The History and Problem with Marxist Socialism



No matter what’s happening around us, Socialism is almost always in the limelight. An idea that grew to prominence in the 19th century, courtesy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, is presented as a solution for every problem there is in the world—and yet we know through history that it doesn’t work.

Before we deconstruct why this ideology and the proposed method of “governance” (or self-governance) doesn’t and wouldn’t work, let’s understand it first.

Socialism, Communism, Marxism: What’s the Difference?

Often when people think of these terms, they tend to use them interchangeably, or synonymously. Although similar and derived from the same fundamental ideology, there are some differences.

Karl Marx

Marxism: The radical theory that draws on class relations and the socio-economic fabric of society, pitting class as the culprit behind everything wicked and evil. However, after 1917, Marxism hasn’t stood as a sovereign theory but has often been diffused with other, often dictatorial ideas, such as Marxist-Leninism.

Socialism: Presumed to be the transition stage between capitalism and communism, socialism calls for ownership of the means of production by the state to make them better available to the masses. Socialism requires all citizens to be unified so that government institutions can control the means of production for a welfare society.

Communism: Supposedly the final stage in this Marxist utopian dream, takes Socialist collective cooperation to a whole other level. The means of production and property are owned collectively by the people, under one totalitarian government, and everyone is paid whatever it is deemed by the government that they deserve, according to their needs and abilities. Private property is no longer a concept that’s entertained; simply put, you own everything and you own nothing.

It should be mentioned here that both, socialism and communism—and by extension, Marxism—are alt-left ideologies that, under the guise of standing against capitalism, actually stand against basic human freedom. The Russian Communist reigns have shown us how artists and free thinkers were hunted down and the Chinese show us how they suppress dissent and the right to an opinion by monitoring citizens.

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An Extreme Solution

Marx wasn’t entirely wrong in surmising that most of the world’s problems were a direct result of the unfair distribution of money—which he tied back to the means of production. Where his diagnosis was correct, his prescription was extreme: to overthrow capitalism, abolish private property, and even the state itself. For Marx, the ultimate dream was to see the transition from socialism to communism—from state-owned property to a stateless world.

Marx might just turn in his grave when he realizes that all governments who do adhere to these ideas have been severely intrusive, controlling, and dictatorial.

But there’s a bigger problem.


Communism is “incompatible” with Christianity. The first and foremost reason is that God and Christ have no place in the Communist doctrine. “Religion,” Marx said, “is the opium of the people,” referring largely to the collective “poor.” Isolating religion and faith from the lives of people to introduce welfare does nothing but make life more materialistic and ungodly. Communism also does not recognize any form of government—or any form of system such as the Church—which brings us to the problem of anarchy. The end of religion and the Church mean that morality is lost, and none depicted this better than the Leninists.

But the biggest problem is the paradox it carries within its folds: until utopian Communism is achieved, the State must own all property and control all narratives, all ideas, everything—this is the Socialism we have seen in so many countries that are, to this day, dictatorial regimes. Until Communism arrives, the state is the end that controls everything, turning the society into a space where faith itself becomes a risky prospect.

You can’t be a communist and a Christian at the same time. Explore more about the Communists and what they’re saying against tradition and faith at Reformation Charlotte, a leading Christian news forum.

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