Paying the Fee to See the Private Grave of Karl Marx

I love these kinds of stories—when the incongruity between concept and reality exposes the ideological cracks in leftist thinking. It turns out that the privately owned cemetery, Highgate Cemetery in London, where Karl Marx is buried charges a fee to see his memorial.

Karl Marx, the father of communism and a zealous proponent of the abolition of private property. Yes. That Karl Marx. His grave and memorial site are a paid attraction, and lots of people are willing to pay to see it. That’s supply and demand. Free market economics. Capitalism. It’s a beautiful thing. And ironic:

On a summer visit to the grave of Karl Marx, Ben Gliniecki found that he would have to pay £4, or about $6, to pay respects to the man who sounded the death knell for private property.

Mr. Gliniecki, a Marxist, said no.

“Personally, I think it is disgusting,” the 24-year-old political activist said. “There are no depths of irony, or bad taste, to which capitalists won’t sink if they think they can make money out of it.”

The charity that looks after this cemetery has long taken swipe at a different irony: Karl Marx’s decision to buy a burial plot in a private London graveyard over the then state-provided alternatives.

Yes. Once again, the ideals of communism come up against the ravages of reality and end up crumbling like the Berlin Wall (I see what you did there). At least Karl Marx had the decency not to display his wax effigy in a glass case for posterity, but I can just see the conversation he must have had with himself while writing his will: “Sure, I could go with the public cemetery, but they always have vandals. And besides, public cemeteries are so drab. I want my memorial to be well-preserved, well-protected, and in a nice area of town. Whatever, I’ll go with the private cemetery. I’ll be dead by then anyway, so no one will see the blush of hypocrisy on my face.”

Capitalism is dead. Long live capitalism!