Marx in Soho

“Marx in Soho” sought to bring Karl Marx to life in the 21st century. The performance showed how eclectic and misunderstood Karl Marx and his ideas were. He was an advocate for social and economic revolution, and a man who devoted his life to the betterment of his society, not a monster like so many believed, and still believe him to have been. While highlighting the economic and fundamental flaws of capitalism that still exist today, the play gave the audience a glimpse of what Marx’s life may have been like.

Howard Zinn was trying to change the perception of Karl Marx through this performance, and clarify who the man really was, while establishing the difference between him and the Marxist revolutionaries after him. A line summarized Zinn’s premises well: “I [Karl Marx] am not a Marxist!” Marx then went on a tangent about how flawed and naïve people’s interpretations of his writings were, and how he was trying to create a system based on freedom, not an oppressive society governed by few. He wanted equality of class and abolishment of private property. Marx acknowledges that his ideas were not perfect, and that he could be wrong, but through antithesis and synthesis he came to his conclusions. So what—what is the message? People ought to change their thinking and not come to rash conclusions before analyzing the past and present systems, like Marx did, and one must be willing to be wrong.

Of course, the previous interpretation could be wrong, but why does Bob Weick devote his career to playing this role? He wants to make change. In speaking with Bob, he said for people to do what they can to change the capitalist system that is destroying our world environmentally and economically through the poor wages and benefits given to workers, mass production of goods, and capitalist greed. Whether one agrees with Bob or not, he, like Marx, presented his findings analytically, gave evidence, and acknowledged that he may have been wrong. Marx’s ideas are not dead, and never will be. The poverty that existed in Soho, taking of innocent lives worldwide, and capitalist mindset still exist today, and Marx was a misunderstood man trying to combat the world’s problems.

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