[Ed. – Another perspective]
May 5 marks the bicentennial of Karl Marx, who set the stage with his philosophy for the greatest ideological massacres in history. Or did he?
He did, but deniers still remain. “Only a fool could hold Marx responsible for the Gulag,” writes Francis Wheen in “Karl Marx: A Life” (1999). Stalin, Mao and Kim Il Sung, Mr. Wheen insists, created “bastard creeds,” “wrenched out of context” from Marx’s writings.
Marx has been accused of ambiguity in his writings. That critique is often justified, but not always. In “The Communist Manifesto,” he and Friedrich Engels were quite clear that “the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: abolition of private property.”
“You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property,” they wrote. “But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population.” And this: “In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend.”