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Karl Marx

Marx will not take the blame for communism and the gulag. But he enjoys his continuing influence in the academy

By Donald Sassoon   October 2003

Donald Sassoon Well, Dr Marx, you are all washed up, aren’t you? Fifteen years ago your theories ruled half the world. Now what’s left? Cuba? North Korea?

Karl Marx My “theories” – as you put it – never “ruled.” I had followers I neither chose nor sought, and for whom I have no more responsibility than Jesus had for Torquemada or Muhammad for Osama bin Laden. Self-appointed followers are the price of success. Most of my contemporaries would love to be as washed up as you think I am. I wrote that the point was not to explain the world,…

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