Communist Eschatology: A Christian Philosophical Analysis of the Post-Capitalistic Views of Marx, Engels and Lenin – Part 3

Finally, in the last chapter of this work (ch. 34), the chapter immediately following this Critical Section, we shall state the conclusions to which our research has brought us. That, in its turn, will be followed by an Epilogue, giving a Christian Manifesto for world take-over in answer to the Communist Manifesto, and this work will then be concluded with a Short Summary of the entire dissertation.

 

Chapter XX

CRITIQUE OF COMMUNIST ESCHATOLOGY OF HISTORY

"Two more important factors were to link themselves to the relativizing tendency of historicism, namely the evolutionism of Charles Darwin and the Marxist ideologies. The doctrine of transformism was to cancel all constancy in species, while Marxism traces everything back to historicoeconomic development."

– Kock: Christian Philosophy (1970)

The method of antinomy tries to bring to light the consequences of this apostasy for theoretic thought.  it is therefore pre-eminently a method of immanent criticism, because it tries to penetrate into other systems of philosophy along the lines of their own cosmonomic Idea. That is to say this method starts from their own pre-suppositions, and so lays bare the origin of the antinomy that has been brought to light.

– Herman Dooyeweerd1

In this first chapter of Part Three, we shall attempt to evaluate chapters two through six of Part One of our dissertation, on the historical background of Marxism. First, we shall discuss the partial credibility of the Marxist doctrine of history; next, we shall draw attention to the theoretical contradictions inherent therein and the practical problems involved in the implementation thereof; subsequently, we shall give a transcendental critique by means of an immanent criticism of Marxism, on the basis whereof we shall then attempt to penetrate through to the religious roots of the Marxist doctrine of history; and lastly, we shall give a Christian philosophical view of history which we feel does better justice to the discovered states of affairs, before finally closing the chapter with a summary of all the above.

1. Partial Credibility

It cannot be denied that Marxism-Leninism presents us with a rather dynamic and comprehensive view of the course of world history. The magnetic power of the Marxist doctrine of history is undoubtedly derived from its conscious recognition of an underlying Marxist philosophy and philosophy of history at the root thereof2 and from its unashamed avowal of dialectical materialism as the basis of its historical materialism – which latter in its turn governs the Marxist view of history.3

There is no great inconsistency among the historical views of Marx and Engels and Lenin. For examplc, the historical views of Marx in his Preface to his Contribution to the Critique ol Political Economy, of Engels in his Anti-Dühring, and of Lenin in his The State, are all quite compatible with one another.

Marxism-Leninism correctly4 asserts that laws govern the development of all that comes to pass;5 correctly distinguishes between the realm of nature (governed by what it calls dialectical materialism) and the realm of man (governed by what it calls historical materialism),6 and correctly limits history to the realm of man alone;7 and it also correctly stresses the close nexus between history and man's productive control.8

Remarkable too is Marx's view of the four great historical stages of the past-the Asiatic, the ancient, the feudal, and the bourgeois,9 the latter three of which do in some measure correspond to the Greek, the scholastic, and the humanistic stages of history as seen by Christian philosophy.10 It cannot be denied that some "primitive" societies still live under conditions similar to those described by Marx and Engels as "primitive" or "Asiatic."11 And still less can it be denied that slave society was largely economically motivated,12 that feudal society was closely connected with religion,13 and that bourgeois society, especially during the last two centuries, has indeed experienced considerable socio-economic unrest.14 Nor can it be denied that modern man longs for the advent of a golden age of history, and that future communism purports to be just this.15

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