30 May 2018

Free Exchange: Marx’s poisonous legacy


This May marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. For many, this was an occasion for celebration, not sombre reflection on a set of ideas that, when put into action, have claimed the lives of millions.

John McDonnell gave a speech on the enduring relevance of Marx. Jean Claude Juncker played his part in the fortification of the German thinker’s reputation by unveiling a Chinese funded statue of Marx in Trier. The headline of one New York Times piece simply said: “Happy Birthday Karl Marx. You were right!”

For this week’s episode of Free Exchange, I spoke to the IEA’s Kristian Niemietz. author of a forthcoming book on Marxist regimes and their fellow travellers, about why a man whose ideas have been found not just to be wrong, but dangerously so, is still so revered by so many.

You can listen to the full episode here, or subscribe via iTunes.

Oliver Wiseman is Editor of CapX.