Markets in Everything: The Karl Marx Credit Card

by on June 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm in Current Affairs, History | Permalink

The Karl Marx credit card.

The Karl Marx credit card now available in Eastern Germany for when you really need kapital. Planet Money is looking for taglines which you can tweet to @planetmoney. Here are a few good ones:

  • “What’s in YOUR wallet? Seriously, though, I need to see your papers. Now.”
  • @planetmoney There are some things money can’t buy. Especially if you abolish all private property. #marxcard.

1 mesaman June 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Use card or be in gulag! Da? Spacebo.

2 Greg June 23, 2012 at 12:34 am

Wouldn’t that be a Stalin credit card?

3 Zach June 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm

One of the most poignant pieces of graffiti I’ve ever seen comes to mind:

“Beim naechstes mal wird alles besser”
(Next time, everything will be better)

4 Daniel Klein June 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm

For three professional economics associations, Marx showed in the pre-20th cent. category:

Marx took 1st place among members of the Union for Radical Political Economists — the only association (of 13) that did not have Adam Smith in first place.

Marx took 2nd place among members of the Association for Evolutionary Economics

Marx took 3rd place among members of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics


5 Jim Glass June 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Do any of them include the Black Book of Communism in the curriculum?

6 MD June 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Credit is the opiate of the masses.

7 Zach June 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Workers of the World, apply! You have nothing to fear from your chains!

8 John David Galt June 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm

“Soviet Express: Don’t leave home!”

(by the way, wouldn’t Chemnitz be renamed back to Karl-Marx Stadt?)

9 Eric H June 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Who needs to own the tools of production when you can rent them?

A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of bad kredit. Don’t be haunted.

10 Nick_L June 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm

All property is.. purchasable.
Take the dialectic out of your materialism, with…

11 Edward Burke June 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm

“Too rich for your blood? Join the lumpensecretariat!” . . . . in Francophone markets, the card’s sponsorship would likely fall to the Bonnot Bank, whose motto someone will have to translate for me: “OUT OF OUR WAY! And leave the driving to us!”

12 Milton Friedman June 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm

They should use a credit card with my name on it in advertisements.

13 Derrill Watson June 16, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Have your proletariat revolution now; pay for it later!

14 Heedless June 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

“Heighten the Contradiction”

“$1 debt is a tragedy; $1 million is a write-off”

“Our rates are revolutionary”

15 FromCalgary June 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm

“$1 debt is a tragedy; $1 million is a write-off”

and “Our rates are revolutionary”

Both totally genius.

16 Zachary June 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Rise of the Proletariat: 40 million deaths
Destruction of the Bourgeoisie: 80 Million deaths
Realizing that Capitalism is the best means for message dissemination: Priceless

There are some things that money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Marxist-Card.

17 An Unpractical Man June 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Two more:

“The Karl Marx credit card: To borrow the money you need to buy the rope to hang the capitalists.”


“Hemp Rope: $25 for 50′.  Beginner’s guide to tying knots: $20.  Arborist’s guide to good strong trees: $30.  Hanging all the capitalists: Priceless.

The best things in the Revolution money can’t buy.  For everything else, there’s the Karl Marx Kard.”

18 Yancey Ward June 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Damn- I didn’t read your comment far enough to realize you beat me to it.

19 GiT June 16, 2012 at 6:53 pm

“Within the credit relationship, it is not the case that money is transcended in man, but that man himself is turned into money, or money is incorporated in him. Human individuality, human morality itself, has become both an object of commerce and the material in which money exists. Instead of money, or paper, it is my own personal existence, my flesh and blood, my social virtue and importance, which constitutes the material, corporeal form of the spirit of money. Credit no longer resolves the value of money into money but into human flesh and the human heart.”

20 MD June 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Sure, that HDTV you can’t really afford won’t cure your alienation, but it’s not like it will make it worse, right?

21 Yancey Ward June 16, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Cost of the comments above? Zero.

Laughing my ass off? Priceless.

22 Nyongesa June 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Time is money Yancey, you have real investment in this blog. Although with priceless returns.

Given the education and average income of the above posters, I wonder just about how much money every ten posts, or the average Tyler thread costs.

23 Frank June 16, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Or saves in terms of recuperative leisure that replenishes productive attention.

24 Rahul June 17, 2012 at 2:56 am

What is the median income of an MR poster?

25 msgkings June 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm

A datum Tyler’s advertisers would desperately want to know

26 mulp June 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm

You don’t get “kapital” with a credit card, you get slavery.

At least when responding to Shay’s Rebellion and other threats of a new revolution, a Federal government takeover of credit markets was done in the Constitution to allow the Congress to bailout debtors with redistributing the wealth from the kapitalists to the debtors. Even Donald Trump has gone to the Federal government technocrat twice for a government run transfer f wealth from the wealthy to Trump enterprises.

(The fourth enumerated power of Congress requiring a national bankruptcy law.)

27 Willitts June 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

We are all capitalists now.

Jetzt sind Wir doch alle Kapitalisten.

From each, according to his credit limit, to each according to his interchange fees.

28 Frank June 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm


29 Greg Ransom June 17, 2012 at 1:34 am

There are some things money can’t buy. Like idiot leftist followers who will believe every made up fact you stuff in your books.

There are some things money can’t buy. Like a wife who will let you bang the maid.

There are some things money can’t buy. Like idiot followers who believe every idea you pull out of the back of your pants, like the genius idea that a great society can function without any money.

There are some things money can’t buy. Like disciples willing to slaughter tens of millions in the name of your ideas.

There are some things money can’t buy. Like a socialist economy that actually works.

30 Kenneth W. Regan June 17, 2012 at 1:48 am

We put the “Da”s in your Kapital.

For your getaway to a tropical workers’ paradise.

The competition gives you Harpo, Chico, and Groucho.

Your Big Brother doesn’t have this.

Add Debt—Bring Revolution to Europe…

31 sky kauweloa June 17, 2012 at 3:48 am

“For the Materialist in you — Mastercard”

32 R. Pointer June 17, 2012 at 4:58 am

Fine print:

In the event of proletarian revolution, all prior, but unpaid purchases become property of the workers. In the event of violent counterrevolution, all debts, thereby, are reinstated. The KM card is not responsible for lost property owing to any change in the ownership of the means of production.

33 legalalien June 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Any cash back you earn will be shared with all other cardholders.

34 ddh June 17, 2012 at 5:50 pm

East Germany renamed Chemnitz Karl-Marx-Stadt (Karl Marx City), so the Chemnitz Savings Bank is allowing its customers to indulge in localized East German nostalgia.

35 75 Grand/sur June 18, 2012 at 8:08 am

“To each – according to his, or her needs.”

36 Michael Hasenstein June 18, 2012 at 9:56 am


The Karl-Marx image in that card has little to do with Marxist thinking – it simply is a local landmark! The EAST-German city of Chemnitz used to be called Karl-Marx-Stadt (Karl-Marx-City) before German reunification, when it went back to its old (pre-GDR) name.

However, the “Nischel”, which is Saxonian slang for “head”, still remains the town’s most easily recognized landmark. It is located in the town center.

So all of you got the wrong associations, as I said, this is simply a local landmark used by a local bank.

37 Willitts June 19, 2012 at 12:39 am

Which might also explain a Josef Stalin credit card issued in the city formerly known as Stalingrad.


38 ddh June 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Michael Hasenstein,

At least two of us got the right association. Sie haben einige der Kommentare verpasst.

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