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Karl Marx on TV!

September 2, 2010 by admin

I am struck by the notice at the bottom of the C SPAN3 screen that there will be a program about Karl Marx on TV.
Today at 8pm (ET) on C-SPAN3
C-SPAN3 History: Karl Marx & Communism

It seems odd even to see or the name "Karl Marx" on TV. I literally can't remember the last time. Then I think how odd is that? And what does it say about the limitations placed on the world view presented to us on TV? All TV, even C SPAN?

After all, any way you slice it, Karl Marx was a pretty important person. He was at least as important as Hitler or Lincoln or Edison or Queen Elizabeth. After all he is unchallenged as the father of modern Communism. There is no question about that! The extreme Left and the extreme Right agree on very little but they all agree on that! Even his loyal sidekick Engels would give Karl the node.

When you consider that so many 'secondary' historical figures of the last century including Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, and Fidel have tried to implement his teachings and follow in his footsteps, is it a wonder that we are present so little about the man himself?

I am not here arguing the correctness of his theories, although I may do that on another occasion. I am arguing his historical significant. In many ways this thinker from the 19th century can be said to have dominated the 20th century. Consider this brief reprise. WWI led directly to the Russian Revolution and the opting out of several hundred people. WWII led to Communist victories in China, Korea, Eastern Europe, almost Western Europe and eventually Vietnam. All this was done under the banner of Karl Marx! On every continent and in virtually every sphere of human activity, in wars both Hot and Cold, a titanic struggle has proceeded around the gauntlet that was thrown down by Marx and Engels when they published the Communist Manifesto in 1848, but to the American TV viewing audience he is unknown. Even on the "History Channel". For example, a search of "Marx" on turns up only these four hits:

The History Of St. Patrick's Day - Literary Ireland - George Bernard Shaw By the mid-1880s Shaw discovered the writings of Marx and turned to socialist polemics and critical journalism.
World War II - Key Figures - The Axis - Josef Stalin The Revolutionary While studying for the priesthood, Stalin read forbidden literature, including Karl Marx's Das Kapital, and . . .
History Channel Classroom: Karl Marx wrote that religion was "the opiate of the people."
History Channel Classroom: Compare the philosophy of Pythagoras and Karl Marx.

So according to the History Channel all we really need to know about Karl Marx is that some people, bad and maybe not so bad were influenced by him and he said that religion was "the opiate of the people." How strange.

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