Marxism: The Bastard Child of Christianity

In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Richard Engels observed,

Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge. Has not Christianity declaimed against private property, against marriage, against the State? Has it not preached in the place of these, charity and poverty, celibacy and mortification of the flesh, monastic life and Mother Church? Christian Socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.

What can be added to this list of similarities is the parallel between Christian eschatology (study devoted to God’s final coming, mankind’s final endpoint) and the Marxist belief in Communism as the final form of social organization that mankind is destined to embrace. Both are forms of eschatology, with the Marxist belief being a secularized version of the Christian notion of the “end of times”. Indeed, the former Christian preacher’s zeal has been transferred to professional sociologists and so-called “social justice warriors” warriors of our day.

In this regard, there is an interesting radio interview that raises the subject of Cultural Marxism, in which the interviewer and interviewee both proceed from an unwarranted conviction in the superlative, objective goodness of Christian ethics and American Exceptionalism, which they correctly attribute to America’s origins in Enlightenment thought and, as far as American Exceptionalism is concerned, is also correctly identified as a set of secularized and evolving Christian morals which the economist and sociologist Gunnar Myrdal called “the American Creed” and which has been widely identified as the American Civil Religion.

Here is the problem the interlocutors in the radio interview fail to grasp: Since Christianity itself has been so malleable in terms of changing its theology according to time, place, and circumstance, it was inevitable that Christianity would give rise to secular social movements and philosophies like Communism. Christian scripture is quite sparse in itself and had developed over time, borrowing heavily from other religious and philosophical traditions along the way. Hence, it’s sparse scripture and reliance on other philosophical traditions made it susceptible to speculation.

Thus while the radio interviewers bond with each other over the assumed evils of Marxism and Communism, the question simply does not arise in them to ask how it is that a formerly Christian civilization gave rise to a secular belief system like Marxism, which would in time come to disestablish the Christian values the interviewers are so attached to.

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