The grave of Karl Marx has been desecrated, not for the first time. Some still regard him as a 'great man' - can they be serious?
Yesterday, the British freesheet London Evening Standardreported that the grave of the ‘radical’ Karl Marx had been desecrated. Marx is buried in Highgate Cemetry, which is one of the capital’s more off-beat tourist attractions.
Marx is best known for co-writing the Communist Manifesto, and for his enormous, turgid and largely unreadable Das Kapital.
This is not the first time his grave has been targeted, but apart from a few dinosaurs who have kept the flame alive like the Socialist Workers Party, he has been largely forgotten in the current fight against global capitalism. One person who clearly hasn’t forgotten him is Tony Benn (or should that be Viscount Stansgate?). While desecrating graves is of course to be condemned, few will agree with his claim that Marx was “one of the greatest figures in history” - possibly, behind that other great Marxist comedian, Groucho.
While his admirers have much to say about the contribution Marx made to economic theory - nothing - and his attacks on usury - non-existent - they are curiously blind to his other views, such as his disparaging comments about Jews and blacks especially, and about his admiration for America, which even in the 19th Century was a bastion of “Imperialism” as immigrants invaded the mighty heartlands, displacing the indigenous citizens, taking their jobs, their homes, and their women, the kind of rhetoric that a hundred years later can only be described as racist.
Writing in his 1979 book, Karl Marx: Racist, American scholar Nathaniel Weyl opined: “Publicly and for political reasons, both Marx and Engels posed as friends of the Negro. In private, they were antiblack racists of the most odious sort.”
Another quote, from page 84: “Strangely enough, the so-called secret conversations of Adolf Hitler are less suffused with hatred and destruction than Marx’s contributions to the Marx-Engels correspondence.”
And at page 110 we find “The Soviet Socialist Democracy is no way inconsistent with the rule and dictatorship of one person: the will of a class is at times best expressed by a dictator...”
So much for democracy.
It was also Marx rather Hitler - who wrote A WORLD without JEWS. The 1959 edition of this book has an introduction by Dagobert D. Runes, and on page vii we find this unpleasant quote: “The Jews of Poland are the smeariest of all races” which Marx wrote in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, April 29, 1849.
And this absolutely shocking one: “Ramsgate is full of Jews and fleas” from MEKOR IV, 490, August 25, 1879.
In spite of his loathing of capitalism, Marx had no problem with sponging off his rich chum Engels, a curious alliance of so-called socialism and big capital that persists to the present day.
While the grave of Karl Marx may have been given an unwanted dab of paint, the same thing is unlikely to happen to his seat.
Here it is.
A photograph of the seat used by Karl Marx. Taken by Alexander Baron c1991.
Marx used to sit here in what was then the British Museum Library and at the time this photograph was taken, the British Library.
Although the British Library has now relocated to a splendid modern building at St Pancras, the magnificent Round Reading Room is still there, and is doubtless haunted by the ghost of Karl Marx who must surely be wondering both where it all went wrong, and why he is still so admired by “progressives” down to the present day.
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