Monday, 1 August 2011

Google meets Terry Eagleton, Why Marx was Right

Yesterday, I bought Terry Eagleton's Why Marx Was Right, overcoming my distaste for the title. My review of the book can be found as the next Post after this one. But the title gave me an idea:

I typed it into Google, using scare quotes.

"Why Marx was right" generates 1,170,000 results

Then I typed in some variations on the the original search string, always with scare quotes:

"Why Hitler was right" generates 17,100 results
"Why Jesus was right" 16,300
"Why Darwin was right" 11,600
"Why Freud was right" 881
"Why Galileo was right" 693
"Why Adam Smith was right" 445
"Why Copernicus was right" 251
"Why Engels was right" 191
"Why Malthus was right" 109
"Why Ayn Rand was right" 9
"Why Hegel was right" 5
"Why Stalin was right" 4
"Why Schopenhauer was right" 3
"Why John Stuart Mill was right" 3
"Why Nostradamus was right" 3
"Why Popper was right" 2
"Why Fichte was right" 0*
"Why Schelling was right" 0*
"Why Bentham was right" 0*

* By the time you read this, Google will, of course, deliver 1 :)

The challenge, it seems to me, is to find a substitute for "X" (where X is a dead person) in "Why X was right" which returns a Google number larger than does Marx. Please Comment below if you succeed. At the moment, it does rather look as if Marx is the only dead person about whom people are still passionate to show that he was right. "Why Marx was wrong" generates a mere 6,370 results, which means that the opposition is overwhelmingly outnumbered.


  1. Einstein comes in at a whopping 48,900,000

  2. Yes, I thought my claim for Einstein looked fishy. As you'll realize, I hadn't put the phrase into quotation marks. So Marx still has it.