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  Opinion   Edit  05 May 2018  200 years later, Marx lives!

200 years later, Marx lives!

Published : May 5, 2018, 12:34 am IST
Updated : May 5, 2018, 12:34 am IST

In India, governmental repression since colonial times hasn’t quelled Marxian fervour.

Karl Marx
 Karl Marx

Karl Marx would have been 200 years old today. It is useful to remember that no other philosopher, economist, political theorist or sociologist before him or after has had the same impact on the modern world — since the mid-19th century. Marx said, when not yet 30, that philosophers interpreted the world; but the point was to change it. He dreamt and logically extrapolated the course of a society that was classless and stateless. In the Communist Manifesto that he co-authored with his friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels in 1848, Marx propagated the ideal of a perennial class struggle as key to fundamental change in society. It’s this struggle in capitalism that will ignite the seeds of destruction of this “mode of production”, wrote Marx, but contrary to general belief he didn’t propagate violence.

Class struggle is a valid idea. A 2017 Oxfam study suggests one per cent of the world’s elite own 82 per cent of global wealth. We’ve seen the spread of the “Occupy” movement in America and Europe with “Occupy Wall Street”. Perhaps the protesters are Marxists at heart, though they may not know it. Since the 19th century’s end and till the present, Marx’s thoughts have animated revolutionary political movements and social thought on every continent. In India, governmental repression since colonial times hasn’t quelled Marxian fervour. The feminist and green movements too question key aspects of capitalist thought. Jayaprakash Narayan, long after he switched from Marxism to being anti-Marxist, once said there were no better tools to analyse our society than the ones Marx offered. Marx lives!

Tags: karl marx, marxism