In a bizarre move, a major magazine designed to influence an entire generation of teenagers — Teen Vogue — tweeted “Welcome to Marx!,” promoting a 2018 article hailing Karl Marx as a “legend” and adding that the communist philosopher’s ideas “are more prevalent than you might realize.”
“You may have come across communist memes on social media,” begins the 2018 Teen Vogue piece. “The man, the meme, the legend behind this trend is Karl Marx, who developed the theory of communism, which advocates for workers’ control over their labor (instead of their bosses).”
But of course, anyone who has studied communism understands that the results of the ideology being put into practice isn’t what anyone in good conscience would refer to as “workers’ control over their labor,” but rather, a worldwide death toll of roughly 100 million.
welcome to marx! https://t.co/VMJZasQyot
— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) June 17, 2020
The Teen Vogue piece says the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx is taught in schools, and that Marx is one of the most assigned “economists” in U.S. college courses. So Teen Vogue sat down with two educators and interviewed them regarding how they teach their students about “the legacy of Marx’s ideas and how they’re relevant to the current political climate.”
One of the educators the magazine interviewed was former Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher, who “challenges his students to envision a society without capitalism,” and who also said in 2016 that all he wants for Christmas is “white genocide” — which is actually fitting for someone who flirts with Marxism, as “everyone who advocated genocide called himself a socialist,” according to George Watson’s 1998 book, The Lost Literature of Socialism.
“Marx says we live under capitalism [but] capitalism has not always existed,” said Ciccariello-Maher to Teen Vogue. “It’s something that came into being and something that, as a result, just on a logical level, could disappear, could be overthrown, could be abolished, could be irrelevant.”
“There’s this myth of the free market, but Marx shows very clearly that capitalism emerged through a state of violence,” added Ciccariello-Maher, ironically.
Teen Vogue ominously went on to say that “many Marxists” believe “the current socioeconomic system is precarious and can be overthrown at any time.”
The magazine also interviewed public high school teacher Mark Brunt, who said that he likes to do “a little role-playing” with his students, where he plays the bourgeoisie, and his students play the proletariat. “I do a little role-playing with [my class],” Brunt told Teen Vogue. “[I tell them,] I’m the boss, you’re my workers, and you want to try to take me down. I have the money. I own the factory. I control the police. I control the military. I control the government. What do you guys have?”
Brunt goes on to explain that his students usually react by blinking at him and appearing clueless, until he hints that they have one thing that he, as “the boss,” doesn’t have.
“It’s always just one student, whose hand shoots up and goes, ‘We outnumber you!'” added Brunt.
Brunt said he goes on to introduce his students to Marx’s definition of the “proletariat” and the “bourgeoisie,” adding that the tension between the two groups make up the class conflict, or class struggle.
Why Teen Vogue decided to dredge up this piece now remains unclear. But one can only assume what the magazine — which claims that “the proletariat will come together to overthrow the bourgeoisie and ultimately, win” — is suggesting.