Communism, elevated to its highest point in the 19th century by the two German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, led to such bloodshed as to dwarf even the state massacres of the Nazis and Imperialist nations. (See Marx, Karl.) Even though communism is generally agreed to have collapsed in 1991, this dark ideology still continues to influence people, and its materialist philosophy turns them away from religion.
This ideology caused a wave of global terror in the 20th century, but actually represents a stream of thought that’s been around since ancient times. Materialism was a philosophy that regarded matter as all that exists. Communism was base in turn constructed upon that philosophy, and first made its appearance in the 19th century.
Marx and Engels, communism’s intellectual founders, sought to describe materialist philosophy in terms of a method known as Dialectics (which see) Marx maintained that the entire history of humanity was one of conflict, that ongoing struggle of his time was between workers and capitalists, and that soon the workers would rise up and organize out a communist revolution. Both dyed-in-the-wool atheists, Marx and Engels regarded the elimination of religion as essential for communism to succeed. However, the actions and struggle to be waged had to be placed on a legitimate philosophical footing.
The theory of evolution, proposed by Darwin in his book the Origin of Species, became the scientific guise their ideology had been waiting for. Darwin claimed that living things emerged and developed as the result of a “struggle for survival”, in other words, through dialectical conflict. In addition, he rejected religious beliefs by denying creation. In those terms, Darwinism provided an intellectual support for the assertions of communism.
Hostility towards religion formed the basis of the alliance between Darwinism and communism. The most important reason for the communists’ devotion to Darwinism was the support it gave to atheism. In his book Soviet Marxism and Natural History, David Jorafsky describes this relationship:
In spite of its scientific deficiencies, evolution’s alleged scientific character has been used to justify all kinds of ungodly systems and practices. The most successful of these, thus far, seems to be communism, and its adherents all over the world have been deluded into thinking that communism must be true because it is based on the science of evolution.88
Communism’s objective was to apply the theory of evolution, which Darwin had applied to biology, to human societies, advocating that for human beings, like wild animals, are in an inevitable state of conflict and war.
88 David Jorafsky, Soviet Marxism and Natural Science, New York: Columbia University Press, 1961, p. 4.2009-08-14 15:35:13