The Mark of Marx

I am always embarrassed to admit to readers like you that before my blindness when I could read words on a printed page or computer screen, I don’t believe I ever read a whole book cover to cover. Now as a blind person, I average reading one book every day thanks to high-speed audio books and digital technology. Becoming a reader made me want to be a writer and was instrumental in my success.

Many of the books I read are biographies of people I admire, whether it’s Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Mickey Mantle, or Leonardo da Vinci. People who have made their mark in their field of endeavor have much to teach us. On the other hand, some of the greatest lessons I have learned come from studying people whose lives did not make a positive impact on the world.

Recently, I read a biography of Karl Marx. Today, we know Marx as one of the founding forces behind socialism. It is ironic that Marx’s philosophy is so pervasive today. When Karl Marx died in 1883, only 11 people attended his funeral. It is significant that the people who knew Karl Marx personally didn’t even take a couple of hours out of their day to attend his funeral, but 50 years after his death, over half the people on planet earth lived under a government influenced by Karl Marx.

Marx was more self-educated than formally educated. He married into a family of relative wealth but had very little respect for his in-law’s efforts that had created that wealth. All of us have a tendency to minimize the importance of things that came to us easily.

In my novel and the subsequent movie entitled The Ultimate Gift, my character, Red Stevens, played by esteemed actor James Garner in the film, was a self-made billionaire who had crippled his family by giving them everything money could buy. He told his grandson Jason, “You have no respect for money. You think of it like the air you breathe.” This is much the way Karl Marx thought of money, so he felt everyone should have some. Unlike air, money comes from the efforts of people who earned it. Margaret Thatcher said, “Socialism is great until you run out of other people’s money to spend.”

History has proven Karl Marx’s theories to be both financially and morally bankrupt, but unless or until we understand history, we are doomed to repeat it.

As you go through your day today, learn from people you admire as well as those you don’t.

Today’s the day!


Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached by email at; on Facebook at; or follow Jim on Twitter @StovallAuthor.

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