by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
For several years, legal scholar Ilya Somin has been urging the world to commemorate May 1st as “Victims of Communism Day.” That’s a worthwhile suggestion, but, like most people, I let it pass this year without comment. What I can’t let pass without comment is the fact that today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of the father of communism, Karl Marx.
As Alberto Mingardi observes at EconLog, “It is difficult to think of any political thinker who exercised a similar influence. Ideas do not always ‘have consequences’ – but Marx’s had. They became the ideological backbone of regimes that ruled over half of the world.”
Marx may or may not have been the most influential political thinker of all time, but he was certainly the most pernicious. His political philosophy directly inspired the mass murder of tens of millions and caused tens of millions more to live out their lives in fear and poverty. May he burn in hell for all eternity!