Friday, August 16, 2013

Travel through Philately - Centenary of the Death of Karl Marx 马克思逝世一百周年

A cry resounded in the German city of Trier, a city residing in then Prussian Rhineland, on 5 May 1818. And so was born Karl Heinrich Marx, a person whose famous philosophical ideas of Marxism led to the rise of socialism and communism, inevitably leading to the murder of the last Russian tsar and the Cold War.

Stamps from China Post commemorating the centenary of Karl Marx's death, as well as his contribution to modern social theory. The 8 cents stamp depicts his famous portrait while the 20 cents stamp shows an image of Marx in a rally.

The term 'communism' may have raised the hackles on the back of those resided under the unnamed terror of Cold War, but it is not the idea which was evil, merely those who wielded it as their reason to rise to power and to control the masses. It is therefore unfortunate that he is remembered by most as the person who set forth the ideals which led to the rise of the Red Army and the split of the Western civilization of the 20th century into two.

Being a communist country back in the 80's (and still is now), it is of no wonder that China chose to commemorate the great thinker on the centenary of his death (he was found dead from bronchitis and pleurisy - Wikipedia). After all, it was his ideas which led indirectly to Maoism, an ideal which was ingrained into the life of the Chinese in the later half of the 20th century.

The FDC commemorating centenary of Karl Marx's death.

Date of Issue:       14 March 1983
Denominations:    (RMB) 8¢, 20¢
Designer:              黄里 Huang Li (stamp, postmark, FDC design)
                             文国璋 Wen Guozhang (original artist, second design)

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