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Climb down off those tenterhooks kids, put away the pins and needles. The BBC’s race to determine the Greatest Philosopher has been won by…
Karl Marx.
Hooo boy.
I can’t say I’m pleased. My man Hobbes didn’t even make it into the top 10, though my next two choices, Hume and Wittgenstein, did finish two and three.
Why Marx? This Old Labour commie thinks the vote shows that, in this age of market fundamentalism, “thousands of Britons must believe that real change is possible.”
Riiiight. Didn’t we try that one already? I’d be more inclined to chalk it up to the types of people who listen to Greatest Philosopher shows on the BBC than to any great social movement. But I’m already engaged in a bit of CBC bashing on this blog, so maybe I’ll save the Beeb for another time.
If anything, Marx’s success here is simply a corollary of what is now an iron law of academia. Just as you can be wrong about everything and still get tenure, your ideas can lead to tyranny and the slaughter of millions and the chattering classes will still love you.

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