Tag Archives: Karl Marx

A communist is someone who reads Marx and Lenin. An anti-communist is someone who understands Marx and Lenin.

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Shore conveys something of the tragedy of Poland and much of Europe during the 20th century. Just as Poland would suffer the worst depredations of both Nazi and Soviet socialism so to would most of the European continent. And the nightmare has by no means ended as the same failed policies are attempted today under the guise of Christian socialism – or, since all things Christian are being done away with, as pan Europeanism or whatever title they want to give it this week.

The fundamental flaw in Shore’s work is in her assumption that Grydzewski and those like him were intellectuals. They were credentialed to be sure but for the most part they were educated fools. Like the characters in Dr. Johnson’s The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia, the were long on improvement and short on practical. There were true Polish intellectuals in the 20th century and we think especially of Stefan Wyszynski who passed his mantel to Karol Józef Wojtyła the first of whom stood up to Stalinism and the second of whom broke the grip of the Soviets in Eastern Europe. These are the men to study!

Caviar and ashes : a Warsaw generation’s life and death in Marxism, 1918-1968 New Haven : Yale University Press, c 2006 Marci Shore Communism Poland History 20th century Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. xxii, 457 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 379-446) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG 

“In the elegant capital city of Warsaw, the editor Mieczyslaw Grydzewski would come with his two dachshunds to a cafe; called Ziemianska.” Thus begins the history of a generation of Polish literati born at the fin de siècle. They sat in Cafe Ziemianska and believed that the world moved on what they said there. Caviar and Ashes tells the story of the young avant-gardists of the early 1920s who became the radical Marxists of the late 1920s. They made the choice for Marxism before Stalinism, before socialist realism, before Marxism meant the imposition of Soviet communism in Poland. It ended tragically.

Marci Shore begins with this generation’s coming of age after the First World War and narrates a half-century-long journey through futurist manifestos and proletarian poetry, Stalinist terror and Nazi genocide, a journey from the literary cafes to the cells of prisons and the corridors of power. Using newly available archival materials from Poland and Russia, as well as from Ukraine and Israel, Shore explores what it meant to live Marxism as a European, an East European, and an intellectual in the twentieth century.

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The state is nothing but an instrument of opression of one class by another – no less so in a democratic republic than in a monarchy. Friedrich Engels

The Buddha may have spent his life in search of compassion just a Confucius may have spent his in search of wisdom. Moses may have been chosen by God as the law giver just as the prophets may have been sent to prepare the way for the Lord. What all of these wise and holy men have in common is their humanity which is to say that whatever steps they took in search of virtue they never completely arrived. There is only one begotten Son of God and it is only through the contemplation of His word – and reducing that contemplation into act [however imperfect] – that we may seek to emulate their example and travel our own path towards salvation.

We should not be surprised in a world that has reduced religious truth to equivocation at best and downright blasphemy in many instances that the works of men like Marx and Engels are placed on par with the Word.  Tragically some attempt to conflate the two in the name of social justice or – as in the case of this biography – attempt to legitimize the all too human author.

The rules of formal criticism require that you separate all the accidents of time, place and circumstance in considering a work and thus someone who is an axe murderer, an adulterer and who always takes the last cookie may be adjudged a great author. The common sense of our existence seems to dictate that if you walk though a cesspit your shoes are going to get dirty and if you give yourself up to authors of blasphemy you may become a blasphemer. 

 

Marx’s general : the revolutionary life of  Friedrich Engels    New York : Metropolitan Books,  2009  Tristram Hunt Engels, Friedrich,  1820-1895 Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. xii,  430 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 25 cm.  Includes bibliographical references (p. [369]-410)  and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with  clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or  marginalia in text. VG/VG

A remarkable new biography from one of  Britain’s leading young historians that recovers  the co-founder of communism from the shadows of  history, portraying how one of the great “bon  viveurs” of Victorian Britain reconciled his  exuberant personal life with his radical political  philosophy.

Though The Communist Manifesto credits Friedrich Engels as its co-author, it was Karl Marx who gave his name to the creed that swept the world. Yet without Engels, Marxism would have been impossible. For forty years Engels supported Marx personally and financially, enduring a loathed existence as a textile magnate to give his friend the freedom to write. It was Engels’s firsthand knowledge of slums and factory conditions that underpinned Communist doctrine; it was his grasp of global capitalism that made its way into Das Kapital. And, after Marx’s death, it was Engels’s work that set the stage for the political theories of the USSR.

Drawing on a wealth of letters and archives, renowned historian Tristram Hunt reclaims the intellectual legacy of one of the greatest social commentators, and details a life of extraordinary contradiction: the capitalist mill owner who urged the dictatorship of the proletariat; the incendiary radical who concealed scandalizing love affairs behind a façade of bourgeois respectability. An epic tale of devoted friendship, ideological struggle, and family heartbreak, Marx’s General restores to full importance this major historical figure.

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A group portrait of the three British voyagers who became fierce defenders of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

“The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” – Charles Darwin 1902 edition.

The luxury of being a “cultural” historian is that you may exclude yourself from those inconvenient rules of historical accuracy that get in the way of your story. Not only has McCalman given himself a blanket dispensation from the rules of history but he also seems to have been granted a plenary indulgence from the laws of science since it is apparent from his first word to his last that he believes in Darwin’s theory, hook, line and sinker. The problem, of course, is that it deprives him of any sort of objectivity and reduces him from historian to cheerleader.

Darwin may be the end of the “enlightenment” because at the same time he was positing the ultimate explanation for a planet in no need of a Creator his contemporary, Karl Marx, was laying the groundwork for the social expression of Darwinism and the nihilists were giving vent to the philosophical expression that would become the basis of the “theology” of the 20th century. The introduction of cannibalism coupled with euthanasia practiced by a society that celebrated child sacrifice and the absence of any moral decency could not have been more harmful – and on reflection that is about what we have wound up with!

Just so that you do not feel compelled to believe every piece of nonsense issued by the pseudo-scientific community that has sprung up around Darwin’s nonsense we have appended a few quotes from some who do not feel compelled to accept his “theory” as fact to the end if this review and you can find even more and better information at the Northwest Network.

Darwin’s armada : four voyages and the battle for the theory of evolution    New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 2009  Iain McCalman Evolution (Biology) History 19th century Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. 422 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Cultural historian Iain McCalman tells the stories of Charles Darwin and his most vocal supporters and colleagues: Joseph Hooker, Thomas Huxley, and Alfred Wallace. Beginning with the somber morning of April 26, 1882 – the day of Darwin’s funeral – Darwin’s Armada steps back in time and recounts the lives and scientific discoveries of each of these explorers. The four amateur naturalists voyaged separately from Britain to the southern hemisphere in search of adventure and scientific fame. From Darwin’s inaugural trip on the Beagle in 1835 through Wallace’s exploits in the Amazon and, later, Malaysia in the 1840s and 1850s, each man independently made discoveries that led him to embrace Darwin’s groundbreaking theory of evolution. This book reveals the untold story of Darwin’s greatest supporters who, during his life, campaigned passionately in the war of ideas over evolution and who lived on to extend and advance the scope of his work.

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“…I am quite conscious that my speculations run beyond the bounds of true science….It is a mere rag of an hypothesis with as many flaw[s] & holes as sound parts.” Charles Darwin to Asa Gray, cited by Adrian Desmond and James Moore, Darwin, (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1991) pp. 456, 475.

“Nowhere was Darwin able to point to one bona fide case of natural selection having actually generated evolutionary change in nature….Ultimately, the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century.” Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crises (Bethesda, Maryland: Adler & Adler, 1986) pp. 62, 358.

“I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science.” Søren Løvtrup, Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (New York: Croom Helm, 1987), p. 422.

“Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution, we do not have one iota of fact.” Dr. T. N. Tahmisian Evolution and the Emperor’s New Clothes by N.J. Mitchell (United Kingdom: Roydon Publications, 1983), title page.

“The Darwinian theory of descent has not a single fact to confirm it in the realm of nature. It is not the result of scientific research, but purely the product of imagination.” Albert Fleischmann. Witnesses Against Evolution by John Fred Meldau (Denver: Christian Victory Publishing, 1968), p. 13.

“[T]he theory suffers from grave defects, which are becoming more and more apparent as time advances. It can no longer square with practical scientific knowledge, nor does it suffice for our theoretical grasp of the facts…No one can demonstrate that the limits of a species have ever been passed. These are the Rubicons which evolutionists cannot cross…Darwin ransacked other spheres of practical research work for ideas…But his whole resulting scheme remains, to this day, foreign to scientifically established zoology, since actual changes of species by such means are still unknown.” Albert Fleischmann, “The Doctrine of Organic Evolution in the Light of Modern Research,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 65 (1933): pp. 194-95, 205-6, 208-9.

“Evolutionism is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.” Louis Bounoure. The Advocate, 8 March 1984, p. 17.

“And the salient fact is this: if by evolution we mean macroevolution (as we henceforth shall), then it can be said with the utmost rigor that the doctrine is totally bereft of scientific sanction. Now, to be sure, given the multitude of extravagant claims about evolution promulgated by evolutionists with an air of scientific infallibility, this may indeed sound strange. And yet the fact remains that there exists to this day not a shred of bona fide scientific evidence in support of the thesis that macroevolutionary transformations have ever occurred.” Wolfgang Smith, Teilhardism and the New Religion (Rockford., Ill.: Tan Books, 1988), pp. 5-6. Dr. Smith, taught at MIT and UCLA.

“With the failure of these many efforts, science was left in the somewhat embarrassing position of having to postulate theories of living origins which it could not demonstrate. After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the inevitable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort could not prove to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past.” Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey (1957), p. 199.

“If complex organisms ever did evolve from simpler ones, the process took place contrary to the laws of nature, and must have involved what may rightly be termed the miraculous.” R.E.D. Clark, Victoria Institute (1943), p.

” `Creation,’ in the ordinary sense of the word, is perfectly conceivable. I find no difficulty in conceiving that, at some former period, this universe was not in existence, and that it made its appearance in six days (or instantaneously, if that is preferred), in consequence of the volition of some preexisting Being. Then, as now, the so-called a priori arguments against Theism and, given a Deity, against the possibility of creative acts, appeared to me to be devoid of reasonable foundation.” Thomas H. Huxley, quoted in *L. Huxley, Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley, Vol. I (1903), p. 241 (1903). 63.

“Our theory of evolution has become . . one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it . . No one can think of ways in which to test it. Ideas wither without basis or based on a few laboratory experiments carried out in extremely simplified systems, have attained currency far beyond their validity. They have become part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training.” L.C. Birch and *P. Ehrlich, Nature, April 22, 1967.

“What is at stake is not the validity of the Darwinian theory itself, but of the approach to science that it has come to represent. The peculiar form of consensus the theory wields has produced a premature closure of inquiry in several branches of biology, and even if this is to be expected in `normal science,’ such a dogmatic approach does not appear healthy.” R. Brady, “Dogma and Doubt,” Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 17:79, 96 (1982)

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