The spectacle of Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, unveiling an 18-foot bronze statue of Karl Marx in Trier, to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the founding father of Communism, provided an instructive insight into the mentality of the European Union. Whenever Juncker lectures the people of Poland and Hungary – both nations tragic victims of Communism – on “European values”, we shall know exactly what he means.

The Poles and Hungarians already knew: from unhappy historical experience they recognize the EU as the soft-power reincarnation of the USSR. Juncker said: “Karl Marx was a philosopher, who thought into the future, had creative aspirations. Today he stands for things which he is not responsible for and which he didn’t cause, because many of the things he wrote down were redrafted into the opposite.”

You mean things Marx wrote like: “Far from opposing so-called excesses, such as sacrificing to popular revenge of hated individuals or public buildings to which hateful memories are attached, such deeds must not only be tolerated, but their direction must be taken in hand, for examples’ sake”? Is that the kind of innocuous opinion you are referring to, Jean-Claude, that was subsequently redrafted into something mischievous?

Or did you have in mind comments such as “…there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror”; or perhaps “We have no compassion and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror” – was it philanthropic sentiments like those that were redrafted, Jean-Claude?

Those are the texts published by Marx himself in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung on 7 November 1848 and 18 May 1849 respectively. They were not subsequently reworded to sound intolerant and bloodthirsty. They were intolerant and bloodthirsty in the first place.

Jean-Claude Juncker does not even qualify, in Lenin’s terms, as a useful idiot: with this level of skill as an apologist he is a useless idiot. Likewise the European Commission spokeswoman who said: “Whatever peoples’ views on Karl Marx, I think that nobody can deny that Karl Marx is a figure who shaped history in one way or another.”

By that morally illiterate criterion they could put up a statue to the Führer in Trier next year; or Stalin, Pol Pot or Mao. In fact the statue of Marx was a present from the Chinese Communist regime which, since 1949, has slaughtered 65 million human beings in the name of Marxism. Yet the EU entertains more cordial relations with it than with Poland and Hungary, which it fears may be falling into “authoritarianism”.

In Britain we are suddenly experiencing a Grande Peur provoked by the prospect of a Marxist government led by Jeremy Corbyn. The City, financial commentators, Conservative politicians, all are bewailing the possible advent of a Labour government inspired by Marxism. What this Greek chorus of doom-mongers fails to acknowledge is that we are already living in a society inspired by Marxism.

Political correctness – the euphemism for cultural Marxism – has colonized almost every corner of life in Britain. The social assumptions and public discourse, as well as the legal framework, have become Marxist. Genuine free speech is now an historical memory.

One can only marvel at the prescient accuracy of George Orwell’s dystopian warnings in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Thought crime is today called “hate crime”; Newspeak is the constipated, hideous neologisms of PC language. People have begun to police their own speech; formerly articulate individuals now have a hesitant delivery as they negotiate the pitfalls of an ever-expanding minefield of taboos.

The police have been politicised: while knife and gun crime proliferates, officers are hunched over computer screens censoring free speech online. The Times found that in 2016, across 29 police forces, 3,395 people were arrested under the Communications Act 2003. This is part of a Europe-wide drive by the elites to prevent anti-establishment opinions being exchanged online. The establishment is determined to recover control over the population and to gag opposition.

The Sentencing Council for England and Wales, the majority of whose members are judges, has just proposed sentences of up to six years for verbal and written “hate crime”, extending the existing provisions regarding “abusive or insulting” language on racial grounds to cover religion or sexual orientation also. In a free society nobody should face prison for expressing an opinion, even one that many people might find distasteful. Such repression is the essence of totalitarianism.

When a comedian can be fined £800 for teaching a dog the Hitler salute, freedom is all but dead in Britain. Yet in January the Conservative government rejected a petition demanding a Free Speech Act and an end to the “hate speech” laws. There will not be much left for Corbyn to do if he becomes prime minister.

As the case of Alfie Evans showed, children have been nationalised. Now it is suggested an inquiry may be held – not into his death, without autopsy, or the hospital that ended his life, but into the Christian group that supported his parents’ legal challenges. The establishment is determined to crush resistance.

So it goes on. Encouraging very young children to question their sexual identity is a form of child abuse. The transgender panic defies science and the reality that chromosomes and DNA, not the delusions associated with gender dysphoria, dictate an individual’s sex. Yet the entire establishment supports this damaging nonsense and increasingly threatens anyone who contradicts it. Why? Because ideology trumps even science and the ideology involved is cultural Marxism.

And remind us what Government is presiding over this Marxist revolution? Oh yes, a “Conservative” government.

On Brexit, even the claim that Leave voters did not know what they were doing is the Marxist propaganda theory of “false consciousness”. Now the Tories are panicking, in fear of a Marxist Labour government, because the Corbynistas would attack the City, banks and large corporations. The Conservatives can not only live with, but actively promote, Marxism across society; what they dread is Marxian economics blowing up crony capitalism.

Marx got one thing right, when he denounced the materialist self-interest of the Conservative Party: “The Tories in England long imagined that they were enthusiastic about monarchy, the church, and the beauties of the old English Constitution, until the day of danger wrung from them the confession that they are enthusiastic only about ground rent.”

Marx is winning and the last people we can count upon to resist him are the political class.