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In college, I was surprised when an honest and charitable philosophy professor I very much admired claimed that Karl Marx is misunderstood. Marx would not have supported communism as we have known it, he told me. What was seen at the hands of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, or even Gorbachev was not communism as Marx envisioned it.
Next week, Ubisoft will release the next grand episode in its popular series of historical playgrounds, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Because the overarching theme of the Assassin’s Creed series (about as philosophically consistent as Star Wars) is a conflict between the freedom-loving Assassins and conspiring Templar oppressors, the game’s setting in Victorian London will emphasize struggles for power among the classes of industrial British society.
Is my professor’s claim about Karl Marx and his Communist Manifesto just the same dangerous delusion that has made forced redistribution of property and flattening of culture the foundation of the Democratic Party? Or were the published ideas of Marx distorted and misapplied by people who wanted communism to be something fundamentally different?
What should students learn about Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and the The Communist Manifesto? Is that the true origin of communism?