Do be aware that Marx and Engels had a long term plan for society and the plan they initiated 150 years ago is still in work. Their plan included an explanation of society and their view as to how that society could be controlled. In their view they knew how humans respond to external stimuli and in some cases they almost had it right. This week we will look at their take on society as they see it and we will see how they detest that part of society that saw origins in the Bible…the state.
Fallacy 3 – Society in the minds of Marx and Engels is automatically determined by the economic conditions which motivate the dominate class in any particular age. As Marx put it: “Are men free to choose this or that form of society for themselves? By no means. Assume a particular state of development in the productive forces of man and you will get a particular form of commerce and consumption. Assume a particular stage of development in production, commerce and consumption and you will have a corresponding social structure, a corresponding organization of the family, of orders or classes, in a word, a corresponding civil society. Presuppose a particular civil society and you will get a particular political conditions which are only the official expression of civil society.” [Karl Marx, Poverty of Philosophy, pages 152-153]. Marx and Engels had convinced themselves that when a certain type of production exists, a certain type of society must also exist. In ancient times the mode of production remained the same for centuries while society ran the gamut of almost continuous change. If history demonstrates anything at all it is the fact that there is no direct relation between mode of production and the form society will take.
Fallacy 4 – Marx and Engels professed that any State (any form of sovereign government) is an unnecessary appendage to society which the dominate class creates to forcibly preserve its interests and suppress the uprising of the exploited class. They did not believe any government in any age represented the interests of all the people or even the welfare of a majority of the people. They said: “The executive (branch) of the modern State is but a Committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie (property class).” [Marx-Engels, Communist Manifesto, page 15]. Government is the very heart of group living. By no stretch of the imagination can government be called an appendage to society. This is true because society cannot exist unless it is governed by some degree of authority, and the presence of authority in society constitutes “government’. Man is by nature a social and political being, and therefore the creation of governments to direct the members of the community toward their common welfare is simply an inherent expression of the very nature of man. A stateless society (a civilization without government) which both Marx and Engels vigorously advocated would be nothing less than an unorganized mob. It would be no society at all.
Fallacy 5 – Marx and Engels encountered difficultywhen the form of the State is explained as an inevitable outgrowth of some particular form of economic circumstances. If this were true then the same mode of production would always produce the same essential form of government. Take a look at ancient Greece and ancient Rome. In both nations the fundamental mode of production was slavery. According to Marxian explanation, their forms of government should have remained approximately the same as long as the mode of production (slavery) remained in effect. Contrary to Marxian theory we find both of these governments passing through many changes even though the mode of production did not change.
> In Athens there was a succession of hereditary monarchies, followed by the aristocratic and democratic republics, then the despotism of the thirty tyrants, and finally democracy was established once again.
> In Rome there was first an elective royalty followed by the aristocratic monarchy under the Caesars.
These are typical of the incidents in history where the form of the government has changed while the mode of production has remained the same. To illustrate the fallacy of this Communist theory consider, if the form of the State is fixed by Economic Determinism, then the form of the State should change when the mode of production changes. For instance, take the history of the United States. The form of the US Government has remained essentially the same since its founding. Forms of production changed…slavery was abolished, machines took the place of much manual labor, technology managed much of our everyday lives, however with this change in the mode of production the form of government did not change. In other words, man can create any form of government they wish without reference to the prevailing mode of production.
Fallacy 6 – In connection with the creation of the State, the Communists maintain that a code of laws is developed to protect the exploiting class; further, that if the mode of production changes, the code of laws will have to be reformulated to foster the specific new mode of production. Once again history throws confusion on Communism when this theory is applied to specific situations. Modern capitalistic society throughout Europe and America is, in general, governed by codes of law which are founded on the same fundamental principle as those which prevailed centuries before the Industrial Revolution. In England, the Common Law was developed during the days of a feudal economy. The overthrow of Feudalism only strengthened the Common Law. It was further strengthened after the Industrial Revolution. In America the abolition of slavery did not overthrow the fundamental legal code of either the states or the nation. Obvious historical fact shows that there is no essential dependence between society’s method of production and the code of laws which it choses to create.
As we look at each of the Communist theories we will see the falsehoods upon which they are developed. I suppose that if one has Communist leanings it is good to be patient because everywhere that Communism has been tried it has eventually failed…even though nowadays it may seem to be strong in various locations. It is in conflict with human nature but unfortunately once it works its way into society it can be very painful removing it. While it may seem promising on the surface we need to be sure our citizens understand what exactly it represents. It is in contrast to the Word of God and although Christian churches need not concentrate on its dangers, it would be nice to work them into messages on Christian living. If fact, next week the subject will be the Communist’s take on religion and theories on morals. We will see just how counter to Christian living they are and why we must be educated on them and ready to take a stand.