A consistent anti-human vision features throughout Marx’s thought. For Marx, man is a being whose origins are irrelevant, whose future is extinction, and whose present is beyond his control. Even people living in Marx’s Communist society have no possibility of a meaningful existence. Marx once described Communist society as one in which it would be possible “to do one thing today and another tomorrow; to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, breed cattle in the evening and criticize after dinner, just as I please.”
This sounds idyllic until one realizes that, from Marxism’s perspective, none of these activities can have any value for humans. For true materialists, there can be no qualitative difference between reading and fishing, working or sleeping, living or dying. Everything has the same value and therefore no value. In this world, there is no difference between Mother Teresa’s work and that of a concentration camp guard. They share equally in a general irrelevance of everything and everyone.
This tells us that Marxism cannot be interested in justice or liberty. It insists that we are like driftwood, floating hither and thither on the waves of history. In such a world, our lives matter naught. Our deaths are irrelevant. We merely try and salvage whatever animal satisfaction we can from life, before our essential nothingness is finalized in our ultimate annihilation as living beings.
So much for Marx’s humanism. A more serious problem with Marxist philosophy is its legitimatizing of criminality.
By “criminal,” I do not simply mean the occasional breaking of law. Rather, I mean a situation whereby people decide that they are above law; that they are not subject to law; that law is merely another tool of power. For if Marxism is right and materialism is true, then systematic violence to pursuit political goals is acceptable.
The irony is that while millions today know about the Nazis’ unspeakable crimes, rather fewer know about the atrocities committed by Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Pol Pot and other Marxists. It is as if there has been a subtle agreement not to discuss these crimes. This studied ignorance manifests itself when we observe red flags emblazoned with hammers and sickles waved at demonstrations. Do their wavers know what the red flag means for those who were enslaved and killed by Marxist regimes? Why is Marxism’s red flag not treated with the same contempt rightly attached to the swastika?
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Someone Else's Thought For The Day
Dr. Samuel Gregg on Marx and Marxism: