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

As post-capitalistic socialistic and communistic labor will, according to Engels,12 "be a revival, in higher form" of labor

under primitive communism, it will be well to give an account of the latter before proceeding further.

It was labor that originally separated man forever from the animals. To Marx, "the use and fabrication of instruments of

labor, although existing in germ among certain species of animals, is especially characteristic of the human labor process,

and [Benjamin] Franklin therefore defines man as ’a tool-making animal.’ "13

Perhaps the fullest statement in this regard is that given by Marx in his Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts: "The

animal is immediately identical with its life-activity. It does not distinguish itself from it. It is its life-activity. Man makes his lifeactivity

itself the object of his will and of his consciousness. He has conscious life-activity…

"Animals also produce. They build themselves nests, dwellings, like the bees, beavers, ants, etc. But an animal only

produces what it immediately needs for itself or its young. It produces one-sidedly, while man produces universally. It

produces only under the dominion of immediate physical need, whilst man produces even when he is free from physical need

and only truly produces in freedom therefrom. An animal produces only itself, while man reproduces the whole of nature. An

animal’s product belongs immediately to its physical body, whilst man freely confronts his product. An animal forms things in

accordance with the standard and the need of the species to which it belongs, whilst man knows how to produce in

accordance with the standard of every species, and knows how to apply everywhere the inherent standard to the object. Man

therefore also forms things in accordance with the laws of beauty."14

To Marx then, man is a "tool-making animal."13 To Engels, in his The Part Played by Labor in the Transition from Ape to

Man, "no simian (or ape-like) hand ever fashioned even the crudest of stone knives."15 And to Lenin, "the herd of apes which

grasped sticks"16 became the first men and the first laborers. Man is, then, a creature who grasps sticks as his primitive

implements, who makes stone knives, and who is, in short, a "tool-making animal.”13

If tools were the first things made by primitive man the laborer, their use (upon part of man's environment) in its turn

brought about the further evolution of man's hand. to "perform hundreds of operations that no monkey's hand can imitate,"

held Engels.”15 And tools, once manufactured, enabled man to advance technologically by making fish-hooks and arrows

and agricultural implements and housing and dwellings for his domesticated animals."15 Particularly man's discovery of fire

was important, for it led to man's development of cooking-utensils and metal-smelting so that fire "separates him forever from

the animal world," as Engels pointed out.17 Man now became a producer, and, as Marx and Engels have demonstrated, men

"begin to differentiate themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence," when

"production first makes its appearance with the increase of population," and which increase "presupposes intercourse of

individuals among themselves."18

Man is self-created by his own labor, held Marx,19 and Marxism "seeks the ultimate cause of the great moving power of

all important historic events in the economic development of society, in the changes in the modes of production and

exchange, in the consequent division of society into distinct classes, and in the struggles of these classes against one

Page 5 of 226« First...34567...102030...Last »