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Between 1958 and 1961, the so-called “Great Leap Forward”, Mao deliberately created the greatest famine in recorded history, in which some 38 million people starved to death, in order to turn China into a Soviet-style, centrally-controlled industrial economy: “Production first. Life takes second place.”

The Chinese dictator was so certain that his Marxist ideas were correct that he went on exporting food to earn foreign currency even when the population was dying en masse. He told his Russian allies: “We are prepared to sacrifice 300 million Chinese for the victory of the world revolution.” That was then half the country's population — and he told his cronies: “Half of China may well have to die.” Yet throughout this period, Mao was boasting to the world that China “can produce as much food as we want”.

According to the author Jung Chang, then an insider, under his rule up to 27 million died in slave labour camps known as “laogai”. Shamefully, the Chinese communist regime still has such camps. Up to 2 million people live and work there at any one time and the conditions remain horrific.

Then there is North Korea. Three generations of leaders — Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-il and now Kim Jong-un — have sacrificed countless individuals and enslaved 25 million people, all in the name of Marx. In the mid-1990s, for example, this nightmarish country endured a man-made famine which left hundreds of thousands dead. Even today, a third of the country’s children are malnourished. Having lived for 70 years on a diet of corn and pickled cabbage, North Koreans are on average two inches shorter than South Koreans. Nobody knows for sure how many have died under the communist regime, but around 200,000 prisoners live in concentration camps, where the annual death rate is 40 per cent. Yet Kim Jong-un boasts of his costly nuclear programme and struts on the world stage.

Latin America is another continent where Marxism has wrought havoc. First there was Cuba, which under Fidel Castro’s communist dictatorship declined from a relatively wealthy nation to its present abject poverty. Castro’s only export was revolution and his poster boy was Che Guevara, hero of innumerable students. But the propaganda disguised Castro’s brutal treatment of minorities and his use of force to prevent the entire population emigrating to Florida.

Nearby Venezuela, once the richest country in central America, has been devastated by the Marxist policies of the late Hugo Chávez and his successor Nicolas Maduro. In 2006 Chávez offered Ken Livingstone subsidised diesel for London buses. Now, 12 years later, 90 per cent of Venezuelans live in desperate poverty. Last year, the average Venezuelan lost 24lb in body weight; according to experts, the country is on the verge of mass starvation.
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July 23rd, 2018
9:07 PM
Karl Marx was a noted backer of Abraham Lincoln for his abolition of slavery. He also spoke out for freedom of the press. Evidently the writer of this article knows little about the man. Whether he was the father of Fred Demuth has been strongly questioned by at least one leading historian - Terell Carver.

July 2nd, 2018
3:07 PM
Socialism is the delusion that everyone can have everything they want. All you need to see it fulfilled is to identify the deplorables who obstruct its arrival and set about destroying them. It's a tough job, but there are many prepared to do it.

June 25th, 2018
12:06 AM
Good and thorough article on the historical influence of Marxism and its devilish roots.

Lawrence James
June 20th, 2018
9:06 AM
Exonerating Marx from the horrors perpetrated in his name does have a moral equivalence to exonerating Jesus from say the Albigensian crusades. Remember He endorsed the Old Testament with its injunctions to slaughter neighbouring tribes. Anonymous's remarks about the Liberty claimed by the Founding Fathers is preposterous: ask a slave on Jefferson's estate, or a Sioux or Seminole.

Anthony Fountain
June 9th, 2018
2:06 AM
Perhaps, Murray, you could provide us an example where Marx's name wasn't "hijacked" and all went went swimingly.

June 9th, 2018
2:06 AM
The world would be a better place if Karl Marx’s mother had smothered him in his crib. Marxists can hardly criticize the concept of murdering an innocent for the sake of 100,000,000, either, unless they claim the 100,000,000 were the correct ones to be murdered.

June 8th, 2018
11:06 PM
"If you're going to be outraged by acknowledgement of Marx because of the atrocities committed by people who hijacked his name and philosophy to achieve their own ends, are you disparaging Jesus for the same failing? " No one hijacked Karl Marx. What happened, the millions of deaths is the corollary of an ideology that does not have limits to its power, neither to its reach. You should acknowledge that Karl Marx started an ideology of social supremacism that made possible to exterminate social classes, people, others. Acknowledge also that Karl Marx was an Hitler avant la letre with a book on "Jewish question" translated rightly "To the end of Jews" and several anti semitic articles because he saw that the Jews didn't disappeared in the culture where they lived which also made them not disappear in the socialist inferno that Marx wanted to build.

June 8th, 2018
11:06 PM
Brilliant piece. Students in high school have NO IDEA what Marx stands for and is responsible for...and how my Jewish colleagues can not see the roots of the current anti- semitism is beyond me.

June 8th, 2018
11:06 PM
Dear Murray, Fuck off with your leftist posturing. Where did Jesus ever say to enslave, rape or murder one's opponents in the name of "equality"? By giving Governments the world over the philosophical tools to centralize power in the name of "equality", Marx paved the way to Governmental oppression. If America's Founders thought it wise to protect Private Property and Liberty in the 1700's, it must be because Governmental abuse had already long existed.

June 8th, 2018
9:06 PM
Thank you for this well-written synopsis of a troubled man with troubled and flawed ideas of how society should be run.

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