The railway was never completed and was abandoned after Joseph Stalin's death And although his ideas — the importance of class struggle, the urgency of revolution, the dream of a socialist society — remain hugely controversial, there is simply no escaping them.Indeed, you could even argue that, to some degree, we are all Marxists today.
In his darkest moments, the man who called for a world revolution spent his time attacking the pus-filled boils on his bottom with a cut-throat razor. Still, turning Marx into a comic figure does him little justice.
As anyone who opens Das Kapital will know, his was an intellect of formidable power.
Two centuries later, the very words 'Karl Marx' still carry an unmistakable charge.
No modern intellectual, no economist or philosopher can match the combustible power of the rabbi's grandson who fled into poverty-stricken exile in leafy North London.
Mr Juncker got a lot of stick from critics, who said that he was insulting Marxism's victims.
The irony is that, since Mr Juncker is a bourgeois conservative politician, the very least he could expect in a Marxist regime would be a long stretch in a labour camp.Fearless, arrogant, ferociously clever, he never doubted that his work would survive.There is, of course, another reason why we should take Marx seriously and you probably don't need me to spell it out.That may sound odd, as most people in the UK are more likely to be small-c conservatives than card-carrying Lefties.Indeed, Thursday's local election results strongly suggest that Corbynmania has peaked at last, which is good news for those of us who shudder at the thought of the hard-Left in power.When he died in penniless obscurity in 1883, just 11 people came to his funeral in Highgate Cemetery.