Chapter 2 – Marxism-Leninism Communist Roots of the Cold War to the Eve of the Second World War—1848 to 1939

German “idealist” philosophies and French and German utopian socialist currents. He assumed the role of an infallible and unchallengeable prophet with unique authority in his assumptions, analyses, and theoretical leaps of faith.
Marx as a “Young Hegelian.” As part of Marx’s German academic training, he studied jurisprudence and philosophy at the German universities of Bonn and Berlin. He began his studies with an early fixation on Georg F.W. Hegel (1770–1831), the leading philosopher of the nineteenth-century philosophical school of “German Idealism” and the promoter of a pseudo-social-scientific “dialectical” concept of man and history. Hegel’s concept of History replaced the God and “Divine Providence” of the Judeo-Christian faiths and the humanitarian principles that underlie modern Western civilization. Claiming to use scientific methods, Hegel mixed metaphysical and meta-political ideas of History as somehow reflecting the advance of Nature’s “World Spirit” through a natural “dialectical” process based on the clash of “thesis, anti-thesis, and synthesis”—a perspective not unrelated to doctrines of “Social Darwinism” that predicted the survival and advance of peoples and races possessing both physical superiority and the strongest spirit or will. Hegel believed the dialectical process to be manifested in the interaction of societies or nation states, illustrated most vividly for him by his native kingdom of Prussia at a time when Prussia was building national power and forcibly expanding its influence and reach far beyond its capital, Berlin.
Marx Conceives “Dialectical Materialism.” Marx’s early academic ego as a “Young Hegelian” philosopher took pride in “turning Hegel on his head” by “correcting” the most influential philosopher of his time. Marx considered Hegel’s dialectic to be too metaphysical, and replaced it with his own supposedly “empirical” and “scientific” dialectic that drew on the “materialist” doctrines of nineteenth-century German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach, including the concept that man was entirely material, having no spiritual essence like a soul. Incredibly, Marx used this mishmash of nineteenth-century theories of human nature and history to assert his own doctrine, “Dialectical Materialism” as an empirically derived justification for his concept of economics-based class warfare moving inexorably toward a “Communist” state and the creation of a “new man.” On his philosophical path, Marx received a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Berlin in 1841 with a dissertation on “The Difference between the Democritean and the Epicurean Natural Philosophy.”
Marx on Religion, Materialism, and Human Nature. Marx’s philosophies of Communism and “Dialectical Materialism” relate centrally to his view of man as an essentially material object ruled by economic circumstances and part of a collective mass rather than having dignity or value as an individual. Marx argued that man required no God or World Spirit and, indeed, had no spirit, soul, or individual value transcending economics and economics-tied politics. He rejected Christianity and Judaism and variants of the God-centered religions of Western Civilization, and thus, also rejected America’s founding freedom faith. The latter’s principles held that each human being was made in God’s image, endowed by the Creator with inalienable individual value, dignity, conscience, responsibilities, and rights, including liberty and the pursuit of happiness, best assured by democratic laws and institutions (see Chapter 1). In modern democracies like the United States, these natural rights, when denied by a government’s suppression were overcome by the non-Marxist works of the human heart, civil (non-governmental) society, and a government of democratic constitutional law based on consent that progressively extended to ever more people—no matter their race, color, religion or gender.
For Marx, man’s material economic arrangements determined the evolution of society based on a historical sequence of exploitative economic “classes.” A “ruling class” controlled the “division of labor” and the “means of production and distribution” in an overall economic/political “superstructure” which caused increasing “alienation” of men from their work. Marx did not allow for a natural pluralism of views, parties, structures, and outcomes beyond what his polarized binary “dialectic” prescribed on his Communist blueprint toward the final perfection of human society and human nature. Marx’s dogma points to a theocratic melding of religion and politics in a world comparable to Darwinist “survival of the fittest” and Friedrich Nietzsche’s “superman” who existed “beyond good and evil.”
Marx’s Early Writings. In 1842–1843, Marx entered public debate as an editor of the left-wing Rheinische Zeitung in Cologne, Germany. Exiled by the Prussian Government for anti-state activities, he fled to Paris in 1843, engaged with radical political groups there, and began to call himself a “communist.” He also established a close friendship with Friedrich Engels, a German nobleman, who, when Marx was forced to leave France in 1848 because of radical activities, accompanied Marx and his family to London. Although Marx had occasional sources of income as a part-time journalist, it was Engels who supported Marx’s studies (e.g., reading
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