The Chinese government has sought to honor the birth of Karl Marx (1818-1883) by giving a giant bronze statue of the social philosopher and pseudo-economist to the German city of Trier, his birthplace.
Agreeing that Trier and Marx should be thus honored, local officials shamefully accepted the donation.
Marx was a bad guy. His willfully destructive anti-capitalist theorizing and polemics have been enlisted to enslave and murder many millions of people in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Cuba and elsewhere. The story is told in works like Modern Times and The Black Book of Communism. One effective critique of Marxian ideas may be found in the second volume of Murray Rothbard’s History of Economic Thought.
We often hear that Communist implementation of Marxian theory poorly translates “real” communism/socialism/collectivism. No government unswervingly enacts all the ideas and prescriptions of a single intellectual founding father. But there is much in Marx’s volumes that openly demands the razing of the division of labor, profit-seeking, and other requirements of civilization.
In one article, Marx scribbled that “there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror.” There’s plenty more where this came from.
When a major nation-state gives a town a statue, it’s hard to say no. But one needn’t accept it at face value. Install it on a base that lists the separate bouts of Marx-inspired mass murder. Or use it as a target in paintball tournaments.
Or just place it in the local cemetery. Where deadly ideologies should go.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.