No, the title of this post isn’t some clever snarky jab at the credit card industry, there actually is a Karl Marx credit card:
The German bank Sparkasse Chemnitz recently launched a Karl Marx credit card. The bank let people vote online for 10 different images, and Marx was the “very clear winner,” beating out a palace, a castle and a racetrack, among others. Reuters has more on the story.
A more fitting image could not have been found. Karl Marx advocated central banks that could control currencies, he opposed money, and one of his tag lines was “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
What is a credit card? It’s basically a plastic card that allows you to use non-existent money to purchase things you can’t normally afford. It’s certainly not money, even by fiat standards, because no assumption is made that the person using the card will actually be able to pay off the bill at the end of the month. Truly credit cards embody the concept of “each according to his need” since need really is a subjective term when discussing economics that is more accurately referred to as want. Those unable to afford an expensive plasma television need to worry, they can merely put it on the credit card and later file bankruptcy against the debt. Each can have want they want.
I’m glad to see Karl Marx has finally been honored in a way befitting of his philosophy. The credit card is the perfect example of socialist economics and there is no better way to honor one of the best known socialist philosophers than putting his image it.