An Unhappy Birthday to Karl Marx

Karl Marx was born 200 years ago this month. And, in spite of the praise of academics, journalists, politicians and pundits to the far left of the political spectrum, the world is a much worse place because of his wrongheaded ideology.

Not surprisingly, you’ll find opinions to the contrary in The New York Times, Associated Press and elsewhere, but’s Alasdair Macleod is closer to the truth when he labels Marx, “The Worst Man in Modern History.” As Macleod wrote, Marx “bears responsibility, indirectly admittedly, for the deaths of an estimated one hundred million people in the last century, and the severe suppression through economic and social servitude of fully one third of the world’s population.”

In China, General Secretary Xi Jinping has undertaken a new propaganda campaign called, “Marx Got It Right,” which is pretty ironic, given that the adoption of capitalist economic principles has boosted China’s economy and made it a world power, even as the country continues to limit the freedom of its people.

For the purposes of simplification, we’ll group socialism and communism together, as both call for government, rather than the individual, to control economic and other decisions. True socialism (not the more capitalist-oriented variety that passes for socialism in Scandinavia) inevitably leads to fascism, with full government control of your life.

Marx believed in government control of everything and in violent revolution to overthrow the “bourgeoisie.”

Theoretically, Marxism results in equality, but someone must still be in charge. Whether that someone is Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Castro or any other Marxist, the result is far greater inequality, with a small group yielding power and the “proletariat” sacrificing its freedom in exchange for subsistence living.

If your government is making your decisions for you, you’ve given up your freedom. Your college professors may have convinced you that socialism or Marxism is the path to equality, taking away power from wealthy one percenters and giving it to the working class. Remember, though, that a more historically accurate model of socialism is Hitler’s Germany.

We’ve previously quoted Nobel prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek, who recognized that socialism inevitably leads to fascism.  In his 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, Hayek wrote that socialism, while presented as a means of assuring equality, does so through “restraint and servitude,” while “democracy seeks equality in liberty.”

Capitalism and freedom go together. Socialism and freedom don’t. We’ll take capitalism any day.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.