Curt Stoller commented on “ANATOLI LUNACHARSKI, WHEN DID HE DIE?”

I can add very little to this excellent analysis. An artist once gave me a good piece of advice about drawing a realistic portrait of a human face. He said: “Solve the big problems first. A drawing won’t be realistic even though you draw every single eyelash if you have the eyes too far apart or the nose in the wrong place or the head the wrong shape. A young artist always tries to get all the little details correct but the portrait never looks right because of errors in the big things.”

This is good advice for a philosopher too. If one steps back and looks at Marxism with a little bit of distance one notices some big things that are not right. ‘Assuming’ that inequality didn’t have a huge ontological component and ‘assuming’ that equality could be achieved through political praxis without causing even more injustice; that still would not solve the problem of temporal inequality. Now I am pretty sure that the assumptions I have listed above are wrong, but even if . . . even if . . . they were correct, this would not solve temporal inequality.

And what is temporal inequality? Neither Karl Marx nor any of his true or false sheep can bring back the 9 million Jews killed in the Nazi concentration camps. Marxism has no answer to that kind of injustice. Marxism cannot bring back the 940,000,000 innocents killed by abortion. And I find that to be a big problem, a huge problem for a secular messianic movement with an eschatological preference for the future and a desire to replace Christianity. That’s huge.

Unless I am mistaken, all past philosophers, including Karl Marx have died. Whatever “truths’ they bore were destroyed by that great equalizer: death. Only Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead. Karl Marx and his followers can never “right all wrongs.” But God can. Heaven, Hell and Purgatory will.

Last week a priest preached an interesting homily on the Gospel story of the rich man and Lazarus. He suggested that the rich man in the story was not in Hell but in Purgatory. His reasoning was this: First, the rich man didn’t ask for a drink of water from Lazarus but only that Lazarus give him a drop of water and that this showed that the rich man had a sense of the injustice he had done, something impossible for the damned. The rich man also asked that Lazarus go to warn his family of the evil of his ways and that request was an act of charity, something also impossible for the damned. The priest went on to show how the Catholic doctrine of ‘Purgatory’ is what makes possible the mysterious harmony between God’s absolute justice and God’s absolute mercy. The door of Hell isn’t locked on the outside. It is locked from the inside. Not perhaps the priest’s exegesis was incorrect. In any case, it is only Christianity that has the real answer.

It is only God Who can bring about the righting of all wrongs. Karl Marx cannot.

One of the best philosophy books ever written is a thin little volume by Bochenski. It is both very readable and deep. It is based on a series of radio broadcasts and it is perhaps the best introduction to philosophy that anyone could find. I recommend it.


About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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