It is the definitive resolution of the antagonism between man and nature, and between man and man. It is the true solution of the conflict between existence and essence, between freedom and necessity, between individual and species. It is the solution of the riddle of history and knows itself to be this solution (in Taylor).
Sold! I'll take one in moonlight blue metallic.
Sorry. Only have black. And those are out of stock. How about size 13 work boot in moonlight blue metallic?
Marx does indeed make an attractive offer. The problem -- one problem, anyway -- is that if one limits oneself to Marxist categories, no such claim is possible. But the founder of an ideology always makes an exception for himself, and this is one of its giveaways.
For Marx, consciousness is conditioned by class. Except for Marx, who is totally classless. As it so happens, everyone who knew Marx agrees that this was the case, but we're not taking about manners, hygiene, and body odor.
I was introduced to this problem back in graduate school. For example, Freud claims that all our thoughts and actions are motivated by unconscious conflict. Except for Freudianism. At the other end, Skinner claims that everything is reducible to conditioned responses. Except for the ideology of behaviorism, which is unconditionally true. Others prefer to reduce consciousness to electrochemical brain activity, but nevertheless expect us to take their brain activity seriously.
Back to Marx. Let's evaluate his claim. First of all, it is definitive, which means absolute and final. It is unsurpassable, just like any other revelation.
In the past we've explained that one of the enduring and ineradicable appeals of leftism is its promise of political solutions to inevitable existential problems that are part of the human condition. It can even make this appeal in a sincere and intellectually consistent manner by merely turning the cosmos upside down and inside out. Thus, by placing existence ontologically prior to essence, it follows that man has it within his power to transform both himself and the world.
Therefore, communism can indeed make the honest claim to resolve the antagonism between man and everything. As indicated in the paragraph above, it is the True Solution to the conflict between existence and essence, because it makes the latter a side effect of the former. It resolves freedom and necessity by conflating the two in the dialectic of history, and resolves the conflict between individual and species by subsuming them in the same inevitable movement.
Are you confused by the complexity of reality? Your perplexity is over: Marx has given us the definitive solution to the conundrum of history. He has seen the blueprint, "the laws which govern man and history with an iron necessity."
But before committing ourself to the sale, we might want to conduct a bit of due diligence, because Marx has an inflexible policy: all sales final. No returns. One vote, one time. Purchaser assumes all risk.
It reminds me of those signs that say You break it, you bought it. With Marxism, it's Since you bought it, your common sense must be broken. Or, If you buy it, make sure it's the Elite Package, because then you get to break lots of other people. Eggs & omelets.
Let's think about this product before we pull the trigger. Are there any other philosophies on offer that make the same extravagant claims as Marxism? National Socialism? Maybe, except for the bit about resolving the antagonism between man and man. Unlike Hitler's national socialism, Stalin's international socialism is totally nonviolent.
Wait. Christianity. Or, more to the point, the Incarnation. The purpose of the Incarnation is similar to that of communism, in that it too claims to be the definitive and unsurpassable resolution to various existential and ontological rifts between man and man, man and cosmos, man and God -- even man and woman!
The Incarnation is the very synthesis of existence and essence, freedom and necessity, individual and species. Why, it's the perfect (!) to the (?) of history.
So, now our choice is complicated. Or, perhaps not. For Marxism doesn't actually offer us a choice, since it is a science: unlike previous versions, this is scientific socialism, AKA dialectical materialism. All you anti-science conservative rubes don't get it: it doesn't matter whether you join Marx and Obama on the right side of history, it's coming anyway, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.
Except perhaps join the vanguard of the revolution and participate in the dictatorship of the proletariat. That's the only way Lenin could figure out how to square Marx's absurcular thesis.
There's another commonality between communism and Marxism, and it is the "leap." Both require one and result in one. For Christianity there is the leap symbolized by vertical rebirth into the Kingdom, into open engagement with the divine attractor.
As to the communist leap into paradise, Marx
had an extremely simple-minded view of the transition. The revolution would abolish bourgeois society and hence the laws of its operation, and a united class of proletarians would take over and dispose freely of the economy it inherited....
[I]t is as though the laws of bourgeois society fall away with the abolition of this society the way the technology of carburetors would fall into irrelevance if we got rid of the internal combustion engine (ibid.).
So, paradise in two easy steps: 1) destroy existing power structures, and 2) usher in heaven on earth. Like what's happening in Democrat-run cities across the nation.
We're about out of time. The bottom line for today is that Marx makes claims and promises that literally only God could fulfill. No worries: as his followers might say, there is no God, and Marx is his prophet.