"On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep—but forever."
–Friedrich Engels, read aloud at Karl Marx's funeral
I'm no expert on Marx and can neither confirm nor deny his idiocy tonight. But I walk past this (I suppose) anti-Communist carving on the mountain every time I climb, enough times to have by now nurtured a casual meditation on the man himself, class struggles, and social science (and whoever went to the trouble of carving it). So I do know that he died widowed, ill, and stateless in the United Kingdom 132 years ago today (Einstein was 4!), presumably free of proletarian chains and without any opium of the masses. His headstone reads: "Workers of the world, unite!"
But, what if, after all, the carving refers to Groucho Marx (or Chico, Harpo, or Zeppo!), who once, in 1958, did the Charleston on top of a heap of rocks marking the spot where Hitler died and proclaimed, "Not much satisfaction after he killed six million Jews!" No idiot, he would prefer to be quoted as being misquoted, of course.
Or, a friend once suggested the carving might in fact refer to singer Richard Marx, and now it’s all I can do to not get the song “Right Here Waiting” stuck in my head when I see it.
UPDATE: Over two years and much studying of the mountain later, it painfully dawned on me that this Marx may've been a reference to Rabbi David Marx of The Temple that was bombed in Atlanta in October 1958, the same year Stone Mountain was taken over by the State of Georgia. I wrote about it in 2017.