Magazine article The Spectator

Marx!

Magazine article The Spectator

Marx!

Article excerpt

At The Spectator, we are anti-Marxist but pro-musical. So it is with mixed feelings that we learned that Chinese producers in Beijing are to turn Das Kapital into a stage show, complete with big dance numbers and catchy songs. The director, He Nian, told Wen Hui Bao newspaper that 'the particular performance style we choose is not important, but Marxist theories cannot be distorted'.

We disagree. Marx's theories are wholly discredited, but the style in which musicals are performed is a matter of global importance.

Imagine, then, the scene as the two founders of communism perform the duet that will lead to the Russian Revolution and the Cold War.

Friedrich Engels returns from hunting and finds his friend reading yet another volume of Hegel by candlelight. He shakes his head, and tap dances.

Engels: The British Library/ Well, that's no place to be/ If you want a dialectic/ It's got to get more hectic (Marx gets up from his desk: ragtime music plays) Marx: The proletarian/ Is quite contrarian/ When alienated/ From the fruits of his work. …

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