Of Marx and Men

Election 2012 is shaping up to be the most clearly defined clash of political ideologies since FDR’s New Deal. The heart of the matter is the long-overdue awakening of a slumbering majority of Constitutional traditionalists. This awakening has been triggered by a surge of authoritarian socialism, or more accurately, Cultural Marxism advocated by a radical Obama Administration to fashion a ‘fundamentally transformed’ America.

If the 2008 election was about dumping free-market capitalism and America’s Constitutional liberties for a nascent Marxist police state probably not too many people understood the issue. The 2012 election will be about ratifying or rescinding that choice, hopefully, without ambiguity. What’s at stake is the preservation of America’s unique ethos of creative individual liberty or a continuation of our accelerating descent into a coercive statist regime derivative of Marx. 

Given Marxism’s deadly history it’s stunning to realize that an increasingly aggressive constituency for such a dismally failed experiment exists albeit traveling lightly concealed in its various Postmodernist disguises. It’s even more astonishing when you realize what an ill-conceived piece of nonsense the Marx-Engels Communist Manifesto actually is.     

Under the circumstances a brief look at the Manifesto and the two men, Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) who wrote it seems worthwhile in the context of November’s epochal election.  As Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Despite a legacy of some two-hundred million (and counting) deaths in his name, Marx remains the godfather of the Left.  Such perverse idolatry is perhaps symptomatic of the Left’s pathological lust for power to re-shape the world into a “heaven on earth”.  Mass genocides in the name of “social justice” could only come from a seriously warped ideology. 

To know Marx is to know the contemporary Left as well.  Both rest on duplicity, hypocrisy, and nihilism.

Ostensibly Marx was filled with compassion for the proletariat and dedicated himself to its liberation from bourgeois exploitation.  Tellingly, however, Marx’s relationship to the proletariat was sterile and distant:  “[Marx] was totally and incorrigibly deskbound . . . and so far as we know [he] never set foot in a mill, factory, mine or other industrial workplace in the whole of his life.” (1)

It’s argued here that Marx’s obsession with fomenting revolution can be seen, not as a matter of compassion for the proletariat, but as a self-aggrandizing nihilism.  Marx was fixated on revolution and the power he might inherit from it.  The proletariat was a nascent force which could be marshaled to avenge Marx’s personal grievances against a ‘world’ in which he was a misfit.

"For neither Lenin nor Marx was the revolution the answer to the question: what can be done for the proletariat?  Rather the proletariat was the answer to the question: what can be done for the revolution?" (2)

Exiled Misfits

At age twenty-five German-born Marx, a recent PhD, was denied a coveted teaching post at Bonn University by Prussian authorities.  Soon after, Marx was exiled to Paris for his subsequently seditious writings as an erstwhile journalist.  In the (1848) revolutionary climate of the times, Prussian authorities had little patience with radicals such as the young Marx had become during his time at university.  

In Paris Marx met Engels, a fellow German exile, who shared Marx’s passion for revolution.  The two soon collaborated on the writing of the now-infamous Communist Manifesto.  Engels also became Marx’s enabler even to the extent of financially supporting him and his family until Marx’s death some four decades later.

Of the two men, only Engels’ heart seems to have been in the right place insofar as the proletariat was concerned.  

Over his entire life Marx proved incapable of earning a living on his own.  Marx’s unwillingness to work forced his wife and six children to live in penury despite Engels’ limited support.  Three of those children died in early childhood and two others committed suicide as young adults.  The once-beautiful and aristocratic Jenny, Marx’s wife, eventually died a haggard and broken woman. 

Marx even rejected his mother when she, at last, refused to send him more money. He did not trouble himself to attend his father’s funeral and shunned his adult siblings who had no material wealth to give him.  Marx likewise refused to acknowledge paternity of a son born to him by his unpaid servant-housemaid. Marx persuaded his long-suffering enabler Engels to claim paternity. (3)  Such was Engels misplaced commitment to free Marx to finish Capital -- which a procrastinating Marx never did.  That burden also fell to Engels after Marx’s death.  

 The Communist Manifesto

Though the writing of Capital consumed most of Marx’s adult life, its’ worldly impact has been minor  compared to The Communist Manifesto, a twelve-thousand word pamphlet written years earlier and completed in a matter of weeks.  Written when Marx was twenty-nine and Engels twenty-seven, the Manifesto reflects a malign mix of idealistic fervor, disambiguation and implausible assumptions for which the world has paid dearly.  

The Manifesto rests on Marx’s simplistic postulate that West European society then consisted of two mutually antagonistic classes of people: an exploited proletariat and the bourgeoisie as a venal class of selfish manufacturers and industrialists.  Marx’s over-simplified duality -- a hallmark of Leftist ideology -- was based, not on his witness, but on his arbitrary dialectic construct the resolution of which Marx demanded, not a rational Hegelian synthesis, but violent revolution. 

"Nihilistic humors have always been present in the radical character. The revolutionary will . . . involves a passion for destruction . . .” But how could a responsible intellect ignore the destructive implications of such an attitude?" (4)

Marx disingenuously asserted that a benevolent “dictatorship of the proletariat” would coalesce from the revolutionary ruins; function as if populated by saints for an indeterminate period and eventually just “wither away” as Engels lamely offered.  Leaving what in its wake neither Marx nor Engels ever explained.  “Marx did not go into depth in terms of what this [dictatorship] would look like, presumably because he didn't know either . . .’’. 

 “This Marxist interpretation of history, with its final utopian-apocalyptic vision, has been criticized in the noncommunist world as historically inaccurate, scientifically untenable and logically absurd”.  Indeed.

And there’s no reason for anyone to expect that any dictatorship would be benevolent.  If Marx did not bother to understand this, his disciple Lenin certainly did:

"Dictatorship is power directly based on violence and is constrained by no law. The revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat is power acquired and kept by means of violence . . . power unconstrained by any laws." (5)

Muravchik cites anarchist Mikhail Bakunin (1817-1876), one of Marx’s revolutionary contemporaries:

"With remarkable prescience, [Bakunin] argued that only tyranny would result from the political revolution that Marx advocated:  ‘The so-called people’s state will be nothing other than the quite despotic administration of the masses of the people by a new and very [restricted] aristocracy . . .’ " (6)

Marx and His Demon

Marx was unquestionably brilliant but that fact doesn’t certify wisdom or even rational behavior. Both Marx and his father Heinrich recognized a “demon” of ambition that drove Karl. In a March 2, 1837 letter to his son, the elder Marx wrote “And since [your] heart is obviously animated and governed by a demon not granted to all men, is that demon heavenly or Faustian?”

One answer came from Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872), an Italian revolutionary and a contemporary of Marx, who once described him as “. . . a destructive spirit whose heart was filled with hatred rather than love of mankind  . . . [and whose] overriding characteristic is boundless ambition and thirst for power. . .”

From a contemporary perspective it would seem that Marx’s “demon of ambition” was the manifestation of a narcissistic personality.   

Marx was notorious for his rages at meetings attended by actual socialist proletarians who were “. . . anxious to transform society but moderate about the practical steps to this end [and they] did not share Marx’s apocalyptic visions. . .” (7)   Marx was contemptuous of such actual proletarians whom he and Engels would refer to as “ignorant curs” and “jackasses”. (8)

"[Men] with actual experience of factory conditions tended to be anti-violence [and were] skeptical about the apocalyptic revolution [Marx] claimed was not only necessary but inevitable.  Some of Marx’s most venomous assaults were directed against men of this type." (9)

 “The aggression resulting from thwarted narcissism is gratified when projected onto a devalued minority . . .”  

Such insights into Marx’s character suggest that the self-obsessed Marx’s focus on the proletariat was a matter of projection rather than compassion which he obviously lacked.  

Today’s ‘Marxism’

Authoritarian Collectivism (nee: Marxism) endures as much a secular religious faith as a dismally failed socio-economic system.  “Consider the millions of people who were killed by Stalin and Mao: although these tyrants paid lip service to rationality, communism was little more than a political religion.” (10)   The ‘church’ of this gnostic faith thrives embedded in our schools, universities, news Media, and the communications and entertainment industries which sermonize and proselytize relentlessly to mostly-captive audiences.

For the past fifty years collectivist forces (‘missionaries’) have been at work in America under the rubric of Critical Theory.  America has been subversively conditioned into becoming another USSR lacking only a slick Svengali to charm the masses into acceptance  We now have an Obama presidency which has begun to smell of  imperialism if not nascent dictatorship.

It is imperative that the 2012 election be the start of a committed return to rationalism and the Constitutional guarantees of individual liberty on which America was founded.  Our Constitutional protections from bullying government now are under assault.  Tyranny waits in the wings.    

In paraphrase of the closing words of Marx’s Manifesto:   Conservatives of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the coming chains of a Fundamentally Transformed America!  

(This essay first published on American Thinker

ENDNOTES

1. Johnson, Paul,  Intellectuals ,Harper Perennial, 1990, 60

2. Muravchik, Joshua, Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism, Encounter, San Fran., 2002, 114

3. Johnson, Ibid., 80  

4. Horowitz, David H., The Politics of Bad Faith, The Free Press, NY, 1998, 29

5. Revel, Jean-Francois, Last Exit to Utopia, Encounter Books, NY, 2000, 106

6. Muravchik, Ibid., 87

7. Johnson, Ibid., 60

8. Muravchik, Ibid., 76

9. Johnson, Ibid., 61

10. Harris, Sam, The End of Faith, Norton, NY, 2004, 79.

 

 

 

Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 02:53PM by Registered CommenterMaxEntropy | CommentsPost a Comment

Thought for The Day

America has devolved to a three party system: Marxoid Democrats; Liberal-left RINO's and a sprinkling of Conservatives. The latter have no power but get blamed for everything by the Mass Media Ministry of Propaganda.  See the article below.

Posted on Friday, July 29, 2011 at 07:22PM by Registered CommenterMaxEntropy | CommentsPost a Comment

GOP? What GOP?

With the 2012 presidential election fast-approaching one has to wonder if the Grand Old (Republican) Party (GOP) will again manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The Obama regime has certainly greased the skids for a GOP win but will the Republican National Committee (RNC) engineer another defeat as it did with candidacies of McCain and Dole?

 The core problem is that the GOP is a philosophically schizoid entity. It’s effectively two parties: middle-American conservatives and internationalist RINO’s (Republican’s in name only) casting one shadow. Conservatives are nationalists who adhere to Constitutional principles emphasizing individual liberty and limited government.

 The RINO wing is more likely to have offshore business interests so their allegiance to American national sovereignty gets diluted by internationalist concerns. Or so it appears from their diffidence and general passivity regarding adherence to our Constitutional protections. Indifference to, or even support for, illegal immigration is a current example.

The generally wealthier, well-connected RINO’s have long dominated the GOP via the RNC which provides support to those candidates it favors. Traditionally those candidates have been those who have loyally toed    the “don’t-rock-the-boat” RINO party-line. So proven RINO geezer’s (think Bob Dole) totter on to the campaign trail while talented young-lion Constitutional-conservatives are sent to the back of the Bus to pay their dues and do what they’re told.

For the GOP then, time in the trench’s and a bland, passive “centrism” seem to replace any articulate, energetic, explicative endorsement or vigorous defense of our nation’s Constitutional principles. No, it’s all about getting majorities and committee chairmanships to steer pork to the ‘right’ places. Anyone willing to put an (R) after their name will help to get those all-important Congressional majorities regardless of their personal ideology. Liberals who can’t find space on the Democrat roster have learned they can get elected running as a Republican (e.g.; Arlen Specter; Dede Scozzafava) The RINO is born.

And what are we to make of a John McCain (“R“) who co-authors a prima facie unconstitutional campaign finance reform bill which, incredibly, gets signed into law by then-President G.W. Bush before parts of it were eventually struck down by the courts?

The GOP characteristically drifts feebly in thrall of a controversy-phobic “leadership” allowing the focused firepower of an agenda-driven Left to further its goal of  “…fundamentally transforming America”. Incredibly, the splintered GOP seems blind, or just indifferent, to the Gramscian subversion that has been allowed to pollute all aspects of our national infrastructure and, particularly, our education system which has become little more than a ladder of “what-to-think” indoctrination centers.

So the Left, aided by GOP and public apathy,  has passively accepted institutionalization of such totalitarian behavior-control mechanisms as political correctness; “speech codes”; subjectively and arbitrarily determined “hate crimes”; unconstitutional “affirmative action” quota hiring edicts and the odious hypocrisy of the notorious double standard . Such unconstitutional hypocrisy’s just get jammed down the public throat by social activists and colluding politicians.

 An invisible but culturally deadly adjunct of this subversive cultural makeover is the poisonous fog of “postmodernism” which began seeping out of socialist Europe (ca 1960) and subsequently diffused throughout the Liberal Art’s departments of American universities. Postmodernism may be best described as an ideological mush intended to rehabilitate the historically failed dogmas of utopian socialism.

The core of postmodernism is the assertion that objective reality and truth do not, indeed cannot, exist and need to be determined arbitrarily by a collectivist ruling elite on a case-by-case basis.  By this “reasoning” socialism has never failed it has just been unfairly judged by the “flawed” standards of “outdated” scientific modernism.

Simply put, postmodernism is the very embodiment of Leftist irrationality.

Virtually every university student for the past twenty-five years or more has been subjected to this Leftist revisionism via an explosion of junk classes (e.g. “gender studies”) taught in the liberal arts colleges. From such indoctrination have emerged “situational ethics”, “moral relativism”, “restorative justice” and related ambiguities which infuse the contemporary Left. Accordingly, that Left has written itself a blank check to just make things up on the fly conveniently advancing its subversive agenda.

All this is important for the following reasons. First, it makes clear the subjectivity and irrationality of the political Left and the futility of factual argument with its adherents. The Collectivist Left is no less than a secular religious faith impervious to reasoned argument. It is a faith dedicated to deconstructing the existing Judeo-Christian ethos on which America was built and replacing it with a global egalitarian socioeconomic homogeneity, aka communism. 

Second, postmodernism’s denial of any objective truth effectively defines honesty out of existence. The “truth” becomes whatever the Left needs at any given moment to advance its authoritarian agenda. Remember this the next time a Nancy Pelosi or some other Leftist stares wide-eyed into a TV camera and blatantly lies to the American public.

Third, the philosophically conflicted GOP needs to understand how the postmodern Left uses the Hegelian dialectic as a revolutionary tool to incrementally deconstruct and reshape the existing order of things. The dialectic method fits naturallyinto political discourse but there are some jokers that the Left slips into its deck of postmodern cards

One joker is that the political issue du jour is almost always chosen by the pro-active Left to further its always-needy socialist agenda. Some sort of crisis, real or manufactured, is often used to get public and media attention. As Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff put it “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste”. The “serious crisis” is often an emotional “bait” issue camouflaging what amounts to another political power grab. “Global warming” is one such faux crisis used to disguise nationalizing the oil, gas and related power producing industries and drive another stake into the heart of the free enterprise system. 

 

A most important joker linked to the first is to emotionalize everything to help generate media-flogged hysteria to provoke immediate political action. So we get 'drowning' polar bears to get the AGW issue into the school system which is a vast and hugely effective propaganda network. Meanwhile Al Gore works feverishly to establish carbon credits on the commodities exchange market. Gore gets richer and Big Brother accrues significantly more power.

Finally we have the Leftist mantra of “politicize, polarize, demonize and demagogue”. This joker was played most recently in both the Federal Budget debate and the Tucson shootings in which Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was seriously wounded. In the former instance, Democrats ominously warned us of potentially lunch-less school children; dog food-eating Grandmas; and back-alley abortions by rusty coat hanger among other imagined perils.

We were told by the local sheriff, within hours of the Tucson shooting, that it was the result of ‘hate speech’ coming from the political Right. One has to marvel at such an amazing feat of sociological analysis considering the circumstances and time frame. Upon subsequently more rational investigation, the shooter turned out to be a demented loner more attuned to totalitarian ideology than anything else. But Sarah Palin and the Tea Party got smeared once again so political mission accomplished: Politicize; Polarize; Demonize and Demagogue.

What’s important is to understand how the Left uses the dialectic method specifically to shift the debate from the rational to the emotional. The Left, by nature, runs on emotion and innately understands that it’s easier to feel than to think. Emotionalizing issues seduces the unwary and conveniently relieves the Left of any need to provide factual information or logical argument in support of its dismal objectives. What it does require is a megaphone to generate hysteria. The corrupt and biased mass Media is more than happy to fill that need.

To what extent the Republican Party is aware of what’s been outlined here is uncertain. What is certain is that the GOP is in desperate need of a philosophical focus to match that of an ideological invader which is relentlessly committed to “fundamentally changing America”. The postmodern ethos makes clear that this adversary does not share the Judeo-Christian ethical values of most Americans. To assume otherwise is sociopolitical suicide.

At stake is no less than the Constitutional soul of America. And that needs to be the Republican Party’s focus as 2012 looms. If America lapses into a “Peoples Republic” or some “UN District X” the RINO bourgeoisie will be among the first to feel the collectivist chokehold. Time is running out.

Tags: Dysfunctional GOP, Leftist Subversion, Dialectic, emotional manipulation, Postmodernism, U.S. Constitution

 (*) This essay first appeared on American Thinker

Posted on Friday, May 20, 2011 at 12:29PM by Registered CommenterMaxEntropy | CommentsPost a Comment

The Road to Tyranny

The history of the twentieth century is one of the life and death of Marxist regimes built on the purposeful extinction of the entrepreneurial, capitalistic citizenry - the detested bourgeoisie. Engineered starvations, gulags, firing squads, “killing fields” and mass exiles have all been used. The fact and the extent of the genocides give clear indication of an ultimately malevolent Leftist obsession beyond just a means to socioeconomic reforms. Competitive capitalism continues to stand as the devil incarnate in the minds of a fanatical minority of utopian religionists. Literal extinction of this capitalist evil became a Postmodern moral imperative in the futile, ill-conceived quest for a socialist "heaven on earth": a gnostic endeavor [1] led by those who would be earthly gods.

Both [Fascism and Communism] set out to create their socialist futures by first destroying the bourgeois present , then erecting their utopias on its smoldering ruins. [2]

Despite the murder of millions, no utopias have been forthcoming though the "smoldering ruins" of socialist totalitarian states themselves have abounded. Despite this sordid, genocidal, counterproductive history, the delusion of engineering a global Eden lives on. Only the methodology of its potential creation has changed.

Since the 1950’s, bomb-throwing Bolshevism has been replaced by a slow, subversive “march through the [American] institutions” as advocated by the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci (1891- 1937). Over the past sixty years this Marxist subversion has percolated into and throughout America’s educational, journalistic, entertainment, publishing and other opinion-shaping industries. Even worse, this collectivist virus now infects all levels of government up to and including the Obama presidency itself. The stars-and-stripes over the White House are fast being replaced by the hammer-and-sickle .

So Gramsci was wiser and more patient than his hate-driven, bloodthirsty Marxist cousins and this fact could account for his post mortem, fifty-year conversion of America to a socialist state. Gramsci’s strategy of non-violent, non-genocidal subversion advantageously also leaves in its wake, not rotting capitalist corpses, but a marginalized residue of this productive, if Marxist-despised species. This is essential to generate the wealth necessary to sustain the otherwise economically impotent socialist system: A few capitalist “sharecroppers” to make fertile the otherwise fallow socialist plantation.

Gramsci was a contemporary of Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) whose dictatorial regime came to be known as Fascism. Fascism amounted to an authoritarian statist regime driving a select few privately owned but government/labor-obedient industrialists required to produce the wealth of which socialism alone is incapable. Gramsci did not live to see Mussolini’s untenable dictatorship collapse. It collapsed because the engines of industrial production require discipline, a work ethic, and commitment to personal and corporate accomplishment. Fascism brought only the hostile indolence of grievance-obsessed labor unions sheltered by dictatorial government advocacy: A forced, unworkable marriage as subsequent events proved. Italian Fascism collapsed; Italy collapsed under the stress of WWII.

Now we have the historically ignorant, but arrogant, Obama regime following in Mussolini’s failed fascist footsteps convinced it can succeed where Il Duce failed. Another dead-end journey to the non-existent utopia of socialist fantasy. In the current quest the detested bourgeoisie will not be exterminated in the deadly ways of Soviet, Chinese or Cambodian Marxism. Instead, remnants of the productive bourgeoisie will be expected to continue in its role of creative wealth production. However, that wealth will not go to its earners, but will be confiscated by the government in the form of increasingly punitive taxation needed to support the dead weight of the perpetual inefficiencies that define socialistic systems.

The stultifying character of collectivism will inevitably crush its life-support system - the residual productive engine of free enterprise - and collapse of the whole edifice will follow as both history and economic literacy attest.

[1] Voegelin, Eric, The New Science of Politics, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1987

[2] Horowitz, David, The Politics of Bad Faith, The Free Press, NY, 1998, 121

Tags: totalitarian socialism, Bolshevism, Marxism, Gramsci, Mussolini, Obama

Posted on Friday, November 26, 2010 at 01:39PM by Registered CommenterMaxEntropy | CommentsPost a Comment

Genetics and Politics (*)

As previously speculated on this site there is observational evidence indicating that political bias in some individuals may be a matter of so-called “brain laterality”. That is, whether the right or left lobe of the prefrontal cortex of an individual’s brain is dominant in processing information.

Left-lobe dominant individuals tend to be more objective, realistic and reason sequentially to conclusions. These individuals (“logical rationalists”) seem likely to make up most of the politically conservative population. Those who are right-brain dominant, intuitive, subjective thinkers see the world through a more emotional lens (“emotional intuitives”) and appear to function as political liberals. This is the brain laterality factor in the political arena. One source has related this duality of brain function to distinctive differences in the chemical make-up in the neurotransmitter systems in the cortex

Observation of student activity has provided indirect, anecdotal evidence consistent with brain laterality as a likely factor shaping political opinion. Educators have found that:

The left side of the brain deals with things the way they are - with reality. When left brain students are affected by the environment, they usually adjust to it. Not so with right brain students. They try to change the environment! Left brain people want to know the rules and follow them. In fact, if there are no rules for situations, they will probably make up rules to follow!

Just substitute politically-aware voters for students and remember that left-brain indicates probable conservative bias and right-brain as most likely liberal.

A more recent, and presumably more scientifically rigorous, study done jointly at UC San Diego and Harvard University reported that “people with a specific variant of the DRD4 gene were more likely to be liberal as adults.” Social factors were also involved but the genetic aspect of the bias is highly significant for at least two reasons. One is that a genetically-rooted bias is almost certainly immune to change by force of logical argument or “re-education”. As a result, arguments intended to change another’s political attitudes are wasted effort as most politically-engaged conservatives eventually learn to their dismay.

 A second and more ominous reason is that politics-as-genetics raises the specter of eugenics. Specifically, political “purification” by means of genocidal eugenics becomes a potential threat. Routine in vitro identification of the “wrong” genetic make-up could become the basis for mandatory abortion under an authoritarian regime with utopian ambitions.  Since political “re-education” is impossible, only “genetically correct” fetuses might be allowed to remain viable. Such genetic engineering would end any need for gas chambers, mass starvations or messy killing fields of the kind employed during the middle of the last century to “create a more perfect world”.

An abortion industry of near assembly-line proportions is already a well-entrenched centerpiece of Leftist orthodoxy. Genetically correct abortions could easily become a natural extension of this industry.

(*) This article first appeared on American Thinker

Tags: prefrontal cortex, left brain, right brain, genetics, political bias, eugenics, liberals, conservatives

 

Posted on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at 08:11PM by Registered CommenterMaxEntropy | CommentsPost a Comment