Karl Marx: The Most Evil Man to Ever Live

Column by Alex R. Knight III.

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He perhaps fancied himself a liberator, though history has since more than amply demonstrated the utter moral and intellectual bankruptcy of this delusion. From no other philosophical doctrine to date has there yet arisen such a surfeit of sophistry, abuse, tyranny, oppression, corruption, malice -- and even genocide – as has due to the result of Marxism’s implementation. Various adherents to Marx’s doctrines, revolutionary poseurs, most of whom reared their hideous heads at one point or another during the 20th Century – Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro – were all summarily shown up for what they truly were: power-mad impostors.

To be sure, such is the self-contradictory nature of all government, no matter the self-proclaimed raison d’etre, whether that be a socialist “dictatorship of the proletariat,” or a “defense of democratic freedom,” or some such alternate balderdash. But Marx’s theory was that socialist revolution, and subsequent overthrow of the bourgeois middle and upper classes, would ultimately result -- through the process of dialectical materialism -- in a stateless society. This he called Communism.

To the remaining diehard believers, I’d like to ask just when you think the Cuban and North Korean states are going to flower into social-anarchist models of economic and social equality. Not only is it a sick joke to suppose that such governments will ever evolve into even this shortsighted morass of inanity, but that anarchism itself will ever manifest according to such a model. Since free or freed markets are the only ones consistent with the absence of political government, it follows that socialism – at least as a universally preferred default system – would and could never endure on any large, lasting scale, absent an oppressive government bootheel to keep it hobbling along by armed force. Such is the case now. And so, we can fully expect, will it ever be in the future. Human nature, and human desire, operates along quite different lines.

It is more than instructive to take note of even a percentage of what is contained in Marx’s infamous 1848 Manifesto of the Communist Party: Abolition of all private land ownership, and rights of inheritance. Government monopolization of all transportation, communications, and educational systems. Forced redistribution of population (forced assignment of place of residency). A government-monopolized central bank. A heavy graduated tax on earnings. As to this last, Marx was quoted as saying that such a tax was necessary “to crush the middle class under the guise of of a need to finance the government.” In other words, Marx was in no way above blatant deception in order to garner widespread support for a tax which in truth was designed not simply to prevent financial upward mobility among the masses, but to prop up a fiat currency creation scheme with which to ensnare and enslave the world.

Marx’s shameless cynicism ran even deeper still: In an 1872 speech in Amsterdam, Holland, he proclaimed that, “a social revolution or economic conquest could be accomplished by peaceful means in America by taking advantage of libertarian traditions and free institutions to subvert them.”

It is easy to see that Marx had little regard for the individual, not only from this evident disdain for basic liberty, other than as a convenient mechanism through which to vend his poison, but in the fact that communistic theory and philosophy held the State as a sovereign and all-powerful entity against which no one person would have any recourse for grievance. Again, this is an inherent feature of any governmental construct, mitigated only by matter of degree. In communist ideology, however, there is no question raised – the legislative absolutism of the State is sacrosanct.

Yes, true enough, Hitler and his Nazis unleashed their horrors upon the world in grand enough fashion, as did Hirohito’s Japanese Empire, Mussolini, and countless other dictators and regimes of a fascist or other statist bent. But the Third Reich lasted a mere twelve and a half years (too long), and one or another junta even less. The ideas engendered and championed by Marx, at their peak, lasted over 75 years – three-quarters of a century from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 – and enslaved some one-third of the world’s population by the early 1980s. Of this percentage of the world’s population, an estimated ninety-four million were slaughtered by governments established to advance the ideals of Communism. Today, its oppressive influence is still very much felt in not only the aforementioned Cuba and North Korea -- but in China, Vietnam, Africa, and other parts of the Third World where the flags and slogans of yesteryear may have been sublimated, but the core elements of Marxist control remain firmly in place.

In fact, we need look no further than home to see how, due to the chimerical promises made by Marx, and bought into by the American political Left since the late 19th Century (though accelerating profoundly from the Great Depression to the present), this insidious cancer has woven its way into the heart of a society that once held such promise for so many oppressed peoples around the world. One look at the Federal Reserve, the IRS, property taxes, public schools, and gun control demonstrate the rotten and pestilential fruits of Karl Marx’s highest ambitions.

All philosophies or doctrines that proselytize for any political government of any kind are utterly without intellectual or moral merit. This any honest libertarian will tell you. To my mind, however, the most egregious of these to date have been all of those which have been based – in whole or in part – upon the discredited lies and fantastical deceptions of Karl Heinrich Marx: the most evil man to ever live. Both the magnitude and duration of the impact of this conniving monster’s ideas – thoughts which are still, incredibly and without valid excuse, revered in some quarters even today -- demand no less of an unapologetic condemnation.

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Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 111

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales, including Tales from Dark 7.  He has also written and published poetry; non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues; and is former Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire.  In 1998, he was awarded Activist of the Year for that organization.  He now lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University, and looks forward to living in a governmentless society of liberty.

Comments

A Liberal in Lakeview's picture

Just a few remarks:

(1) Is it not interesting that American progressives are eager to implement important features of Marxism without demanding a keystone of Marxism? Instead of complete nationalization of every industry, they prefer to retain the appearances of private property and a market economy while establishing most of Marxism's substance of heavy-handed governmental control over production and commerce. Perhaps a good explanation is not that they understand deep flaws of Marxism like the economic calculation problem but because most progressives are sybarites wary of government getting in the way of their favorite carnal pleasures.

(2) Progressives make clever use of the rhetoric, too, of a market economy, as in the case of the "Health Insurance Marketplace", the new term for Obamacare's health care exchanges. See http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130213/NEWS03/130219921/sebeliu... .

(3) "The Mystery of Fascism" by David Steele reminds us that Fascism is a revision to Marxism by Marxists, even though most of Fascism's cattle and sheep were not themselves leftists. Fascist leaders, however, tended to retain their secularism, their hatred of laissez faire, and their eagerness for central planning, and their openness to communism in some areas such as trains and multilane divided highways. For these and other reasons we know that Fascism was not primarily a rightwing affair, not even when it found it expedient to help Catholics in Spain to defeat the Republicans.

(4) I've found it more than entertaining to read Requiem for Marx, edited by Yuri Maltsev. Find it at http://mises.org/books/requiem.pdf .

(5) Sometimes I am tempted to believe that most Americans deserve a crushing despotism like that experienced in Russia, China, N. Korea, Germany, and so on. After all, are not most Americans happy to have commerce rigged to their advantage as long as the rigging tends not to embarrass them? Are not tens and tens of millions of Americans thuggish theocrats? Are not most Americans sympathatic to aggressive militarism but unwilling to pay for it voluntarily? Is not American capitalism basically a party for imperialists like George Washington and their insatiably greedy tools? Do not most Americans go along with schemes like Social Security b/c they expect to profit more from the looting and redistribution than the looting costs them? Of course, some go along with redistribution b/c it's a fine way to feel good about one's caring self while letting government coerce other people into bearing the burdens of the alleged caring.

Now, what better way would there be to fasten upon Americans a despotism than by calling for a governmental solution to American progressivism? This is a rhetorical question; there may be better ways, e.g. joining the progressives. Still, it's certain that calling for a governmental solution to progressivism would suit the predilections of rightwingers who make a fetish of order established through legislatures, cops, courts, and jails. It should not be difficult to let rightwingers themselves issue the demands. They are like children who crave a parent to allay their fears, and when they demand that government crush progressivism, refrain from arguing with and debating against them. Likewise, a strategic channeling of progressives' antics would be a better way to build up the despotism while avoiding also the fruitless exercise of trying to disabuse them of their most cherished delusions.

(6) Do you believe that most or all of Marxism's victims did not deserve the fruits of Marxism? If so, what justification have you for the belief? Does our godless cosmos really let the innocent suffer? Would not a god of the type promoted by Muslims, Christians, and Jews have the authority to place souls in a position to suffer at the hands of Marxism, National Socialism, Maoism, and so on? If strict probability and chance prevailed in existence, would there be any injustice when some people suffer and others do not?

Perhaps you and others like you should abandon the assumption that innocent people suffer due to Marxism and other statist ideologies. You might then be receptive to an argument that your subjugation at the hands of statists is what you deserve.

Glock27's picture

WELCOM In LIBRIAL lA...
pARAGRAPH 5: I am totally with you on that one and at the same time f**k you and the idea. I don't want to hurt nor my children or grandchildren or any other innocent but I clearly understand what you are saying WAKE THE F**K UP. The problem with yoour solution is that it will all be over with and no turning back. P.S. Social Security was forced upon us we did not vote for it, but since my money is in their I want it back one way or another. I don't care which.

Paragraph 6 you went off the deep end. A persons faith justifies no horrors to be placed on them. I think I grasp where you are coming from here and it is possible that being given a good shake is needed but [o]bama has already done that and many of them are still asleep. I received data from somewhere regarding a poll taken that less than 1/3 christians vote and the rest stay home praying things will not be as bad as they sound. The Jews in WWII took that position and they came out post tosties. Many suvivors I have often wondered if they were to have to go back would they fight.

In Liberal--we are heading into these times and I think you see it coming and hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans are not doing anything to prepare to resist against the "Mother of all Storms". I am constantly checking web sites out for ammunition, nada, catalogues, nada, local sporting goods stores, nada, nada, nada. I have certain ammunition I need to be fully prepared and I need a certain quantity. Sone sites are getting ammunition but the price has nearly doubled over what it was several months back before knothead won the election. I have been reading that a number of firearm manufactures and ammunition manufactures are refusing to sell their goods to any local, state or federal gov unless they can sell the very same thing they want to the public. Numberous states have begun to craft Federal Anti gun ban legislation, making it a crime to prosecute anyone in their boarders. Fines from $5000 and 5 years in jail up to 20 years and $300,000 per federal agent arrested for kidnapping under NDAA.

There are a lot of good people out their risking their lives to bring the federal government to its knees. I understand everything you are saying and have agreed a wish too many times but no. This level of atrocity is not what we need. We are a group of ugly people, but we are good people too. I think we are just lazy.

Glock27's picture

Greetings Ales,
Everything you have said here almost sounds as if it is already occured and occuring here. I fail to see a great deal of differences; as those above laid down to one man so also are Americans to a limited extent. I know there are some states (forgive me for not mentioning them as I am weary of writing down all those states) which are crafting legislation that punishes any Agent of the Federal Government from coming into there boundarys and trying to enforce those edicts [o]bama is throwing down along with Scary Reid and Bitch McConnel. I have also been reading about some firearm manufactures and ammunition manufactures refusing to sell their wares to and local, state or federal government firearms and ammunition they cannot sell to the public.
You paint a bleak picture of our future but a damned impressive read as well as educational, but I am constantly rebuffeted with my singular question "What is the solution?" I read people in piss fights here offer old ideas over and over and make the same identical complaints over and over but maybe in different formats but no one offers a solution. I guess if I have to admit the Jim Davies so far has been the only one to offer a solution--unfortunately one I am not eager to accept.

GeoffreyTransom's picture

I can in no way be considered a supporter of Marx - he was a charlatan (at least as much of a charlatan as Ayn Rand), a career parasite, and a hypocrite. And yet I think this article is nonsense (for reasons I will develop below).

Paul Johnson's "Intellectuals" has a chapter that is a brilliant demolition of Marx' entire oeuvre - a must-read for anybody who doesn't have the space in their curriculum to study comparative economic systems. (With that said, Johnson is a deplorable person - a Catholic conservative).

By a quirk of timetable, I **did** have space in my curriculum to study Comparative Economic Systems (and "Capitalism: Contrasting Views": both subjects were taught by a man who believed in the underlying AIM of Marxism - i.e., societies without stratification).

As such, I feel qualified to assess the claim that Marx was 'evil' - and it's nonsense, even though he was a contemptible human being in that he

* fathered - but did not acknowledge or support - a child with his housekeeper;
* was obsessed with the fact that his wife was an aristocrat;
* sponged off Engels and others;
* falsified the bulk of the 'facts' and 'sources' cited in Kapital;
* I could go on and on and on.

But EVIL is a step too far, even for me, when speaking of Marx himself.

Dick Cheney is evil. Donald 'Aspartame' Rumsfeld is evil. Bill Macnamara was evil. Curtis le May was evil. Ted Bundy was evil. Charles Manson was evil. Benjamin Netanyahu is evil. Ovadia Yossef is evil. John Yoo is evil. It's easy enough to spot. (NB: in my taxonomy, Jim Jones was **not** evil... he was deranged. BIG difference).

The pattern: inciting or undertaking actions that have, as a foreseeable consequence, the deaths of people who have no ability to defend themselves - and doing so solely for individual gain - when you clearly and unambiguously "know better".

Marx did not 'know better': he was a dullard who managed to fund his writing through luck - primarily because of the support of Engels. Had Engels not had cash to burn (by dint of being a heritor to a fortune), Marx would have had no ability to get his writing 'out there'. He would have worked in a minor role in a University.

He was not 'evil'. He was stupid, lazy, boorish and an egomaniac. And like Keynes after him, he gave megalomaniacs a philosophical basis for their agenda: he made being a seeker-after-power respectable, because the power-lust could be dressed up as fulfilling a critical role of 'vanguard of the proletariat'.

But in any case, the problems with Marxism is not its aims - and that is why Marxism was able to garner plenty of well-meaning adherents. Marxism's aims are indistinguishable from ours:
* an end (to the extent possible) to alienation and stratification (hierarchy) caused by economic scarcity;
* a massive increase in the material-technical base;
* a new society in which individuals obtain more happiness from their lives.

As to ENDS, Marx' theory and that of Keynes are largely co-terminous: the State, being the biggest repository of power and coercion, can be used to forge institutions that 'get us there from here' (where 'there' is some agreed-upon society, and 'agreed upon' is determinable by whatever means).

BOTH theories fail - and fail with bitter harvests - because they fail to recognise that the individuals who comprise the State have their own objectives, and that those objectives will not be the same as those of the society on whose behalf the State is supposed to work.

This will lead - inexorably - to the machinery of State being used to further the ends of the individuals who work for the State.

And over time, the types of people who are attracted to work for the State are those who recognise that they can use State power to enrich themselves and their cliques... and (and here's the critical point) **have no qualms about that**.

So you have a 'perfect storm' - a confluence (or concatenation) of circumstances:
(a) the principal-agent problem (that the objectives of the agent himself will 'trump' social objectives);
(b) perverse incentives (that political lying is utility-enhancing for politicians due to an assumed information-asymmetry between the rulers and the ruled);
(c) adverse selection (those who seek power are almost always the type of person who should not have it);
... and from there it's corruption, graft, debt... and WAR.

And here's the important thing: anybody who has only a dilettante's grasp of the history of the State, can EASILY overlook the (partial) laundry list I've described above. Keynes did - more accurately, he deliberately ignored it, because he was interested in writing a justification for why he and his homosexual pederast chums in a soi-disant 'natural aristocracy' had the right to control the tax base. And so did Marx.

Marx' claims can really be boiled down to four things:
(1) the State - having seized control of the economic engine - could (and SHOULD) direct production to achieve greater economic growth than would otherwise be the case (the fallacy of the omnipotent technocrat);

(2) that this rapid rise in the material-technical base would provide sufficient productive surplus to be able to fund 'education' programs that helped individuals understand why thinking as a New Man would be life-enhancing - the 'transformation of consciousness' (the fallacy that misinformation can make long-term changes to human ambitions);

(3) that the expansion of the material-technical base would result in a transformation of individuals' interactions with the labour market (work as a "prime want" - a thing that was utility-augmenting in and of itself); and (MOST importantly and most WRONG)

(4) that the progress to a new type of society required an intellectual and technocratic 'vanguard of the proletariat', and that as the aims in 1-3 above were being achieved, the State would 'wither away'.

The HUGE hole in those points is probably the last one (although banking on central planning of production is almost as stupid): the notion that the State would wither away, is entirely predicated on the rise of the morally well-adjusted to positions of power.

But as the French philosopher Alain put it:

"Le trait le plus visible de l'homme juste est de ne point vouloir du tout gouverner les autres et de se gouverner lui-même. Cela décide tout. Autant dire que les pires gouverneront."

"The most obvious characteristic of the righteous man is to have no desire whatsoever to govern others, but to govern himself only. That decides everything. To put it frankly: the worst govern."

That lovely quotation is really only point (c) of the non-exhaustive laundry list of reasons why the State is the wrong mechanism to achieve social objectives - but with that point alone, the entire framework of Marxism collapses: the State will never wither away (and in fact will pervert the course of the economy AWAY FROM any configuration that challenges its power).

"Let's put it frankly: the worst govern" is genuinely the only argument we anti-State types ever need. It is the purest of all "consequentialist" arguments: if you permit a State to exist, it will, in time, be captured by megalomaniacal sociopaths and will cease to do what it is designed to do.

If instead someone puts forward a deontological basis for the existence of the State (i.e., "you must obey because them's the rules" - srsly, there are people stupid enough to try to promulgate that as a system of ethics), the same applies: if the system as configured attracts the worst types of people to rule, whence comes the requirement to obey?

And for pragmatic-ethics types... well, if you think that over-arching social goals trump individual liberty (that's what pragmatic ethics is about, yo) - what WORSE way is there to achieve social goals, than to permit a system where the WORST get to control the levers of power?

Same same for virtue-ethics: if it is to be internally-consistent, the virtue-ethical approach also has to reject the State because of the tendency of power to attract the LEAST virtuous.

Marx' entire life's work is a case-study in the Dunning-Kruger effect (where the less competent you are, the less able you are to figure out that you're an idiot). Because Marx was so dismissive of everyone who had gone before him (not to mention his contemporaries), he was blind to be vast literature that argued directly against his core hypotheses. And in the face of criticism, he refused to change his mind and simply 'kept digging'.

Those are not the hallmarks of an evil individual. There's the hallmarks of an idiot - albeit an idiot who did not have the benefit of the last 150 years of advances in economic and philosophical/ethical/moral theory (but had he looked backward 100 years to Paine and beyond, he might have been disinclined to write such drivel).

Alex Knight III points out, correctly, that Marx' theories, when adopted and imposed by megalomaniacs, resulted in wide-scale death and tyranny. That's a poor basis for condemning a philosopher: can you blame Tom Paine or Thomas Jefferson for Obama's death squads, or for Kissinger's Cambodian Holocaust?

Glock27's picture

You write so much these things should be placed as articles rather than posts and some of the things you have said require more time than you gave them. That is regretful. If they were fleshed out more many people may have a better chance at learning something but you keep it all so close to your chest. Much of the stuff you have here depends upon a person having an indepth understanding of history in its broadest connotations. I note many places where those little blue thingies I don't know how to use would be of great value to a number of members. I figure if you have enough time to respond this way you also have enough time to place reference sites. So. How do I know you are telling the truth or just making this up as you go along?

Jim Davies's picture

About your final para, Geoffrey: a fair question, but my answer is "yes."
 
Paine knew that government is "evil", yet said also that it is "necessary." His support helped establish what Kissinger, Obama, etc etc ad naus, later used to do massive evil. Paine the philosopher shares the blame for that. Likewise Jefferson participated actively in a government system, even presiding.
 
So with Marx. You argue well that he was more an idiot than a fount of evil, but Alex quoted part of the Communist Manifesto which he wrote, and those proposals are unmistakably evil. Theft and force run right through them. He proposed evil means; why be surprised when evil effects result?
 
True, plain folly may have also played a big part. Marx subscribed, I understand, to the theory that labor has an objective value, rather than subjective. This was his root error, yet it is quite easily demolished.

Jim Davies's picture

At this moment, Alex' article has received 6.5 favorable votes, rather low by recent standards. It's well written and deserves more.
 
I perceive that those who cast such votes (I do not) rate an article more on whether they agree with it than on whether it is well written and reasoned.
 
If so, that is deplorable.
 
In any case more readers have posted comments (6) than have voted (2) so I wonder if our Editor will now consider removing this anachronism?

KenK's picture

Brilliant column Alex! I guess we should now expect a column or three anytime now about how water is wet and mean people suck and other important discoveries you've made.

Glock27's picture

Greetings Ken,
I am wondering if you read the same article as I did by Aalex Knight III. Personally I found it to be a brilliant piece of writing and i expect nothing less from him since he his a professional writer. I guess I too would be interested in why you are being so harsh with a bright mind. Everything Alex has written I have been pretty much for except when we get to the Constitution. We are working our way through that one.
Some people I think have caught my chumming with the torture bit but not all. Do Alex and I a favor an be a little more explicit with the remarks; it's like they come out of no where like the other fellow here of whom you have been so supportive of me on. But ken Remember My Torture piece was chum.

Alex R. Knight III's picture

Ken:  These last two columns, with no provocation whatsoever, you've made it your business to level nothing but caustic remarks in my direction.  What's your problem?  If you have one that actually contains any depth you feel is worth sharing, why don't you try writing it out as a column yourself -- either an original, or in response to something I've published.  If not, then I'm left to wonder why you bother reading my pieces here at all, other than perhaps as an excuse to vent your impotent jealousy.  If so, that is pathetic, and unworthy of my further attention.

KenK's picture

Alex: I didn't agree with what you wrote and so I said so, both times. Grow some thicker skin. Are you so emotionally delicate that you can't stand anything but praise?

Jim Davies's picture

Ken, it's for the Editor, not me, to decide whether Commenters are fit to retain access to these pages, but your remarks about Alex' latest do not seem to me worthy of STR.
 
Quite possibly you are so well-read about Marx that it seemed too elementary. But as we're reminded by the "Latest Tweets" column on the right of this page, some Root Strikers are trying to attract new readers. Many of those will be soaked in statist and leftist perceptions about Marxism and will be deeply shaken to find an author who calls him profoundly evil, and gives reasons.
 
Those readers might well be put off by your caustic criticism. One can disagree yet still be civil, surely?
 

Glock27's picture

Greetings Jim,
That was a nice well guided remark for Ken.