Mr. Kalsbeek is a teacher in Covenant Christian High School and a member of Hope Protestant Reformed Church, Walker, Michigan.
And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
Death is alive!
“A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of Communism.” This well-known introductory sentence from The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels more than 150 years ago, certainly was prophetic. They were, however, a little short-sighted: Not only would the specter of communism haunt Europe, it would haunt the whole world. And the consequences would be deadly!
In total, during the first 88 years of this century (20th, CK), almost 170 million men, women, and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed, or worked to death; buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed, or killed in any other of the myriad ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens and foreigners. The dead could conceivably be nearly 360 million people. It is as though our species has been devastated by a modern Black Plague. And indeed it has, but a plague of power, not germs.1
Although the estimated number of deaths varies depending on who is doing the counting, there can be no question that the ideas perpetrated by Marx and Engels had devastating results for millions of people; particularly those in Russia, China, Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
One might wonder if Marx and Engels had a slaughter of these proportions in mind when they put their ideas on paper. In all fairness to Marx and Engels we would suggest that they may not have envisioned the magnitude of the slaughter. However, from what they wrote in their manifesto, there can be no question that they believed a slaughter was necessary. And the influence of their ideas as well as the slaughter continues to the present. Modern-day children of Issachar, as students of the times, should be aware of Marxism’s continuing, significant influence on the world in general and the church in particular.
The Ideas of Marx
We will let Marx speak for himself. The following quotes are from his manifesto, the numbering of which will assist us when we make reference to some of them later in the article.
1)The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
2)Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie (middle class, CK) and Proletariat (working class, CK).
3)Not only are they (proletariat, CK) slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State, they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the over-looker, and, above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself.
4)The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of the other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.
5)…the theory of the Communists may be summed up in a single sentence: Abolition of private property.
6)This person (bourgeois, CK) must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.
7)Abolition of the family!
8)Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty.
9)Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with, is that they desire to introduce … an openly legalized community of women.
10)The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality.
11)United action, of the leading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat.
12)But Communism abolishes eternal truth, it abolishes all religion, and all morality….
13)We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle of democracy.
14)…in the most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable. 1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. 2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. 3. Abolition of all right of inheritance. 5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State…. 6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State. 8. Equal liability of all to labour.2
Marx’s Ideas Continue to Thrive, Also in the West
Many would say that these ideas of Marx are dead. They would argue that the demise of communism in Russia marked the end of Marxism as an influential ideology in the world. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Although it is true that significant changes have taken place in Russia toward the end of the twentieth century, the ideas of Marx live on. In support of this, David Breese writes:
A second form of influence beside political control has been exercised by the ghost of Karl Marx. That is the control that comes about when ideas are extended into a belief structure that dominates the minds of men. The belief structure of Marxism can surely be said to be a dominant feature over another third of the world. The portion of the earth we call the Third World is highly Marxist in nature. Western societies have not been exempt, either, for particularly on the academic level, multitudes have been in thrall to Marxism.3
Since our focus in this article is the West, we will in the following paragraphs demonstrate the influence of Marx in various areas of Western society. Keep in mind, however, that those referred to or quoted may not be card-carrying communists, or even those who would say they are Marxist sympathizers. Nevertheless the ideas they promote are often the same as those expressed in the quotes of Marx listed above. To demonstrate this clearly we will number the references as they match the thinking of the quotes from The Communist Manifesto.
Throughout her book, It Takes a Village, Hillary Rodham Clinton promotes Marxist thinking. Consider a few examples. On page 15 she writes, “I don’t want her (Chelsea, CK) to grow up in an America sharply divided by income…(confer Marx #2).” On page 122 Mrs. Clinton says, “Keeping children healthy in body and mind is the family’s and the village’s (read “state,” CK) first obligation (confer Marx #8).” And on page 297 she writes, “We desperately need, for the sake of our children, a national and global economy… (confer Marx 10 & 11).”
The United Nations is the most influential promoter of Marxist ideas, and U. S. membership in this organization has contributed to the acceptance of many of these ideas in American society. From May 8 through May 11, 2002, representatives from 187 nations met in New York for the United Nations Special Session on Children. The purpose of this event was to construct a ten-year plan designed to give UN institutions new powers to save the world’s children from various threats. Following are a few quotes from one reviewer’s evaluation of this particular session:
But beneath this veneer of compassion is a stealthy revolutionary, collectivist agenda, which includes: …usurp(ing) parental authority and take(ing) over the upbringing and custody of children (confer Marx #7 & 8). …promoting homosexuality and lesbianism under the guise of programs allegedly aimed at fighting the spread of AIDS (confer Marx #12).
The Convention is nothing less than a socialist manifesto for America. Not only would it provide politicians and judges unprecedented opportunity to reach into taxpayers’ pockets for all “available resources,” but the Convention would fundamentally alter the function of government—from a protector of rights to a provider of services (confer Marx #14).4
The quotes above address the influence of Marxist thinking in just a few areas on the United Nations. A more comprehensive study of the programs promoted by the UN leaves little doubt that a new world order under the UN will be controlled by Marxist ideology. Right down the line the ideas of Marx prevail and continue to be promoted (confer Marx #14).
That these same ideas are being advanced by those in high places in America might seem strange at first, but not incomprehensible. Consider that as the countries of the world become more and more interdependent, the need for cooperation becomes critical, otherwise chaos will prevail. As they see it, to avoid chaos an authoritarian power is necessary, and a Marxist system certainly meets that requirement. Thus it is not surprising that Marxist land policies (confer Marx #5) are being promoted (particularly in the Western United States) and that public school curricula are permeated with Marxist thought.
For example, a few of the Marxist ideas that are advanced by the National Education Association include the disparagement of patriotism, the acceptance of global government, and the idea that other nations, governments, legal systems, cultures, and political and economic systems are equivalent to ours and entitled to equal respect (multiculturalism) — an idea, by the way, which is false both historically and morally. Is it any wonder then that a recent Zogby poll concluded that 75% of American College seniors say that their professors teach that there is no such thing as right and wrong?
The class warfare theme of Marxism is also very much a part of the U.S. Democratic Party platform: the rich are continually being pitted against the poor (confer Marx #1, 2, & 3). Class envy is encouraged to gain party support. Take note how recent corporate scandals have been used to advance this agenda. The Feminist Movement also is rooted in Marxist ideology. Consider for example their 1973 “Declaration of Feminism”:
Marriage has existed for the benefit of men; and has been a legally sanctioned method of control over women…. We must work to destroy it…. The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not live individually with men…. All of history must be rewritten in terms of oppression of women. We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft (confer Marx #2, 7, & 9).5
In addition, Marxist ideology is promoted by the rock culture of our day. Rock star activities and song lyrics often advance the thinking of Marx. John Lennon of the “Beetles” once admitted concerning their song “Imagine” that it “is virtually a communist manifesto…. You see, ‘Imagine’ was exactly the same message, but sugar-coated. Now, ‘Imagine’ is a big hit almost everywhere—anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic song, but because it is sugar-coated it is accepted.” Re-read the list of quotes from Marx’s manifesto and note how many of those same ideas are promoted by the rock culture in general and by the following lyrics of “Imagine” in particular:
Imagine there’s no heaven/ It’s easy if you try/ No hell below us/ Above us only sky/ Imagine all the people/ Living for today/ Imagine there’s no countries/ Isn’t hard to do/ Nothing to kill or die for/ No religion too/ Imagine all the people/ Living life in peace/ Imagine no possessions/ I wonder if you can/ No need for greed or hunger/ A brotherhood of man/ Imagine all the people/ Sharing all the world/ You may say I’m a dreamer/ But I’m not the only one/ I hope someday you’ll join us/ And the world will live as one.
Issachar Take Notice
Clearly Marxism is not dead! And it would appear that the West, along with the rest of the world, is now being conditioned to bow under its yoke in preparation for the ushering in of a global utopia under the leadership of the United Nations. It is striking how this conditioning process which we observe today is so similar to the strategy promoted 75 years ago by Italian communist Antonio Gramsci.
Rather than seize power first and impose cultural revolution from above, Gramsci argued, Marxists in the West must first change the culture; then power would fall into their laps like ripened fruit. But to change the culture would require a “long march through the institutions”—the arts, cinema, theater, schools, colleges, seminaries, newspapers, magazines, and the new electronic medium, radio. One by one, each had to be captured and converted and politicized into an agency of revolution. Then the people could be slowly educated to understand and even welcome the revolution.6
At the same time, Marx’s concern for the oppressed working class is being replaced, or at least extended, to include other supposedly oppressed groups: gays, women, and other minorities are the new oppressed proletariat on whose behalf warfare must be engaged. And the new bourgeoisie would certainly include intolerant Issachar, which takes the Bible’s teachings concerning the sin of homosexuality and the God-ordained place of women at face value.
In a world of united nations, where the ideology of Marxism prevails, it does not take much of a stretch of the imagination to believe that Marxist methods of addressing beliefs incompatible with it will also prevail. Consequently, history would suggest for Issachar something similar to that experienced by the old bourgeoisie. In the words of Andrei Vyshinsky, an ardent disciple of Vladimir Lenin:
Shoot these rabid dogs! …Down with these abject animals! Let’s put an end once and for all to these miserable hybrids of foxes and pigs, these stinking corpses! Let their horrible squeals finally come to an end! …Let’s push the bestial hatred they bear our leaders back down their own throats.7
That this should be experienced by the church is not surprising, current post-millennial thinking to the contrary notwithstanding. In fact, the Lord Himself warns us in Matthew 24:9: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” Although the postmillennialist will say this has already been completely fulfilled in A.D. 70 under the Roman Empire, the times direct Issachar to see a coming hatred and tribulation by “all nations” exactly as expressed by the Lord.
Sons of Issachar, understand the times and live!
1.R. J. Rummel, “Death by Government,” The Schwarz Report, April, 2001.
2.Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto (New York, N.Y.: New York Labor News Co., 1964) 12-47.
3.David Breese, 7 Men Who Rule the World From the Grave (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1990) 58-59.
4.William F. Jasper, “UN takes Aim at Children,” The New American, June 3, 2002: 10-12.
5.Fr. Ted Colleton, “Family Is Key to Social Integration,” Interim, May, 1998:1.
6.Patrick J. Buchanan, The Death of the West (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002) p. 77.
7.Stephane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panne, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek, and Jean-Louis Marbolin, The Black Book of Communism (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1999) 750.
8.Peter Y. DeJong, The Ministry of Mercy for Today, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1963), page 114.