From the Editor

Marx and his tools

By Charles Michael Byrd
C. Byrd
(Photo by Lynn Goldsmith)

A friend recently remarked that, while she was not political -- much less a Communist, she thought Marxism provided some "helpful tools" for combating racism. That was her reply to my comment that, in my opinion, former Harvard Professor Cornell West -- now Princeton-bound -- is a borderline Communist. I had pointed out to her where West previously wrote, "Marxist theory is indispensable for grasping the complexity of racism as a historical phenomenon."

She continued, offering that slavery was a business and that much of racism is a kind of rationalization for other kinds of exploitation that would not otherwise be justifiable to exploiters. For my money, it is imperative that we deconstruct the idea of mutually exclusive racial groupings and the accompanying, thoroughly exploitable considerations of human versus non-human intelligence. We also need not take as Divine Truth that all "white" people, inexplicably, lack a gene that would enable them to both ignore and not attempt to capitalize on color differences in day-to-day living.

MarxI'm not fond of Marxist doctrine for one basic reason, though. Karl Marx was an atheist who considered religion the pastime of degraded men who attempt to escape reality. He believed religion to be a technique invented by the bourgeoisie or the capitalists to dissuade the masses from revolution by promising them a better existence after death.

Whether we will experience a better existence after death is not the question. Rather the question is whether life comes from life or whether life comes from lifelessness as nihilistic speculators and dialectical materialists believe. Regardless of which theory scientists currently promote regarding the origin of the universe, they cannot answer one basic question: Who or what was the source of the detonation that caused that quantum singularity or that ball of compressed matter or that invisible energy ribbon to go BOOM!? The Big Bang Theory's weakness is its inability to explain the source of that which went bang -- even before any question of explosion.

Over the centuries, of course, Immanuel Kant, Jean-Paul Sartre and others have not helped matters by politely informing us that it's not important to know the source of life, and our reply to them should be, "Really? Who the hell told you?" I digress overly, though.

The biggest problem plaguing the average self-identified "black" American is the notion that neo-Marxist political philosophy -- calling for the subjugation of individual freewill and initiative to the greater good of some nebulous collective "of color" -- is the magical cure for all social ailments. No finer example of this wrongheaded meditation exists than the current drive for reparations for slavery that has lately metamorphosed into a calculated shakedown of those America corporations that ostensibly benefit from the evils inflicted upon the long-dead by the long-dead.

Marxist redistributionists, however, will hear none of that as they merrily proceed in making "black" Americans the world's laughingstock by portraying them as mindless collectivists who can only succeed by virtue of a government or corporate handout predicated on the blood, sweat, torture and often murder of those that lived and died long ago.

Sufficed it to say it would be monumentally controversial to suggest that a slave finds himself on that degraded platform of having to work off karmic debt due to his own past misdeeds just as a slaveowner inescapably pays for his demoniac behavior sooner or later -- perchance by becoming a captive himself. Any religionist worthy of that title will tell you that no crime goes unpunished; those who don't tell you that aren't really religionists.

Whether by coercing individuals into involuntary group affiliation in order to measure one "racial" community's advancement against that of another or by gerrymandering voting districts along the lines of a stark "black"/"white" dichotomy or by simply reducing human existence to the level of an earthbound class struggle, Marx and his tools have failed miserably. Unfettered global trade, democratic governance, economic growth and entrepreneurial endeavoring will increase the individual workingman's compensation.

While understanding the past is beneficial, being sufficiently intelligent to not get stuck in it is supremely rewarding. A heightened spiritual consciousness helps in this regard, yet that's one device you won't ever find in Marx' toolbox.



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