Full Marx in the financial capital blown by icy winds 
  a.. Paola Totaro, London 
  b.. October 25, 2008 
THE other day, tired of being kept prisoner by the never-ending London drizzle, 
we donned the wellies and set out for the far end of Hampstead Heath, one of 
the world's great urban parks.

We've tramped it endless times, but this day the end point was Highgate 
Cemetery, at the far, upper end of the Heath. Somehow, with the global 
financial crisis it seemed appropriate - Karl Marx, the father of communism is 
probably Highgate's best-known resident, interred beneath a granite and bronze 
monstrosity that screams capitalism with a Kapital C.

Inscribed in gold are the words Workers of all lands unite: philosophers have 
only interpreted the world in various ways - the point however is to change it 
on the most imposing (and ugliest) of graves in the area.

Marx was not buried in this spot originally but at another, more obscure and 
unconsecrated spot of Highgate. He was moved in the dead of night in the 1940s 
by the British Communist Party. They didn't want to cause a fuss but wanted 
their man in a more prominent part of the graveyard. The party built the great 
bust and inscribed the plinth so visiting communists would have something to 
look at and photograph.

Not only is Marx's grave the most visible of the 166,000 or so in Highgate.

Highgate guides say interest in his grave has never been greater - and now much 
of western Europe seems to be singing to his tune. The Times, in an editorial 
this week, mused that the philosopher had become as "fashionable as this 
season's colour on the catwalk".

Everywhere, newspapers, magazines and blogs are citing Marx's analysis of 
capitalism and his predicted periods of crisis and instability. Suddenly, his 
10 essential steps of communism are being recited with the enthusiasm of newly 
inducted members of AA: "Remember step five: centralisation of credit in the 
hands of the state."

In Berlin, Marx's German publishers are reportedly cock-a-hoop that sales of 
Das Kapital are soaring. And yet Marx was not a doomsayer, nor did he argue an 
inevitable collapse: rather, that it is politics that resolves crisis and man 
who must participate and act as an agent of change and an architect of history.

Eminent Marxist historians have written this week that Marx was not the type to 
revel in the pain of others. But on that icy Sunday in Europe's melting 
financial capital, an "I told you so" from those great bronze lips wouldn't 
have seemed out of place.

Kirim email ke