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The Crisis of Capitalism & Socialism
[COMMENT: This is a superb
moral/psychological analysis of Marxism and of our current drift toward
government centralization generally.
What Judeo-Christians must do it recover a clear explanation and description of the Biblical form of government. Without that we can do little effective work in the public arena. See www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/21PbAr/Pl/C...fCivilGovt-Outln.htm This topic will be on a live internet seminar at Ustream.com sometime during late July or August 2011.
Note: the comment in the first paragraph by Nietzsche needs commentary . Nietzsche's point that with the death of God, nothing is left to the human race but power struggle, will to power. Without God we humans lack our own personal security, so we crave power to make up the deficit. Control of power, and control by power works only for a while, and never in a way to secure the inner being, the soul. Nietzsche noted rightly that Christians stimulated truthfulness, and almost rightly, "to the point of destroying itself".
The failure was not in Christians destroying themselves by stimulating the search for truth, it was (1) in their (our) cowardly fear that that search for truth might just show them to be wrong, and (2) in a desperate move to save themselves, pitting revelation against reason. "We have our revelation, you can keep your reason".
It was a ploy of Satan to divide the house of God, divide the two newly sharpened edges of the Sword of the Spirit (reason and revelation welded back to back...) and thus destroy the intellectual credibility of the Church. The ploy succeeded masterfully. To our shame.
Christians are beginning again to reunite reason to revelation (see especially the Intelligent Design movement), which the "other side" fears greatly and is doing its level best to torpedo.
We Christians must become truth-seekers,
rather than "position-defenders" -- so that we can
find and defend the true position -- which will be given to us when we let the
truth and the Lord of Truth speak for themselves. (See
The Authority of the Bible in
a Scientific Age.)
Friedrich Nietzsche's notebooks (published as "Will
to Power") contained the idea that European nihilism was inevitable because
Christianity had stimulated truthfulness and morality to the point of destroying
itself. However questionable this insight may be, its overall approach can be
applied in altered form to better understand the crises of socialism and
(1) Marxism is a byproduct of bourgeois intellectuality. Marxists are bourgeois. As Joseph Schumpeter argued, nothing is more bourgeois than socialism. The working class does not promote socialism. The intellectual strata of the bourgeoisie has promoted it. Marx and Engels were not workers. Lenin was not a worker. Stalin was not a worker. Mao was not a worker. Castro was not a worker. They were all from the middle class. More properly speaking, they represent a new breed of intellectual criminal which capitalism has inadvertently spawned.
(2) Therefore, in a sense, capitalism paradoxically creates the conditions for its own demise. It creates a new so-called "intellectual class" filled with resentment against work (manifesting as the desire to lead a workers rebellion). The cry of the socialist, in reality, is the cry of a intellectually sophisticated narcissist who finds the actual insignificance of his own person intolerable.
(3) The socialist creed is a self-grandiose, self-dramatizing system of thought, which projects a false situation upon history (i.e., the inevitable socialist revolution). It also places the narcissist/intellectual at the center of history (as revolutionary leader and agitator). Its only effect is to destroy the wealth and freedom of society, elevating criminals into positions of absolute power. Here is political nihilism, advanced by philosophical criminals; that is, by persons whose "wisdom" amounts to a criminal formulation. The revolution itself is a criminal enterprise, employing violence and deception on an unprecedented scale. Its justification is the justification of the robber (i.e., Robin Hood). Its practice is that of a "boot stomping on a human face forever."
(4) As a form of crime, and a sub-species of nihilism, socialism destroys itself as it destroys capitalism. The claim of Nietzsche that "God is dead" is echoed in the notion that "communism is dead." Of course, neither God nor communism can die. What this means, actually, is that certain people have stopped believing in God, or they have stopped believing in socialism/communism. From our current perspective it is more correct to say that rising secularism represents a loss of faith and meaning. The "death of communism" signifies the realization that secularism is a dead end -- part of the "advent of modern European nihilism" (as foretold by Nietzsche).
(5) Nietzsche's critique of Christianity as a slave religion was an error. As Max Weber explained, Christianity was a religion of the middle class. It was the religion of a carpenter (Christ) and a fisherman (Peter) and a Tent-maker (paul). These were not slaves at all. Christianity did not spread among the slaves or the peasantry. It spread most rapidly through the urban middle class. It was a phenomenon of the town, not of the country. The term "pagan" refers to a villager, or country dweller. This is no accident. Christianity was not, therefore, a spiritual slave revolt. More correctly, it was a revolt of the middle class which established, through the centuries, a civilization of the middle class: practical, economic, wealth-creating and truth-seeking (i.e., scientific).
(6) Therefore, Nietzsche's critique of socialism as the final malevolent form of Christianity needs to be adjusted. Socialism/communism may indeed represent a condensation of Christian values without the nobility of Christ. But this condensation is more along the lines of anti-Christ. It was Carl Jung who suggested that totalitarianism was the ultimate anti-Christ movement in that it promised what Christ promised, but delivered the exact opposite. In this understanding, totalitarian socialism represents the psychological shadow of Christian civilization; a self-undermining, self-destroying formulation of unintegrated elements. While socialism mimics Christianity in its concern for the unfortunate, socialism represents the profound selfishness and egotism of a new class which has been born out of the bourgeoisie. These are intellectuals who have no real profession, no status equal to their education, and are motivated by resentment. Here the intellectual virtues of the bourgeoisie are focused on the task of destroying the bourgeoisie. Here, the revolution stems from the decline of the aristocratic check on bourgeois error.
(7) Nietzsche's instinct in favor of real aristocracy is not an error in this situation. His mis-characterization of Christianity was due to lack of precision. The bourgeoisie developed a type of civilization which eventually pushed the aristocratic function aside, with the result that persons unsuited to the exercise of authoritative political function usurped power under a system that represents the declining form of authority. Karl Marx recognized this when he wrote that history repeats itself: first as tragedy, then as farce. Whereas, mixed government had previously established a system of checks and balances between aristocrats, the commons, and the consul (or king), bourgeois society did away with the aristocratic function altogether. This function was thought to be irrational and outdated. Looking at the unchecked spread of socialism in our universities, at the disease of the new intellectual class, we now crave a return of the old aristocratic function (which possessed, by nature and instinct, the urge to eliminate such elements as represented by "the new class").
(8) The new class, as such, has grown into a pathological formation. Its nihilism is that of the disordered secular mind. This mind suffers from any number of identity disorders. Consider the example of militant and politicized homosexuality. The homosexual suffers from a sexual identity disorder. Feminism, as well, is the ideology of a woman trapped in a woman's body; that is, of a rejection of womanhood by the narcissistic projection of a false female image by a disordered female. The extreme environmentalist has identified mankind as a "cancer on the biosphere," and wishes to reduce the human race in favor of animals, plants and insects. Instead of identifying with his own species, the extreme environmentalist identifies with "nature." All of these false self-identifications have been encouraged by egalitarianism, which allows the formula X = Y (without regard for the individuality of X and Y). In terms of the animal rights movement, we see this formula as, "A rat is a pig, is a dog, is a boy."
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Date Posted - 07/06/2011 - Date Last Edited - 07/07/2012