Marxist Blogger Max Edwards Dies Aged 16 From Terminal Cancer
A 16-year-old blogger who wrote candidly about having terminal cancer has died.
Max Edwards penned a blog called The Anonymous Revolutionary centred on modern Marxism, which later formed the basis of a book of the same name.
Last week, in a moving, bluntly honest article for the Guardian he wrote about how he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer five months ago, observing: “It doesn’t really change anything important.” On Saturday, a week after the article was published, he died.
On Sunday, his parents, Dan and Jenny, posted a tribute on their son’s blog. It read: “Writer, Philosopher, Thinker, Musician, Artist. The Anonymous Revolutionary – Max Edwards, our son – died on 26th March 2016, age 16. He loved writing this blog and sharing his ideas with you. In the later months of his life in particular it was a great source of comfort to him. Thank you all for your support. Thank you all for making a young revolutionary very happy. Dan & Jenny x”
Max, who lived in York, began writing his blog in January last year to discuss revolutionary socialism more than two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, at a time when when capitalism more or less dominates worldwide.
In the article Max wrote for the Guardian, he wrote about how the news of his illness squared with his beliefs and lack of religious faith. “I am told that many people are praying for me and I have prayed myself, though I never thought it would make a difference (I only did it on the off chance that something positive might happen – what’s to lose?),” he said. “I don’t believe in God; I didn’t before my diagnosis and I don’t now … They say death is the worst single thing that can happen to you, and given that I can’t trick myself into believing there is an afterlife, I imagine it leads only to an empty void, but I’ve found ways to accept such an idea.”
In his last self-penned post on his blog, he wrote a “confession” that he had taken a flight in a private jet and discussed how it fitted with his left-leaning politics.
“Does that make me a hypocrite? Possibly … But I’m going to at least acknowledge this irony. If I live in a capitalist country, I lead a capitalist lifestyle, and as a beneficiary of this system, that means I lead a very privileged one. I’m not saying that there’s nothing I can do about it, I’m saying that I’m too lazy/ignorant/selfish/all of the above to break out of the mould that’s been cast around me. So I think that this acceptance is at least something; I’m not pretending I’m exploited; I’m not claiming to be a victim of capitalism; I know very well that I don’t represent the revolutionary cause, but I’ll continue to serve it in this way all the same.”
Underneath his parents’ blogpost others paid tribute. Sophie Weston wrote: “I’m lost for words and moved to tears at this sad news. You were an inspiring young man; I wish I’d had the chance to meet you and I shall miss reading your blog. My thoughts are with you and your family. x”