Talk about cultural appropriation. Chinese state media is pushing a song which glorifies communist manifesto author Karl Marx in an effort to shore up support for the ruling communist party. Fox News reports:
Entitled “Marx is a post-90” — China’s version of a millennial — the song extols the communist godfather’s supposed coolness with lyrics such as, “Life is full of little accidents, then one day I discovered how awesome he was.”
“I saw my faith, don’t even ask why,” it continues. “You are my Venus, my dear Marx.”
The website of the party newspaper People’s Daily said the song proves how Marx continues to appeal to young people and will “never completely go out of style.”
New China reports the song was written for a television show designed to promote Marx to young poeple:
The nine-episode program, titled “Marx is trustworthy,” will be the first of a series of “reading show” on the regional Inner Mogolia TV. Designed to introduce Marxism in a way appealing to the young audience, it will be all hosted by young people born in the 1980s, known in China as the “post-80s generation”.
The theme song released in March, “Marx is a post-90s,” makes the late great icon renewed again and has been much talked about among netizens over the past month. With lyrics in both English and Chinese, the rap song draws a connection between Karl Marx and qualities that China’s post-1990s generation aspire to.
The chorus includes the lines “Not for power. Not for money. But for faith, we march ahead.” and “We both won’t give up till we die.”
There’s a video that goes along with this demi-religious dumpster fire of a song. It include the lyrics as Chinese subtitles. Occasionally the rappers switch to awkward English such as the rather ominous refrain, “Cause we won’t give up ’til we die.”
In a way this is a fitting testimony to Marx. His legacy is being pushed by a one-party state using American music and American clothes (including a California baseball team). This is the state doing its best to brainwash a new generation of subjects using the trappings of freedom that arise in a culture where Marx is relegated to dorm room bull sessions. The song and video are as convincing as undercover high schooler Steve Buscemi.