Karl Marx’s birthday may have been 200 years ago, but his philosophy has come back from the dead. Today, China, an emerging superpower, is celebrating his “genius,” while Marxist ideology is gaining adherents among a whole new generation in the West.
During the period of rapid social mobility after the Second World War, particularly following the collapse of the Soviet Union, socialist ideas fell into deserved disrepute. In contrast, today’s resurgence reflects both historical ignorance, particularly among the young, and the marked failure of contemporary capitalism to offer a credible scenario for a better future.
The big western comeback
Socialism’s comeback extends across a broad spectrum of countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, France as well as in the United States. In France’s election last year the former Trotskyite Jean-Luc Melenchon won the under-24 vote, beating the “youthful” Emmanuel Macron by almost two to one. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, the birthplace of modern capitalism, Labour, under the neo-Marxist Jeremy Corbyn, won over 60 percent of the vote among voters under 40, compared to just 23 percent for the Conservatives.
Read the entire piece at The Orange County Register.
Joel Kotkin is the Roger Hobbs Distinguished Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism. His newest book, The Human City: Urbanism for the rest of us, was published in April by Agate. He is also author of The New Class Conflict, The City: A Global History, and The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050. He is executive director of NewGeography.com and lives in Orange County, CA.