Linz, Austria—In the year of his 200th birthday, Karl Marx was the subject of a lecture on his life and his legacy.
The Vienna-based philosopher and author Herbert Giller was invited by the Upper Austrian branch of UPF to the city of Linz to give the lecture “Who Was Karl Marx Really?” on March 29, 2018.
Mr. Giller pointed out that Marx was the first to create a consistent, comprehensive system of philosophy, social science and economics. But how should this system be evaluated? Mr. Giller asked. Second only to the Bible, Marx’s Das Kapital has had a greater influence than any book, he said.
The lecture continued with a very revealing comparison of the teachings of Jesus and Karl Marx. Christianity is based on the two commandments of loving God and loving one’s neighbor, and even one’s enemy. The two pillars of Marxism are materialism and dialectics, the struggle of antitheses. So one realizes that the teachings of Marx are precisely designed to destroy the teachings of Jesus, Mr. Giller said.
Marx was not primarily an economist but rather a metaphysical philosopher, Mr. Giller said. Likewise, he was not a humanist, as faithful Marxists in both the East and the West have believed. Instead, he was driven by hatred for religion and the establishment, Mr. Giller said.
In the discussion that followed the lecture, many questions were raised—including to what extent dialectical materialism influences society even in this day and age.