23 Apr 2012

Why Marxism?


C. Bradley Thompson asks: “Why Marxism?”

“Why do men become communists? And more particularly, why do they become communists despite everything that we know about communism? In the last century, as many as 120 million people were murdered by Marxist-inspired regimes. And yet, certainly in the United States and in Western Europe, we have the remarkable spectacle of virtually an entire intellectual class that has been seduced by the allure of Marx’s ideas… It’s not Marx’s labour theory of value [or] dialectical materialism that has drawn people to his philosophy, and it’s certainly not the interminably boring Das Kapital.”

David Thompson aptly summarizes.

[Bradley C.] Thompson refers to Marx’s “angry, spitting moralism” as a chief enticement and in this longer video he elaborates on its idiocies, referring to the result as “a philosophy of malevolence.” It seems to me one can’t explain the appeal of Marxism without addressing the psychological license that it offers, specifically for coercion and petty malice. It’s a golden ticket for a certain kind of sadist. Why Marxism? Start with rationalised envy and a vindictive desire for power over others, wrap it in a drag of altruism, and then take it from there.

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Throughout history people have embraced “movements” which promise to re-deliver us to Eden if we only could just change fundamental human behavior. Whether following the Koran or following Marx or following Hitler, the supposed secret lies in establishing the ability to coerce others into doing what is “right”. The fact that nobody has succeeded in that endeavor will not prevent those with “hope” from trying again and again. Interestingly, Christianity fails this test because it posits that salvation rests with individual, not collective behavior. I don’t need to force you to do anything in order to redeem my personal soul.


Really, this whole article is on point:

“Socialism a Philosophy of Failure”, Laughlin, J.L., Scribner’s magazine, 1887

As observers, socialism (marxism) is a state of mind and being merely academic the adherent does not recognize the real conditions on the ground. That it is rampant in the intellectual class is telling.

“It is possible for the mind to indulge in false logic, to make the worse appear the better reason, without instant exposure. But for the hand to work falsely is to produce a misshapen’ thing—tool or machine —which in its construction gives the lie to its maker. Thus the hand that is false to truth, in the very act publishes the verdict of its own guilt, exposes itself to contempt and derision, convicts itself of unskilfulness or of dishonesty.” Mind and Hand: manual training, the chief factor in education (1900)

Never having to test their beliefs against the harsh master of the real world, the intellectual is able to deceive himself. Those create things in the physical world (the useful arts) do not have that luxury. Except of course, those in the fine arts who simply call their misshapen creation, Modern, and move on.

It is interesting after having read some of the articles on socialism from prior to 1920. They have a much clearer view than those that followed. Even those opposed to Marxism who learned of it after 1920 seem to refuse to see through the haze created to define communism as the evil to hide the real evil of socialism. It wasn’t the communist assumption of property that made the Communist Bloc bad, it was their socialist policies to control all men for the benefit of the state. Not unlike their “non-communist” socialist brethren in the West and the administrative state Progressives of today.

“That Communism is essentially negative, confined to the prohibition that one shall not have more than another. Socialism is positive and aggressive, declaring that each man shall have enough.

It purposes to introduce new forces into society and industry; to put a stop to the idleness, the waste of resources, the misdirection of force, inseparable, in some large proportion of instances, from individual initiative; and to drive the whole mass forward in the direction determined by the intelligence of its better half. “


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