The People’s Republic of China donated a statue of Marx to the German city of Tier. This past Saturday, the statue was unveiled for all to see. The citizens of Tier did not particularly want the statue, though the local officials in the government, as well as those in the European Union, were enthusiastic.
The production and donation of the 18 foot statue was done to celebrate the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, the man famous (or notorious) for his published ideas about communism. This is only one piece of China’s efforts to promote communism worldwide, and to exert its influence as far as possible. China has also been sponsoring various conferences, books, and exhibits to promote communism and the bicentennial of Marx’s birthday.
Western governments and politicians are tolerant to the point of being limp when it comes to China and communism. One would think that governments and politicians in the West should be anti-communist and ready to question and err on the side suspicion when it comes communism. After all, communism is opposed to the Western system of capitalism, and many wars in the 20th century have been fought with the excuse of keeping communism at bay.
There are very persuasive arguments for why the West wanted to keep communism at bay for so many years. Many communist countries ended up being very corrupt, draconian and unable to provide for their citizens. People who were against the regimes were openly threatened and killed. Some people say that you can’t really blame Carl Marx and communism for the bad things that have happened in communist countries. After all, the ideas that Marx espoused were only ideas, and they could be interpreted in any way, and to any extent. The ideas, themselves, cannot be blamed—only the people who interpreted them a certain way and acted upon those interpretations can be blamed. This was the argument that Jean-Claude Junker, the highest official in the European Union, gave when he spoke in the commemorative bicentennial celebration in Tier where there statue was unveiled.
Currently, China is pro-communist, and people who are against communism are persecuted. Western politicians are afraid to criticize China because of the idea of cultural relativism—the idea that it is not completely ethical to criticize a place with a different culture. It might also have to do with the fact that China is a world power and is very much entrenched with trade and industry.