Communist Eschatology: A Christian Philosophical Analysis of the Post-Capitalistic Views of Marx, Engels and Lenin – Part 2

the best of bees, is that the architect has built a cell in his head before he constructs it in wax. The labor process ends in the

creation of something which, when the process began, already existed in the worker’s imagination, already existed in an ideal

form. What happens is not merely that the worker brings about a change of form in natural objects; at the same time, in the

nature that exists apart from himself, he realizes his own purpose, the purpose which gives the law to his activities, the

purpose to which he has to subordinate his own will."3 And for Engels, labor "is the primary basic condition for all human

existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labor created man himself."4

But labor is not just a process. It is also a process which transforms nature. As Marx has pointed out: "Relative to nature

man himself plays the role of a natural power. The forces with which his body is endowed are set in operation by him to

assimilate material things by giving them a form useful for his life."5

Furthermore, labor is preeminently a social process. For all labor is social by nature. "In production," declared Marx,6

"men not only act on nature but also on one another. They produce only by co-operating in a certain way and mutually

exchange their activities. In order to produce. they enter into definite connections and relations with one another and only

within these social connections and relations does their action on nature, their production, take place." Or as he put it in his

Capital: "In a sort of way, it is with man as with commodities. Since he comes into the world neither with a looking glass in his

hand, nor as a Fichtean philosopher, to whom ’I am’ is sufficient, man first sees and recognizes himself in other men. Peter

only establishes his own identity as a man by first comparing himself with Paul as being of like kind."7

More important still is the role of labor or production as the basis of the entire social order. For labor determines all social

relationships. Already reference has been made to the Preface of Marx’s A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy.8

Engels himself argued more succinctly that "the materialist conception of history starts from the principle that production, and

with production the exchange of its products, is the basis of every social order, that in every society which has appeared in

history the distribution of the products, and with it the division of society into classes or estates, is determined by what is

produced and how it is produced, and how the product is exchanged. According to this conception, the ultimate causes of all

social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in the minds of men, in their increasing insight into eternal truth

and justice, but in changes in the mode of production and exchange; they are to be sought not in the philosophy but in the

economics of the epoch concerned."9 And Marx and Engels jointly stated that "morality, religion, metaphysics, all the rest of

ideology and their corresponding forms of consciousness, thus no longer retain the semblance of independence. They have

no history, no development; but men, developing their material production and their material intercourse, alter, along with this

their real existence, their thinking and the products of their thinking. Life is not determined by consciousness, but

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