Skip to comments.Some Great Men: Karl Marx
Posted on 11/23/2008 5:32:42 AM PST by Ethan Clive Osgoode
J. B. S. Haldane
Evolutionary scientist J.B.S. Haldane was awarded the Darwin Medal. He was the co-founder of the Modern Synthesis of the theory of Evolution, along with Julian Huxley and R.A. Fisher. All three were members of the British Eugenics society. Haldane was also an apologist for Trofim Lysenko. -- ECO
Sixty years ago Karl Marx died in London. Every year since his death he has had a greater influence on world history--above all since Lenin put his theories into practice in 1917. To-day even those who most abhor Marxism have to admit that he was a much more important historical force than such contemporary political figures as Gladstone, Disraeli, or Queen Victoria, or philosophers such as Herbert Spencer, Cardinal Newman, or August Comte, who seemed to be great in their own time.
He can justly be compared with contemporaries like Faraday, Darwin, and Pasteur, who are still influencing our lives and thoughts, because their ideas were important not only for their own time, but for many generations to come. These men applied scientific method to new fields. So did Marx.
The two volumes of his Selected Works, just published by Lawrence & Wishart, give some idea of the ground which he covered, and form an excellent introduction to his thought.
There were great socialists before Marx. They saw what sort of organization of society was needed. But they had not studied history deeply enough to analyse the process of historical change, and state the conditions by which socialism could come into being, as Marx and Engels first stated them in the Communist Manifesto.
There were great economists before Marx. But they were mostly content with describing the economic structure of society as they found it. Marx did not merely do this. He traced its origin and showed how it was decaying before his eyes, while the embryo of a new society was growing up within it in the form of the workers' organizations.
Marx was also a great historian and philosopher. Of philosophers he wrote, "Other philosophers have interpreted the world. The point is to change it." And here he was in agreement with the method of science. Hundreds of philosophers had interpreted the motions of the stars and other moving bodies. Galileo started experimenting, that is to say changing the motion or rest of material objects,
He found that Aristotle's and St. Thomas Aquinas's theories did not work. Ever since then experiment has been the method which scientists applied wherever it was possible, the method which gives the most certain results.
Academic philosophers had tried to explain the world starting from our sensations, and some of them concluded that the world consisted of nothing but sensations. Marx saw that we are just as closely related to the world by labour which changes it, as by sensation, which only copies it, and that a philosophy in which labour is not as important as sensation is of little value.
In the same way we can only get to understand the nature of society by trying to change it. No living man has a clearer grasp of the nature of society than Stalin, who has played a leading part in two great changes, the overthrow of capitalism, and the building up of socialism. Marx learned the true nature of class society from his early revolutionary work.
Just as Darwin applied scientific method to the problem of man's ancestry, and Pasteur to that of his diseases, Marx applied it to history, politics, and economics. In each case the result of the analysis was at first sight humiliating.
It was pleasanter to believe that we were made in God's image than that we were descended from monkeys, to regard an epidemic as a punishment from God rather than a result of a faulty water supply. So it hurt human pride to be told that history was determined by economic causes rather than by the ideas of great men, the judgments of God, or the racial soul rooted in blood and soil.
But humility is a condition for progress. If we believe that our ancestors were monkeys we can hope that our descendants will surpass us beyond our wildest imagination; if we know the material causes of disease we can hope to abolish all diseases as we have abolished many. If our history, laws, and morality rest on an economic basis, we can see the way to a progress which still seems impossible to many people.
By studying the laws of change in their most general form, Marx and his friend and colleague Engels not only illuminated history, but science. They did this in two ways. In the first place scientific discoveries are part of the historical process, and depend on productive forces and relations.
Newton's work was possible because people needed exact knowledge of the movements of the stars for navigation, and of cannon balls for war. He showed that they obeyed the same laws. Darwin could make his great generalizations because the exploita- tion of colonies had disclosed the distribution of living animals and plants through the world, and the development of mining had disclosed the order in which fossil animals and plants had appeared and died out in the past.
In the second place, material systems develop and perish according to dialectical principles like those which hold for human institutions. Engels was almost alone in his time in thinking that chemical atoms were not indestructible. Rutherford showed that they are born; and that they are destroyed, not usually by external forces, but by their own internal stresses.
Marx did not live to see his theories applied by Lenin. Maxwell did not live to see Hertz, Lodge, Marconi, and others apply his theory of electromagnetic waves to radio-communication. Leninism is Marxism developed by the experience of socialism in action. But it is still Marxism.
Outside the Soviet Union there is a wide and growing distrust of science. The intellectual leaders of the capitalist world, both within the churches and outside them, tell us that science is leading to increasing unhappiness, of which wars are the worst but not the only symptom, because it is applied to machines and not to the regulation of human conduct.
They are right up to a point. Marx said much the same a century ago. But he took the decisive step of showing how scientific method could be applied to human affairs on the broadest scale. So far it has only been so applied in the Soviet Union.
We celebrate the anniversary of the great teacher who has shown us the way out of our present distresses, who has demonstrated that there are no limits to the application of science. We can best honour his memory by doing all that we can to hasten the day when Marxism will be the guiding principle in the government of the country in which Marx spent most of his immensely fruitful life.
For some reason I always thought Haldane was a gaseous anesthetic. This article proves I was right.
Communism, as well as Nazism, are rooted in the same notions of Darwinism - Communism relying on its economic-political aspects and Nazism on its racial aspects. This is why leftists and secular humanists so harshly attack and ridicule theories like intelligent design, because they undermine the fundamental priciples of their political beliefs- namely, that Mankind has the potential for godlike powers and it only takes the continued social and political evolution of our species for us to ultimately achieve those powers, thereby becoming God. Personally, I am sickened by this.
“Communism, as well as Nazism, are rooted in the same notions of Darwinism”
And Darwinism is rooted in plagiarism.
Could it be that Joe Biden is the true messiah? LOL
And how should we celebrate satan's spawn Marx and his perversion which has ruined lives, countries and resulted in the deaths of millions, past, present and future?
IMO if man descended from monkeys, it is equally plausible that horses descended from pigs.
This article is better suited to be posted to Huff/Kos/DU
Wow, the total confidence of this guy. Too bad he couldn’t have lived longer to see his favorite idea fail. This was written in 1944, so it was before the Soviets admitted the failures and atrocities of Lenin and Stalin. I think they admitted them in the late fifties or early sixties. Was he around then? If so, it would be interesting to read his writings from then to watch his gymnastics.
This is why leftists and secular humanists so harshly attack and ridicule theories like intelligent design, because they undermine the fundamental principles of their political beliefs- namely, that Mankind has the potential for godlike powers and it only takes the continued social and political evolution of our species for us to ultimately achieve those powers, thereby becoming God.
Genetic engineering and molecular electronics. The idea that the artificial manufacture of DNA will enable man to "evolve" into his own creator. This is why the whole tempest in a teapot with embryonic stem cells is so important to them.
This is also why the most fundamental question is ignored by the "scientific community."
What if we create something we cannot get rid of?
By ruining more lives and countries and killing off millions more, of course.
“Communism, as well as Nazism, are rooted in the same notions of Darwinism”
To me this is an example of the ridiculous extremes that people will go so that they can discredit Darwin, and they only discredit themselves.
Haldane died in 1964. He remained a stalinist.
“humanists so harshly attack and ridicule theories like intelligent design”
When will the IDers start studying all of the other inteligent design “theories?” As long as creation according to Babylonian, Chinese, Cherokee, Indian or other cultures are rejected out of hand, these ID agruments are shown as nothing but religious evangelism, and you all know it.
Well, I have to admit that he got Stalin's stature right - every 'successful' commie dictator since Stalin has modeled his career after the Great Sun of the Soviet Union.
Although the rhetoric spouted by aspiring revolutionaries leans toward the liberationist, anarcho-syndicalist, and Trotskyite sentiments, in power they universally adopt the proven methods of Stalin - murder, terror, and malignant megalomania.
That's socialism for you!
Geez, I sure hope Obama and the socialistic Democrats don't head in that direction!
When I studied theology (catholic), I had to do a semester entitled Contempory Athiesm. I studied Marx, Darwin and Nietzche as well as other scholars who had shaped thought and influenced faith and belief in the modern church. You had to work your way through their writings trying to parse meaning trying to understand what may have been true and what was not. Marx, for example was an historian and his studies on the European peasant revolt and the rise of Luther was very good, indeed fascinating. In his writing you will find some insight and explanation for the popularity and growth of the evangelical movement of today.
Marx’ commentary on the meaning of religion and faith were very challenging. But, if you believe that the best steel comes from the hottest fire you understand the need to study those who so deeply affect and, yet still are part of the mix that sees a strengthening of faith within and around the modern church.
When you suggest that “Communism, Nazism and Darwinism” are the tools of leftists and secular humanists wanting to ridicule intelligent design theories, I begin to wonder. I wonder if you understand any of this at all. I wonder what kind of a God you have created for yourself. Mostly I wonder about how angry and unhappy you must be.
You should not allow what others believe to upset you. If you are solid in your own faith it should allow you to tenderly reach out to others when they seek shelter from the storm. In the meantime, you might enjoy reading Marx. You will find that he not nearly as evil as his press clippings suggest. And, he has never really been a threat to people of good faith.
Some years ago, when I used to look at the world through rose-colored eyeballs I was at some toney upper westside NY cocktail party and found myself in the presence of some young kid who called himself a ‘’commited Marxist’’. I said “Marx?’’ This kid seemed delighted, as if he’d found a ‘’commrade’’. I asked him, “Which one, Karl or Groucho?’’ The whole room laughed except for the ‘’Marxist’’.
Karl Marx was a mutt who never did anything that ever benefited humanity. Screw him and anyone who would follow him.
“Evolutionary scientist J.B.S. Haldane was awarded the Darwin Medal.”
For a moment I thought this was going to be about another funny Darwin Award. Unfortunately, for those who hate their Creator, every death is a Darwin Award. It is always better to pass over that divide striving towards He who is Love itself.
Tell that to the millions of people that his followers murdered and enslaved.
It was David Stove, the australian philosopher, who once pointed out that marxists in our universities are preoccupied with, deeply researching, and still looking for (at public expense), a way to impliment marxism without maximizing terror, poverty and oppression.
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