There existed in the Soviet Union a well-known joke concerning Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Lenin’s advice to the Soviet youth was always, “Learn, learn, learn!” a saying evoked everywhere, and often found on the walls of school buildings as an exhortation to students.
The joke goes: Marx, Engels, and Lenin were all asked whether they would prefer a wife or a mistress. Karl Marx, with his unexpectedly bourgeois morality, answers, “A wife.” Friedrich Engels, infamous for his unconventional relationships with women, replies, “A mistress.” When Lenin is asked, though, he surprised them both by saying he would have both. Why is this? they wonder. Does the great revolutionary have a hidden prurient side? No, not at all, he explains. “That way, I can tell my wife I am with my mistress and I can tell my mistress I am with my wife.” What, then, will you do? “I will find a solitary place to be by myself and learn, learn, learn!”