Political vandalism will create pointless protest

Jordan Boyer, Photo Editor

Karl Marx’s tomb at the London Highgate Cemetery has been vandalized twice in the past few weeks, and this is nothing more then a desperate attempt of pointless political protest.

According to The Guardian, Marx’s tomb was vandalized on Feb. 5 and the suspected vandal used a hammer to chip away at the original marble plaque that was taken from Marx’s 1883 gravestone.

His tomb was vandalized again on Feb. 17, this time the suspected vandal spray painted his grave with the words “Doctrine of Hate,” “Architect of Genocide” and “Memorial to Bolshevik Holocaust.”

The suspected vandal(s) in these attacks seem to not know the actual history of Marx, and only seem to care about how his posthumous followers used his teachings to justify heinous acts.

Most academics/intellectuals, even the ones who harshly critique his ideas, agree that Marx was a brilliant intellectual who questioned the ideas of capitalism, globalism and the harsh class system.

Marx was a known writer during his time, and he worked as journalist for a portion of his life.

The works he is most well known for are The Communist Manifesto, in corporation with Frederick Engles, and Das Kapital.

“The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of a political power by the proletariat. The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principals that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer.” Marx and Engles wrote in The Communist Manifesto.

Marx and Engles’s works are what inspired people like Vladimir Lenin, Karl Kautsky and Leon Trotsky to overthrow the bourgeoisie and place the proletariat as the ruling class.

This suspected vandal is claiming Marx to be a “Memorial to Bolshevik Holocaust.”

Marx was long dead before the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia 1917.

Marx was not responsible for the “Bolshevik Holocaust,” Joseph Stalin was.

By some estimates, Stalin was responsible for over 20 million deaths during his rule over the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

It is important to note that Marx never held any political power, so he had no say in what political polices were enacted at the time.

So he was not responsible for any radical polices of the time he was just critiquing the issues within a capitalist society, and attempting to band the proletariat class together under one cause.

While communism/socialism evidently does not work in society, all of these later interpretations are extremely far from Marx’s original philosophy. All forms of communism (Marxism included) are just forms of oppression on the people.

However, if we use Marx as a pedestal for the later communists and socialists, they would all fail in the Marxist interpretation.

While Marx was not advocating for a peaceful proletariat revolution, he simply cannot be blamed for the atrocities committed by his followers who inevitably twisted his teachings to facilitate their power and dominance.

Also, this type of political vandalism would not change any group or individual’s ideas by any means, making the act unnecessary.

While communism is on the brink of extinction, there are still many people who follow this ideology inside and outside communist states and they will believe in the proletariat cause whether Marx’s grave is vandalized or not.

Suzanne Moore, columnist for The Guardian, called the vandalism an act of thuggery.

“We can argue all we like about his legacy, but this new act of vandalism is not an argument. It’s incoherent thuggery,” Moore wrote.

She later states, “Yet these incoherent, fascist morons have sprayed “Ideology of Sterving” on part of Marx’s grave. Misspelt desecration sums up this act. You cannot vandalise an idea, but you can look stupid trying.”

Marx is what inspired the rise of communism as a political power and ideology.

However, desecrating his grave with a hammer and spray-painting inaccuracies on his tomb are pointless and is just a simple act of criminality.

Not even in this case, but any act of vandalizing a monument, memorial, tomb, etc. will not change anyone’s mind, and is a moronic outcry of pointless protest.

Jordan Boyer is a senior history major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].