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These are just a few of the most notorious examples. In every case where Marx’s ideas have been put into practice, the country in question has suffered economic, political or human catastrophe — and usually all three. Yet wilful ignorance in the West has enabled Marxists to escape responsibility for their failure.

Across Europe, politicians inspired by Marx still enjoy power and prestige. In the last French presidential election, the Marxist demagogue Jean-Luc Mélenchon took one fifth of the vote. He is now seeking to rally workers and students to bring down the elected government of Emmanuel Macron by force. In many parts of the former communist regions of Germany, the Marxist Left Party won more votes at last year’s election than either the Social Democrats, who abandoned Marxism some 60 years ago, or Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

If we are to avoid repeating the mistakes of communism, we must never forget its terrible history and those who bravely endured its evils. We should remember why they died and who bears responsibility for their deaths. Generations born after the Cold War are not inoculated against the Marxist propaganda that still pervades our culture. Last month’s anniversary was worthy of commemoration, if only for the sake of the victims. But it was not an occasion for celebrating the life of a man whose dreams brought forth monsters — monsters that live on today.

Marx still matters in the universities, where a recent survey found that at least eight out of ten staff are on the Left. His ideas still haunt the media and the arts. Many academics, journalists and artists reject Marx. But a significant number of those who teach, inform and entertain the young are Marxists.

His books are regularly rediscovered and attempts are made to airbrush the Marxist past. Professor Terry Eagleton, whose works of criticism are studied by every student of Eng Lit, is also the author of Why Marx Was Right. The title of the bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Professor Thomas Piketty, the French economist, deliberately echoes Marx’s classic Das Kapital.

And Marx still matters to left-wing politicians — ask Jeremy Corbyn and his entourage. The Labour leader calls Marx “a great economist”. The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who reveres Marx as well as Lenin and Trotsky, thinks there is “a lot to learn” from Das Kapital. Corbyn’s Director of Communications and Strategy, the Guardian journalist Seumas Milne, and his Special Political Advisor, Andrew Murray, are both proud to call themselves Marxists — of the hardline “tankie” variety. “Against imperialists,” wrote Murray, “we are all Stalinists.” If Labour wins the next election, Britain would have its first Marxist government.
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Anonymous
July 2nd, 2018
3:07 PM
Socialism is the delusion that everyone can have everything they want. All you need to see it fulfilled is to identify the deplorables who obstruct its arrival and set about destroying them. It's a tough job, but there are many prepared to do it.

Anonymous
June 25th, 2018
12:06 AM
Good and thorough article on the historical influence of Marxism and its devilish roots.

Lawrence James
June 20th, 2018
9:06 AM
Exonerating Marx from the horrors perpetrated in his name does have a moral equivalence to exonerating Jesus from say the Albigensian crusades. Remember He endorsed the Old Testament with its injunctions to slaughter neighbouring tribes. Anonymous's remarks about the Liberty claimed by the Founding Fathers is preposterous: ask a slave on Jefferson's estate, or a Sioux or Seminole.

Anthony Fountain
June 9th, 2018
2:06 AM
Perhaps, Murray, you could provide us an example where Marx's name wasn't "hijacked" and all went went swimingly.

Penrod
June 9th, 2018
2:06 AM
The world would be a better place if Karl Marx’s mother had smothered him in his crib. Marxists can hardly criticize the concept of murdering an innocent for the sake of 100,000,000, either, unless they claim the 100,000,000 were the correct ones to be murdered.

LL
June 8th, 2018
11:06 PM
"If you're going to be outraged by acknowledgement of Marx because of the atrocities committed by people who hijacked his name and philosophy to achieve their own ends, are you disparaging Jesus for the same failing? " No one hijacked Karl Marx. What happened, the millions of deaths is the corollary of an ideology that does not have limits to its power, neither to its reach. You should acknowledge that Karl Marx started an ideology of social supremacism that made possible to exterminate social classes, people, others. Acknowledge also that Karl Marx was an Hitler avant la letre with a book on "Jewish question" translated rightly "To the end of Jews" and several anti semitic articles because he saw that the Jews didn't disappeared in the culture where they lived which also made them not disappear in the socialist inferno that Marx wanted to build.

Pat
June 8th, 2018
11:06 PM
Brilliant piece. Students in high school have NO IDEA what Marx stands for and is responsible for...and how my Jewish colleagues can not see the roots of the current anti- semitism is beyond me.

anonymous
June 8th, 2018
11:06 PM
Dear Murray, Fuck off with your leftist posturing. Where did Jesus ever say to enslave, rape or murder one's opponents in the name of "equality"? By giving Governments the world over the philosophical tools to centralize power in the name of "equality", Marx paved the way to Governmental oppression. If America's Founders thought it wise to protect Private Property and Liberty in the 1700's, it must be because Governmental abuse had already long existed.

Lance
June 8th, 2018
9:06 PM
Thank you for this well-written synopsis of a troubled man with troubled and flawed ideas of how society should be run.

formwiz
June 8th, 2018
9:06 PM
In the space of a century, Communism took the lives of 125 million people. Not even Islam killed that many in that space of time. Fact is, the abject failure of Communism has required the liquidation of so many dissatisfied with it.

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