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

More on (Un)“Scientific Socialism,” Utopia, and the “New Type of Man.” Marxist-Leninist vision and theory depended on rejecting and eliminating from society the core principles of Judeo-Christian Western civilization, including its vision of man moving toward increased freedom, fulfillment, and democracy based on an understanding of man as distinguished by a soul made in God’s image with individual dignity and rights and asked to love his neighbor as himself. The contrasting political faith of Marx (accepted by Lenin, his Communist Party, and their proxies abroad) claimed a concept of “scientific socialism” with a final stage of “Communism” that would create a “New Man.” Marx’s utopian “man” was denied the principles of individual human nature and worth, in direct contrast to Western religious and rational traditions that attributed to men intangible moral, intellectual, and spiritual qualities that built on individual dignity and freedom of conscience and action. In this Western tradition at its best, God-given qualities, not material atoms, explained man’s love of family, neighbor, and society as well as his conscience, moral responsibility, and, not least, his art (including music, painting, dance, literature, etc.), all of which must be protected and promoted.
Marx’s Communism versus the Varieties of (Democratic) Socialisms. Marx and Marxism’s views and claims to infallibility made them natural opponents of reformist democratic parties, whether conservative or among the Social Democrats, Democratic Socialists, and Christian Socialists parties in Europe that were represented in the Socialist International organization in which Marx and Engels participated. The democratic non-Marxist socialists generally supported substantial nationalization (i.e., state ownership) of principal producers, transport systems, banks, and large properties, but chiefly on the basis of parliamentary and labor union reforms and administered via democratic institutions and laws. Their national administrators and planners were generally envisaged as professional civil servants responding to elected political leaders, mediated and moderated by parliamentary and other democratic processes and laws and with much property and many processes remaining in individuals’ private ownership and spheres of action. Such decisive differences between democratic socialism and Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism were at the core of the Communist threat to all forms of democracy.
Marx’s Anti-Democratic Das Kapital and His Trash-Talk against the Democratic Socialist Gotha Program—1872. In 1872, Marx published two major statements in very different styles—academic and polemical—but highly interrelated in demonstrating the fatal contradictions in his analyses and proposals that led him to condemn his democratic Socialist rivals and to insist on his totalitarian mix of violent revolution and dictatorship based on an unprecedented monopoly of state power.
Marx’s Das Kapital focuses on his economic theories of capitalism, classes, and centrally planned, versus capitalist (market), economies. Marx’s irrationality in the text is clear: he first attacks the concentration of capital, industry, and military that he and Engels witnessed as the Industrial Revolution gathered steam throughout England and Europe. Yet, he then proposes a theoretical economic and political solution certain to be far more concentrated, exploitative, and corrupt than what he was opposing, especially given the ongoing reforms already evolving in “capitalist” democracies even during Marx’s lifetime. His Communist blueprint committed to a full-scale vanguard-party dictatorship that “owned” everything and concentrated planning, control, production, and distribution in a bureaucracy with a monopoly of ownership, power, privilege, and profit—an open invitation to the inefficiency and corruption that has been a defining element of all Communist regimes. Marx thereby conceived an unprecedented New Class of exploitative Communist administrators (see Milovan Djilas, The New Class: Analysis of the Communist System, 1957). Marx’s Communist blueprint guarantees that its subjects will be forced to live in unprecedented chains rather than obtaining new freedoms and rights.
Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Program remains almost totally ignored by writers on Communism, anti-Communism, and the Cold War, although its few pages are as important as his 1848 Communist Manifesto in terms of insight into Marx’s mind and ideology and that of subsequent Marxist-Leninist doctrine. Marx’s Gotha critique is in the form of a short letter responding to a request for comments on a draft political program prepared by Germany’s leading democratic socialists. Here, Marx demonstrates that, in the twenty-four years since writing his Manifesto, he had learned nothing about the importance of human rights, democracy, reform, and peaceful progress since he had first condemned paths of substantial reform being achieved peacefully via parliaments, religious leaders, and the rise of the labor movement in Western Europe. He denounced democratic socialists like Ferdinand Lassalle, Moses Hess, and others and insists that a Communist dictatorship and state/administration must totally sweep away the “nonsense about rights and other trash so common among the democrats and French socialists . . . [i.e.,] vulgar socialism.”
[Book pg. 25]