I just got done listening to a play written by Howard Zinn about Karl Marx. It was an imaginative play that brought Marx back from the dead to explore how he would react to current socio-economic conditions. It was partially biographical and partially philosophical, but wholly entertaining. It addressed an often contemplated issue for me; namely Marx’s unfair association with 20th century monsters like Stalin and Mao. In many debates I have been taken by surprise when I suddenly find myself defending Marx’s character against the most defamatory remarks. I have been told that Marx “is responsible for millions of deaths” and that he “advocated violence and murder” to further his evil ends. After picking my jaw up from the floor and shaking off the offensive nature of such claims I coolly and calmly (ie. aggressively and passionately) explain that Marx’s motivations were rooted in compassion for his fellow human beings, and if family life is at all indicative if a man’s moral make-up then Karl Marx was an especially moral man. He loved his children (especially Elanor) unconditionally and was a faithful, loving husband to his wife and confidant Jenny. He was a good friend to Engles and his other inner-circle comrades, and dedicated his life to inspiring revolutionary ire in oppressed peoples all over the world. His libelous association with murders and tyrants are largely right-wing propaganda; unfortunately this propaganda seems to have worked on many of otherwise intelligent minds. I feel infinitly confident saying that not only would Marx be horrified at what has been done in his name, but also that every attempt at communism, socialism, marxism, etc. (with the exception of the Paris Commune) were all in direct contrast to Marx and his philosophies. The less democracy you have in your society the less “marxist” it will be. Stalin, Mao, and the rest were the OPPOSITE of socialists, they were fascists and tyrants, and Marx would have fought endlessly AGAINST their terrifying regimes.