Marx in Soho

Bob Weick starred as Karl Marx in Howard Zinn’s production Marx in Soho, a monologue about Marx’s life and his idiosyncratic ideas on the flaws of capitalism. Weick acts around a scene set up of one table with a red tablecloth, two chairs, a large bag, newspapers, books, papers, a beer with a glass, and a scarf in remembrance of Jenny.

The basis of the play is to have Karl Marx come back to life to explain how his preachings are still relevant today with the rise of capitalism, poverty, and exploitation of the worker. All of which Marx had warned the world would happen if drastic change didn’t come. Marx gives examples of the destructive nature of capitalism by mentioning the increase in large manufactures like Wal-Mart, bank mergers, student loans, and a rampant boost in consumerism. Marx disapproves of these because they all add to the concentration of wealth of the 500 individuals who own 3,000 billion out of the 5,000 billion dollars of America’s gross product.

Marx provides solutions to these problems unlike other philosophers who he claims, “Only interpret what is wrong with the world”. He states that in order to put an end to the reign of the Bourgeoisie the Proletariats need to lead a revolution that would abolish private property. This in effect would distribute the wealth to the actual workers.

Zinn’s reasoning behind creating this play could be that he sees how many of the problems Marx wrote about are still abundant today yet no one has correctly executed a revolution of the working class, for the working class. Zinn is trying to draw focus to these problems and hoping to influence change through his writings. And attempts to allow people to understand that change is plausible as long as the workers unite under the unified cause of economic and social equality.