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Friday, 1 May, 1998, 19:00 GMT 20:00 UK
Cheers to Karl Marx
Karl Marx graphic
Famous as a revolutionary, Karl Marx is perhaps less well-known as the brewer's friend. But he did like beer. In the time he spent in London, Marx frequented many a pub around the capital while predicting the downfall of capitalism over a pint - or ten.

BBC correspondent Darius Bazargan went on a pub crawl around Marx's favourite boozers in Tottenham Court Road where he found a historian who has kept the flame burning for Marx the drinker.

Imannuel Kant was a real piss-ant (drunkard)
Who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger, was a boozy (drunk) beggar
Who could drink you under the table.
David Hume could out consume
Wilhelm Frederich Hegel.
And Wittgenstein was a beery (beer-loving) swine
Who was just as schloshed (drunk) as Schlegel!

So goes the song by Monty Python. But one name which is conspicuously absent from the British comedy team's ditty is Karl Marx.

Ironically it seems the author of Das Kapital was not one to turn down a good English pint.

Michael Pentelow, a trade unionist, wants to reveal that side of Karl Marx. To do so, he has mapped out the central London pub crawl Karl Marx used to make with his friends.

Karl Marx
Karl Marx liked the odd pint
The German writer lived in Soho for five years. Mr Pentelow says that in the 19th century there were 18 pubs along the nearby Tottenham Court Road. Today, there are only six.

Speaking in one of them - the King and Queen - Mr Pentelow said: "I've found out many sides of Karl Marx.

"I'm interested in him as a person, as well as a revolutionary. Serious-minded people can have fun and that's what Karl showed."

Father of vandalism?

Marx would certainly have been drunk by the end of an 18-pub crawl. But was the father of communism also the father of vandalism?

An extract from the writings of Marx's drinking partner Wilhelm Liebknecht suggests he and another radical friend may have been the original lager louts:

"Now we had had enough of our 'beer trip' for the time being and in order to cool our heated blood, we started on a double march, until Edgar Bauer stumbled over a heap of paving stones. Hurrah, an idea! And in memory of mad students' pranks he picked up a stone and Crash! Clatter! A gas lantern went flying into splinters. Madness is contagious - Marx and I did not stay far behind, and we broke four or five street lamps.

If Mr Pentelow had suggested Marx had a tendency to overdo the shandies a few years ago he would probably have found himself described as a "revisionist counter-revolutionary."

But with Marxism largely consigned to the historical dustbin, it remains only to raise our glasses and toast Marx the drinker rather than Marx the thinker.

BBC News
Communist historian Michael Pentelow discusses Marx over a beer (0' 29")
BBC News
Is it time for some Marxist revisionism?(0' 27")
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