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

It is significant that, even long after the Sino-Soviet feud started, an authoritative post-Khrushchevian Soviet publication proclaimed that "the international character of Marxism-Leninism is implicit in the fact that its true adherents all over the world hold the same views on social development and the prospects for social progress,"217 and that the official Soviet publication for the celebration of the centenary of Lenin's birth in April 1970 almost deified Lenin and his views.218 And small wonder. For the Soviet Union and her satellites are determined to march forward to eschatological communism by the end of the twentieth century at the latest.

In the decade 1961-70, the Soviet Union was scheduled to surpass the U.S.A. in industry and agriculture, and to reach the highest standard of living in the world.219 In the present decade, 1971-80, Russia plans to produce an abundance of wealth and thus lay the technical basis for the advent of communism; and before or by the year 2000, she plans to enter the millennium of full communism.220

As the famous Russian philosopher Afanasyev wrote in his Marxist Philosophy in the nineteen-sixties: "Our age is a witness to the triumph of materialism and the deep crisis and degradation of idealism. And although idealism is still fighting materialist philosophy, the outcome of this battle is beyond all doubt: the future belongs to the scientific, Marxist-Leninist world outlook."221 For as Lenin himself had previously confidently remarked: "One or the other will triumph-a funeral dirge will be sung over the Soviet Republic or over world capitalism."222

Clearly, believe the communists, it is world capitalism that will be sting over and the Soviet Republic that will do the singing of the funeral dirge. For as Khrushchev himself remarked to a Westerner: "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you!"225 That is: "We will be present at your funeral!"224 And history is on their side, believe the communists, because only communism effectively harmonizes theory and practice.

As Marx himself had already put it in his 1844 Contribution to the Critique of Hegels Philosophy of Right: "Theory is capable of gripping the masses as soon as it demonstrates ad hominem, and it demonstrates ad hominem as soon as it becomes radical."225 For: "Just as philosophy finds its material weapons in the proletariat, so the proletariat finds its intellectual weapons in philosophy. And once the lightning of thought has penetrated deeply into this virgin soil of the people, the Germans will emancipate themselves and become men. The emancipation of Germany will be an emancipation of man. Philosophy is the head of this emancipation and the proletariat is its heart. Philosophy can only be realized by the abolition of the proletariat, and the proletariat can only be abolished by the realization of philosophy."226 Hence all the secrets of theory "find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice."227 For "the philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it" (Theses on Feuerbach:XI).

Lenin correctly added that "the millions of people will never heed the advice of parties if this advice does not coincide with what the experience of. their own lives teaches them,"228 for Marx and Engels had established that "the standpoint of life, of practice, should be first and fundamental in the theory of knowledge."220

And Khrushchev told the Twentieth Congress of the C.P.S.U. that "revolutionary theory is not a collection of petrified dogmas and formulae, but a militant guide to action in transforming the world, in building communism. Marxism-Leninism teaches us that a theory isolated from practice is dead, and practice which is not illumined by revolutionary theory is blind."220 And in his For Victory in the Peaceful Competition with Capitalism, he stated: "Every practical question of the building of socialism, is at the same time also a theoretical question, directly related to the creative development of Marxism-Leninism. The one cannot be separated from the other."231

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