Archive for biogeography

The Expulsion

Posted in Evolution with tags , , , , , on January 21, 2010 by Rob Wallace

In 1845 a diplomat delivered a letter from Friedrich Wilhelm to Louis Philippe of France protesting the insults leveled at the Prussian king by expatriates living in Paris. King Louis had the radicals’ newspaper closed down and the group, along with one Karl Marx, deported.

This was not the first time Marx’s pen had piqued a monarch. A protest from the Tsar of Russia had Marx previously expelled from Germany. And he would be banished twice more before landing in England for the rest of his life.

There is a tapestry of ironies in this. In pushing the man from country to country, Europe’s monarchs exposed Marx to a series of epistemological niches that informed his later works, including Capital: German philosophy, French political thought, British economic theory and, of course, Belgian beer and chocolate. Marx’s mash-up would eventually frame and inspire revolutions and rebellions around the world, several culminating with European authorities expelled in a hurry from newly liberated territories.

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