Who was Karl Marx really?
By Barbara Grabner, UPF Slovakia
The end of Communism did not end the influence of Marxism, at least not in Europe. Recently we register a renaissance of Marxism, and therefore it is appropriate to analyze the man and his work once more. The year 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, and the 170th anniversary of the publication of his Communist Manifesto.
For this reason, UPF Slovakia organized a public presentation to analyze the role of Marx in terms of providential history on March 26, 2018. We invited the Vienna based philosopher Herbert Giller, who is an Ambassador of Peace and a brilliant analyst of Marxist thought. The presentation took place in the lecture hall of an office building in the center of the Slovak capital.
Herbert Giller gave a thrilling lecture about the less known character traits and attitudes of this icon of communism. Among the 40 listeners were a fair number of academics and some apologists of Marxism. All listeners were stunned about the parallels between the lives of Jesus Christ and Karl Marx: Both were of Jewish decent and had a long ancestry with merits; both started their public mission at age 30 and their teaching was 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; there were more similarities though in opposite direction. Herbert Giller outlined that Karl Marx was some sort of Anti-Jesus who destroyed the foundation of faith and replaced the Christian principle “Love your neighbor” with the class struggle. His book ´The Capital´ is rated as the second influential book after the Bible. Furthermore, Marxism is a creed complete with prophet, sacred texts and the promise of heaven called worker´s paradise. The guests were thoroughly fascinated; one Neo-Marxist thinker remarked that “this is really an excellent lecture” and that he never thought that there existed parallels between Jesus and Marx! But the points outlined in the lecture seemed convincingly.
The lecture highlighted also a less known aspect: As a student of law Karl Marx got to know Satanism which was fashion among intellectual circles then. He had often sleepless nights and showed signs of mental disorder as a result. When Karl 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 though only for a limited time.
Proudhon propagated anarchism and in his writings, he scorned God in a language typical for 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. Giller said, that he found no proof whatsoever that Marx was practicing Satanism and that he 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 brandished the principle of materialistic economic self-interest as an absolute principle, something which cannot be overcome. Marxism presupposes that the evil nature of man is the original and cannot be changed. The ethical freedom and responsibility of man is denied. These his thoughts influence society even today.