“When divine laws are ignored and everything is seen to be man’s contrivance, the egotistic man will try to claw his way to the top of society.”
— Richard M. Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences, 1948
Part 3 ended with the seeds of international socialism being sown in Europe. It was taking root amongst intellectuals, particularly secular Jews in Germany, and would eventually yield Bolshevism.
“You cannot understand the Bolsheviks without looking at their Jewishness,” said Jewish-American scholar Paul Gottfried, who I’ve referenced in both Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. “I think they really were interested in destroying what they saw as a repressive, fascist Christian nation.”
Even though a Frenchman named Victor d’Hupay was the first theorist of modern communism, the Bolshevik revolution was clearly built upon the writings of German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They were co-authors of The Communist Manifesto, and philosophical and economic collaborators. Engels even financially supported Marx when he wrote Das Kapital.
“Marx was neither heroic nor a creative thinker who challenged the intellectual powerhouses of his day. He wrote turgid economic analyses, and … tirades against other unknown Left-wing German and French radicals and utopians,” wrote historian Gary North of Marx’s inflated position in history.
Although, ethnically Jewish, Marx was raised in secular fashion under the bourgeois protection of Prussian Protestantism. Marx eventually became an atheist and Engels a pandeist. Bolshevism’s main architect and leader, Vladimir Lenin, who was at least 1/8 Jewish, worked to impose the Marx-Engels ideology on the masses, carrying out in real time the systemic-chaos theories to their oppressive and deadly ends in the Soviet Union.
Originally, Marx was greatly influenced by the Young Hegelians, a group of German intellectuals who conformed to the idea that human reason is the source of political freedom. This school of thought had been espoused by one of the previous generation’s most influential German philosophers, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, hence the collective’s name.
“Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Hegel’s “absolute idealism” wasn’t anti-religion, though. In fact, he believed in the power of Geist (“spirit”) in the pursuit of perfected knowledge, but saw faith as subordinate to philosophy. So it was man’s mind that was preeminent, not God’s glory and majesty. It was reason itself, Hegel concluded, that could unfold both finite and infinite truths.
Other non-Jewish philosophers, like French Revolutionist Jean-Jacques Rousseau and German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, also shaped the radical Hegelians. They all believed that social justice and egalitarian ideals must be attained collectively through a top-down hierarchical force (you know, the supposed rising up of the “proletariat”) and an imposition of the General Will.
Smash God, Smash Capitalism
But this youthful intelligentsia also preached dogged rejection of a divine Creator. Many of these uber-educated philosophers claimed that Jesus was mythical and the gospels fantastical. They saw organized religion, especially Christianity, as a tool of state authority, not as a tool of enlightenment as Hegel had. Therefore, the tyrannical institution must be destroyed.
Although Marx preached that he wanted to “dethrone God” and that religion was “the opium of the people,” he broke with the Hegelians, claiming instead that ownership of capital was the fundamental reason the political establishment wielded power over the masses. Sure, Christianity was a component of bourgeois society, but capitalism was the machine, he alleged.
“But anyone who has read (Marx’s) early writings knows that his avowed enemies were not the capitalist but the Christians and the Jews. He hated God more than he hated capitalism,” gleaned North in his book Marx’s Religion of Revolution. To him, the devoutly religious were the real enemy of the people.
Heady Hegelian Ideas and Hess
Marx, like another influential secular Jewish thinker, Moses Hess, mixed the Hegelian worldview with communist theory. Their goal became not some kind of political equality, but rather, destruction of economic inequality. And since the Church had historically been one of the most dominant forces in shaping Western civilization, religious ruination must result in Marx’s view. For Hess, the answer was Labor Zionism.
Hess taught Marx to the concept of “historical materialism.” (This methodology sees class and economics as central to determining history.) And Engels converted Marx to the idea of “dialectical materialism.” (Think Darwinism meets the material universe, from which nothing transcends; basically, secular humanism.) Both ideologies became tenets of Marxism.
Hess ended up breaking with Marx over details of their socialist theories and was subsequently bullied and shunned by the clique. Whereas Marx saw the universalist visions of “rational freedom” and eliminating all social differences as a class struggle, Hess saw it as a racial fight, which will be picked up and promulgated in America by the Frankfurt School in the 20th century.
Tolerant of disagreement and dissent these intellectuals were not. The hubris and ego-maniacal traits of these men would carry over into the execution of Soviet Communism as an accepted worldview through brute dictatorial force. “Ideas so good they have to be mandatory” as the anti-statist saying goes.
Just ask another famous Jewish Bolshevik, the exiled and ultimately assassinated genocidal murderer Lev Davidovich Bronstein, a.k.a. Leon Trotsky. All must adhere to the “civil religion,” as Rousseau called the secular-leftist worldview, or be blacklisted, imprisoned, or killed. “Off with their heads!” as the Jacobins said, or in the case of the Soviets, “Off to the gulag!” Today we call this political correctness.
Just as North asserts that “Marxism has been a success because it is the most perverse imitation of Christianity ever invented,” professor Nancy Pearcey says, “Marxism has been called a Christian heresy because of its religious overtones: Its counterpart to the Garden of Eden is the state of primitive communism. Its version of the fall into sin — the source of evil and oppression — is the creation of private property.” Co-opt and crush religion, and smash capitalism: a win-win to the communist zealots.
The “evangelical missions” of Marxists spread the ideology, North explained, with “a Moscow-supported apparat which utilizes AK-47s, T-72 tanks, and assorted ordnance,” not with changing hearts. This new faith of scientific atheism and global communism would have its own rituals, proselytizers, and tithing.
According to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – Nobel Prize winner, Soviet labor camp survivor, and author of The Gulag Archipelago – Russian nationalism and tradition were specifically in the cross hairs of this utopian religion. And since Orthodoxy had been so paramount in shaping Russian culture for a thousand years, it was one of the most reviled targets of the Marxist-Leninists.
The Bolsheviks gleefully demolished churches, monasteries, and convents, tortured and murdered bishops, priests, nuns, and laity. Professor Todd M. Johnson estimated that more than 20 million Christians were martyred under Soviet Communism from outright executions to deaths in prison camps by the various anti-religious campaigns implemented from the October Revolution in 1917 up through the Glasnost period.
“But it is impossible to find the answer to the eternal question: who is to be blamed, who led us to our death?” Solzhenitsyn wrote in Two Hundred Years Together. “To explain the actions of the Kiev Cheka (the secret police) only by the fact that 2/3 were Jews, is certainly incorrect.” But still, the Ashkenazi sense of “Other” certainly helped to crank up and then propel the Bolshevist mind and its Soviet aftermath.
As an author who dissects conspiracy theories, German-Jewish historian Johannes Rogalla von Bieberstein affirmed In his book Jewish Bolshevism: Myths & Reality that Bolshevism was indeed led by a majority of Jewish protagonists. Yet, from the beginning, pious Jews spoke out against the “Jewish romance with communism,” he said.
Players and Patterns
London Times reporter Robert Wilton lived in Russia. In 1919, he published the culmination of both eyewitness accounts and copious research in Russia’s Agony. “Bolshevism is not Russian — it is essentially non-national; its leaders belong almost entirely to the race that lost its country and its nationhood long ago,” Wilton remarked.
“In April 1918, the Bolshevist ‘Government,’ including 384 ‘Peoples’ Commissaries,’ was represented by 2 Negroes, 13 Russians, 15 Chinamen, 22 Armenians and Georgians, and more than 300 Jews. Of the last, 264 had come to Russia from the United States during the ‘Revolution,’” Wilton said.
By noticing the obvious pattern, Wilton is now deemed an anti-semite due to his truthful reporting. As is Bieberstein. And sometimes Solzhenitsyn and even revered anti-Nazi Winston Churchill, who in 1920 wrote, “With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders.”
When Churchill penned these words, he was careful to differentiate between the secular revolutionaries and the Torah-following Hebrews. He recognized that it was “little less than a struggle for the soul of the Jewish people.”
Benjamin Disraeli, an English-born Sephardic Jew who converted to Anglicanism at age 12, was twice prime minister of the U.K. during the late-19th century. The conservative statesman wrote of his pride in “the Jewish mind” and its influence throughout history in his fictional political novel, Coningsby, and said their voracity against oppression proved them as a “superior race.”
“You never observe a great intellectual movement in Europe in which the Jews do not greatly participate,” his wiseman character Sidonia explained. “I speak not of their laws … but of the living Hebrew intellect.” Nevertheless, English Jews were “essentially monarchical” and “essentially Tories.”
Yet, last time I checked, no mainstream Jewish thinker considers Disraeli an anti-semite. In fact, he’s been called a “prophet” by Brit conservatives, lauded by The Times of Israel, and he described himself as “the blank page between the Old and New Testaments.”
Nick Paton Walsh wrote in The Guardian that “Trotsky, who was of Jewish origin, asked the politburo in 1919 to ensure that Jews were enrolled in the Red army. Trotsky said that Jews were disproportionately represented in the Soviet bureaucracy.” Why?
Double-Headed Eagle to Double-Edged Sword
According to Russian historian Robert Service, “Trotsky’s idea was that the spread of antisemitism was (party because of) objections about their entrance into the civil service. There is something in this; that Jews were not just passive spectators of the revolution. They were part-victims and part-perpetrators.”
Professor Eli Barnavi of Tel Aviv University agreed. “The role played by Jews in the communist enterprise was to result in terrible consequences on one hand, it gave credence to the anti-Semitic slogan of ‘Judeo-Bolshevism.’”
“On the other hand,” he continued, “within the communist world itself, thousands of Jews, regardless of whether they had been communist activists themselves or simply supporters of communism as the enemy of fascism, were sacrificed to the Leninist‑Stalinist Moloch.”
So not only did Bolshevism fail, it did not eliminate social differences as it had promised nor did it increase freedom. Instead, it mainstreamed atheism, killed an estimated 100 million people in toto, and amplified anti-Jewish sentiment. This was utilized by anti-Jewish political movements for their own benefit and religious Hebrews suffered for the sins of their atheist tribesmen.
“My book was directed to empathize with the thoughts, feelings, and the psychology of the Jews – their spiritual component,” Solzhenitsyn wrote. “I have never made general conclusions about a people. I will always differentiate between layers of Jews. One layer rushed headfirst to the revolution. Another, to the contrary, was trying to stand back.”
“The Jewish subject for a long time was considered prohibited. Zhabotinsky (a Jewish writer) once said that the best service our Russian friends give to us is never to speak aloud about us,” Solzhenitsyn added.
But no group should be off limits if we are to resist leftism effectively. Certainly, we can do so without castigating every member, especially when it is a people as truly diverse religiously, ethnically, culturally, and politically as Jews.
For instance, I call out leftism, globalism, and anti-Christianity wherever I see it because no people, no matter their history, should be immune from scrutiny. If you’re a “who” that hates my beliefs and traditions and your “why” is because you actively seek to destroy my way of life, that’s an issue I’m more than willing to talk about it.
In fact, I challenge cultural Marxism in groups to which I even belong, whether they’re outright infiltrators or simply “useful idiots,” as Lenin is said to have called the unknowing and naive communist collaborators. Like he knew too well, the dupes “will sell us the rope with which to hang them.”
I critique progressive Christians. And bishops. And pastors. And women. And Americans. And conservatives. And libertarians. And homeschoolers. And journalists. And Southerners. And conservatives. And white people.
There sure are a lot of shady, misinformed, weak-kneed, self-serving, and downright evil gentiles out there, who collaborate in, fund, promote, and give power to all sorts of nefarious plans. Sellouts, quislings, and opportunists need to be held to account.
But so do groups to which I don’t identify, like those damn Yankees. Or those French and German utopian idealists who helped spawned the godless ideas of communism and egalitarianism. Or the secular-humanists who happen to be Jews. Any egoist who is clawing his way to the top by tearing down others should not get a pass, no matter his people-group or history or privileged “oppressed” position.
“Without evildoers there would have been no Archipelago … the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others’ eyes.’”
— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Let’s strive to make a distinctions between individuals and collectives, patterns and divergences, place and circumstance, the forest for the trees, while remembering that no one should be void of criticism or beyond reproach when it comes to tearing out the roots of the twisted tree of leftism. No one.
An evildoer’s an evildoer, and his schemes and actions should be vociferously rejected by those who support the good. Down with the egotist man.
Note: The blog’s lead graphic is an adaptation of “This Is the Enemy,” a U.S. propaganda poster used against the Nazis during WWII. My pals at Libertopia tweaked it to represent the current threat we’re facing.
Truth warrior, Jesus follower, wife, and boymom. Apologetics practitioner for Orthodox Christianity, the Southern tradition, homeschooling, and freedom. Recovering feminist-socialist-atheist, graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and retired mainstream journalist turned domesticated belle and rabble-rousing rhetorician. Read more at Dissident Mama.