Marxism Is Cool Again

Karl Marx
Karl Marx Library of Congress

In London, starting today, the Socialist Workers’ Party will be hosting Marxism 2012, an annual event whose organizers say is growing in popularity with young people. It’s not just impressionable young people who are falling back in love with Marx, though, as the Guardian reports:

Sales of Das Kapital, Marx’s masterpiece of political economy, have soared ever since 2008, as have those of The Communist Manifesto and…Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy…Their sales rose as British workers bailed out the banks to keep the degraded system going and the snouts of the rich firmly in their troughs while the rest of us struggle in debt, job insecurity or worse. There’s even a Chinese theatre director called He Nian who capitalised on Das Kapital’s renaissance to create an all-singing, all-dancing musical.

One explanation: Younger people may not be as versed in the horrors of Stalinism as their elders. But also, this is a newer, gentler version of Marxism, explains Owen Jones, working class hero:

“Today not even the Trotskyist left call for armed revolution. The radical left would say that the break with capitalism could only be achieved by democracy and organisation of working people to establish and hold on to that just society against forces that would destroy it.”

Or, as the protest crowd likes to put it: “All We Want For Christmas Is Full Communism.”

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