The University of Florida has removed Communist Manifesto author Karl Marx — who the university called a “philosopher, radical economist, and revolutionary critic” — from the name of a library study room. Incredibly, the school claims the decision is based on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The University of Florida’s “Karl Marx Group Study Room” has been renamed to “Group Study Room 229” after news reports that the school had named a study room in the Library West after the late philosopher, according to a report by Campus Reform.
People hold a banner picturing Communist figures including (From L) German philosopher and communist theoretician Karl Marx, German philosopher and communist thinker Friedrich Engels, Soviet leader Vladimir Ilitch Lenin, Soviet leader Josph Stalin and Chinese late communist leader Mao Zedong, as they gather in Bakirkoy district as part of the the May Day rally, in Istanbul, on May 1, 2017
At the study room, a sign was displayed crediting 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 read.
Many, however, found the name of this study room to be a bizarre choice, given that international communism — which has left 100 million people dead over the course of 100 years — is grounded in Marx’s, known as Marxism.
The University of Florida told Campus Reform that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine influenced the school’s decision to remove Marx’s name.
“Given current events in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world, we determined it was appropriate to remove the name of Karl Marx that was placed on a group study room at the University of Florida in 2014,” Hessy Fernandez, director of strategic communications, said.
The Karl Marx study room was one of 14 spaces that students could reserve. The room, now dubbed Group Study Room 229, also holds the largest occupancy available.
Each study room is reportedly named after a different influential individual. Names of other study rooms include Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights activists Frederick Douglass, and authors William Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Jane Austen.