Karl Marx: The Deadliest Ideas In The World

Cinco de Mayo isn’t just a commemoration of the Mexican army’s victory at the Battle of Puebla, or even just an excuse for Americans to drink tequila recklessly; the Fifth of May is also Karl Marx’s birthday. This year, in fact, it is his 200th.

Apparently that merits celebration for some people. Like the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who is traveling to Marx’s birthplace, Trier, to give a speech commemorating the bicentennial of the man with the deadliest ideas in the world.

Surely this commemoration will focus on Marx’s ideas about class, his empathy for the workers, and his utopian vision of a stateless, communal, equal society. The tens of millions of deaths created by various attempts to achieve this utopia might be mentioned, but as aberrations, mistakes. The myth lives on that Marxism and the socialist movements he inspired are somehow separable from the violence and misery that has always followed in their wake.

In Episode 6 of The Deadly Isms video series, Matt Kibbe aims to shatter that myth. In this episode, entitled “From Russia with Blood,” Kibbe lays out the story of the Russian Revolution, the perfect confluence of instability and initiative that allowed the Marxist ideologue Vladimir Lenin to lead a newly liberated Russian people into the depths of a radical, malignant Communism.

It’s important to know the history of how Lenin managed to found the first of the great communist nations, but more important is the light that the Russian Revolution shed upon the true nature of Marx’s vision. It’s not a coincidence that bloodshed on an unprecedented scale has followed the spread of Marx’s ideas wherever they’ve been fully implemented—violence is baked into the very DNA of communism and socialism.

The Russians were merely the first unfortunate nation to experience this hard truth, a century ago. When we say that “socialism kills,” it’s not hyperbole. Don’t believe us? Watch the episode.

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Josh Withrow

Josh Withrow is the Director of Public Policy at Free the People. He transitioned from studying medieval history to modern policy, only to find nothing has changed.

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