Marxism is Humanism

Communism is truly a humanist movement, a result of rampant and unrestrained industrialization. Early industrialization was highly exploitive; it was a period of extensive misery. Workers, especially women and children, were exploited under the pretense of ‘equal and free competition for all’. It was not uncommon for children to work 15 hour days, something that is simply unimaginable today. Unbridled capitalism was, in one word: immoral.

Marx was a creature of his times and consequently, his system is an attempt to do away with the misery and exploitation that defined it; it is a protest against the state of affairs.

But Marx turns himself not into an economist or sociologist, but into a prophet in the Abrahamic tradition. And he prophesies the end of capitalism, the apocalypse.

“For the proletarian revolution leads to a one-class society, and therefore to a classless society in which there can be no class-dictatorship. Thus the state, deprived of any function, must disappear.”

Marx is naïf. His conception of the state is flawed. The state, once founded, becomes a being unto-itself; it is independent of man. One can say that the state is an organism, and like any other organism, it will not relinquish life without a fight. This mighty beast, clumsy and torpid, is like the phoenix; from its ashes a new state arises. A state may be temporarily mutilated, but it never simply ‘withers away’ as Hegel says. The state is eternal; as long as humanity exists, there shall be the state.

Unfortunately, Marx reaches the conclusion that the state will ‘wither away’ because he regards it as an instrument of the bourgeoisie. So when the strife-ridden sectarian society, i.e, class-divided, is transformed into a classless society, it must follow that there is no longer a need for the state, if the state is an instrument for the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. But it is not.

Also, the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is established through revolution, will not produce a classless society, but a society composed of different classes, albeit new. Just as the state is an eternal qualifier of humanity, so is a caste system. It is naïf to suppose that those that lead the proletariat, will relinquish power once obtaining. A caste system already exists within the proletariat movement: that of the proletariat and their intellectuals. The workers are given shape and purpose, they are transformed into the proletariat; the Marxist intelligentsia is the demiurge.

Nevertheless, Marx was a humanist. His system is predicated on moral theory. The outrages of the time of unbridled capitalism were morally wrong and therefore had to be changed. And by applying morality to human labor, it is distinguished from all other types of labor.

But the solution is not the elimination of the state. The problems with rampant and ‘liberal’ capitalism are a political problem and only through the state, i.e., intervention, can they be remedied. This is corroborated by what eventually happened in the countries experiencing industrialization. The evils of industrialization were lessened through legislation.

The Prophet’s disciples did not have a doubt that the Heavenly Kingdom, which He predicted would unfold on this world. So it was written in their Bible, Das Kapital. But this belief only made the communists and socialists inactive. As events unfolded in Europe, they needn’t react, the events were bringing closer the realization of the utopia, of the Heavenly Kingdom.