Bratislava, Slovakia—The end of communism has not stopped the influence of Marxism, at least not in Europe. The recent revival of interest in Marxism makes it appropriate to analyze Karl Marx and his work once more, especially in 2018, which marks the 200th anniversary of his birth and the 170th anniversary of the publication of his Communist Manifesto.
UPF-Slovakia therefore invited philosopher Herbert Giller, a brilliant analyst of Marxist thought, to travel from Vienna, Austria, to give the lecture. Mr. Giller, who is also a UPF Ambassador of Peace, gave an engrossing talk about the lesser-known character traits and attitudes of this icon of communism.
Among the 40 guests at the March 26 meeting, which was held in a lecture hall in central Bratislava, were a fair number of academics and some apologists of Marxism.
All the listeners were stunned about the parallels between the lives of Jesus Christ and Karl Marx. Both were of Jewish descent and had a long ancestry with merits. Both started their public mission at age 30, and their teachings were not accepted during their lifetime but became the pillars of philosophy in the future. Both had only a few disciples around them when they died.
Mr. Giller described Karl Marx as a sort of Antichrist who destroyed the foundation of faith and replaced the Christian principle of “Love your neighbor” with the class struggle. His book The Capital is rated as the second most influential book after the Bible. Furthermore, Marxism is a creed complete with a prophet, sacred texts and the promise of Heaven—called the workers’ paradise.
The guests were thoroughly fascinated. One neo-Marxist thinker remarked, “This is really an excellent lecture.” He admitted that he had never thought of any parallels between Jesus and Marx! However, the points outlined in the lecture seemed convincing, he said.
The lecture also highlighted lesser-known aspects of Marx’s life. While a student of law, Karl Marx became acquainted with satanism, which was fashionable in intellectual circles then. He often had sleepless nights and showed signs of mental disorder as a result. When Marx moved to Paris in 1843, he associated with persons who were involved in occultism. The socialist thinker Pierre-Joseph Proudhon became a friend of Marx’s, though only briefly. Proudhon propagated anarchism, and in his writings, he scorned God in language typical of satanism. Another close associate was the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, who openly revered the devil. They and others created a very oppressive atmosphere which left some impact on Marx. Mr. Giller said that he found no proof whatsoever that Marx was practicing satanism and that Marx later excused his occult poems as “youthful madness.”
In contrast to popular myth, Karl Marx did not love the working class. The communist revolution and the proletariat were just means to destroy the established structures which he loathed. Marx argued cuttingly, his biting satire did not shrink at insults, and his expressions often were rude and cruel.
Furthermore, Marx held materialistic economic self-interest to be an absolute principle, something which cannot be overcome. Marxism presupposes that evil is part of humans’ original nature and cannot be changed. The ethical freedom and responsibility of humans are denied. These thoughts of Marx influence society even today.