Xi Hearts Karl: Chinese President Names Marx “Greatest Thinker of Modern Times”
AP Photo / Jason LeeSociety22:34 05.05.2018(updated 22:45 05.05.2018) Get short URL
Chinese President Xi Jinping loves German uber-socialist Karl Marx, or at least loves the latter’s ideas, and the leader of the world’s second-largest economy is not afraid to declare his admiration.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday avowed that philosopher and revolutionary socialist Karl Marx is the “greatest thinker of modern times” during a speech in Beijing.
Noting that Marx’s ideology “shines with the brilliant light of truth,” Xi asserted that placing “Marxism onto the flag of the Chinese Communist party was totally correct,” cited by Reuters.
Speaking in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Xi marked the 200th anniversary of the German economist’s birth in 1818 in Trier, just a stone’s throw from the Luxembourg border.
Noting that the sometime journalist and lifelong atheist remains, although dead, a “teacher of revolution for the proletariat and working people all over the world,” Xi has decreed that all party members must read the works of Marx and seek to adopt the German’s socialist thinking as not only a “way of life” but also as a “spiritual pursuit,” cited by the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Marx’s best known book, “Das Kapital,” alongside the “Communist Manifesto” — co-authored with the German businessman and fellow traveler Friedrich Engels — have, remarkably, morphed into integral building blocks for Chinese communism and the country’s left-leaning political thought.
Not everyone agrees with Xi’s laudatory tone concerning Marx, however, particularly in the nineteenth-century author’s home country of Germany.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, during a Thursday speech honoring the Marx anniversary, noted that the writer was “one of the great German thinkers” but alluded to the latter’s often contradictory statements and “rigid” thinking.
The German president also observed that the writings of Marx have been frequently misused and abused by heavy-handed and authoritarian governments, including those of the former Soviet Union and East Germany.
“We shouldn’t fear Marx, but we don’t need to build any golden statues to him either,” Steinmeier said, according to the Washington Post.