If there never was a Russian revolution, then who was Karl Marx?

Karl Marx’s theories sparked a revolution in Russia in 1917. His communist ideology formed the basis of the USSR and other repressive regimes, which led to the state murder of hundreds of millions of people. Nevertheless, despite the Marxist democide of the 20th century, Marx is still one of the most popular so-called intellectual figures of the last century. “Marx’s Communist Manifesto, included in 3,856 programs as of 2015, consistently ranks among the most used texts in American college classrooms.”

But what if the Russian revolution had never happened? Would anyone today know who Karl Marx was? And is there a way to measure this empirically?

Philip Magness, director of research and education at AIER, and his colleague Michael Macowey set out to do just that. What did they discover? Find out in this edition of Liberty Curious.

Philip W. Magness

Phil Magness

Philip W. Magness is a senior research faculty and director of research and education at the American Institute for Economic Research. He is also a Fellow at the Independent Institute. He holds a doctorate and master’s degree from the George Mason University School of Public Policy and a bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas University, Houston. Before joining AIER Dr. Magness has taught public policy, economics, and international trade for over a decade at institutions such as American University, George Mason University, and Berry College. Magness’s work covers the economic history of the United States and the Atlantic world, specializing in the economics of slavery and racial discrimination, the history of taxation, and measurements of economic inequality over time. He also maintains an active research interest in higher education politics and the history of economic thought. In addition to his scholarship, Magness’s popular writing has appeared in many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Newsweek, Politico, Reason, National Review, and Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Keith Vand

Keith Vand is a content creator. Her focus is on social commentary and filmmaking. She is the host of the AIER Liberty Curious podcast.

You can follow her on Twitter @katewand.

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