Communism

Background: Based on the teachings of one man, Karl Marx.

Sacred Book: The Communist Manifesto. The writings of Lenin and Mao also form a basis for many of the major tenets of Communism.

The Nature of God: Marxist philosophy is based upon the thought of “historical materialism”: it teaches the denial of anything spiritual. All that exists is the material, physical universe. There is no God.

Human Condition: Man is an animal, no different than any others except in his intellect. He is not good or bad, but is shaped by his society. Capitalist societies bring out the basest nature of man, while the pure communist society will bring out the best of man.

Eternity: Man is only an animal. At death, his bodily functions cease and he is no more.

What is Salvation? Salvation is only societal. Mankind is progressing to the eventual rule of the proletariat (the workers) and the communist state, where all property is owned by the people as a collective whole. Then marriage will be obsolete, children will be raised by the state, and all people will work toward the mutual good of the common society.

How is a person saved? With the philosophy of historical materialism, there is, of course, no personal “salvation.” A person can only try to rise in the communist hierarchy and hope to find some physical comfort in this life.

Notes: I. T. Ramsey on Marxism as a religion: Based on the socio-economic philosophical thought of the 19th-century thinker Karl Marx, Marxism can be said to be a quasi-religion on two counts. First, Marxism had connections with the metaphysics of G.W.F. Hegel, an 18th-19th-century German philosopher who interpreted reality in terms of a spiritual Absolute.

Furthermore, the thinking of Marx had religious overtones, whether from his own Jewish background or from a Christian atmosphere, not least in Britain where he lived from 1849 to 1883. Second, Marxism can be called a quasi-religion insofar as it calls from its follower’s devotion and a commitment that in their empirical character greatly resemble the commitment and devotion that characterize religious people.

Marxism has undoubtedly fired the spirit of man and given to revolutions, whether in Russia or China, a powerful direction that has maintained stability and avoided anarchy. Furthermore, like a religion, it has provided themes of fulfillment and hope – a revolution interpreted as the initiation of a Communist world society that would be a final consummation.

There are many logical similarities between the doctrine of the Marxist millennium and the Christian doctrine of Christ’s Second Coming. Marxism has also stressed the significance of cooperating with the immanent spirit of the times – something comparable to the providence of God – in economic and military struggles that are viewed as the travail by which society would be reborn.

The main difference between Marxism and Christianity in the 19th and early 20th centuries, according to some scholars, was that for many the Christian vision encouraged men to endure tyranny, while the Marxist view inspired men to rebel. Source: The Encyclopedia Britannica.

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