Originally posted by FMF
Was Marx - for want, perhaps, of a better word - evil? The question is prompted by a conversation with a visiting U.S. instructor at a local airforce academy. Several times I asked him to make it clear whether he meant Marxism or the deeds of self-professed Marxists and not Marx himself, but my flier friend was insistent: both, he said. Karl Marx was an "evil" man. Does anyone concurr?
There is a documentary called the Soviet Story that is supposed to be about the evils of Marx and socialism. It makes a connection between Marx, Lenin and Hitler. I think that that documentary is pretty interesting since it shows a lot of things that so called marxists, marxists-leninists, and "communists" ignore.
That being said it also has some mistakes and inaccuracies in it. In my view the main inaccuracy is relating Marx to Socialism. Socialism as a political/social philosophy existed way before Marx and was already spelled out before he came along. Another thing that I consider very important to notice is that Marx wasn't a socialist. The guy was a capital analyst (a pretty damn good one) but he wasn't a socialist. he never wrote much about Socialism (socialism being what was being said way before Marx) and the few times he wrote about it he completley trashed it.
Then comes the question if Leninist like ideologies are socialist or not. And in my view they are not. These kind of ideologies rest on the notion of a vanguard party and the notion of a vanguard party is as non-socialist as they can be. Socialism is about workers control, free association, direct democracy; yadda, yadda, yadda. And Lenin and Trotsky despised all of that in what they wrote and in what they did.
I'm not breaking any new ground in this by the way. As early as 1904 Rosa Luxembourg was already saying that the stuff Lenin and trotsky stood for weren't socialist at all. After 1917's October Revolution (the October's coup
if one actually bothers to look to was done) Emma Goldman returned to Russia and was extremely disappointment with the lack of Socialism she found there.
And last but not least during the Spanish Civil War Stalin supported
Franco on his attack on the anarcho-syndicalists. If the USSR was a Socialist
republic why would Stalin do such a thing?