Is it a tragedy? Is it a farce? In the land once called East Germany, in a town once called Karl-Marx-Stadt, a bank called Sparkasse Chemnitz ran an online poll letting customers vote for images to place on their credit cards. And the hands-down winner was Karl Marx, an ironic pick given that … well, you don’t need me to explain why.
In response to this selection, Planet Money has encouraged readers to post a tagline for the card on Twitter, using the hashtag #marxcard. Here are a few of our favorites so far:
- There are Some Things Money Can’t Buy. Especially If You Abolish All Private Property.
- From each according to their ability, to each according to his need. For everything else, there’s
- The Marx Card – Because Credit is the Opiate of the Masses.
- The Karl Marx MasterCard – When You’re Short of Kapital
Got your own to suggest? cc: us on Twitter: @openculture
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Reading Marx’s Capital with David Harvey (Free Course)
The MarxCard – Das Kapital.
(I’m not on Twitter.)
Philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways: the point, however, is to change it. For all those who can’t be bothered to do either ,there’s always the Karl Marx Mastercard.
This brings to mind a TV commercial featuring Fidel Castro, who removes his beard with a Bic shaver, after which he remarks “Nice capitalist tool.”
If I were a Greek I’d be asking: Should I use Marxcard or Eurocard or Drachmacard?
But beware! There are different Engels to all such stories.
This is more ironic than an Earnesto the Butcher (Che Guevera) T-shirt.
I bet it’s a hit with the Occupy Wall Street Crowd, though.
The people of Chemnitz weren’t happy when the city’s name was changed to Karl-Marx-Stadt in 1952. They weren’t consulted about it. It just happened because some bureaucrat in Berlin said it should. Incidentally, Marx himself never set foot in Chemnitz and has no known links to the city. Many people in the DDR refused to acknowledge the name change and still insisted that their mail was addressed to whereve they lived in Chemnitz. The consequence was any letters addressed ‘Chemnitz’ and not ‘Karl-Marx-Stadt’ often went undelivered by the postal service. The people were given a referendum on the name of the city in April 1990 and voted to change back to Chemnitz. They also voted to keep the head that still stands in the city centre today. Apparently, Ikea has put up some money for a restoration, so I’m expecting it to change into a foral sofa in the near future.
Is the Karl-Marx-Credit-Card tragedy or farce? I would say it’s neither. More like a little payback.
The Karl-Marx head belongs to the city now. Its something like a land mark and contributes to the city of Chemnitz identiy. I think this is the main aspect for the local bank Sparkasse Chemnitz to bind its clients to the city itself and have a symbolic item the people are used to and have a connection to.
Workers of the world unite…around Mastercard!
When you reach your spending limit your card is marxedout.