As voted by three million Germans –
1) Konrad Adenauer
2) Martin Luther
3) Karl Marx
Winner Konrad Adenauer served from 1949 to 1963 and helped re-establish German democracy after the Nazi era. Reformation Monk Martin Luther came second, with communist philosopher Karl Marx third.
(Interestingly, formerly communist East Germany voted Marx #1.)
Adenauer certainly altered Germany. However, Martin Luther and Karl Marx altered the planet.
It is a common misconception to say Marx was a philosopher. He was also an organizer, activist, and did way more than sit home and write manifestos. Marx was out there in the tumult practicing what he preached, and got expelled from several countries for doing so – something which appeared to faze him not at all.
Understanding Marxism, I think, helps understand world events, as the ideas in the Communist Manifesto are still in play today. Internationalism. Self-determination. Equality. Women’s rights. Opposition to racism and homophobia. Such ideas have been in the sectarian Left for 150 years now. These ideas resonate with people. That’s why they spread. Not because some evil commie is out there subverting the populace, but because the populace, at least in part, finds the ideas have merit.
In virtually all countries but the U.S., Marxist thought is accepted and is at least somewhat mainstream. Many European parliaments have Communist and Socialist members. It’s just not a big deal. Like, oh you mean Socialists organize for social change. Wow, tell me something I don’t already know.
It’s only in the U.S. where rigidity against Marxism is so pronounced it becomes almost comical. Why is this?
As you might have guessed, I’ve been exploring these ideas, and, in fact, will attend a socialism conference in NYC next weekend. Hey, we already have public roads, public schools, public libraries, and they seem to work well. So why not also have public healthcare and guaranteed retirement plans that people can actually live on?