Why Marx is Man of the Moment
He had globalization sussed 150 years ago
by Francis Wheen
A penniless asylum seeker in London was vilified across two pages of the Daily Mail last week. No surprises there, perhaps - except that the villain in question has been dead since 1883. 'Marx the Monster' was the Mail's furious reaction to the news that thousands of Radio 4 listeners had chosen Karl Marx as their favorite thinker. 'His genocidal disciples include Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot - and even Mugabe. So why has Karl Marx just been voted the greatest philosopher ever?'
The puzzlement is understandable. Fifteen years ago, after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, there appeared to be a general assumption that Marx was now an ex-parrot. He had kicked the bucket, shuffled off his mortal coil and been buried forever under the rubble of the Berlin Wall. No one need think about him - still less read him - ever again.