An Evaluation of Marxist Humanism

Part 2 of 2

by Norman L. Geisler and Christopher T. Haun

“A SPECTRE is haunting Europe — the spectre of Communism.

All the Powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance

to exorcise this spectre.”[1]

So begins The Communist Manifesto. The specter Marx and Engles warned us about in 1848 proceeded to haunt not just Europe but Asia, Africa, and both of the American continents too. The preceding blog post on Marxist Humanism was written in an era when hardline forms of Marxism were holding hostage approximately fifty percent of Europe and seventy percent of Asia. It also had taken possession of several African nations and was working to take several South American nations. Marx’s spectre of bloody revolution was a very real and very global threat in the early 1980s.

But many things have changed in the last thirty years. The Iron Curtain rusted and the Bamboo Curtain rotted. In the late 1980s Gorbachev loosened the suffocating Marxist reigns of the USSR. After the death of Chairman Mao, Deng Xiaoping helped China begin to become the economic superpower it is today by encouraging the very practices—foreign investment, global market capitalism, and private competition—that were anathema to Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Deng became famous for saying, “It doesn’t matter if the cat is white or black so long as it catches the mouse.” By this they meant that there was no real loyalty to Mao’s Marxism and no real disdain for capitalism. In 1989, Poland, Hungary, and Romania sloughed their miserable Marxist-Leninist yokes off. Between 1990 and 1991 a dozen other Eastern European countries followed suit. And then the unimaginable happened: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics dissolved and Russia itself abandoned the yoke of Marxist-Leninist Communism in 1992. The smaller experiments in economic Marxism failed too: all of the kibbutzim of Israel became at least partially privatized by 2012.[2]

Now that we can look back at more than a century of empirical testing among many people groups in many nations, it is crystal clear that hardline Marxist systems never worked out well in the real world. No Marxist experiment has ever truly delivered upon its promises of equality, justice, and better conditions for “the people.” The equality it gave was destruction of any hope of a middle-class, destitution for the 99%, and spectacular wealth for the dictator and his top henchmen. Marxism is an economic tourniquet; it must be loosened if the limb it is applied to is to survive. To Marx’s chagrin, an infusion of free trade is always needed if the people in the host country are to survive. Even Lenin returned Russia to a limited form of capitalism in 1922.

Ironically, every Marxist experiment in the 20th century proved more oppressive to “the people” than the yokes of oppression they had “liberated” the people from. Whenever the standard of living was raised for one large group it was done at the expense of other group. The toll in bloodshed finds no parallel. The number of victims murdered or starved in Russia and the other Soviet victim countries by Marxist-Leninism, for example, is estimated to be over sixty million noncombatants. The Marxist victim tally in Mao’s China is over eighty million people. Cambodian Marxists sacrificed ten million victims on the altar of revolution. Let’s not speed-read over those figures; let them sink in. The conservative estimate of the toll in human lives by Leninist and Maoist Marxism is 160 million. That is of governments killing their own countrymen during peacetime. And this number that does not include the hundreds of thousands put to death in the other countries that had the misfortune of becoming victims to hardline Marxist revolution,[3] the bloodshed in the nations that began to slide into the Marxist pit but were able to scramble out of it later, the lives soldiers spent by freer nations to defend against the Marxist plans for world domination, or the number of infant humans murdered by hardline Marxists.[4]

In terms of sheer number of murders, it is difficult to find other atrocities in human history that compare with the Marxist genocides. Genghis Khan’s ruthless soldiers murdered an estimated forty million people during the expansion of the Mongol empire in the thirteenth century. For comparison, the insanity of World War I killed nine million and wounded twenty-three million. World War II killed twenty-five million soldiers and thirty-five million non-combatants. This figure includes the twenty million noncombatants murdered by the National Socialists (Nazis) of Germany during their attempt to create the third Rome. To match the sixty million souls killed by Eastern Marxists in Russia, we could compare with the sixty million babies murdered in utero in the United States since Western Marxists legalized abortion in 1973.[5]

With the clarity of hindsight, Marx was a misguided Messiah, a perjured prophet, an inhumane humanist, a pseudo-scientist, a revolutionary religionist, and a saboteur—not a savior. He popularized the philosophical force that would destroy several hundred million human lives. Not surprisingly then there are few leaders, intellectuals, and academics today who openly admit to being disciples of Marx. Even the university professors who admire and repackage Marx for their students are quick to admit Marx was wrong on a few major points. Now that most every nation on earth operates with a synthesis of capitalism and economic Marxism, the pure or original form of Marxism has lost its relevance for today. It could be said that technically no one is a pure Marxist today.

However, when we consider Marxism not just as a specific economic theory applicable only to the long-gone age of the Industrial Revolution and of the heyday of the East India Company. When viewed as a family of “-isms” that were inspired by Marx, tutored by Marx, reinterpreted and recontextualized Marx, we can say that Marx’s spectre was never successfully exorcised. Marxism (as an umbrella term for several forms of neomarxism) arguably remains the most dominant clan of philosophies at work in the world today. Perhaps the main reason Marxism (in its myriad of neomarxist incarnations) is so pervasive today is that the problem of exploitation by the top 1% (the wealthy and powerful people) of the bottom 99% (the rest of us) is a scourge that affects everyone on the planet. The people who see the problems, feel them, and want to do something about them tend hear Marxist voices first and find natural sympathies with. Few realize that there are economic theories of exploitation that predate Marxism, have strong similarities to the Marxist view of the problem, and have very different (and arguably superior) solutions to the problem than Marxism has—solutions which veer away from the bloody- revolutionary and authoritarian-totalitarian nature of Marxist answers.[6]

Marx’s Two Approaches to Revolution

Marx himself made provisions for two basic approaches to revolution—abrupt or gradual. In the preceding chapter we focused primarily on the hardline strains of Marxism. Here in this postscript our focus will be on its more gradual forms. While the gradual approach is more subtle, it is no less revolutionary; every form of Marxism encourages one group of people of some kind (not necessarily the factory worker class) to arrest power and things away from the group that wields the power and owns the things (not necessarily the aristocracy or the bourgeoisie). Both approaches may be found seminally in the Communist Manifesto:

the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class … Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production. … These measures will of course be different in different countries. Nevertheless in the most advanced countries the following will be pretty generally applicable. . . [7]

Marx realized that the despotic measures of revolution that would work later in the pre-industrialized countries (Russia, China, Korea, Vietnam, Angola, Afghanistan, etc.) would not work in quite the same way in the “most advanced countries” that valued freedom. Ebenstein wrote that Marx “occasionally referred to England and the United States as two possible exceptions to the principle of social change through communist revolution and dictatorship” and was actually open to the idea that the revolution could possibly be accomplished gradually and nonviolently there.[8] Anticipating difficulties in overthrow of the “advanced” nations, he recommends the following ten steps for revolutionaries to use to affect a gradual revolution:

Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

Abolition of all right of inheritance.

Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance win a common plan.

Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.

Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc., etc.

Two Marxist Approaches to Revolution

Plan A

Plan B

















The Reformed Marxism of Kark Kautsky

The first gradualist approach was developed by Karl Kautsy. Kautsky met personally with Marx and Engels and was certainly one of their most ardent followers. On some matters he diverged from them and became the leading theoretician of Democratic Socialism. He later incurred the hatred of Lenin for his rejection of some of Marxism’s nastier features—impatient and bloody revolution, unwillingness to compromise, and the dictatorship of the industrial working class. Kautsky’s “evolutionary Democratic Socialism” has since become the most ubiquitous form of government in the majority of nations around the world. Whereas the countries that became victims of Leninistic and Maoistic implementations of Marxism have been hobbling away from Marxism, the nations of Western Europe, North America, and South America have become increasingly influenced by Marxism through the “third way” that synthesizes elements of capitalism and socialism together.

The Reformed Marxism of the Fabian Society

Soon after Marx died, Fabian Marxism began to flourish in England and New England. The Fabian Society named themselves after Fabius Maximus, a Roman General whom military historians know as the father of guerilla warfare. In the Second Punic War, General Fabius prudently refused to send his soldiers to meet the superior forces of Carthage under the command of Hannibal on the open battlefield in direct conflict. Instead he practiced a patient and cautious strategy of hit-and-run warfare, ambushes, constant harassment, and a war of attrition. Inspired by this form of warfare, the motto of the Fabian Socialists was, “For the right moment you must wait, as Fabius did patiently, when warring against Hannibal, though many censured his delays; but when the right moment comes you must strike hard, as Fabius did, or your waiting will be in vain, and fruitless.”[9] The historian Plutarch wrote that Fabius’ “tactics were slow, silent, and yet relentless in their steady pressure, [Hannibal’s] strength was gradually and imperceptibly undermined and drained away.”[10]

Although the Fabians remained revolutionaries of the Marxist variety, they differed from Marx on at least three important points. First, they differed on the matter of by who and to whom. Whereas Marx forecasted the large class of factory workers would be the class that would revolt, the Fabians realized that revolution would only have a chance of success by being led by a highly educated class. George Bernard Shaw, one of the better known Fabians, wrote,

Marx’s Kapital is not a treatise on socialism; it is a gerrymand against the bourgeoisie. It was supposed to be written for the working class, but the working man respects the bourgeoisie and wants to be a bourgeoisie. Marx never got a hold of him for a moment. It was the revolting sons of the bourgeoisie itself, like myself, that painted the flag red. The middle and upper classes are the revolutionary element in society. The proletariat is the conservative element.[11]

Shaw had a point: Neither Marx nor Engels were products of the working classes. The working class rarely produces intellectuals whose pens are mighty enough to move swords. Even Lenin and other boots-on-the-ground leaders of bloody revolutions also tended to be educated men from a social class that was far from the lowest but still under the foot of the highest classes.

While the Fabians further developed the idea of a gradual revolution they added a dimension of deceptiveness to it. Whereas Marx and Engels stated that Communists are very transparent about what they want to take, who they want to take it from, and how they plan to take it,[12] the Fabian Marxists, knowing all too well that Marx was embarrassingly wrong about the revolutions happening naturally as if by scientific law, knew the revolutions had to be forced to occur artificially. They also knew that their agents of change could not succeed if they were honest and transparent about their ends and means. The Fabian strategy for the Western nations was, as the name Fabius implies, quite fabian—gradual, cautious, guerilla, covert, sneaky, unconventional, deceptive, indirect, and asymmetrical.

The Fabians would focus on university professors and students rather than factory workers. They would indoctrinate agents of change through scholarship and schools. In the words of one of its founders, the Fabian Society was “founded in 1884 as an educational and propagandist centre. . . It furnishes lecturers in considerable number to all meetings where Socialism, in any guise whatsoever, can possibly be introduced. . .”[13] As of 1885 their watchwords were, “EDUCATE, AGITATE, ORGANIZE.”[14] By starting with an intellectual revolution in the minds of academics the revolution would progress quite naturally carry over into all other arenas of public policy and public opinion. Unable to infiltrate into Oxford and Cambridge at first, the Fabians established the London School of Economics. They would also later help found and popularize the Labor Party in the United Kingdom. They also established beachheads in several influential American universities. Meanwhile some of its foremost members also continued to spread propaganda in favor of the Marxist-Leninist State in the 1930s.[15]

Reformed Marxism in the Humanist Manifestos

There are strong echoes of Kautskian-Fabian variants of Marxism in the manifestos and declarations produced by humanists. The pendulum tends to shift more towards the communist side of the Marxist spectrum in the early manifestos and then as the economic failure of communism becomes more undeniable, the later manifestos seek to balance their socialism with a little capitalism.

John Dewey, the co-author of the first Humanist Manifesto and reformer of the American public school system, was a member of several Marxist front organizations. He was also one of the leaders of the American branch of the Fabian Society. The fourteenth affirmation of the Humanist Manifesto I (1933) is unabashedly Marxist. It has nothing but condemnation for the “acquisitive and profit-motivated society.” Its insistence on the need for “radical change,” and its hope of establishing a “socialized and cooperative economic order” that would forcibly distribute “the means of life” equitably. The subsequent manifestos would make it clear that they were not hardline Marxism. Writing in 1999, Paul Kurtz, the framer of Humanist Manifesto II, explained:

Humanist Manifesto II was released in 1973 to deal with the issues that had emerged on the world scene since [1933]: the rise of fascism [which were socialistic] and its defeat in the Second World War, the growth in influence and power of Marxism-Leninism and Maoism, the Cold War . . . Many Marxist humanists in Eastern Europe had attacked totalitarian statism and welcomed a defense of democracy and human rights. Humanist Manifesto II no longer defended a planned economy, but left the question open to alternative economic systems. Thus, it was endorsed by both liberals and economic libertarians, who defended a free market, as well as by social democrats and democratic socialists, who believed that the government should have a substantial role to play in a welfare society. It sought to democratize economic systems and test them by whether or not they increased economic well-being for all individuals and groups.[16]

Kurtz then shows his western Marxist stripes when he advocates the redistribution of wealth through an irresistible global government:

we recommend an international system of taxation in order to assist the underdeveloped sectors of the human family and to fulfill social needs not fulfilled by market forces. We would begin with a tax levied on the Gross National Product (GNP) of all nations, the proceeds to be used for economic and social assistance and development. This would not be a voluntary contribution but an actual tax. … Extreme disparities between the affluent and the underdeveloped sectors of the planet can be overcome by encouraging self-help, but also by harnessing the wealth of the world to provide capital, technical aid, and educational assistance for economic and social development.

The third humanist manifesto, titled Humanism and Its Aspirations, was adopted in 2003 by the American Humanist Association and supersedes the first two manifestos. It attempts to put some distance between itself and the classic economic Marxism. The Marxist jargon (“cooperatively,” “interdependence,” “global community,” “minimize the inequities,” “just distribution of resources”) was toned down to the point where Marxists would have no problem recognizing it and non-Marxists might also find it suitable. The Amsterdam Declaration of 1952, which was updated in 2002 and adopted by the World Humanist Congress, somewhat vaguely tries to recommend a balance between personal liberty and social responsibility. The Secular Humanist Declaration (1980) similarly seems to recommend a synthesis of Marxism and Capitalism where it says “a free society should also encourage some measure of economic freedom, subject only to such restrictions as are necessary in the public interest. This means that individuals and groups should be able to compete in the marketplace, organize free trade unions, and carry on their occupations and careers without undue interference by centralized political control.”

Cultural Marxism

Although he is not well known, Antonio Gramsci may go down in history as the greatest interpreter of Marx. The reason for this is that he perceived one of the main reasons for the failure of Marxism and devised a way to help it succeed. A member of the Italian Socialist Party in 1913 and founder of the Italian Communist Party in 1921, under threat of Italian Fascism Gramsci fled to Lenin’s Soviet Socialist Republic. Living in Russia made it obvious to him that the revolution Marx had predicted still hadn’t occurred naturally. Live there also made it clear to him that the workers’ paradise (which was anything but a paradise) could only be maintained by propaganda, lies, and terror.

While he never became disillusioned with Marx’s vision of revolution of the workers followed by the rise of a utopia from the ashes, he did became disillusioned with all the artificial attempts to create the revolution in Russia, China, and elsewhere. Afraid of Stalin’s insanity, he returned to Italy to take his chances among the Fascists. During nine years in an Italian prison he managed to cobble together nine volumes of writings that could help achieve a Marxist world. Historian Malachi Martin summarizes:

Gramsci—intellectually a product of the Roman Catholic society of Italy—was far more advanced than either Hegel or Marx in his understanding of Christian metaphysics in general, of Thomism in particular, and of the richness of the Roman Catholic heritage. … What was essential, insisted Gramsci, was to Marxise the inner man. Only when that was done could you successfully dangle the utopia of the “Workers’ Paradise” before his eyes, to be accepted in a peaceful and humanly agreeable manner, without revolution or violence or bloodshed. … What Marx and Lenin had got wrong, Gramsci said, was the part about an immediate proletarian revolution. His Italian socialist brothers could see as well as he did that, in a country such as Italy—and in Spain or France or Belgium or Austria or Latin America, for that matter—the national tradition of all the classes was virtually consubstantial with Roman Catholicism. The idea of proletarian revolution in such a climate was impractical at best, and could be counterproductive at worst. … Gramsci had a better way. A subtler blueprint for Marxist victory. … Use Lenin’s geopolitical structure not to conquer streets and cities, argued Gramsci. Use it to conquer the mind of civil society. Use it to acquire a Marxist hegemony over the minds of the populations that must be won. … they must join in whatever liberating causes might come to the fore. . . Marxist must join with women, with the poor, with those who find certain civil laws oppressive. … they must enter into every civil, cultural, and political activity in every nation, patiently leavening them as thoroughly as yeast leavens bread. If there was any true superstructure that had to be eliminated, it was the Christianity that had created and still pervaded Western Culture in all its forms, activities, and expressions. … Marxist action must be unitary against what he saw to be the failing remnant of Christianity. And by a unitary attack, Gramsci meant that Marxists must change the residually Christian mind. He needed to alter that mind—to turn it into its opposite in all its details—so that it would become not merely a non-Christian mind but an anti-Christian mind. … everything must be done in the name of man’s dignity and rights, and in the name of his autonomy and freedom from outside constraint. From the claims and constraints of Christianity, above all else. Accomplish that, said Gramsci, and you will have established a true and freely adopted hegemony over the … thinking of every formerly Christian country. Do that, he promised, and in essence you will have Marxized the West. The final step—the Marxization of the politics of life itself—will then follow.[17]

Not long after Gramsci fled from Stalin, Christian Rakovsky, a Marxist-Trotskyite, landed in one of Stalin’s prisons. Although we cannot be certain of the validity of the transcript or its translation, Rakovsy is reported to have said in1938 that harmonizes well with Gramsci’s epiphany:

Communism cannot be the victor if it will not have suppressed the still living Christianity. History speaks very clearly about this: the permanent revolution required seventeen centuries in order to achieve its first partial victory – by means of the creation of the first split in Christendom. In reality Christianity is our only real enemy, since all the political and economic phenomena in the bourgeois States are only its consequences. Christianity, controlling the individual, is capable of annulling the revolutionary projection of the neutral Soviet or atheistic State by choking it and, as we see it in Russia, things have reached the point of the creation of that spiritual nihilism which is dominant in the ruling masses, which have, nevertheless, remained Christian: this obstacle has not yet been removed during twenty years of Marxism.[18]

In the 1930s a group of professors at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt in Germany (or “the Frankfurt School” for short) developed their own unique strains of Western Marxism. While they preferred to call their theory “the critical theory of society” their work has become more commonly known as “Cultural Marxism.”

They were keenly aware of the fact that the German workers did not revolt as Marx had predicted. But the fact that Marxism had failed its first and biggest test wasn’t enough to make them abandon Marx. They remained Marxist at the core and sought to salvage Marx’s vision for the dissolution of the evil “capitalist” systems that dominated Europe and the United States and plagued the world. Max Horkheimer defined their critical theory of society as (1) “a theory dominated at every turn by a concern for reasonable conditions of life,” (2) a theory which condemns existing social institutions and practices as “inhuman,” and (3) a theory which contemplates the need for “alteration of society as a whole.”[19] In harmony with Marx, the Frankfurt School theorists taught that everything in Western society is so evil that every facet of it needs to be criticized and destroyed.

The rise of National Socialism in Germany forced these professors to flee their German homeland. The Nazis were competing with Marxism and the Frankfurter theorists were Marxists. They were also Jewish. They fled to Switzerland and then, in 1935, they made Columbia University of New York their base of operations.[20] Ironically they did not flee to Russia to find companionship with their Marxist comrades who were trying hard to build a Marxist paradise there. The Frankfurt critical theorists were also critical of the Eastern implementations of Marxism that had so obviously become dystopian. But they were even more critical of pretty much everything that smelled of Western Civilization. Even so they sought to enjoy the freedoms offered in the United States despite their hatred for Western Capitalism. After WWII ended, some of them returned to Germany while others stayed in the USA to indoctrinate university students with their ideas about revolution.

Although sympathetic to Marx’s war on inequality among socio-economic classes, these “cultural Marxists” instead focused on other cultural areas where people groups encounter inequality. They saw inequality of power in the clash of cultures (particularly traditional “Western culture” dominating non-western cultures), of races (European races having dominated non-European races), or religions (where peoples practicing various forms of Christianity and Islam have subjugated people of other religions), of family (parents often dominate their children), of gender (men often dominate women), and sexual orientation (hetrosexual communities oppress people in LGBTIQ[21] categories). Why didn’t the workers of Europe unite and revolt as Marx had predicted? This was one of the main problems these neomarxist theorists were trying to solve for. Perhaps Marx had been right about most everything but had underestimated the grip that the European cultural heritage (chiefly from the Greek, Roman, Celtic, Germanic, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Reformation influences) had upon the hearts and minds. If these cultural barriers to Marxism could be eroded away, the total revolution could proceed.

The chief weapon in their ideological arsenal was criticism. The Frankfurt School made it academically fashionable to subject every old truth claim to “new criticism” or “critical theory.” Quite in harmony with Marx, every established authority and every established belief must be questioned, challenged, critiqued, doubted, ridiculed, marginalized, weakened, subverted, destroyed, and replaced. Beginning with criticism Marx’s spectre can proceed to liberate all the peoples of the world from the oppression of Classical civilization and Judeo-Christian culture.

Herbert Marcuse was one of the most influential and best known theorists of the Frankfurt School. He taught his brand of cultural Marxism into the 1970s at Columbia University, Harvard, Brandeis, and the University of California, San Diego. He is now widely regarded as the father of the New Left movement, the most influential “radical philosopher” of the 1960s, and a major inspiration for the Hippie Movement, the student movement, and the civil rights movement. While critiquing both capitalism and hardline communism, he recommended a “cultural revolution in the sense that the protest is directed toward the whole cultural establishment, including the morality of the existing society.”[22] He also called for:

radical change, revolution in and against a highly developed, technically advanced industrial society. This historic novelty demands a reexamination of one our most cherished concepts. . . . First, the notion of the seizure of power. Here [in the United States], the old model [of Marxist revolution] wouldn’t do anymore. That, for example, in a country like the United States, under the leadership of a centralized and authoritarian party, large masses concentrate on Washington, occupy the Pentagon, and set up a new government. Seems to be a slightly too unrealistic and utopian picture. We will see that what we have to envisage is a type of diffuse and dispersed disintegration of the system.[23]

Like their Fabian forbearers, Cultural Marxists infiltrate and undermine the western cultures from the inside—from the universities in particular. In harmony with Marx’s dictum that, “Communism abolishes eternal truth, it abolishes all religion, and all morality,”[24] Frankfurt professors Marcuse and Reich commissioned their disciples to destroy Western concepts of morality. This is also reminiscent of the prediction of Communist Willi Munzenberg who warned, “We will make the West so corrupt that it stinks.” Gramsci challenged his students to take the revolution into every educational institution and into mass media—newspapers, magazines, radio, film, and television programming. Gramsci and Lukacs encouraged the destruction of the traditional family unit, the basic building block of every tribe and civilization. Lukacs encouraged criticism of literature. Adorno and Shoenberg even sought to try to overturn western ideals for music. The Frankfurt neomarxists also encouraged their students to take over the government gradually from the inside. When wondering how culture changed so much in the USA since the 1960s, one must consider the influence of cultural Marxism.

The Revolutionary Means and Ends of Saul Alinsky

During the 1960s, several revolutionaries in the “New Left” movement began in the 1960s to drift away from the gradual strains of Marxism and towards the more overtly violent (Maoist) end of the Marxist spectrum. Some leftist radicals began calling for armed conflict with police in city streets to created “liberated zones.” Others organized riots. Some even called for students to kill their parents. Saul Alinsky helped turn the tide of the New Left away from the violent approach back to a gradualist approach. Alinsky approved of their ends (the total destruction of the governing authorities in the USA) but he criticized their means. He wrote, “they also urge violence and cry ‘Burn the system down!’ They have no illusions about the system, but plenty of illusions about the way to change our world. It is to this point that I have written this book.”[25]

Alinsky was a talented community organizer, a political leftist, a Communist sympathizer, and a Marxist revolutionary. Although he rebuked the calls for violence by the New Left he did so not on the basis of said violence being morally unjustifiable; he rejected the futility of those with very little power opposing the most powerful nation in the world from the inside by force of arms. Yet revolution was still needed and a gradual acquisition of power could succeed by a more subtle and deceptive strategy.

Alinsky delineated such a strategy in his book Rules for Revolutionaries which was more euphemistically retitled Rules for Radicals. It offered a more subtle, obnoxious-but-non-violent, and sustainable method for helping revolutionaries to use what little power they had to gain more power. His famous thirteen rules for radicals have been used for hundreds of causes, but ultimately the overall thrust is towards one end: the gradual acquisition of power and the same type of upheaval that Marx fantasized about. When you cannot be a wrench in the gears of the machine, be sand in the machine. Eventually the sand will bring the machine to a halt. By listening to people who really want something (the “have-nots”) that the powerful (the “haves”) is withholding from them, by further agitating them and organizing them into communities committed to social change, teaching them to provoke[26] the powers that be to overreact against them, and taking advantage of public sympathy, they can gradually take what they want. His methodology of organizing the powerless and agitating the powerful helped shift the balance of power in the United States.

The Prevalence of Marxism Today

Ostensibly hardline Marxism remains the dominant political-economic force in China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. There are governments in other countries—such as the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa—who do not publicly self-identify as Marxist or Communist but who historically had strong ties with the Soviet Union, have had many Communists in the highest echelons of their leadership, and exhibit strong Leninist tendencies today. In recent years there was a resurgence of popular hope in Marxist principles in Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Nicaragua, and Bolivia. But this resurgence may have already ended with a popular rejection of the sour fruits of the Marx-inspired leaders and policies.

Presently the nation of Venezuela seems to be collapsing in every conceivable way. And this despite the fact that it sits above the largest oil deposit in the entire world the second largest natural gas deposit in the Americas. It should be one of the most prosperous nations in the world. But with rampant violence, empty food stores, and collapse, its cities have become one of the absolute most hellacious places on earth to live. Why is this? One of the main reasons is that they have over the last fifteen year slid deeper and deeper into Castroan Marxism under the leadership of Hugo Chavez. Before he was given power he would answer, “I’m a humanist,” when journalists asked him if he was a Communist. This is the same answer his mentor Fidel Castro gave before Cuba’s revolution. After coming to power Chavez admitted that he was, in his own words, “a convinced follower of Marxist-Leninst ideology.” He and Nicolas Madura, his successor, led Venezuela into severe hyperinflation, deep economic recession, terrible food shortages, an elimination of the middle-class, a greater number of poor, and some of the highest crime and murder rates on earth as they progressively implemented Marx’s ten planks.

Some may try to defend “Chavismo” and “Madurismo” by saying they were the victims of economic warfare waged by greedy governments of capitalist nations and corporations.[27] While there is probably some modicum of truth to this,[28] the fact remains that the Marxist government of a nation which should be one of the most prosperous nations in the world left “the people”—their majority of people in Venezuela—to starve, be terrorized, kidnapped, tortured, and oppressed on a massive and tragic scale. Besides, the old dichotomy between “capitalist countries” and “communist countries” has become worn out. Over the last 100 years the countries that were known for capitalism have gradually embraced more and more Marxism and the countries known for communism have gradually embraced more and more capitalism. It may now be more proper now to speak of a competition between Eastern Marxism and Western Marxism.

Another factor that suggests a false dichotomy between capitalism and communism is the fact that many of the families who made their fortunes as capitalists seem to have provided funding for communist front organizations or otherwise cooperated with communists. Carrol Quigley was a history professor at Georgetown University and a mentor to Bill Clinton, who later became the 42nd President of the United States. In his history textbook Tragedy and Hope, Quigley posits an international network of bankers—owned wealthy families that seem synonymous with capitalism—operate in rather fabian ways, work towards Western Marxist goals of global control, and were not averse to fund and cooperate with Eastern Marxist organizations:

There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Group has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, of any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960’s, to examine its papers and secret records. … Since 1925 there have been substantial contributions from wealthy individuals and from foundations and firms associated with the international banking fraternity, especially the, and Company. The chief backbone of this organization grew up along the already existing financial cooperation running from the Morgan Bank in New York to a group of international financiers in London … there grew up in the twentieth century a power structure between London and New York which penetrated deeply into university life, the press, and the practice of foreign policy. … It was this group of people, whose wealth and influence so exceeded their experience and understanding, who provided much of the frame-work of influence which the Communist sympathizers and fellow travelers took over in the United States in the 1930’s. It must be recognized that the power that these energetic Left-wingers exercised was never their own power or Communist power but was ultimately the power of the international financial coterie, and, once the anger and suspicions of the American people were aroused, as they were by 1950, it was a fairly simple matter to get rid of the Red sympathizers.[29]

Ever since Marx and Engels passed from the scene, Marxism has evolved into a countless number of strains and operated under countless front organizations. With a more liberal definition of Marxism in mind, which includes a general sense of Western and Eastern Marxism, we can find many influential people today who are arguably Marxists but who claim otherwise.

Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America, has gone on record as saying that he is not a Marxist. He does have very strong Marxist ties. He was mentored by Frank Marshall Davis, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party who was passionate about destroy the American system. His mother, Anne Dunham, was a radical leftist, a devotee of the Frankfurt School’s “critical theory,” and very likely (but not certainly) a Communist as well. His legal father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a socialist with communist leanings. Another one of his mentors, Jeremiah Wright, is a pundit of liberation theology, a theology that is Marxist in orientation and, if Communist defector Ion Pacepa is right, was created as a disinformation campaign by the Russian and Rumanian KGB during the 1960s. Obama Jr. attended Columbia University, one of the chief fountains of both Fabian and Frankfurt strains of Marxism. Obama got his start in politics as a community organizer under the auspices of organizations started by Alinsky, a gradualist Marxist revolutionary. He became a trainer in Alinsky’s methods and used some of the Alinsky methods to help his presidential campaign succeed. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991—a time when many of the professors were proponents of critical legal studies, a neomarxist revolution against American jurisprudence that assumes law is about power rather than justice. One of Obama’s professors at Harvard Law Roberto Unger is a self-proclaimed Marxist revolutionary in the Frankfurt School tradition. Obama also studied the Marx-inspired critical race theory under Derrick Bell at Harvard. As President, Obama appointed one self-described Maoist Communist to an important role in his cabinet. His deleterious attempt to socialize health care and promote globalist agendas suggest a Western Marxist orientation.

Bill Ayers, the co-founder of the Weather Underground, a communist organization that openly called for guerrilla warfare and the overthrow of the US government, was also one of Obamas’ mentors in Chicago. In acts of terrorism, and largely in protest of the military involvement in Vietnam, Ayer’s group planted bombs at the New York City Police Department headquarters in 1970, the United States Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972. Ayers served no prison time for his terrorism;[30] He would go on to become a professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Although he officially denied any significant association with Barack Obama, Ayers later claimed to have written Obama’s autobiography Dreams of my Father (1995) prior to his bid for the position as the 44th U.S. President.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is presently the Secretary of State of the United States. It is not clear yet whether she will be installed as the 45th President of the United States or not. She does not claim to be a Marxist. But as a political science major, Clinton wrote her 92-page thesis on Alinsky’s work. The title of her thesis was “There is Only the Fight: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.” Although she did offer some criticisms of his work, she clearly defended his work and agreed that ultimately there is one fight, one war, one revolution. That fight is at heart the Marxist law of class conflict. She looked up to Alinsky as a model and mentor. She interviewed him personally and kept a personal correspondence going with him. While her views on “the fight” have certainly matured over the decades since she wrote that thesis, Mrs. Clinton remains a leftist radical, a Marx-inspired revolutionary.

Jorge Bergoglio, better known now as Pope Francis, is one of the most influential people in the world today. Officially he supports neither Capitalism, Marxism, nor Marxist Liberation Theology. Officially Francis also preaches that the main problem of the world needs to be “radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality.” He sounded so Marxist that many began to ask if he is a Marxist. Pope Francis answered, “Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended [by the accusation of being a Marxist].” Francis set the locus of his social doctrine in the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) rather than in Marx. But Francis is not talking about the old RCC. He is talking about the new RCC created by the Second Vatican Council. Before that council, the RCC and Marxist-Leninism were bitter enemies and irreconcilable competitors. After that council ended in 1965, the renovated RCC began to move in Marxist directions. According to RCC historian and former Jesuit professor Malachi Martin,

Within five years of the end of Vatican II, by the dawn of the 1970s, the whole of Latin America was being flooded with a new theology—Liberation Theology—in which basic Marxism was smartly decked out in traditional Christian vocabulary and retooled Christian concepts. Books written mainly by co-opted Catholic priests, together with political and revolutionary action manuals, saturated the volatile area of Latin America … Liberation Theology was a perfectly faithful exercise of Gramsci’s principles. It could be launched with the corruption of a relatively few well-placed Judas goats. Yet it could be aimed at the culture and the mentality of the masses. It stripped both of any attachment to the Christian transcendent. It locked both the individual and his culture in the close embrace of a goal that was totally immanent: the class struggle for socio-political liberation. Swiftly, the linchpins of Vatican and papal control were replaced by the action-oriented demands of the Roman Church—Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, Maryknollers—all committed themselves to Liberation Theology.[31]

Not every Pope has Marxist leanings. Karol Wojtyla, who served as Pope John Paul II between 1978 to 2005 and Joseph Ratzinger, who served as Pope Benedict XVI between 2005 and 2013, both opposed the external threat of Marxist-Leninism and the internal threat of Marxist Liberation Theology. Ratzinger became so disgusted with Vatican politics that he became the first Pope to resign in 600 years.

Pope Francis became the first Jesuit in history to become a Pope. The reason he is also the first Pope to sound just like a Marxist is that Marxism has been infiltrating the Jesuit since the 1950s through the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (Jesuit and Marxist), Karl Rahner (Jesuit and Marxist), and Jacques Maritain (Catholic and Marxist).[32] These in turn created a revolution in the RCC during and after the Second Vatican Council. The new movement of the new RCC in Marxist directions is accelerating.

While the new Pope and the new RCC talk about the plight of the poor, the evils of capitalism, and the need for other people’s investments to be controlled, they continue to take in billions of dollars every year from their 1.2 billion subjects. Vatican City, which has a population of just 800 people, receives no less than 300 million dollars’ worth of wool per year from its flock. Although no one knows how much wealth the RCC really has accumulated, it is known that they manage 5.9 billion euros worth of assets, have 700 million euros of equity, and keep over 20 million dollars’ worth of gold in the vaults of the US Federal Reserve. One also can wonder why they haven’t started auctioning the many priceless treasures (gold, ivories, textiles, illuminated manuscripts, mosaics, tapestries, paintings, sculptures, frescoes, etc.) kept in the Vatican. It is a piquant irony that the Apostle Peter was able to say, “I have no silver or gold…” (Acts 3:6) but the church that he supposedly founded is worth countless billions—or perhaps trillions—of dollars and euros.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th and current Dali Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, is another religious leader with considerable influence around the globe. Given the Maoist invasion and oppression of Tibet, we might expect the Dali Lama to be very critical of Marxism. However, while addressing an American audience in 2011, he explained, “I consider myself a Marxist . . . but not a Leninist.” Also, in a 2015 lecture entitled “A Human Approach to World Peace,” Tenzin went on record as saying, “As far as socioeconomic theory, I am a Marxist. … In capitalist countries, there is an increasing gap between the rich and the poor. In Marxism, there is emphasis on equal distribution.” While he also pointed out that some of the best known Marxist countries are practicing capitalism now (chiefly China) he failed to point out that all of the “capitalist countries” have in the last 100 years become capitalist, part socialist, and part Keynesian.[33] Modern Marxists may argue that the economic downturns that seem to happen every ten years or so are proofs that Marx was prescient and that capitalistic systems must eventually destroy themselves. But the intrusions of government into the market corrections in terms of increased spending (with increased debt), massive bail-outs to banks, and “qualitative easing” by the central banks are all proofs that the lines between western capitalism and western Marxism are highly blurred.

We write this not to attempt to champion one economic theory over another. Nor do we write to condone or whitewash the many injustices created by people in non-Marxist societies.[34] Instead we are attempting to show how Marxism has morphed into a variety of extra-economic philosophies that have tremendous consequences for the world. For example, as the great political leaders of the day send hundreds of thousands of nominally Muslim refugees and migrants from Africa, Asia, and the Middle-East into Europe and North America, it is done so ostensibly in the name of compassion for the dispossessed, global equality, and multiculturalism. While we would love to see more compassion and justice in the world ourselves, given the true nature of Marxism, we know that the forced shift of populations into other populations is actually and primarily done for the sake of creating shifts in power among the powerful and fostering conditions that are ripe for the revolution everywhere.

With its emphasis on equality and justice for all Marxism always sounds very appealing in the abstract. But in the real world it leads to an increase in terror, slavery, misery, mass murder, injustice, inequality, and even genocide. While it poses as the system of cooperation and the antidote to the system of competition, it is founded on the assumption that history can only properly be understood as a conflict between groups and the need for one group to ultimately triumph over another. Marxism is first and foremost a philosophy of class warfare. Invariably it fuels and fans the flames of class warfare where the revolutionaries seek to turn not just the weak, the strong, the have-nots, and the haves against one another, but to turn every group against every other group. While it advertises itself as a force of reform the existing systems it actually has no interest in reform; it ultimately is aimed at weakening and overturning those systems. It is a philosophy of pure destruction that has no plan for subsequent construction. Like its anarchist and utopian forbearers, it imagines that based on some imaginary law that a superior world will magically arise from the ashes of the world it destroys. It is a system of rebellion against all established authorities. It is run by rebels, attracts rebels, and creates rebels.

These satanic traits that run strong in the Marxist family are inherited from the same Karl Marx who once wrote, “I wish to avenge myself against the One [God] who rules above,”[35] “I shall howl gigantic curses upon mankind,”[36] and, “With disdain I will throw my gauntlet full in the face of the world and see the collapse of this pygmy giant … then I will wander godlike and victorious through the ruins of this world. … I will feel equal to the Creator.”[37] By the age eighteen Marx had rejected Christianity and embarked upon an anti-Christian and Luciferian path. One of Marx’s former partners in crime, Mikhail Bakunin, wrote:

The Evil one is the satanic revolt against divine authority, revolt in which we see the fecund germ of human emancipations, the revolution. Socialists recognize each other by the words, ‘In the name of the one [Lucifer] to whom a great wrong has been done.’… In this revolution we will have to awaken the Devil in the people, to stir up the basests passions. Our mission is to destroy, not to edify. The passion of destruction is a creative passion.[38]

The ends and means of Marxism are ultimately satanic. They seem to originate from men who were in rebellion against the God of their parents. They also fit the Bible’s description of Satan as a deceiver who “disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14), a thief who “comes to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10), an adversary who “prowls around roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8), and the ultimate rebel. Saul Alinsky dedicated his Rules for Radicals to Satan with these words:

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins—or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer.

Not every Marxist is actively seeking destruction. Many sincerely work peacefully towards constructive reforms of highly imperfect systems. Ultimately however, the aim and spirit Marx’s spectre is neither constructive nor reformative. The leaders of Western Marxism will content themselves with gradual reforms to gradually replace or weaken the incumbent powers. But when the system is sufficiently weakened, the attempts to reform end and the attempt to start the revolution begins. While we encourage efforts towards truly constructive and peaceful reforms, we discourage any support of all revolutionary movements.[39]


[1] Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party. Authorized English Translation: Edited and Annotated by Frederick Engels CHICAGO Charles H. Kerr and Company 1906. p. 10

[2] These farming communities in Israel were among the first pioneers of a primitive and hardline strain of Marx-inspired Communism. Some incorrectly imagine that while Marxism failed in all of national implementations it succeeded on the small-scale with the kibbutz. By “privatized” of course we mean the opposite of “collectivized.”

[3] Aden, Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Benin, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Congo, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Ethiopia, Hungary, Laos, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, North Korea, Poland, Romania, Somalia, South Yemen, Soviet Union, Vietnam, and Yugoslavia.

[4] The conservative estimate of 160 million noncombatant humans murdered during peacetime by the disciples of Marxist humanism don’t include the number of children who were aborted as a result of the social engineering of Marxists. When the Bolsheviks “liberated” the Russians from their Romanov/Czarist captivity they legalized and encouraged abortions. There were an estimated six to seven million abortions per year in the USSR. So we should also consider the possibility of 300 million or more unborn victims to the sixty million adult and children victims. In the United States, as the Secular Humanists (generally with neodarwinian assumptions and neomarxist leanings) began to dominate the Supreme Cou

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