Wednesday, October 22, 2008

back in fashion again - but when was it not.

From BBC News:

Karl Marx is back in fashion, says one German publisher, who attributes his
new popularity to the economic crisis.

Publisher Karl-Dietz said it sold 1,500 copies of Das Kapital this year - up from
the 200 it usually sells annually.

Written in 1867, sales of the tome rarely hit double digits but have been on
the rise since 2005.

Marxist economic philosophy - and in particular its Russian Leninist version -
fell out of favour with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

"It's definitely in vogue right now," said the publisher's director Joern

"The financial crisis brought us a huge bump."

He suggested that it was younger Germans who were buying the book
unhappy with the direction their elders had led the country.

"There's a younger generation of academics tackling hard questions and
looking to Marx for answers," Mr Schuetrumpf said.

But he doubted their perseverance: "I doubt they will read it all the way to
the end, because it's really arduous."

Other publishers also print Das Kapital, and German media have reported that
bookstores nationwide have seen a 300% increase in sales of the book in
recent months.

And suddenly too, some of the all-but-forgotten Marxist philosophers are
having their say again, such as the historian Eric Hobsbawm.

"Globalisation, which is implicit in capitalism, not only destroys the heritage
and tradition but it is incredibly unstable, it operates through a series of
crises, and I think this has been recognised to be the end of this particular
era," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

No comments: