“Workers of the world, shop til you drop!”
“When you’re short of Das Kapital, just reach for your Marx card, comrade…”
Oh the blessed irony of this, German bank Sparkasse Chemnitz held an online vote so the public could choose between ten different images for the bank’s new credit card.
Karl Marx won.
Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, citizens of Chemnitz - then known as Karl-Marx-Stadt - and the rest of East Germany would have seen Marx’s face on their 100-Mark banknotes.
Flattened during World War Two, Chemnitz was rebuilt as a model socialist city and still boasts a seven meter-tall bust of Marx in its center. The city has been economically depressed since the end of communism and its population has shrunk by 20 percent.
The east has witnessed a wave of nostalgia in recent years for aspects of the old East Germany, or DDR, where citizens had few freedoms but were guaranteed jobs and social welfare. The trend is not limited to the region.
“We’ve even received inquiries from clients in western German states asking whether they could open a local account with us to get a card bearing Marx’s features,” Sparkasse’s Wirtz told Reuters.
A 2008 survey found 52 percent of eastern Germans believed the free market economy was “unsuitable” and 43 percent said they wanted socialism back.
As someone who has considered himself “a Marxist” for some 30 years, I was quite amused by this. If a bank ever offered me a credit card with Karl Marx’s face on it—not that this would be very likely in the US of A. of course—on principle, I’d max it out in one day and tell them to go fuck themselves…
“The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.”