University of Florida names study room after Karl Marx

Campus Reform – by Alexa Schwerha

The University of Florida has named a collaborative study space after socialist revolutionary Karl Marx.

In a picture obtained by Campus Reform, Marx’s name can be seen on a plaque labeling the space in Library West a “Group Study Room.” A small inscription labels Marx as a “philosopher, radical economist, and revolutionary critic.”

Library West is part of the George A. Smathers Libraries system.

The description credits Marx as being the “founder of scientific socialism” whose “reputation as a radical thinker” emerged during the rise of the socialist political parties in the 1870s and 1880s.

“The unique extent of the influence of Marx’s materialist explanation of the workings of society, economics and history, inevitably saw Marxist theory extend its influence to literary criticism,” the plaque reads.

Marx is also credited with laying the foundation for the rise of “socialist and communist movements throughout the world.”

The Karl Marx Group Study Room is one of 14 other reserved spaces where students can schedule a time to collaborate. The rooms vary in capacity ranging from groups of two to teams of 12.

The Karl Marx room holds the largest occupancy.

Each room honors the name of influential individuals who have impacted a wide range of academia including literature, politics, philosophy, and science.

In addition to Marx, notable names who have helped transcribe the political landscape include Founding Father Benjamin Franklin and Civil Rights Activists Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King Jr.

Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway represent an array of classic literature authors, while peacekeepers and humanitarians are recognized through Mahatma Gandhi.

Zora Neale Hurston and James Baldwin represent the influence of African-American literature, while social sciences are honored through Abraham H. Maslow, Albert Camus, and Michel Foucault.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead is also featured.

Marx is most notable for authoring The Communist Manifesto. Published in 1848, the book critiques capitalism and paves the intellectual groundwork of a communist revolution.

The text quickly became the political compass that guides Marxism supporters.

Now, over 170 years later, the impact of the work is still rattling college campuses.

According to a 2020 report published by Victims of Communism, 30% of American Generation Z have a “favorable view of Marxism.” This was determined to be a driving factor in the 2020 election, as “one-in-three members (38%) of Gen Z hope[d] Joe Biden ‘pursues socialist policies over capitalist ones.”

The report annually tracks the range of support held by Americans toward socialism, communism, and collectivism.

From 2019 to 2020, favorable views of socialism spiked nearly 9% among American youths.

Colleges and universities have expressed favoritism toward Karl Marx beyond inscribing his name outside of a room. For example, in 2018, New York University held a “birthday bash” for the economist that stretched for two weeks.

Marxism has also become an internalized notion among American college professors.

Campus Reform previously reported on Kathi Weeks, a self-described “Marxist feminist” professor who spearheaded an initiative that admitted to being “anti-work and anti-family” to counter “contemporary capitalism.”

Similar sentiments have been peddled by academics at institutions such as Amherst CollegeWellesley College, and Riverside City College.

See picture here: Campus Reform

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