How Karl Marx is Respected by the Working-Class in Europe!

Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD

According to reports, as the financial crisis on Wall Street spreads, liberal capitalism is widely questioned by society. In Germany, Marx’s “Das Kapital” became the best gift for Christmas this year (2008), with sales tripling compared to 2005. It is said that the current German finance minister, Steinbrück, is now reading “Das Kapital”. The finance minister, who was devastated and restless during the financial crisis, has now become a “fan” of Marx. During 1999 in the UK The University of Cambridge initiated the selection of the “First Thinker of the Millennium”, and the result was that Marx ranked first. In the same year, the British Broadcasting Corporation also conducted a global online poll on the same proposition, and the result was still Marx ranked first. In 2002, the British Reuters conducted a “The Great Man of the Millennium” selection, and Marx was slightly behind to Einstein by one point. In 2005, the British Broadcasting Corporation conducted another “Greatest Philosopher” selection. Marx ranked first with nearly 28% of the votes, and Hume ranked second with only 12% of the votes. Britain is the birthplace of contemporary capitalism, and Marx is a sharp critic of the capitalist system. The writing of Marx’s “Das Kapital” was also mainly completed in England. However, in Britain, where capitalism has the longest history, and in Europe, where capitalism is the most developed, this critic of the capitalist system has gained high spiritual and ideological recognition. This seems to be an intriguing paradox. In the West, even opponents of Marxism recognize the power of Marx’s ideas, seeing him as a profound “pathologist” rallying against the capitalist system. At the moment, when the financial tsunami is sweeping and capitalism is seriously ill and swaying, Marx’s thought has received more and more intense attention from bourgeois society. Marx was the first person to comprehensively study the laws of capital movement. He affirmed the power of capital and discovered the chronic diseases of capital. As long as the reality of capital movement exists, the scientific analysis and value ensures Marx’s thought will visit people’s minds and hearts from time to time. I have been to Trier, Marx’s birthplace, and visited Marx’s former residence. At that time, the former residence was not open, so I could only stand in front of the door, looking at the embossed head of Marx from afar, and groaning deeply for a long time. At this time, I remembered Engels’ speech at the tomb of Marx: “The greatest contemporary thinker has stopped thinking… The death of this man is an immeasurable loss to the fighting proletariat in Europe and the United States, and to historical science.” However, In another sense, today, people still feel the spiritual light and heartbeat of Marx from time to time.

(The author is Huang Qing [黄晴], senior editor of this newspaper)

据报道,随着华尔街金融危机的蔓延,自由资本主义受到广泛的社会质疑。在德国,马克思的《资本论》成为今年圣诞节的最佳礼品,销量比2005年增加两倍。据说,德国现任财长施泰因布吕克现在正在阅读《资本论》,这位在金融危机中焦头烂额、寝食不安的财长,现在成了马克思的“粉丝”。

   1999年,英国

剑桥大学发起“千年第一思想家”的评选,结果是马克思位居第一。同年,英国广播公司也进行了同一命题的全球网上投票,结果仍是马克思位居第一。2002年,英国路透社搞了一次“千年伟人”的评选,马克思以一分之差略逊于爱因斯坦。2005年,英国广播公司又进行了“最伟大哲学家”的评选,马克思以近28%的得票率位居第一,位居第二的休谟的得票率仅为12%多。

   英国是当代资本主义的发祥地,马克思则是资本主义体制的尖锐批判者。马克思《资本论》的写作,也主要是在英国完成的。然而,在资本主义历史最悠远的英国,在资本主义发展最充分的欧洲,这位资本主义体制的批判者却获得精神和思想上的极高认可。这似乎是一个极有兴味的悖论。

   在西方,即使马克思主义的反对者也承认马克思的思想力量,认为他是资本主义社会深刻的“病理学家”。眼下,当金融海啸席卷而来,资本主义生大病、打摆子之际,马克思的思想受到社会更多更强烈的关注,也是题中应有之义。

   马克思是全面研究资本运动规律的第一人,他肯定了资本的力量,也发现了资本的痼疾。只要有资本运动的现实存在,马克思思想中的科学分析和价值力量就会不时造访人们的头脑和心灵。

   我曾到过马克思的出生地特里尔城,并造访马克思的故居。当时故居没有开放,只能站在门前,遥望着马克思的浮雕头像,深吟良久。此时,我想起恩格斯在马克思墓前的讲话:“当代最伟大的思想家停止思想了……这个人的逝世,对于欧美战斗的无产阶级,对于历史科学,都是不可估量的损失。”但是,从另一种意义上说,时至今日,人们仍时时感受着马克思的精神光芒和心灵跳动。 (作者为本报高级编辑 黄 晴)

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