The Timeless Allure of Marxism

"In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all."- Karl Marx from The Communist Manifesto

There has been much talk about Marxism today.  You hear it everywhere from the Occupy Wall Street crowd, to the conservative pundits who criticize president Obama's big government programs, you hear it spoken about by sympathtetic and unsympathetic college professors alike, and you even hear it being spoken in the churches.  It seems that everywhere, the spectre of Marxism is there.   So what is it about Marxism that makes it so appealing?  Like all enduring movements I believe there are several reasons for this.

1. Marxism seeks to create a worldwide utopia.  Marxism, or more accurately the philosophy of Karl Marx seeks to create a communal world of justice where every person gets their fair share. There is no such thing as individuality.  The individual's actions are geared towards the communal.  John Lennon in his epoch song, "Imagine"   summarizes this ideal with these words,
"Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace"
To the faithful Marxist the primary aim is to rectify all material injustices, to blur the lines of distinction between the haves and have nots. Once these lines are effectively removed then there will be a worldwide utopia of fairness.  to the Marxist Christianity is a hindrance since it makes very clear distinctions such as heaven and hell, the chosen, the dammed, sin, etc.

 2.  After Judeo Christianity Marxism is one of the oldest philosophies out there.  Marxism is born out of humanity's desire to become God like. One of the reasons why Marxism is so appealing is that it gives one the power to become like God. What is this power?  The right to pick and choose one's own destiny without institutional interference.   One of humanity's greatest needs is the one for power.  Marxism makes a God out of the proletariat( the communal )while Christianity teaches that there is only one omnipotent God.

3. Marxism stresses communal mobility.   Marxism, like religion depends on its missionaires for growth.  In today's society these missionaries are everywhere.  College professors, college students, unions, celebrities, politicians, and journalists have all directly or directly enlisted into the Marxism missionary project.  Marxism is appealing because it makes the individual feel like he/she is part of an global, universal cause uniting people from different cultural backgrounds and demographics.

4. Marxism encourages the person to take an active role in societal changes.   One of the allures of Marxism is its empowerment of the individual to take direct action.  Whereas in Christianity action is initiated both in the spiritual and material world often times without the tangible, demonstrable results of direct action.  To the Marxist action must be demonstrable and revolutionary in nature.  No nuances, just direct, revolutionary action. This appeals to humanity's innate desire for importance.

5. Marxism encourages building a better world through proper material distribution. Who doesn't want to be a part of a better world?  But the means of the Marxist are totally different then those of a Chrisitian.  The Marxist wants to create a better world strictly through materialistic aims.  Sure it is a great thing to give a poor person a loaf of bread, but with no transcendent meaning behind the actions all good actions become utilitarian. This type of thinking is not compatible with Christianity since Christianity's aim is not to create a perfect world.  Rather Christianity's aim is to create a better world with the understanding that this material world is not all that there is.

6. Marxism affirms the struggle of the middle and lower classes. Marxism exploits class divisions and for its own utopian dreams. Marxism encourages the lower classes to fight against the perceived ruling, wealthy classes. Framed in this way who can disagree with this logic? Who doesn't want to support the little guy?    Marxism teaches that the class stuggle is the greatest struggle on this earth.

I'm not promoting Marxism.  I'm just shedding some light on how some people can and do embrace this philosophy on society.  I know that for me - in a discussion it helps to know why the other person is so adamant about their position so I can better argue my own.

Check out my other post about Marxism,  Socialism and Christianity Don't Mix.


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