Chapter 3. The Dull World of Communism
In other words, materialists believe that the cells and the atoms composing us have consciousness, the ability to think, see and hear, take pleasure in beauty, and feel sorrow when confronted with bad experiences. If you asked these people if an atom can think, they would certainly say no, but they do think that thinking ability arises when some atoms come together to form the brain.
Moreover, Marxist ideology supposes that all of human culture and consciousness is materially based. According to Communist thinking, no independent consciousness exists apart from the material world around us. On the contrary, human consciousness is experienced completely within the world of matter. Marx claimed that, "It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness."54 Ludwig Feuerbach, one leading Marxist thinker, summed up the nonsense of materialist logic when he declared, "a person is what he eats."
Because of their materialist prejudice, Marxists view human society in terms of material criteria. They concentrate much of their attention on the idea of "class" as a material concept. Class refers to the various economic levels in a society and, for Marxists, is the only important criterion. According to Marxists, for example, workers make up a single class called the "proletariat"; capitalists compose the "bourgeoisie" class. Because all workers live in unsuitable conditions, therefore, they must share the same "proletarian consciousness." In the same way, capitalists must all share a "bourgeois" consciousness because they all share in the same wealth. Marxists don't accept that a worker or a factory owner might possibly have a totally different consciousness arising from his own independent character or world view.55
A natural result of this point of view is to divide people into separate material categories and evaluate them accordingly. For a Marxist, the only existing categories—such as the bourgeoisie, the little (or petite) bourgeoisie, the proletariat, imperialists and compradors—are completely based on material factors. If a person works in a factory with his own hands, his existence is determined by the work he does. If a villager works in the fields, his only consciousness is that of a villager.
Because of this point of view, Marxists claim that the course of history's only determinant is the "means of production." Marx's famous Das Kapital tries to interpret history in terms of means of production. According to Marx, "primitive society" was a group of hunter-gatherers. With the switch to agriculture, a society of "serfs" was born. Later "feudal society" developed, along with new changes in the kind of production. When machines were invented, a new kind of production called industry came to be. With it came "capitalist society." According to Marx, such concepts as religion, state, law, family and morality all arose and developed from differences in the kinds of production.
Marxism's narrow view of history has been disproved by the explanations of many thinkers, to say nothing of concrete experience. Therefore, there's no reason to demonstrate that invalidity here, only to focus on the conservative, dull, rigid, colorless society that a materialist enterprise produces.
God created the first man and gave him the same qualities and skills as today's human beings. For this reason, our level consciousness does not differ according to the place or time we live in. The will, feelings, thoughts and mind of the very first human being in history are the same as for anyone living today. The only difference is the means he uses to express them. An individual's level of consciousness varies according to how he uses the mental skills he has been given and the urgings of his conscience. Muslims, who are conscious of this, are not limited by time, location, environment or particular ideological ideas. As God has commanded them in the Qur'an, they ponder everything that happens to them, trying to grasp its subtleties and see its beauty. In the Qur'an (2:164), God describes the believer's consciousness:
In the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and day, and the ships which sail the seas to people's benefit, and the water which God sends down from the skyby which He brings the earth to life when it was dead and scatters about in it creatures of every kindand the varying direction of the winds, and the clouds subservient between heaven and earth, there are Signs for people who use their intellect. (Qur'an 2:164)
For this reason, those who believe in God have a wide horizon. They always think freely, and are endlessly creative in various fields of art and aesthetics.
Unable to grasp this truth, Marx and his followers tried to cram human consciousness in the extremely narrow, fabricated mould of "class-consciousness." They forced everyone they could influence to think and live in these imaginary terms. In every country where Marxism took root, just as it murdered tens of millions with no remorse, so it froze human expression in art, aesthetics, and other expressions of the human spirit.
The Lifelessness of "Communist Art"
With the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917, Russia established the world's first Marxist regime. First with Lenin, then under Stalin's steel fist, Communist ideology reshaped the whole country. Its influence can be seen in the most important elements of culture such as art, aesthetics and architecture.
Immediately after the revolution, the idea of "proletarian art" came to the fore. In a magazine called Iskusstvo Kommuny ("Commune Art"), Communist artists announced their intention to produce works of art to serve proletarian culture. They expressed similar ideas in the organization called Proletkult ("Proletarian Culture").
They began to discuss the meaning of "proletarian art." From the beginning of the 1920s, well-known Russian artists like Vladimir Yevgrafovich Tatlin and Aleksandr Mikhailovich Rodchenko defended the idea that an artist must be a technician who gives practical solutions to problems of the proletariat. Lenin supported this idea and suppressed many areas of art regarded as useless from the point of view of the proletariat. For example, Tatlin and Rodchenko determined that an artistic representation would be of no use to a worker in his day-to-day life and decided that painting was an invalid form of art!
In 1921, this new understanding of art, called "constructivism," became the Soviet Union's official art policy. Tatlin, in the forefront of this way of thinking, thought it was necessary to do something "useful" like designing houses and furniture, instead of painting useless pictures. To contribute to the life of the proletariat, he designed clothing for them to wear during their long working hours, to provide them with the greatest warmth and flexibility with the least weight and expenditure of raw materials. He also designed a kind of stove, which would give the greatest heat with the least amount of fuel.
All artists did not become "engineers" like Tatlin, but they did accept the idea of "proletarian art" and used their talents to serve Communist ideology. Almost all Soviet artists of the time produced posters, signs and slogans for use in workers' clubs and small gatherings called "soviets." All shared common images: vigorous, well-muscled Soviet villagers and workers with a hammer or a sickle in hand, angry proletarian figures standing up and breaking their chains into pieces, armed soldiers marching beneath red banners under Lenin's leadership...
In this new understanding of art, the concept of "aesthetics" was absent, even regarded as a dangerous bourgeois attachment. The esthetic ideal was far removed from all pictures, statues, posters, interior decoration and architectural design. The Encyclopedia Britannica says that an "anti-estheticism" ruled Communist art, which became characterized by a plethora of rough, dull and crude features.
In Stalin's time, this understanding of art became the even more conservative official policy known as "Socialist Realism," described as the view that art is dedicated to the 'realistic' representation of the principles of the Soviet revolution (that is Communist ideology) in the daily life of the proletariat. According to Socialist Realism, novels should depict Communist militants as decisive, courageous and self-sacrificing, describe their supposedly exemplary struggles, and show how happy villagers and workers are, thanks to the revolution.
Artists of Socialist Realism had no compunction about depicting the direct opposite of the truth—that the revolution did not bring the people happiness, but hunger, oppression and death. Actually, Socialist Realism is not realism, but an expression of romantic fantasy. According to The Encyclopedia Britannica, "Socialist Realism looks back to Romanticism in that it encourages a certain heightening and idealizing of heroes and events to mold the consciousness of the masses."
Socialist Realism, defined in 1932 during the bloodiest days of Stalin's regime, remained the Soviet Union's official state art policy until the 1980s. Throughout this entire period, Communism's cheerless, cold and stagnant atmosphere dominated Soviet art. In order to gain international recognition, the Soviet regime encouraged artists and stressed the importance of the production of new works of art. But because of Socialist Realism's dogmatic approach, these works remained pressed in their narrow, cheerless and ugly moulds. From 1949 onwards, Socialist Realism passed to China where a Communist regime had taken power. The same dull, crude understanding of art prevailed there too.
In the period before the revolution, however, Russian society had produced some excellent works of art and magnificent architecture. The world-famous Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg contained an outstanding collection of art, albeit largely by European artists. But Communism froze Russian art in 1917 and even reversed its development.
The cheerlessness of Communist art results from the materialist philosophy that determines the Communist world view. Materialist philosophy, superficial thinking that regards a human being as only an assortment of matter, tries to reduce everything to the material. Applying materialist philosophy to art has been a fiasco, as in every other area where it's been applied.
Real art is a God-given esthetic pleasure through which humans can express their love of beauty and other feelings and emotions. In order to produce works of fine art, the human spirit must be able to express, in the freest way possible, the innate tendencies created within it.
The Communist dictatorship founded in the Soviet Union—later copied by regimes in China, the Eastern Bloc, Indochina and Cuba—completely removed this free and comfortable environment. They killed art by subjecting their peoples to constant oppression.
By alienating them from religion, moreover, Communism delivered art yet another blow. Foremost of those feelings that inspire art is the spiritual pleasure and fervor derived from religion. All of history's greatest artists, sculptors and architects created works based on religious themes and drew strength and inspiration from their spiritual beliefs.
They did not regard a human as a species of animal that would perish with death, but as a being that God endowed with spirit. They loved to extol humanity in their works and show reflections of God's artistry in creation. In societies with no religion, people inevitably lose this fervor and sense of pleasure and become encompassed by a spiritual purposelessness. This has been experienced in every Communist regime. As a result of irreligion and the ideas that a human being is a species of animal, human life has no value and an individual ceases to exist when his body dies, such societies have become dominated by pessimism, melancholy, cheerlessness and meaninglessness.
Mao's Red China (which we'll examine later) displayed further striking examples of Communist conservatism and narrow-mindedness. Everyone had to wear the same kind of clothing and during the Cultural Revolution, it was forbidden to keep domestic animals.
The Nonsense of "Communist Science"
Science was another field that received a great blow from Communism. Stalin's regime, along with inventing the concept of "proletarian art," also proposed the idea of "proletarian science." According to this theory, there is bourgeois science and there is proletarian science. The differences between the two will lead to different results. We might compare this to Nazi Germany's rejection of findings by Jewish scientists—Einstein, among others.
Proletarian science is actually nothing more than science corrupted according to the exigencies of materialist philosophy. One obvious demonstration was the "Lysenko affair," which put its stamp on Stalin's Soviet regime.
Trofim Denisovich Lysenko was educated in various agriculture schools in the Soviet Union. He came to Stalin's attention in the 1940s and assumed the total domination of Soviet policy in agriculture and biology. Most importantly, Lysenko rejected the laws of genetics discovered by the Austrian priest-botanist Gregor Mendel at the end of the 19th century and demonstrated by further experiments in the 20th. Lysenko dismissed Mendel's laws as "bourgeois science" and instead supported the thesis of the 18th century French evolutionist biologist Lamarck on the "inheritance of acquired traits."
Lysenko's idea was based on no scientific proof. But because the Soviet Union was experiencing a major agricultural crisis in the 1930s, Lysenko began to attract attention. He promised that implementing his theory would ensure a much larger and efficient grain production than other biologists believed. He claimed, for example, that when grown under the proper conditions, wheat would produce rye seeds—and he made preparations to achieve this. (This is like saying that dogs living in the wild will eventually bear litters of foxes—a claim that's totally contrary to science, of which no instance has ever been observed.) In 1940, Stalin put Lysenko at the head of the Institute of Genetics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, and he held this chair for twenty-five years. Lysenko also headed the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences, one of the Soviet Union's most important institutions.
In 1948, it was forbidden to be educated or do research in the area of classical genetics. Those geneticists who rejected Lysenko's evolutionist thesis, and continued to support Mendel's genetic discovery, were secretly arrested and executed.
Meanwhile, Lysenko's agricultural policy created widespread lack of productivity. For example, he claimed that putting seeds in cold water for a while before being sown, would make them gain resistance to cold weather conditions. To test this hypothesis, he had tons of seeds immersed in cold water and then sown on the Siberian steppes. of course, none of the seeds sprouted. Similar experiments all ended in disaster, but these failures were never spoken of until the 1960s. Finally, in 1964, it was officially acknowledged that Lysenko's theory was wrong. Great efforts were expended to have Mendel's genetic discoveries taught and applied again. Russia moved to the American type of mixed hybridization management, using dung to fertilize the fields. Even though their nonsensical thesis had dealt such a great blow to Soviet science and agriculture, Lysenko and his supporters didn't abandon their ideas. In fact, they maintained their positions and titles in the Soviet scientific establishment.
Generally, modern evolutionists make no mention of the Lysenko affair, an historical documentation of the great damage that can be inflicted by a blind attachment to materialism and the theory of evolution. When they do speak of Lysenko's ideas, they dismiss them as a dogmatic form of Lamarckism. But he and his supporters were not only Lamarckists, they were also Darwinists, regarding Lamarck and Darwin as two complementary evolutionist theoreticians.
When Lamarck's theory of "inheritance of acquired characteristics" was abandoned as baseless, they realized that left Darwin's theory with no foundation. Therefore, they blindly continued to support Lamarck.
In his article "Darwinian Evolution and Human History," the Marxist and Darwinist thinker Robert M. Young comments:
Moving nearer to our own time, the belief that society and nature followed laws which were both evolutionary and communist led to one of the most disastrous episodes in the Stalinist regime in the 1930s and 1940s—Lysenkoism. Nature's laws were said to be dialectical, and any biologist who adhered to non-orthodox views lost his job, often his liberty, and sometimes his life. Lysenkoism was an evolutionism which ignored or opposed the interesting developments in genetics in the rest of the world. But this was done in the name of Darwinism…56
The resistance to the laws of genetics that Soviet administrators of Lysenko's time displayed is just one example of materialist fanaticism. In the same way that Lysenko and his supporters refused to accept the laws of genetics, many of today's materialists also close their eyes to the "design" (that is, intentional creation) that science has discovered in all living things just because of their own ideological prejudices. To produce a viable opposing theory, they have squandered millions of dollars and many years of labor on research that has come to nothing.
Communist Ideology's Effect on Social Life
In the 20th century, Communist fanaticism has had very negative influences on the social life in countries under their regimes, forcing on people a hellish life devoid of compassion, denying the existence of God, alienating them from religion and discounting all spiritual and moral values. It has imprinted on societies a mentality that thinks of human beings as chunks of matter that will perish after death, establishing one of the most inhuman institutions in history. The Communist system—as observed in the Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc countries and Red China—intends to create model societies that regard their citizens as herds of animals, just as the materialist-Darwinist theory intended.
Some of Communist society's basic tenets can be listed as follows:
• Darwin's theory of evolution and Engel's "natural dialectic" regard human beings as an advanced species of animal. Therefore, the idea that society is a herd of animals is expressed at every level. Communist regimes produce a cheerless, spiritless, lifeless person, somewhere between a human and a machine.
• The Communist system places no value on individuals. Since there are so many in the herd, the loss of one cannot matter. The disabled or those who cannot work are expelled from the herd and left to die. Those in ill health are regarded as detriments. Because there is no forgiveness, mercy, or sense of loyalty, everyone fears old age and death. The aged receive no attention, pity, or respect in the suggestion that they should be like "elephants that go to the graveyard before they die."
• As with animals in a herd, society is composed of one kind of person only. Clothing, cars and houses are all the same. The whole of society is dominated by an intense monotony, with no sense of esthetics. Athletes, artists, academics and workers all share the same of lifestyle. Houses are constructed like shelters for livestock, and clothing is tailored like a pelt to keep off the cold.
• The system is founded totally in the material concept of "labor and production." What is most important is not an individual citizen's qualities, but the contribution he can make to society. The ideal person is a hardworking laborer or hardworking villager. The guiding idea is that "production strengthens the herd." No attention is paid to humans' moral values, intentions, or spiritual condition.
• Seeing life as a struggle of existence, this way of thinking has no problem with doing away with the weak. On the contrary, this is regarded as necessary. Just as there is a brutal struggle for survival among animals, everyone considers himself first, and so there is no advancement. Because human beings lack compassion, society cannot possibly attain peace and well-being. Lack of compassion and mercy coupled with fear for the future, cause hopelessness and pessimism to dominate.
• Due to "herd psychology," people from the lowest to the highest live in a constant state of fear and quickly react fearfully to everything. They fear the man at the door wearing an overcoat; they fear being called before the authorities. But the source of their fear is not clear, and no one can define it.
• In place of the fear of God, there are various "fear centers." In the Soviet Union, for example, the KGB (and secret services like Checka and NKVD before it) tried to instill mortal fear throughout society. Millions can be sent to their deaths without trial or defense. The conviction that these organizations hear and see everything dominates citizens' minds. Such organizations develop a system of selective cleansing, based on the law of the jungle.
• Because fear of God is systematically eradicated, individuals repress their deepest urges insofar as they fear the system. If the system did not detect or could not punish, they would commit thievery, corruption, embezzlement and every kind of illegal act.
• Anxiety, fear and panic occasioned by the environment they live in put people under stress. They cannot sleep at night and in the daytime, everything makes them anxious. They quickly lose bodily strength. Intense pressure and difficult living conditions exhaust men and women at an early age and sometimes cause their premature death. Because of hopelessness, they cannot enjoy the good things in life, but tranquilize themselves with alcohol and live their hellish lives in a state of intoxication.
• Believing that they will perish after death, people hold on to life tenaciously. In their struggles for life, they regard everyone else as a rival, if not an enemy, and begrudge every act as a slight against themselves. They experience socialism's basic tenets, such as "mutual aid" and "support," only in slogans. In fact, everyone regards others with a suspicion that condemns them to a life of loneliness.
• Because the individual has no faith in God, he can't attach himself to anyone in a meaningful, trusting relationship. The Darwinist-Communist system always crushes individuals, who are hostile to one another, since everyone may at any moment take away what they have. In a Communist state, the only one an individual can trust is himself. But because he knows he is weak, he doesn't trust even himself and is dominated by intense hopelessness. Therefore, he is forever complaining about his life, but cannot try to change it.
• Because people in a Communist society have closed minds, there are defects in every aspect of their lives, whether at school, at home, or in entertainment. They can act only in accord with what they've been taught, and so cannot come up with any original ideas to deal with new issues that confront them. If they do, in fact, they are answered with violence.
• Unthinking people have unorganized minds and can't use resources productively. They waste resources on utopian fantasies, as in the case of Lysenko.
• Communism destroys families, the basic unit of society. There are no marriages in the true sense of the word, only mating and propagation. Marriage is not entered into for the sake of morality; its purpose is the continuation of the species. Families do not look after their children; the state or those appointed by it perform this function. A child is seen as a new addition to the herd and is trained to fight for it and protect it. Because the mother hates her home and environment, she passes her harshness on to her offspring. Children growing up deprived of family love become pessimistic and aggressive. In the place of love and respect in the home, hostility reigns. The child has no one to trust.
• In a society with no concept of marriage, fidelity, or chastity but only a mating mentality, prostitution becomes widespread.
• The police-state oppression controlling Communist society cannot take the place of conscience and the fear of God. For this reason, the crime rate soars; thievery is rampant everywhere. People steal from factories, farms and cooperatives collectively as a matter of course.
• However much Communist ideology may claim otherwise, racism is widespread in Communist society. In the Soviet Union, for example, there was antipathy to anyone who was not Russians, especially Muslims. Quietly adopting the racist Darwinist theory, Russians regarded various Muslim minorities and other minorities as "ethnic groups that were not completely evolved" and subjected them to mass slaughter, under the name of deportation. Communist ideology thinks of murder as "natural dialectic"—a natural component of evolution.
• Communism sees human beings only as productive animals. It reserves a special hatred and loathing for villagers. Marx called villagers inferior "potato sacks." As we saw earlier, Lenin and Stalin murdered millions by deliberately letting them starve. To them, villagers were only herds of animals that produced grain and cotton. Confiscating what they produced (collectivization), including the honey from their beehives, was seen as legitimate and reasonable.
These generalizations are only a broad sketch of a society without religion. In nations where disbelief prevails, no matter what they call themselves, this way of life must unavoidably prevail. People are not respected as worthy beings whom God created and endowed with spirit. With people regarding one another as advanced animals that will perish with death, a society cannot experience well-being, peace, security, cooperation or brotherhood. No one considers anyone else's comfort, health, or well-being. Moreover, in such societies removed from religion, it is impossible to find just administrators and people who work on behalf of all. Everyone looks out for his own interests and tries to profit as much as he can.
In a society where the moral values of the Qur'an are observed, however, everyone values one another as servants of God. No one desires any reward from doing good. On the contrary, they perform good works continually and, in their efforts, try to win God's approval. They hope for a good life in the Hereafter, confident that "those who enjoin charity, or what is right, or putting things right between people ... seeking the pleasure of God," will be given "an immense reward." (Qur'an, 4:114) They do so, not with any expectation of gaining profit from others; but look for their reward only from God.
In the Qur'an (76:8-10), God describes this exemplary moral state:
They give food, despite their love for it, to the poor and orphans and captives: "We feed you only out of desire for the Face of God. We do not want any repayment from you or any thanks. Truly We fear from our Lord a glowering, calamitous Day." (Qur'an 76:8-10)
The Darwinist-Communist Establishment Continues To Suppress The Russian People
Because a Darwinist-Communist State regards human beings as animals, it neither respects nor trusts them. Accordingly, it establishes an environment of fear, oppression, false danger and terror in order to control them. It views everyone with suspicion, regarding them as guilty and potential traitors. In such a state, a person need not commit a crime, only to be suspected, in order to be punished, brutalized, or killed.
The famous historian Tzvetan Todorov describes how states with this philosophy behave towards their people:
The enemy is the great justification for terror, and the totalitarian state needs enemies to survive. If it lacks them, it invents them. Once they have been identified, they are treated without mercy ... Being an enemy is a hereditary stain that cannot be removed... . Communism is no different. It demands the repression (or in moments of crisis, the elimination) of the bourgeoisie as a class. Belonging to the class is enough:there is no need actually to have done anything at all.1
These words of Lenin are important for understanding the attitude of a Communist State towards its people:
In reality, the state is nothing but a machine for the suppression nof one class by another. Dictatorship is rule based directly on force and unrestricted by any laws. The revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat is rule won and maintained through the use of violence by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, rule that is unrestricted by any laws.2
As Lenin stated in his own words, the Darwinist-Communist Soviet regime did not trust its own people and regarded them as worthless animals—thus, it caused the death by torture or starvation of tens of millions and plunged the nation into decades of terror and darkness. Today's Russian people are still enduring anguish for the same reasons, because there are still certain officials within the Russian State mechanism who maintain a Communist mentality, regarding a person as an animal or valueless object.
An event that took place in the year 2000 in Russia is a proof of this and shows once more the dark side of the Darwinist-Communist mentality inherited from the Soviet period. After a submarine sank, for a long time Moscow did not try to rescue those on board. For reasons of supposed "state security," not until much later was the disaster announced to Western nations that could have given assistance. Russia knowingly abandoned its sailors to death, and a Russian mother reacting to this horror was given an injection and sedated by security forces. This is a striking instance revealing that the Stalinist mentality still holds sway over the Russian state authorities..
1- Tzvetan Todorov, L'homme dépaysé, Paris, Le Seuil, 1995 p. 33 (emphasis added
2- Lenin: "The Proletarian revolution & The Renegade Kautsky"; Selected Works in 3 Vols, Moscow; 1964; Vol 3. p.75 (emphasis added
Mental conservatism is the main impediment to a society's development of arts and science. If a particular nation is continually conditioned by narrow ways of thinking, its art and science will freeze. In order for art and science to develop, people must be broadminded, looking at the world with new horizons.
But Communism, establishing a totally rigid political and social system, destroyed people's faith in God, thereby destroying their pleasure in living together with a reality that gave meaning to their lives. Marxism's oppression and constraints rooted out art, science, and investigative thought and hacked them to pieces.
In the far corners of Asia, there are examples of Communism that let us to see this in a far more striking way.
54. Critique of Political Economy Preface Katki'ya Josef Stalin, Dialectical and Historical Materialism, September 1938, Science and Socialism Publications 9 Print New Left Books, Problems of Leninism, p. 651-684
55.Of course, the current situation is not so Marxists see it as well. For this reason, Marxists themselves "proletarian" workers are not as "false consciousness" duped, that the proletariat revolution trap suggest that it is the capitalists who want to prevent. However, this is a very superficial explanation.
56. Robert M. Young, "Darwinian Evolution and Human History", Open University course on Darwin to Einstein: Historical Studies on Science and Belief, 1980