Workers of the world, it’s your day

This is the first of May, celebrated as a spring festival in many cultures as May Day and appropriated by Marxists as the International Workers’ Holiday.  This is the Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving for those who believe religion is the opiate of the people but who still have a need for holidays.  For the importance of the day for the Communist party see this:  May Day – About the International Workers’ Holiday.  May Day marches are being planned in many of America’s cities, with leftists demonstrating for immigration reform and other causes.  (Search for the term on Google News.)

Marxism is still around, despite the fall of the Soviet Union.  Do you think it will come back in vogue, or back in power?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ the Old Adam

    “Do you think it will come back in vogue, or back in power?”

    Of course. Utopian visionaries never give up the dream.

  • http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com/ Curt Day

    Which version of Marxism are you referring to? There are some of us who see great validity in Marx’s analysis of Capitalism but reject his solutions. We also reject the elite-centered gov’ts that used the label of Socialism while suppressing its basic tenet of extended democracy.

    Finally, not all Socialists believe they are working toward a utopia. We are just trying to make things better by pointing out the self-destructive nature of our current course.

  • sg

    Ironic that the Congress is currently working on an immigration bill that is about as anti-worker as it gets. Crony capitalists colluding to depress worker wages while at once increasing demand and profits for those at the top.

    Also, Marx was an economist not a politician. He makes some salient point in his analyses, particularly of asymmetries.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall
  • Jon

    Well, May 1 is “Law Day” here in the U.S.

    http://www.lawday.org

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg – in Marx’s day, economics and politics (and philosophy) were not really differentiated. Of course, Marx’s system is utopian, in that he doesn’t take real humans and their behaviour into account. Marx and the Marxists are guilty of reading narrative into actions that do not necessarily conform to reality. As such, Marx was guilty of gross misunderstandings, such as the Labour Theory of Value. A moment’s reflection on how things actually operate in the real world would show that such an idea is completely bogus.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Bourgeoisie of the world unite!

    OK, seriously, if you read the Communist Manifesto, its ten planks are inseparable from a very aggressive government. How do you abolish private property in land and devote its rents to public purposes without a government that we would only see in our nightmares, for example? Or the establishment of industrial armies without mass concscription, or the centralization of credit in the hands of the state?

    Will a variation of Marx’s dream happen? Well, we’ve got #2 (progressive income tax), part of #3 (abolition of right to inheritance–the estate tax infringes), the Federal Reserve (#5), part of #6 with government roads, a common plan for improving soil via the USDA (#7 in part , and #10 with public education and abolition of child labor.

    That said, I think that the rest is a stretch until we really get a lot more faith in government, a faith in government that is likely to decline greatly with the government we’ve got now. :^)

  • dust

    Mike W….have always enjoyed your generally “short” comments, but this (and the others on other topics) is a bit too short!

    Nonetheless, still better than most of the others :)

    cheers!

  • sg

    @6 Yes, all well and good, but practically speaking Marx wasn’t a politician crafting policies. He was just musing. It would be great if those reading him had had some discernment, too, you know. Take Gregory the Great’s musing on the idea of a post mortem purgatory, which later others ran with and actually put into practice. So, who is the bigger fool, the fool or the fool who follows him? How is it others actually bought into Marx’s ideas? It is about as dumb as if a sci fi writer were to invent a religion on a lark just to see if he could get anyone to go for it… oh wait…

  • fjsteve

    Marxism is alive and well and still very fashionable. You don’t have to wander far in the hipster sections of most American cities before you see a Che t-shirt. But today more than most, if you took a look at the crowds in the pro-immigration* rallies here in L.A. you would see plenty of red. Plenty. It’s no coincidence they picked May 1st for such rallies.

    *read: pro-illegal immigrant, anti-border rallies

  • passin thru

    Gotta love the new Pope.
    Except for the reactionary Righties on here. And the Ayn Rand-loving Catholics like Paulie Ryan, et. al.
    “Pope Francis Condemns ‘Slave Labor’ In Bangladesh: ‘Goes Against God’”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/01/pope-francis-slave-labor_n_3191288.html?

  • mountainguy

    Is more christian to celebrate labor day a la USA than 1 May as many other countries (most of them not even close to comunism) do? Is more christian to celebrate labor, work ethics and the like (off course, very valuable) than to celebrate the importance of workers (as persons)?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Dust,

    My comments are generally short ’cause I ain’t got the noggin skilz to put together coherent thoughts into a longer form. Not that my shorter comments are coherent either, of course. Just ask Todd.

    My short, invisible comments on today’s topics were cleverly designed to allow me to loiter in the shadows lurking, while rubbernecking the comments via email.

    Sometimes you can observe a lot just by watching.

  • http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com/ Curt Day

    Bike Bubba,
    I really liked what Howard Zinn said one time when asked if he was a Marxist. He said that he would call himself that if he was allowed to define what he meant. In other words, Marxists are not a monolithic group. So why talk as if they are.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    Curt; I would counter that what you really have, then, is a spectrum of Communists and Socialists, not exactly Marxists, no? Or, put differently, if “words mean things,” than I’d expect a Marxist to give assent to a great portion of the doctrines of Karl Marx, in the same way that I’d expect a Calvinist to affirm the doctrines of grace, a Lutheran to affirm Augsburg and Concord, and so on.

    Understood that words can change, yes, and as a Baptist, I know very well that “Baptist” can mean a whole range of Christians and even some non-Christians who immerse believers. That conceded, I’m thinking that less than 150 years after Marx’s death, we can use “Marxism” in its strict sense, even using the Manifesto to point out to gullible socialists and liberals that they are not, thankfully, a Marxist in the historic sense.

  • http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com/ Curt Day

    Bike Bubba,
    The difference between us is that I am going by experience, not expectation. And frankly, the people who want to pigeonhole us do that with an agenda.

    Just as I recognize that there are several types of capitalism, I think it is fair that people should recognize that there are several types of socialism. Listening and reading to a variety people would easily prove my point


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