What did Marx and Engels discover during their study of history? First they decided that self-preservation is the supreme instinct in man thus that is what drives human conduct. Their conclusion: all historical developments are the result of “Economic Determinism”…man’s effort to survive. Everything men do…whether it is organizing government, establishing laws, supporting a particular moral code, or practicing religion…is merely the result of his desire to protect whatever mode of production he is currently using to secure the necessities of life. Caring for or serving fellow man is not in the equation. Communists believe that if some revolutionary force changes the mode of production, the dominant class will immediately set about to create a different type of society designed to protect the new economic order. As they addressed the bourgeois in the Communist Manifesto: “Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence…system of law…is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of existence of your class.” [Marx-Engels, Communist Manifesto, page 35]. According to Marx the thing which we call “free will” is nothing more or less than an awareness of the impelling forces which move an individual to action; in taking action he is not free to change the course his very nature dictates. “Communism has no idea of freedom as the possibility of choice, of turning to right or left, but only as the possibility of giving full play to one’s energy when one has chosen which way to turn.” [N. Berdyaev, Vital Realities, page 175]. Human minds receive knowledge of existing economic circumstances and “choose” to turn in the direction which is necessary to preserve the current mode of production. They are free only in that sense. They will expend vast quantities of energy building a superstructure of government, morals, laws and religion which will perpetuate these basic economic circumstances. By this, religion is only there to support this “Economic Determinism”. “The mode of production in material life determined the general character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life.” [Karl Marx, Contribution to Critique of Political Economy, page 11].
Up to this point Marx and Engels felt they had established that the evil of private property is responsible for the origin of class antagonisms, the creation of the State and the exploitation of religion. Now they go on to attach the same evils to morals. Both denied that there could be any eternal basis for the moral standards of “right and wrong” set up in the Judeo-Christian code. As Lenin summarized their ideas: “In what sense do we deny ethics, morals? In the sense in which they are preached by the bourgeoisie, which deduces these morals from God’s commandments. Of course, we say that we do not believe in God. We know perfectly well that the clergy, the landlords, and the bourgeoisie all claimed to speak in the name of God, in order to protect their own interests as exploiters. We deny all morality taken from super-human or non-class concepts. We say that this deception, a swindle, is a befogging of the minds of the workers and peasants in the interests of landlords and capitalists.” [V.I. Lenin, Religion, pages 47-48].
Let me pause for a minute and define ‘capitalism’: “A form of economic order characterized by private ownership of the means of production and the freedom of private owners to use, buy, and sell their property or services on the market at voluntarily agreed prices and terms, with only minimal interference with such transactions by the state or other authoritative third parties.” [Paul M. Johnson, A Glossary of Political Economic Terms (Auburn University, 1994-2005, http://webhome.auburn.edu/-johnson/gloss/capitalism.phtml).
The Marxists believe that “Thou Shall Not Steal” and “Thou Shall Not Covet” are examples of the dominant class trying to impose respect for property on the exploited masses who cannot help but covet the wealth and property of their masters. They are codes to protect the property class. By rejecting the Judeo-Christian code of morals, Engels tried to represent that Communism was merely moving up to a higher level where human conduct will be motivated exclusively by the needs of society. However, Engels could not prevent himself from occasionally unveiling the truth of what was in his mind: “We therefore reject every attempt to impose on us any moral dogma whatever…” [V.I. Lenin, Religion, page 47]. In other words, Communism undertakes to replace Judeo-Christian morals with a complete absence of morals. Teachings demonstrated in the words of modern American Marxists: “With him (the Communist) the end justifies the means. Whether his tactics be ‘legal’ or ‘moral’ or not, does not concern him, so long as they are effective. He knows that the laws as well as the current code of morals are made by his mortal enemies…Consequently, he ignores them insofar as he is able, and it suits his purposes.” [William Z. Foster, Syndicalism, page 9]. Having felt they had successfully explained the origins of the various institutions in society, all of which were the product of Economic Determinism. They felt they had traced to its source the cause of strife, inequity and injustice among men…private property. It was now time to put into place a plan of action which would permanently solve the economic, political and social ills of all mankind.
Next week we will look at what that plan was…and still is. We will see that Christ and Christianity is not part of that plan. I remind everyone that I write this so my Christian brothers and sisters will know what the plan is and recognize it when their church, community or family is being so effected. While fighting the minions of Satan it is easier to prevent invasion than it is to remove the invaders. In this fight God is our powerhouse but we are the foot soldiers. This is a Biblical position.
“Believer and unbeliever alike cannot escape the painful results of sinful choices. If we choose sin, there will be evil results. We can be forgiven, but that does not change the results. Forgiveness restores the broken relationship and gives us strength to walk on in freedom in the future, but it does not change or eliminate the hurt of the past.” Ray Stedman, Hope in a Chaotic World