Friday, March 19, 2010

Salute to Marx at Highgate

by New Worker correspondent
A NEW COMMUNIST Party delegation joined other communists and progressives in saluting the memory of Karl Marx at the annual ceremony in Highgate Cemetery in north London.
Marx died in his study at half-past two on the afternoon of Wednesday 14th March 1883. To commemorate his passing the Marx Memorial Library has for many decades held an annual graveside oration at his burial place in Highgate Cemetery at the exact moment of his death.
NCP leaders Andy Brooks and Alex Kempshall, along with Robert Laurie, Daphne Liddle and Theo Russell from the Central Committee and New Worker supporter Owen Liddle, represented the New Communist Party and the turnout included Library committee members and delegations from the London embassies of socialist countries, including Cuba, People’s China, Vietnam and the DPR Korea, many of whom laid flowers at the grave.
This year the address was given by Alex Gordon, President of the National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT) who said: “We are meeting today as monopoly capital and the forces of so-called ‘globalisation’ face yet another deep crisis. Conversely, this has awakened new interest in the ideas of Karl Marx, which have proved much more resilient than the forces of imperialist globalisation have claimed hitherto”.
In a withering attack on imperialism and the European Union, Gordon said: “Imperialist, supranational bodies such as the EU seek to roll back democratic advances achieved in previous centuries. Not content simply to defeat and scatter forces for socialism, modern imperialism seeks not ‘the end of history’, but to reverse history, nothing less than to undo the results of the French and American revolutions. It repudiates the historical significance of the development of modern independent nations.
“Progressive forces must respond to this threat by defending and restoring national democracy. Ultimately, national independence is required for democracy to flourish. The freedom of all nations to develop without external imperialist interference should be the touchstone for our understanding of Marxism in the modern context.”
The union leader concluded with the words of Karl Marx, pointing out: “As Marx said ‘Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the labourer, unless under compulsion from society” – by which, I believe, he meant the state. He also said ‘democracy is the road to socialism’. The battle for democracy is yet to be won, but the army of labour is crying out for the battle to be rejoined.”
photo: Marx Memorial Library Chair Mary Rosser with Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and diplomats from Cuba, Democratic Korea and Vietnam

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