Reflections

Why Marxism Can’t Abide Faith and Spirit

The Black Book of Communism claims approximately 94 million people have been killed as a result of Marxist inspired communism, a figure that does not include the additional millions imprisoned, tortured, left destitute and intimidated into obedience and silence. While not as deadly, equally as insidious and destructive is the impact of Marxism and its more recent manifestation, neo-Marxism, on the ability to embrace a spiritual and transcendent sense of life.  Add the impact of what the Italian philosopher Augusto Del Noce condemns as “scientism and the technological society” and any sense of the sublime and the mystical is lost.

For those committed to Marxism and neo-Marxism, religion is the opium of the masses and any trace of the spiritual and mystical must be eradicated if capitalism is to be overthrown and the workers’ paradise achieved. Adherents believe there is no after life as the only reality that exists is to be found on this earth.  How people define themselves, find purpose in life and interact is determined by the capitalist superstructure that permeates society and controls their lives. Marxism defines people as economic animals where their energy and resources must be directed at overthrowing capitalism and gaining material freedom and independence. The City of Man replaces the City of God, and it should not surprise, beginning with the French Revolution, that one of the first actions taken by revolutionaries is to secularise society by banning religion, destroying the churches and imprisoning and killing the clergy.

As detailed by Del Noce in Towards a New Totalitarianism closely associated with the destructive and deadening influence of Marxism is scientism — the belief that science is “the only valid form of knowledge” and that empiricism based on rationality and reason is the only way to find wisdom, fulfillment and truth”. While not denying the benefits of science, De Noce warns against what is described as a totalitarian conception of  science.  A restricted definition where “every other knowledge – metaphysical or religious – expresses only subjective reactions.” What cannot be objectively proven is condemned as superstition and witchcraft.  Whether unravelling the mysteries of the universe, splitting the atom, putting a man on the moon or creating life in vitro, it is preached that mankind as a result of science and technology has become the master of his own fate.

In opposition to Marxism and scientism George Weigel argues to be human is to thirst for a spiritual and transcendent sense of the world.  Existential questions about the meaning of life, what constitutes fulfilment and happiness and how best to lead a moral and virtuous life cannot be answered by Das Capital, the Communist Manifesto and the periodic table. Weigel in The Cube and Cathedral writes “the deepest currents of history are spiritual and cultural, rather than political and economic”.  Instead of economic determinism, Weigel argues history is driven by culture. Humanity is motivated by “what men and women honor, cherish, and worship; by what societies deem to be pure, good and noble; by what expressions they give to those convictions in language, literature, and the arts; by what individuals and societies are willing to stake their lives on.”

To illustrate, Weigel refers to the way Poland survived, even after years of being erased from the map and then being overrun by fascism and communism, with its national identity intact.  Weigel writes, “Poland prevailed because of culture”; a culture with a distinctive language and literature and imbued with a deep and lasting commitment to Christianity. What Christianity provides, also illustrated by Poland’s Solidarity movement, is the belief man does not live by bread alone and, as all are made in God’s image, every person has an inherent right to freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. 

Christianity also teaches utopia cannot be found in this world, that man’s perception is limited and fallible and that cultivating one’s spirit and a sense of the transcendent is equally, if not more important, than meeting one’s physical needs.  It’s no accident the most sublime and beautiful works of art, sculpture, music and literature are inspired by religion and a sense of the eternal. To listen to Rachmaninov’s Vespers Op 37  or Bach’s Mass in B minor, to stand before Michelangelo’s Pieta or to gaze at the Sistine Chapel and Notre Dame’s stained glass windows is to be transported to a world of the ethereal and the divine. 

As argued by Pope John Paul II in Fides Et Ratio it is also vital to realise faith and reason are not mutually exclusive but instead are “like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”

Albert Einstein, while not committed to a particular religion, also suggests rationality and reason cannot fully explain the mystery that is the world in which we live.  Einstein wrote, “The most beautiful experience we have is the mysterious.  It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Who does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed”. 

What Marxism and scientism offer is a drab, soulless and uninspiring view of man’s nature and the world in which we live and is yet to come.  As noted by William Blake “He who sees the Infinite in all things sees God. He who sees the Ratio only sees himself.”

Dr Kevin Donnelly is a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University

8 comments
  • Stephen Due

    The picture says it all. Pope Francis is a disaster in progress. See the Vigano Tapes:
    https://rumble.com/vn4rlv-the-vigano-tapes-the-complete-interview.html

  • STD

    Maybe, just maybe, Pope Francis is being a congenial guest ,or ,just maybe ,he is adhering to the Roman way, when in Rome. Or is this man of God accepting this gift from the Bolivian President in good grace,and in doing so ,quietly acknowledging that crucifixion of the human spirit does indeed occur as a result of Marxist greed and its lust for power. Unhappiness is a byproduct of hammer and sickle disease. Maybe at some level Marxists innately know all this.

  • andrew2

    Isn’t it all the same? Communism, Totalitarianism, Capitalism. All. The. Same. They are all systems of this world, the “beast system” aimed at extracting labour at minimal cost through various measures of coercion or reward. Capitalism pretends to give you “capital” but that can be taken from you through many different means – inflation, rates and taxes, non compliance with health regulations.

    The pandemic has shown the limits our current system to grant freedom. It has conducted a pantomime, a pure farce, for the last 18 months to keep itself going, and freedoms be damned! Scott Morrison is right. There is no mandatory vaccine. You are free to your bodily integrity if you have the will to walk away from everything the system offers.

    Jesus said give to God what is God’s and to Caesar what it Caesar’s. Jesus is the archetype. No assets, no employment. The system can take nothing from him except his life. And he gives his life to people, not to the system.

    Some of the greatest works of art were bought at great cost. The building of St Peter’s basilica cost the unity of Western Christianity. Notre Dame was burned down. I love beauty but beauty in this world is meant to be fragile and transitory, like music. The church makes a mistake when it incurs great expense to make beauty permanent.

    I believe Christianity gives us the ability to live alongside the system so long as we know when to walk away – see Lot, see Joseph, see Jesus’ instruction in the Olivet discourse. There are too few of us to change the system in any meaningful way, it is what the elites want it to be: communism, capitalism or a mix of both.

    It’s time now to really turn to Jesus and separate our spirit from the spirit of this age, because there is no reconciliation with where it is heading.

  • Brian Boru

    Thanks Andrew2 for your comment. It is true that both Communism and Capitalism enslave man.
    .
    Communism is irredeemable. Our task is to modify Capitalism / Socialism to produce the kind of society in which Christ’s command to love one another is most nearly achievable.

  • STD

    Ah ,Brian, I used to nurse a bloke who was a wharfie , his words” First socialism then communism, ultimately doing away with money”, my reply, “ So you guys are just as greedy as the capitalists, in wanting it all your own way”, his answer to this was armed with the wisdom of old age and a skeptical cynicism for the human capacity for honesty and integrity, the reply” I think you might be right”.
    Socialists are communism’s useful idiots and to use Lenin’s (pronounced Len neen to quote Bishop Fulton Sheen, in a genuflecting sense – those truly deceived).
    Free honest human enterprise that is coupled to the Christian belief of the true worth of the individual is the only way to conduct human affairs that are ethical.
    Raw capitalism / materialism is the very nature of Marxist existence( no God) and the centralised ,monopolised ,corporate governance and power is how this is to be managed.

  • STD

    All will come to pass, to quote Lenin” The capitalists will sell us the rope which with we will hang them”.
    Ie: that is modern day China is it not, the corporate capitalists with the help of the west’s corrupt polity have empowered the communist corporate state to strangle the life out us.
    What is occurring in Taiwan and HK and for that matter the treatment of Oz shows just how merciless true socialism is.

  • Lawrie Ayres

    STD. I have to agree with your statement. First we agree with the Socialist United Nations that CO2 is bad then we make electricity so dear we send our manufacturing to China then we find we are at their mercy for both imports and exports. Should we have to defend ourselves from Chinese attack we have lost the ability. But we are still following the socialist dream which has only one aim; Not to save the planet but to destroy the West. And we are not just allowing it but are actively abetting it. We are our own traitors.

  • STD

    Take heart Laurie, I for one try to avoid buying corporate western Chinese garbage, not matter what the cost of the exercise.
    I went to Bunnings the other day to buy a mattock, all Australian owned Chinese garbage, at least the company names were anglicised . No luck there, so I sourced a Keech (Australian)mattock head probably manufactured in Oz in the 40s or 50s . The mattock handle( spotted gum)I sourced from Kruger’s of Grafton at my local mitre 10.
    Laurie I totally agree, the old ww1 diggers would be rolling in their graves, how could we be so stupid as to vote in to position’s of power people who have no interest in Australia’s interests at all- I’m feel so ashamed of what has happened to this once great country of ours. Yes where all wealthier than we have ever been ,but what use is that when the joint has lost its soul.

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