you a better, smarter person. With itchy patches. So back off.

    *scratches*

  7. This is all too common these days.

    What’s next, Hitler had hemmorhoids?

    The Austrian Journal of Proctology has a great article on that.

    If i was a sexual therapist, i’d probably argue Communism was a product of insufficient intimacy. Everyone wants to use their particular lens to explain everything. This is why i get pissed when Bailey posts these articles about “Genetic Analysis of Political Views”… it reminds me of that famous mis-quote… ‘Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”?

    Whatever. I feel badly for people who’s work involves writing about skin disorders in Karl Marx’s groin.

  8. At first, I thought that the title was An Exegesis of Marx’s Facial Balls, and I immediately thought of Butters when he went on trash tv as “Boy With Balls on Chin”. That would make anybody bitter.

    The bourgeoisie will remember my carbuncles until their dying day

    He really wrote this to a friend? Really?

  9. Yes, but what explains Ann Coulter? Gout on her left tit?

  10. I feel badly for people who’s work involves writing about skin disorders in Karl Marx’s groin.

    I was Friedrich Engels in my past life…

  11. That’s it, mandatory dermatology appointments for some, and miniature American flags for others.

  12. hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) in which the apocrine sweat glands — found mainly in the […] groin become blocked and inflamed

    while this is true, blockages in the apocrine glands are also secondary to a whithered taint. The URKOBOLD, who exists out of time and place, obviously whithered Karl “Groucho” Marx’s taint!

    This also explains his wacky views. This may help explain other wackiness, such as the poster known as “EDDDIEEEEE”, and his threats to leave.

  13. Adam Smith, on the other hand, had a smooth, glowing complexion.

  14. Caption Contest!

    “CAN YOU SMEEEELLLLLL WHAT THE MARK IS COOKIN!”

  15. Buddhist Dr. Sam Shuster | October 30, 2007, 3:59pm | #
    I feel badly for people who’s work involves writing about skin disorders in Karl Marx’s groin.

    I was Friedrich Engels in my past life…

    You and me both, pal!

  16. I see that my intended comments are unnecessary, those who came before me said all that there is to say, especially this guy:

    If i was a sexual therapist, I’d probably argue Communism was a product of insufficient intimacy. Everyone wants to use their particular lens to explain everything. This is why i get pissed when Bailey posts these articles about “Genetic Analysis of Political Views”… it reminds me of that famous mis-quote… ‘Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”?

    If your bourgeoisie interests would be best served with the destruction of yearnings for Marxism you may be best served with mocking Marx himself, but you’d hardly be engaging in honest play.

    mnuez
    http://www.mnuez.blogspot.com

  17. Dammit, that should have been “MARX.”

    I guess I lose.

  18. Yes, but what explains Ann Coulter?

    She’s a dude, with no penis?

  19. Marx’s Carbuncles would be a great name for a band.

  20. I don’t know, but wouldn’t gout be IN rather than ON your bosom?

  21. If your bourgeoisie interests would be best served with the destruction of yearnings for Marxism you may be best served with mocking Marx himself, but you’d hardly be engaging in honest play.

    Did you just call GILMORE a fag?

  22. mk – That or “Remember My Carbuncles!”

  23. Epi –

    I’m too tired right now to think through your point. I will however put it on my to-do list.

    On the off-chance that I wasn’t clear though, I AGREE with Gilmore, I’m just bringing some Communist Boiling to the party.

    nueez

  24. Karl Marx was a miserable old sod who hated bourgeois convention and advocated class war not because of his experience in a German factory, but because of a face full of painful boils.

    This is uncalled for. Fuck off, Moynihan

  25. I was just kidding, nuez. Your comment was hard to read.

  26. To all the Urkobolds-

    I’m only going to say this one more time: remove my quotes and any other references to me from your website now, or face the consequences. I WILL have Blogger shut you down.

    Unfunny douchebags.

  27. What’s next, Hitler had hemmorhoids?

    Well, you’re close.

  28. YAWN, DOOD. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO YOU ON THE OTHER THREAD.

  29. “Karl Marx was a miserable old sod who hated bourgeois convention and advocated class war not because of his experience in a German factory, but because of a face full of painful boils. Seriously…”

    Perfectly plausible. I mean look at what this condition did to Baron Harkonnen in David Lynch’s Dune. Of course, having Sting as his son may have been a contributing factor.

  30. This also explains his wacky views. This may help explain other wackiness, such as the poster known as “EDDDIEEEEE”, and his threats to leave.

    Do you mean to say that Edooard has boils on his balls? Or that he likes to boil his balls?
    🙂

  31. Can we please just see a video of the inevitable Edward/URKOBOLD smackdown on youtube and get it over with? Edward’s spoiled-thirteen-year-old threats are getting so tiring, I’m dying for some taint-withering closure.

    “Unfunny douchebags”

    I’m not sure if that’s a really cool band name or Edward’s new nickname. But either way, it sings, baby!

  32. D’oh! Warty – we have that double LP but I haven’t listened to it enough. Fantastic pick up!

    Actually, I lent it to EDDDIEEEEEEEE and he gave it to his favorite presidential candidate Lamar! (it’s so cute, he actually says Lamar’s name with the exclamation point). Lamar! gave it to ProGlib who left it at his laundry service. The service has yet to return it.

    But back to EDDDDIEEEEEE(!) we can map his activities in sector HR: on days he has to climb the rope at school, he’s more mellow. I think we should interpret that as broadly as we possibly can.

  33. HAY! I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO’S ALLOWED TO THROW MEGA HISSY FITS. BUZZ OFF “eddie”.

    AND MY DOUCHEBAGS HAVE NOVELTY TEETH ATTACHED, SO THEY ARE VERY, VERY FUNNY. ONE BRAND PLAYS A NOVELTY CHRISTMAS SONG, EVEN. YOU CLEARLY DON’T KNOW FROM FUNNY.

    AND I HATE LAURA INGALLS!!!!!!!!!

  34. Carbuncles …. heheheheh

  35. For more information regarding HS please see the following links:

    http://www.hs-foundation.org
    http://www.hs-usa.org

  36. Not to mention,
    “Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar who could drink you under the table.”

  37. Hitler actually did suffer from something called meteorism-uncontrolled flatulence.

  38. “Zits cause communism?!?”

    Finally, a credible explanation for the popularity of Che tee-shirts with teenagers!

  39. With all this talk of Marx and Hitler and balls, I’m surprised noone has mentioned this:

    Hitler has only got one ball,
    G?ring has two but very small,
    Himmler is somewhat sim’lar,
    But poor old Goebbels has no balls at all.

    That, at least is the version I learned. There are apparently several variations.

  40. Nice reference, Isaac!!

    the version my dad and his buddies sang (they were early teenagers in WW2) was “…and Hitler has none at all”, but otherwise was pretty close to that 🙂

  41. I’m more of a Nick Rivers fan than a Nick Cave fan.

  42. Yes, also, it is sung to the tune of Colonel Bogey’s March or as most probably know it, the theme to The Bridge on the River Kwai

  43. Lunch –

    Skeet Surfing is a classic!

    that’s right, Issac! 🙂

  44. Osteoarthritis causes joint cartilage becomes hard, when it should be the cartilage surface is always slippery so that the joint can move freely, often on large joints such as the knees, hips, and neck and usually only one side and visit http://www.jointpainreliefcodes-review.com . While Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder (the body’s defense system attacks the body’s own instead) that attacks the joint lining (synovium) is often the small joints such as fingers and often bilateral (right-left).

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