Communist Eschatology: A Christian Philosophical Analysis of the Post-Capitalistic Views of Marx, Engels and Lenin – Part 1

However, the point of importance here is that, in spite of all internal differences, communists and Communist Parties everywhere always appeal to Marx and Engels and Lenin as their final authority. Even the 1959 Program of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia claims that Yugoslavian communists are fighting "on two fronts-against both [the Soviet and the Chinese!] forms of revision of the basic scientific principles of socialism as laid down by Marx, Engels and Lenin."11

But again it must be asked: Why just "as laid down by Marx, Engels and Lenin"? Why not as also laid down by later Marxist-Leninists, such as Trotsky, Stalin, Khrushchev, Mao Tse-tung and Ché Guevara?

Undoubtedly, all these later communists considered themselves to be good Marxist-Leninists, no matter how much they differed from one another in their emphases. However, by no means all who claim to be Marxists or Marxist-Leninists appeal to all (or even to any) of these thinkers; and some of these thinkers also frequently attacked one another (e.g., Trotsky-Stalin; Khrushchev-Mao), but all of them always themselves appealed to the final authority of Marx and Engels and Lenin.

For example, internationalistic-communistic Trotskyites everywhere are anti-Stalinist82 precisely because they claim to be (Marxist-)Leninists.83 Similarly, post-Trotskyite nationalistic-communistic Stalinists everywhere (including the Albanians and the Red Chinese), even when fulminating against non-Leninistic Marxist revisionists" (such as the German Social Democratic Party or the British Labor Party), again appeal to Marx and Engels and Lenin (and never to Trotsky!) as their authority.84 Again, Khrushchev, in spite of his differences with Yugoslav communists on the one hand and Albanian and Red Chinese communists on the other, and in Spite of his repudiation of Stalin's personality defects (but hardly of Stalin's Marxist-Leninist doctrine!),85 always claimed to be following Marx and Engels and Lenin.86 And Mao Tse-tung (in spite of allowing his own87 "thought" to be raised to the level of that of Marx and Engels and Lenin, and in spite of allowing [the Marxist-Leninist!] Stalin87 to remain alongside the triumvirate Marx and Engels and Lenin [and alongside of Mao himself!] as a full authority in Red Chinese circles)88 has always claimed that he (Mao) and Stalin89 are both faithful followers of Marx and Engels and Lenin and are therefore to be considered as authoritative.90

The position is, then, that Trotsky is only authoritative in the circles emanating from the anti-Russian-communist (Trotskyite) Fourth International, and is even anathema to the anti-Russian (because pro-Stalinist and therefore anti-Trotskyi therefore Stalin hated Trotsky!) Red Chinese and Albanians;91 Stalin is today only fully authoritative in Red China92 and Albania,93 partially authoritative in Russia94 and her satellites, and anathema to Yugoslavia95 and most Western communists; Khrushchev is today of only very minor authority (in contrast, however, to the still "canonical" [Khrushchevian] New Party Program of the C.P.S.U. of 1961), and even then, only in the Soviet bloc-but a hated man in the Chinese bloc;98 Mao is of complete authority in the Chinese bloc88 and Chinese-oriented Western parties,97 but anathema to the Soviet bloc;10 and Ché Guevara, the Cuban communist guerilla, is at most a useful mentor on terrorist warfare, but is hardly regarded as an authoritative communist theoretician even by those young Western Hemisphere communists who idolize him as a hero.

Only Marx and Engels and Lenin, then, are universally authoritative for all communists everywhere. As the Communist Party of the U.S.A. remarked in 1957: "The Communist Party [of the U.S.A.] bases its theory particularly on the principles of scientific socialism as developed by Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, and V.I. Lenin."98 In the following year, Moscow Radio broadcast: "There is only one Marxist-Leninist teaching. There was only one Marx and only one Lenin. All Communist and Workers' Parties are guided by their teachings."99 And this is why Selsam and Martel confine their Reader in Marxist Philosophy (published by the communistic International Publishers) to "the writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin."100

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