Documentary: “Is Karl Marx still relevant in the 21st century?”


“Today, what most characterizes developments in Marxian theory is the recognition of Marx’s open-ended critique of capitalism, requiring that we struggle once more to probe into the historically specific system of capital accumulation at its deepest level — not simply to understand it, but in order to transcend it.”
— John Bellamy Foster, at Jacobin

Meanwhile, Deutsche Welle again. DW doesn’t seem to be taking Foster’s side in terms of Marx’s relevance to now, but the video is a good introduction to Marx’s life, appropriately threaded to present-day developments.

2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of German philosopher and Communist icon Karl Marx. Is Karl Marx still relevant in the 21st century?

Philosopher, historian and economist Karl Marx is a name that’s back on everyone’s lips. The documentary explores the ongoing impact of his writings in Europe and China. How should we approach the legacy of someone who – like few others before or since – not only changed the world, but divided it as well? Even though not everyone accepts his ideas, Marx’s analyses and theories motivated many people to take political action. We meet activists, witnesses and experts – individuals who are able to illuminate Karl Marx’s impact from the Russian revolution until today. Even in the 21st century, two hundred years after his birth, Marx has lost none of his relevance. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in Europe and the end of the Cold War in 1989 and 1990, the sun seemed to be setting on Marx. But during the financial crisis of 2007-2008, when the contradictions of capitalism were once more laid bare, Marx was resurrected as an icon. His theories and ideas are now enjoying something of a renaissance at universities, churches, and conferences, and in mainstream broadcast and print media. The Chinese have even donated a larger-than-life statue of Marx to the city of his birth, Trier. This thought-provoking documentary does not shy away from controversy. As well providing insight into Karl Marx’s life and work, it investigates what appealed to past and present advocates of his philosophies, bringing the story to life with a rich trove of archive material.