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

The Manse, Winterton, Natal, South Africa-January 1972

Fairfax Christian College, Fairfax, Virginia, USA-January 1974

anno Domini, regente Iesu

(For a resumé of communist activities since this dissertation was submitted in January 1972, through the time of its publication in early 1974, see the Chronological Table below, at page 859 and following pages.)

 

Chapter I

INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNIST ESCHATOLOGY

"As Lenin once said: 'No dark force will withstand the alliance of science, the proletariat and technology.' Those prophetic words have become living reality. We have smashed and destroyed the evil force of the exploiters. We have wiped out for good all forms of economic and spiritual oppression. And now we are concentrating more and more of our effort on eliminating man's dependence on the elements, on subjugating them to man's will. Man will thereby take the last hurdle on his road to the realm of true freedom."

-Nikita Khrushchev: The Road to Communism (1961)

A new social order is possible, in which the class differences of today will have disappeared, and in which-perhaps after a short transition period, which, though somewhat deficient in other respects, will in any case be very useful morally-there will he the means of life, of the enjoyment of life, and of the development and activity of all bodily and mental faculties, through the systematic use and further development of the enormous productive powers of society, which exist with us even now, with equal obligation upon all to work.

-Friedrich Engels1

Before commencing on our dissertation itself, we deem it prudent by way of this Introduction: firstly, to define the meaning of the expression communist eschatology" in the sense in which we shall use it; secondly, to discuss the authority of the writings of Marx and Engels and Lenin in communist circles; thirdly, to state the problem to be solved by this dissertation; fourthly, to delineate the material to be used in so doing; fifthly, to mention the difficulties of the subject; sixthly, to enumerate the chief sources to be consulted; seventhly, to outline the methodology and structure of the dissertation; eighthly, to admit frankly the presuppositions of our approach; and ninthly, to discuss the vital importance of the subject to every person alive today-after which (tenthly) a summary of this Introduction will be given.

1. Definition of Communist Eschalology

The title of our dissertation is "Communist Eschatology – a Christian philosophical analysis of the post-capitalistic views of Marx, Engels, and Lenin." Accordingly, it would seem desirable that clarity should be reached right here at the very outset as to what we mean by the two main words in our title, viz.-"Communist Eschatology." Hence the following definitions.

Firstly, then: What is "communism"?

Karl Marx, the founder of modern Marxist communism, himself supplied us with two classic definitions. In his 1844 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, he stated: "Communism is the positive abolition of private properly, of human self-aIienation, and thus, the real appropriation of human nature, through and for man. It is therefore the return of man himself as a social, that is, as a really human, being, a complete and conscious return which assimilates all the wealth of previous development. Communism as a complete naturalism is humanism, and as a complete humanism is naturalism. It is the definitive resolution of the antagonism between man and Nature, and between man and man. It is the true solution of the conflict between existence and essence, between objectification and self-affirmation, between freedom and necessity, between individual and species. It is the solution of the riddle of history and knows itself to be this solution."2 And in his 1867 Capital, he described communism as the "community of free individuals, carrying on their work with the means of production in common, in which the labor-power of all the different individuals is consciously applied as the combined labor-power of the community."3

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