Karl Marx: The (Modern) American Apostle?

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China President Xi Jinping last week congratulated the World Symposium for Marxist Political Parties, saying China stands ready to help the cause of human progress and community building.

His new partners in Washington are actively following his call with ungodly spending, failure to secure borders, laws through executive fiat. All part of the left’s version of a new world order theocracy with big government grabbing the role of “the new god.” 

And here is the kicker, it’s all in the name of Utopia! Human-made heaven on earth.

In researching my new book, To Hell with Karl Marx (not a sprint but a marathon, given Marx’s prolific output), I had to take a breather for two reasons:

  1. He’s derivative mainly. Hence, it matters to expose his antecedents, to know the origin of his opinions.
  2. He’s one of the most influential religious thinkers who has ever lived, rivaling the original Apostles! 

The Apostle Paul and his early desire to usher in the eschaton, the end of the known world, inspired his gospel Odyssey. He would have called it the Kingdom of God, a transformed state of being. Marx operated the same way through proclaiming his beliefs in the name of his new “gods” of science or materialism.

If we look at all ideological thinking as precommitments (deep [apriori] choices) that form worldviews, they are cultic in their roots. Subjective, initially, they may become more nuanced with the evolution of time and history, but it’s what sparks a religious and political revolution. 

Paul’s eschaton did not arrive, and over time his movement slowly immanentized the transcendent in his teachings toward the “this-worldly,” with the Church as an institution. When Marx’s revolution never came, and western Capitalism did survive, his economic predictions all seemed dead and buried, but like Paul, his ideas were institutionalized. 

The power of Marx’s gospel is not a class struggle; it’s not economical at all. It is profoundly and darkly religious, not biased toward an idealized harmony for humanity, but the deep feelings of envy and resentment that have now metastasized into issues of race, gender, and new forces we’ve yet to witness. 

As brilliant as he was, Marx lacked or missed the power of human empathy or even self-awareness, as evidenced in the breakdown of most of his relationships, along with his inability to find commitment or contentment. Instead, he perfected his work on Utopia by exploiting human conflict, more storyteller than a thinker. 

One could argue Marx was more Dante than Adam Smith.

Perhaps it was genuine feelings of alienation, born the son of a converted Jew in a Catholic Prussian landscape. Perhaps, his revelations caused him the isolation of a visionary, but that’s not his explanation. He cast his shortcomings onto the outside world and became an exiled activist because of his deviant teachings. 

A rather sad figure, in his youth, he made poetic pacts with the devil and carried the boils of a bookish bohemian, but that’s not the problem. Even these extremities found in tortured souls are not what caused our dilemma. 

Human imperfections are never the necessary cause of individual wealth, poverty, or inequality, all vital but not determinative factors. 

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who survived eight years in the Marx-inspired Gulag, counters with “people who have been crushed by the sheer weight of slavery and cast to the bottom of the pit can nevertheless find the strength to rise and free themselves, first in spirit and then in body.” 

He continues, “those who have remained were tortured ever more but did not yield an inch, these are your best people. These are your foremost heroes, who, in solitary combat, have stood the test.”

Despite Marx and his modern disciples, we can embrace the sting of life lessons, whether political or personal and still not plant seeds in the soil of anger and blame, ignoring the tragic. 

Neo-Marxism and the new woke movement manifest the same spirit of envy and resentment in the new garb of critical race theory and gender studies. Remaining at the spiritual core of this reeducation program is blame, the drink of choice for political opportunism.  

They strive for their nefarious eschaton, cultish, pregnant with greed and debt, unconcerned with the collective good, and standing on an illegitimate calling for statehood. 

Marx laughs. He knows his dark insights are accurate.

Not only did he predict the fall of Capitalism under the weight of high-tech globalism, but he even mocked the socialists, blinded by inflated hopes, to identify their benevolent messiahs in Stalin and Mao.

Paul did not live to see his kingdom, but he left a legacy that has transformed a dark and fallen world into one of freedom because he knew one simple fact: “when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”

Until the kingdom arrives, keep your sword sharpened and your constitution near. Be very cautious of Utopia via foreign entanglement. Finally, put on the “full armor; our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” 

The enemy is not only in the gates but in our schools and homes.  

Editor’s note: To learn more about the book and film visit www.marxinhell.com