Chapter Two: Communism’s European Beginnings

The specter of communism did not disappear with the disintegration of the Communist Party in Eastern Europe
June 7, 2018 Updated: August 23, 2018    

The Epoch Times is serializing a translation from the Chinese of a new book, How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World, by the editorial team of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. Karl Marx’s Satanic Works

2. Marxism’s Historical Context

3. The French Revolution

4. Communism Debuts in Paris

5. First Europe, Then the World

References

Introduction

Many of the prophecies foretold in orthodox religions have come to pass, as have the predictions made by Nostradamus and prophecies passed down in cultures around the world, from Peru to Korea. There have been surprisingly accurate prophetic texts throughout Chinese history, from the Han to the Ming dynasties. [1]

These prophecies tell us the important truth that history is no coincidental process, but a drama in which the sequence of major events has already been pre-established. In the end of times, which could also herald the beginning of a new historical cycle, all religions of the world are awaiting one thing: the arrival of the Creator in the human realm.

All dramas have a climax. Though the devil has made its arrangements to destroy humankind, the almighty Creator has His means of awakening the world’s people, helping them escape the devil’s bondage, and offering them salvation. Today, unfolding in the final epoch before the Creator’s appearance, is the ultimate battle between good and evil.

Orthodox religions the world over have foretold that in the era of the Creator’s return, the world would be awash with demons, abominations, and ominous events as humanity lost its moral restraints. This is none other than the world of today.

The state of degeneration we face today has been long in the making. It began hundreds of years ago, with the rise of its core driving force: atheism and the deception of humanity. It was Karl Marx who created an ideology to encompass the deception in all its permutations, and it was Vladimir Lenin who put the theory into brutal practice.

Marx, however, was not an atheist. He followed the devil’s cult and became the demon whose mission was to prevent man from recognizing the Creator in the end times.

1. Marx’s Satanic Works

Marx published many books throughout his life, the best-known being the 1848 Communist Manifesto and the three volumes of Das Kapital, published between 1867 and 1894. These works form the theoretical basis for the communist movement.

What is less widely known is that Marx’s life was a process in which he turned over his soul to the devil and became its agent in the human realm.

In his youth, Marx had been a devout Christian. He was an enthusiastic believer in God before being overcome by his demonic transformation.

In his early poem “Invocation of One in Despair,” Marx wrote of his intent to take revenge on God:

So a god has snatched from me my all
In the curse and rack of destiny.
All his worlds are gone beyond recall!
Nothing but revenge is left to me!

On myself revenge I’ll proudly wreak,
On that being, that enthroned Lord,
Make my strength a patchwork of what’s weak,
Leave my better self without reward!

I shall build my throne high overhead,
Cold, tremendous shall its summit be.
For its bulwark—superstitious dread,
For its Marshall—blackest agony. [2]

Writing to his father, Marx described the changes he was experiencing: “A curtain was fallen, my holiest of holies was ripped apart, and new gods had to be set in their place. … A true unrest has taken mastery of me and I will not be able to calm the excited spirits until I am in your dear presence.” [3]

In his poem “The Pale Maiden,” Marx wrote:

Thus heaven I’ve forfeited, I know it full well.
My soul, once true to God, is chosen for hell. [4]

Marx’s family clearly noticed his change. On March 2, 1837, his father wrote to him: “Your advancement, the dear hope of seeing your name someday of great repute, and your earthly well-being are not the only desires of my heart. These are illusions I had had a long time, but I can assure you that their fulfillment would not have made me happy. Only if your heart remains pure and beats humanly and if no demon is able to alienate your heart from better feelings, only then will I be happy.” [5]

One of Marx’s daughters wrote that when she was young, Marx told her and her sisters many fairy tales. Her favorite was the meandering story of Hans Röckle, a wizard who was always short of cash and had no choice but to sell off his lovely puppets to the devil. [6]

What Marx sold to the devil in exchange for his success was his own soul. Describing himself in “The Fiddler,” Marx wrote:

How so! I plunge, plunge without fail
My blood-black saber into your soul.
That art God neither wants nor wists,
It leaps to the brain from Hell’s black mists.
Till heart’s bewitched, till senses reel:
With Satan I have struck my deal.
He chalks the signs, beats time for me,
I play the death march fast and free. [7]

In the biography Marx, author Robert Payne wrote that the stories Marx told might be taken as an allegory for his own life and that he seemed to be knowingly acting on the devil’s behalf. [8]

Marx’s soul turned to evil. In his rage against God, he joined the devil’s cult. The American political philosopher Eric Voegelin wrote: “Marx knew that he was a god creating a world, he did not want to be the creature. He did not want to see the world in the perspective of creaturely existence. … He wanted to see the world from the point of the coincidentia oppositorum, that is, from the position of God.” [9]

In his poem “Human Pride,” Marx expressed his will to break away from gods and stand with them on an equal footing:

Then the gauntlet do I fling
Scornful in the World’s wide open face.
Down the giant She-Dwarf, whimpering,
Plunges, cannot crush my happiness.
Like unto a God I dare
Through that ruined realm in triumph roam.
Every word is Deed and Fire,
And my bosom like the Maker’s own. [10]

Marx actively rebelled against the divine. “I long to take vengeance on the One Who rules from above.” “The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted civilization. It must be destroyed.” [11]

Soon after Marx died, his housemaid Helene Demuth said of him: “He was a God-fearing man. When very sick, he prayed alone in his room before a row of lighted candles, tying a sort of tape measure around his forehead. ” [12]

Marx’s prayer, as scholars have said, was neither Christian nor Jewish, but the real Marx was not atheist.

Throughout human history, great sages taught sentient beings the way to enlightenment and laid the foundations of the world’s civilizations. Jesus Christ established the bedrock of Christian civilization, and Lao Zi’s wisdom is the foundation of Taoism, a central pillar of Chinese philosophy. In ancient India, Shakyamuni’s teachings led to Buddhism. The origins of their wisdom is a wonder. Jesus was virtually illiterate. While the other sages may have been well-read, they obtained their insights from enlightenment in cultivation, not from ordinary studies.

Marx’s theories referenced the work of previous intellectuals, but ultimately originated from the evil specter. He wrote in the poem “On Hegel:”

Since I have found the Highest of things and the Depths of them also,
Rude am I as a God, cloaked by the dark like a God. [13]

By the specter’s arrangement, Marx entered the human world and established the cult of communism to corrupt human morality, with the intention that mankind would turn on gods and doom themselves to eternal torment in Hell.

2. Marxism’s Historical Context

In order to spread Marxism, the evil specter laid down various intellectual and social foundations. We will examine these two components that serve as the context for the rise of communism.

Scholars believe that Marx’s theory was deeply influenced by Hegel and Ludwig Feuerbach. Feuerbach was an early denier of God’s existence. He believed that religion was no more than an understanding of the “infinity of perception”—that is to say, that people invented God by imagining their own abilities writ large. [14]

Feuerbach’s theory sheds some light on how communism emerged and spread. Advances in science, mechanization, material goods, medicine, and leisure created the impression that happiness is a function of material wealth. Therefore, any dissatisfaction must arise from social limitations. It seemed that with material advancement and social change, people would have the means to build a utopia without any need for God. This vision is the principal means by which people are lured, then initiated, into the cult of communism.

Feuerbach was not the first to reject Christianity and God. Friedrich Strauss questioned the authenticity of the Bible and the divinity of Jesus in his 1835 book Life of Jesus. We may trace such atheist ideas back to the Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries or, if need be, to the time of the ancient Greeks. But that is not the purpose of this book.

Although Marx’s The Communist Manifesto was written over a decade prior to the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, the theory of evolution provided Marx with ostensibly scientific grounding. If all species naturally happened as a result of “natural selection,” and human beings are merely the most advanced of organisms, then there is no room for God. That the theory of evolution is full of loopholes and flaws is well-documented, but a discussion of that subject lies beyond the scope of this book.

In December 1860, Marx wrote about Darwin’s theory to his associate Friedrich Engels, praising On the Origin of Species as “the book that contains the natural-history foundation for your viewpoint [historical materialism].” [15]

In a letter to the socialist philosopher Ferdinand Lassalle in January 1862, Marx said, “Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a natural-scientific basis for the class struggle in history.” [16]

The theory of evolution in the field of natural science and the materialism in the field of philosophy provided Marxism with two powerful tools for misleading and recruiting followers.

Society underwent profound changes in Marx’s lifetime. In 1769, Watt’s improved steam engines ushered in the first Industrial Revolution, replacing small artisan communities with mass production. Technical advancement in agriculture freed up surplus labor to move to cities and toil in factories. Free trade created innovation in sales and marketing.

Industrialization invariably fosters the rise of cities and the flow of people, information, and ideas. In cities, people are not as connected to each other in comparison to rural life. In a city, even an outcast can write books. Following his exile from Germany, Marx moved to France, Belgium, and then England, where he settled down in the Dickensian environment of the London slums.

The second Industrial Revolution began in Marx’s later years, bringing electrification, the internal combustion engine, and chemical manufacturing. The invention of the telegraph and the telephone revolutionized communications.

Each change threw society into upheaval as people scrambled to adapt to the new reality amid technological shifts. Many could not keep up, leading to the polarization of haves and have-nots, economic crises, and the like. This upheaval created ripe conditions for spreading Marx’s view of social norms and traditions as oppressive relics to be destroyed. At the same time, as technology made it possible to transform nature on a large scale, humanity’s arrogance grew.

Rather than viewing Marxism as the result of social upheaval and the attendant intellectual trend, these factors should be understood in light of the devil’s plans to destabilize humanity and spread Marxism among mankind.

3. The French Revolution

The impact of the 1789 French Revolution was massive and far-reaching. It destroyed the monarchy, overturned the traditional social order, and began a system of mob rule.

Engels said: “A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets, and cannon—authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists.” [17]

The Jacobin Club that took power after the French Revolution knew this well. After sending French King Louis XVI to the guillotine, Jacobin leader Maximilien Robespierre’s Reign of Terror executed another 70,000 people, most of whom were completely innocent. Later generations wrote on Robespierre’s epitaph:

Who’er thou art who passest, pray
  Don’t grieve that I am dead;
For had I been alive this day,
  Thoud’st been here in my stead! [18]

The three policies of political terror, economic terror, and religious terror, practiced by the Jacobin Club in the French Revolution, appeared as a prelude to the tyranny of the Communist Party.

In a precursor to the political killings under Lenin and Josef Stalin, the French revolutionaries instituted the Revolutionary Tribunal and set up guillotines in Paris and other places. Revolutionary committees decided whether a prisoner was guilty, while special agents of the National Convention held authority over the military and administrative subdivisions. The sans-culottes, or proletariat, held status as the most revolutionary class.

According to the Law of 22 Prairial, enacted on June 10, 1794, pretrial and defense counsel were banned, and all convictions were required to result in the death penalty. In lieu of evidence, rumors, inference, and personal judgment were all valid for the purpose of obtaining a verdict. The law’s promulgation greatly expanded the Reign of Terror, with an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 people jailed as suspects. [19]

Likewise, the economic terror of the Jacobins seemed to preface the “war communism” that would be implemented in Russia by Lenin. A law passed on July 26, 1793, made hoarding an offense punishable by death. [20]

One of the greatest adversaries of the French revolutionaries was the Catholic faith. During the Reign of Terror, Robespierre, painter Jacques-Louis David, and their supporters established a form of atheism based on Enlightenment trends, called the Cult of Reason, to replace Catholicism. [21]

On October 5, 1793, the National Convention abolished the Christian calendar and instituted the Republican Calendar. On November 10, the Notre-Dame de Paris was rechristened the Temple of Reason, and an actress portrayed a Goddess of Reason as an object of worship for the masses. The Cult of Reason was quickly enforced throughout Paris. Within a week, only three Christian churches remained operating.

Religious terror filled Paris. Priests were arrested en masse, and some were executed. [22]

The French Revolution not only provided a model for the Soviet regime established by Lenin. It is also closely connected to the development of Marxism.

Francois-Noёl Babeuf, a utopian socialist who lived through the French Revolution and was executed in 1797 for his involvement in the Conspiracy of the Equals, advocated the abolition of private property. Marx considered Babeuf to be the first revolutionary communist.

France was heavily influenced by socialist ideologies in the 19th century. The League of Outlaws, which took Babeuf as its spiritual founder, developed rapidly in Paris. German tailor Wilhelm Weitling joined the Outlaws in 1835. Under his leadership, the secret society renamed itself the League of the Just.

In a meeting held in June 1847, the League of the Just merged with the Communist Correspondence Committee led by Marx and Engels to form the Communist League led by those two men. In February 1848, Marx and Engels published the foundational work of the international communist movement, The Communist Manifesto.

The French Revolution was just the beginning of a long period of social turmoil throughout Europe as revolutions and insurrections took place one after another from the end of Napoleonic rule, affecting Spain, Greece, Portugal, Germany, various parts of Italy, Belgium, and Poland. By 1848, revolution and war spread throughout Europe, providing an optimal environment for the spread of communism.

In 1864, Marx and others established the International Workingmen’s Association, also known as the First International, placing Marx as the spiritual leader of the communist workers’ movement.

As effective leader of the First International, Marx worked to create a core group of strictly disciplined revolutionaries who would rally the workers to insurrection. At the same time, he found a need to banish those who disagreed with him from the organization. Mikhail Bakunin, the first major Russian Marxist, gathered many recruits for the communist movement, but Marx accused him of being a Czarist agent and expelled him from the First International. [23]

In 1871, the French branch of the First International launched the first communist revolution—the Paris Commune.

4. Communism Debuts in Paris

The Paris Commune was established following France’s defeat in the Franco–Prussian War of 1870. Though French Emperor Napoléon III had surrendered, the Prussian armies lay siege to Paris before withdrawing. The humiliation of surrender, combined with longstanding unrest among the French workers, led to a general uprising in Paris, and the newly established French Third Republic withdrew to Versailles, leaving a power vacuum in the capital.

In March 1871, the Paris Commune began with the rebellion of armed mobs and bandits from the lowest rungs of society, led by socialists, communists, anarchists, and other activists. The movement was affiliated with and heavily influenced by the First International. It aimed at using the proletariat as the agents of revolution to destroy traditional culture and transform the political and economic structure of society.

What followed was killing and destruction on a massive scale as the rebels laid waste to the exquisite relics, monuments, and art of Paris. One worker asked rhetorically, “What good does it do me for there to be monuments, operas, café-concerts where I have never set foot because I don’t have the money?” [24]

A witness to the destruction said, “It is bitter, relentless, and cruel; and is, no doubt, a sad legacy of the bloody Revolution of 1789.”

Another described the Commune as “a revolution of blood and violence” and “the most criminal [act] the world has ever seen.” Its participants were “madmen, drunk with wine and blood,” and its leaders “ruthless desperados … the refuse of France.” [25]

The struggle between tradition and anti-tradition had begun in the French Revolution and continued to play out eight decades later. The honorary chairman of the Paris Commune said: “Two principles share France: that of legitimacy and that of popular sovereignty. … The principle of popular sovereignty rallies all men of the future, the masses who, tired of being exploited, seek to smash the framework that suffocates them.” [26]

The extremism of the Commune originated in part from the hate-filled ideas of Henri de Saint-Simon, a utopian socialist who considered the welfare of a country proportionate to its number of workers. He advocated the death of the rich, whom he believed to be parasites.

In The Civil War in France, Marx described the Commune as a communist state: “The direct antithesis to the empire was the Commune. The cry of ‘social republic,’ with which the February Revolution was ushered in by the Paris proletariat, did but express a vague aspiration after a republic that was not only to supersede the monarchical form of class rule, but class rule itself. The Commune was the positive form of that republic.” Additionally, he wrote, “The Commune intended to abolish that class property which makes the labor of the many the wealth of the few.” [27]

The Paris Commune pioneered the characteristics of communist revolution. The Vendôme Column commemorating Napoléon was destroyed. Churches were looted, clergy slaughtered, and religious teachings banned from schools. The rebels dressed the statues of saints in modern clothing and affixed smoking pipes to their mouths.

Women participated in the savagery with enthusiasm that sometimes surpassed that of their male counterparts. A Chinese called Zhang Deyi, who was in Paris at the time, described the situation: “The rebellious not only included male thugs; women also joined in the rampage. … They took up lodging in high buildings and feasted on delicacies. But their pleasure was short-lived, as they were unaware of the danger coming to them. On the verge of defeat, they looted and burned buildings. Priceless treasures were reduced to ashes. Hundreds of female rebels were arrested and admitted that it was mainly the women who led the arson.” [28]

The violent frenzy that accompanied the fall of the Paris Commune is unsurprising. On May 23, 1871, before the last line of defense had fallen, the Commune authorities ordered the burning of the Luxembourg Palace (the seat of the French Senate), the Tuileries Palace, and the Louvre. The Paris Opera House, the Paris City Hall, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Palais Royal, and the luxury restaurants and high-class apartment buildings on both sides of the Champs-Elysées were also to be destroyed rather than allowed to fall into the hands of the government.

At 7 p.m., Commune members, carrying tar, asphalt, and turpentine, started fires at multiple locations across Paris. The magnificent Tuileries Palace was lost to the flames. Fortunately, the arsonists’ attempts to torch the nearby Louvre were foiled by the arrival of Adolphe Thiers’s troops, who extinguished the conflagration. [29]

Marx quickly readjusted his theory in the wake of the Paris Commune. The only modification he made to the Communist Manifesto was that the working class should break down and destroy the state mechanism, not simply take it over.  

5. First Europe, Then the World

Marx’s updated manifesto made communism even more destructive in nature and widespread in influence. On July 14, 1889, six years after Marx’s death, 13 years after the dissolution of the First International, and 100 years after the French Revolution, the International Workers Congress was revived. Marxists rallied again in what historians refer to as the Second International.

Guided by communism and voicing slogans like “liberate humanity” and “abolish social classes,” the European workers’ movement established itself rapidly. Lenin said, “The services rendered by Marx and Engels to the working class may be expressed in a few words thus: They taught the working class to know itself and be conscious of itself, and they substituted science for dreams.” [30]

The devil used lies and indoctrination to infect popular movements with communist ideology. More and more people accepted its ideology. By 1914, there were close to 30 global and local socialist organizations, and countless more trade unions and cooperatives. At the outbreak of World War I, there were more than 10 million union members and more than 7 million cooperative members.

In How to Change the World: Reflections on Marx and Marxism, historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote, “In these European countries, virtually all social thought, whether or not politically motivated like the socialist movement or labour movement, are visibly influenced by Marx.” [31]

At the same time, communism began to spread to Russia and the East via Europe. From 1886 to 1890, Lenin studied Das Kapital, prior to which he had begun translating the Communist Manifesto into Russian. Lenin was imprisoned and later exiled. At the start of World War I, he was living in Western Europe.

World War I led to the triumph of communism in Russia. At the time of the 1917 revolution that toppled Czar Nicholas II, Lenin was in Switzerland. Half a year later, he was back in Russia and seized power in the October Revolution.

Russia was a nation with ancient traditions, a vast population, and abundant natural resources. The establishment of the Soviet regime on the territory of the world’s largest country was a huge boon for the world communist movement.

Just as World War I assisted the rise of the Russian communists, World War II prompted the communist movement to proliferate across Eurasia and swallow up China.

Stalin said, “This war is not as in the past; whoever occupies a territory also imposes on it his own social system.” After World War II, the Soviet Union became a superpower armed with nuclear weapons, and it manipulated world affairs to promote communism throughout the world. [32]

Winston Churchill said: “A shadow has fallen upon the scenes so lately lighted by the Allied victory. Nobody knows what Soviet Russia and its communist international organisation intends to do in the immediate future, or what are the limits, if any, to their expansive and proselytising tendencies.” [33]

During the Cold War, the free world engaged in a fierce confrontation with the communist camp that spread across four continents. Like a Taoist Taiji symbol, one half was “cold” communism and the other was “hot” communism. The nations of the free world, democratic in form, slowly turned socialist in essence.

References

[1] “A Magnificent Time — These Days in Prophecy,” (伟大的时代——预言中的今天) http://www.pureinsight.org/node/1089

[2] Karl Marx, Early Works of Karl Marx: Book of Verse (Marxists Internet Archive).

[3] Karl Marx, “Letter From Marx to His Father in Trier,” The First writings of Karl Marx (Marxists Internet Archive).

[4] Karl Marx, Early Works of Karl Marx: Book of Verse

[5] Richard Wurmbrand, Marx & Satan (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1986).

[6] Eric Voegelin, The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Vol. 26, History of Political Ideas, Vol. 8, Crisis and the Apocalypse of Man (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989).

[7] Karl Marx, Early Works of Karl Marx: Book of Verse.

[8] Robert Payne, Marx (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1968).

[9] Eric Voegelin, The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Vol. 26.

[10] Karl Marx, Early Works of Karl Marx: Book of Verse.

[11] Wurmbrand, Marx & Satan.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Karl Marx, Early Works of Karl Marx: Book of Verse.

[14] Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity (1841).

[15] I. Bernard Cohen, Revolution in Science (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press).

[16] Ibid.

[17] Friedrich Engels, “On Authority,” Marx-Engels Reader (W. W. Norton and Co.).

[18] Anonymous, “Robespierre’s Epitaph.” (https://www.rc.umd.edu/editions/warpoetry/1796/1796_2.html)

[19] The New Cambridge Modern History, Vol. IX (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965), 280–281.

[20] Miguel A. Faria Jr., The Economic Terror of the French Revolution, Hacienda Publishing.

[21] Gregory Fremont-Barnes, Encyclopedia of the Age of Political Revolutions and New Ideologies, 1760–1815 (Greenwood, 2007).

[22] William Henley Jervis, The Gallican Church and the Revolution (Kegan Paul, Trench, & Co.).

[23] W. Cleon Skousen, The Naked Communist (Izzard Ink Publishing).

[24] John M. Merriman, Massacre: The Life and Death of the Paris Commune (Basic Books).

[25] Ibid.

[26] Louis Auguste Blanqui, “Speech Before the Society of the Friends of the People,” Selected Works of Louis-Auguste Blanqui.

[27] Karl Marx, The Civil War in France (Marxists Internet Archive).

[28] Zhang Deyi, The Third Diary of Chinese Diplomat Zhang Deyi (上海古籍出版社 [Shanghai guji chubanshe]).

[29] Merriman, Massacre: The Life and Death of the Paris Commune.

[30] Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, “Frederick Engels,” Lenin Collected Works.

[31] Eric Hobsbawm, How to Change the World: Reflections on Marx and Marxism (New Haven & London: Yale University, 2011).

[32] Milovan Djilas, Conversations with Stalin. (https://www.amindatplay.eu/2008/04/24/conversations-with-stalin/ )

[33] Winston Churchill, “The Sinews of Peace,” a speech (BBC Archive).

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