Marxism as a Christian heresy

I’ve comment in the past both here and elsewhere that perhaps the strangest and most ironic aspect of the modern Leftist movements is that they are in fact the product of Judeo-Christian (with emphasis on the latter portion) thinking. Leftism, with its dreams of an egalitarian and Utopian future society, draws heavily on the Christian heritage of Western Civilization at the same time as it attempts to downplay, distort, and derogate that heritage. Modern Leftists and liberals may reject Christianity as patriarchal, unenlightened, unscientific, and so on, but, unless they choose a complete and total ignorance of history (and most of them, of course, do), they must admit that they and their philosophy are in fact a result of the influence of Christianity. The problem with modern Leftism, however, is that it is simultaneously chiliastic and atheistic; in other words, attempts to institute the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and without, and even in opposition to, God. The result is Nazism, eugenics, the Holocaust, Marxism-Leninism, the gulag, the killing fields of Cambodia, the “Cultural Revolution” of China, and so many other marks the Left has left on the world in the last 150 years. Bertrand Russell explains the connection more succinctly:

The Jewish pattern of history, past and future, is such as to make a powerful appeal to the oppressed and the unfortunate at all times. Saint Augustine adapted this pattern to Christianity, Marx to Socialism. To understand Marx psychologically, one should use the following dictionary:

Yahweh=Dialectical Materialism
The Messiah=Marx
The Elect=The Proletariat
The Church=The Communist Party
The Second Coming=The Revolution
Hell=Punishment of the Capitalists
The Millennium=The Communist Commonwealth.

The terms on the left give the emotional content of the terms on the right, and it is this emotional content, familiar to those who have had a Christian or a Jewish upbringing, that makes Marx’s eschatology credible. A similar dictionary could be made for the Nazis, but their conceptions are more purely Old Testament and less Christian than those of Marx, and their Messiah is more analogous to the Maccabees than to Christ.

Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy, pp. 363-4.

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