When Karl Marx died, he was met by Saint Peter at the gates of heaven.
‘Name?’ asks Peter.
‘Marx, Karl Marx’. replies the famous writer and activist.
‘Hmm’, says Peter to himself, ‘why do I know that name?’
‘I am Marx’. Marx said, beaming with pride, ‘a founder of socialism, discoverer of the workings of capitalism, advocate of working class revolution for the sake of communism’.
‘I see’. Peter said. ‘I’ll have to check with God’.
So Peter rushes off to confer with God. God hears the name Marx and immediately a look of disgust passes over his face. ‘Marx?’ God says, ‘He’s nothing but a trouble maker. Tell him to go to hell’.
So Peter happily signs the appropriate forms and Karl Marx is banished to Satan’s domain.
Some time later, a free trade agreement is forged between Heaven and Hell. The deal is hailed by all to be a great economic leap forward that would revitalize both struggling economies. After all, Hell has plenty of heat, energy, alcohol and tobacco to spare, while Heaven produces an excess of saphires, gold, music and bread products (manna). But soon after the treaty, God realizes that Heaven is no longer receiving any products from Hell. So he sends Saint Peter down to investigate.
‘Well?’ asks Peter of Satan, ‘What’s the hold up? We have an agreement!’
Satan shrugs his shoulders, exasperated. ‘It’s that Marx fellow’, Satan replied. ‘Ever since he got down here, all we’ve had are strikes and labour demands. Productivity has dropped to zero!’
‘So?’ Peter asks, ‘What would you have us do?’
‘Take him back. Take Marx back to Heaven, and I guarantee productivity will sky rocket!’
So Peter agreed, on God’s behalf, to accept Karl Marx back to Heaven.
Normality returned, for a while. But some time later Satan realizes that Hell has not received any orders from Heaven. In fact, very little communication at all has leaked from Up Above. So, concerned for the economic welfare of Hell, he makes a trip to Heaven.
‘Peter! Peter, are you there?’ Satan demands.
‘Yes, what is it?’ Peter answers.
‘What’s the hold up? What about the flow of trade?’
‘Oh I’m sorry’, Peter said, ‘We have decided to adopt an isolationist stance. We are a self-governing commune, that is now focussed on the needs of the proletariat. It is our opinion that this free trade agreement only benefits the bourgeoisie’.
‘What?!’ Satan was furious. ‘I demand to speak to God!’
Comrade Peter raises one eyebrow: ‘Who?’