May 5th marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. He is being celebrated by those who are horrified by Hitler, which makes their opposition to genocide phony. What Marx bequeathed—his legacy is written in blood—makes Hitler look benign. This is why anyone who condemns Hitler without also condemning his communist counterparts is a fraud. It is not Hitler’s body count that matters to them, it is the cause. As the Marxists are fond of saying, the truth is that which serves the cause.
Marx lived a parasitic existence, squeezing his parents for every dime he could get; he even managed to get an advance on his inheritance. His own pampered life was a far cry from the daily grind of the working class that he championed (how many workers had a maid?) As the great British historian Paul Johnson pointed out, Marx’s knowledge was not gleaned firsthand—there is no evidence that he ever set foot in a factory.
The classless society that Marx predicted would emerge under communism showcased his anthropological and sociological ignorance. Hierarchy and inequality are an essential and irrevocable part of the human condition, which is why no society in the history of the world has lacked either property.
Marx conceded that before the classless society was achieved there must be a “dictatorship of the proletariat.” He even went so far as to say that “In order to establish equality, we must first establish inequality.” But as history shows, the path to the classless society always ends with the dictatorship. Who did Marx say would staff the “dictatorship of the proletariat”? Why people like him—that job would fall to intellectuals.
What would the communist paradise look like? In his famous work, The German Ideology, Marx waxes romantic, explaining how each man would act. Under communism, “nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity…[making] it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have in mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.”
Ironically, communism is supposed to follow the advanced capitalist industrial order, yet what Marx described is more like a pre-industrial society. It wouldn’t matter much if his rendering of what happens under communism amounted to nothing more than childlike musings, but unfortunately his prescription was taken seriously. It gave us the Gulag in the Soviet Union and the Laogai, or “Bamboo Gulag,” in China.
There are those who, such as Cardinal Reinhard Marx, an advisor to Pope Francis, deny that there is a line between Marx’s ideas and genocide. They are wrong. The line is direct and ineluctable. As Solzhenitsyn put it, Stalin didn’t pervert Marxism, he perfected it.
R.J. Rummel, a professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is one of the world’s foremost authorities on genocide. The following data are taken from his work and can be found in my book, Why Catholicism Matters.
Under the Soviet Union, a Marxist state, 61 million people were killed; Stalin was responsible for 43 million of them. Under Mao, another Marxist state, 77 million were killed. By contrast, under Hitler, 21 million were killed, including 6 million Jews. Proportionately, Pol Pot beat everyone: in his Marxist state, he killed 2 million Cambodians out of a population of 7 million.
Marx’s fans live in a parallel universe. Consider what Jason Barker, a South Korean professor, wrote in the New York Times on April 30. “Social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, owe something of an unspoken debt to Marx through their unapologetic targeting of the ‘eternal truths’ of our age.”
Barker is badly educated and the New York Times is just as delinquent for publishing this trash.
Here’s what Marx thought about blacks. He called the German labor leader Ferdinand Lassalle a “Jewish Nigger.” Marx was also a self-hating Jew. He told us who “the real Jew” is. “What is the worldly cult of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly god? Money.”
Invoking the #MeToo crusade also makes Barker look foolish.
Is he aware that after Marx married he impregnated his maid? Lenchen was her name, and his son was called Freddy. Marx never supported his out-of-wedlock son because he didn’t want anyone to know he had one. So he got his colleague, Friedrich Engels, to assume paternity. How do we know this? Because on his deathbed, Engels admitted that Freddy was Marx’s son.
Everything I have written is well documented. Unfortunately, it is almost never discussed in the classroom. We have a whole generation growing up that knows absolutely nothing about the genocide committed in Marx’s name, nor his racism, anti-Semitism, or misogyny.
Not for nothing did Marx’s daughter, Eleanor, write him a letter telling him what a classic phony he was for feigning compassion for the poor. She later committed suicide. That’s another part of his bloody legacy, and it is one that the professoriate will never discuss.
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