A socialist will tell you that Marx's views were sound, but that some of his followers took it to extremes he never intended. He certainly would not have approved of the genocide conducted by those who claimed to promote his ideas. We hear some on the right paint him out to be the devil incarnate. What is the truth?
Did Marx approve of genocide?
In January 1849, Karl Marx published an article by Friedrich Engels in Die Neue Rheinische Zeitung announcing that in Central Europe only Germans, Hungarians and Poles counted as bearers of progress. The rest must go.
The chief mission of all other races and peoples, large and small, is to perish in the revolutionary holocaust.- EngelsIt was from the writings of Marx and Engels that the idea of modern genocide arose. It was also a call for much greater genocide than what his followers actually carried out!
I suggest a Google search of Marx's anti-Semitic quotes. When you read them you will discover that much of Hitler's hatred was simply parroting Marx. We should not be surprised when we see radical socialists who have joined the OWS movement espousing strong anti-Semitic views. The great irony is that Marx's father was a Jew who converted to Christianity for social reasons. Marx's grandfather was a Rabi.
Did Marx renounce his ideas or followers later in life?
This has some truth to it, but not in the way leftist professors would have you believe. They paint him as being against genocide later in life. This is simply not true. Marx renounced several individuals who were once part of his inner circle, but not necessarily for ideological differences. Marx had an enormous ego and did not play well with others. Engels (the man who's money he lived off of) is the only person he never turned on. And then there is the famous quote:
If that is Marxism, I am not a Marxist-Karl MarxThat seems clear enough he is obviously renouncing Marxism, right? He says "if that is Marxism, I am not a Marxist." What is the "that" he was referring too? He was referring to a specific group of French Marxists. He was not pleased with how they had addressed the subject of workers rights. Engels wrote a few articles and papers explaining the quote.
So no girls and boys Karl Marx was not a misunderstood genius, who would oppose modern genocide. He and Engels created the idea. And no he did not renounce all Marxism or his past works. He has not been unfairly demonized. In fact, if you ever come in possession of a time machine and plan on killing Lenin or Hitler; remember those men were simply carrying out the vision of Marx. He was a monster!