Our friend, Karl, claims that Darwin had no influence on Marx, or the work Marx did. Now, I have read Marx, and I’ve read a great deal written about him by those who lived closer to his time and I distinctly remember reading that Darwin’s theories had some inter-connection to Marx. Now, it is not that Darwin’s theory of evolution was responsible for Marx’s ideas. Obviously Hegel had more influence than Darwin, and Hegel came much earlier than Darwin. Marx had published The Communist Manifesto long before Darwin published The Origin of the Species. However, whenever you are dealing with anyone who supports any of the many cousins of Marx’s ideology, you must be extremely careful to verify everything they say. They are very, very prone to revisionism – and all too often, they just flat out lie. Here’s a case in point. I found this in checking myself and my assertions against Karl’s:
Now, I find it interesting that this blog claims to be dedicated to preserving the enlightenment values of reason while this post rests upon layers of strawman assertions, but there are also factual errors that, in the context they are presented, could be taken as deliberate lies. Here’s one of the many errors I found:
6. But, didn’t Darwin have some influence the views of Marx? No, the chronology is all wrong: It is beyond dispute that Marx wrote much of his work about communism before Darwin published Origin of Species, and therefore before he or the rest of the world had heard of Darwin and his theory of evolution; so Darwin had zero intellectual influence on Marx.
OK, let’s go to Wiki (if they can get it right, the author of this piece should have gotten it right – unless he intentionally did not want to).
Anyone who can do simple math can see that it most certainly was possible for Darwin’s work to have influenced Marx. But let’s then look at another little piece of evidence. If Marx didn’t care about Darwin’s work, then how do we explain this?
I thank you for the honour which you have done me by sending me your great work on Capital; & I heartily wish that I was more worthy to receive it, by understanding more of the deep and important subject of political Economy. Though our studies have been so different, I believe that we both earnestly desire the extension of Knowledge, & that this is in the long run sure to add to the happiness of Mankind. I remain, Dear Sir Yours faithfully, Charles Darwin
Letter from Charles Darwin to Karl Marx
OK, so Marx cared enough to send his work to Darwin. The author of our blog post asserts that Darwin was a big capitalist, yet, somehow, we have to accept that Darwin thought it was an “honor” that Marx shared his attack on Darwin’s livelihood and wealth.
The real lie in this piece is that God is a Communist. That shows a real reach as, if anyone were to bother to read the Bible, it is clear that everything about God’s commands deals with the individual – not the collective. In reality, the Bible is the antithesis of Communism, and nowhere is that more clear than in the early part of Acts, one of the parts of Scripture most often pointed to by Communists to justify their ideology. They read that the early Church held everything in common and that all needs were met by the Church, but they ignore the part where the Apostles tell the Church members that their property is theirs, and that they are free to do as they wish with it. Now, there is no way to read that and make it fit into Marx’s notion of Capitalism.
You see, those that I have read who make the connection between Darwin’s work and that of Marx do not claim that Darwin gave birth to Marx. The point they make — and the one I support — is that Darwin affirmed the Marxist notion that society was an organism that can and does evolve rather than react. That this was a core belief of Marx would be difficult to oppose. Even if Marx never said so, nearly every one of his followers have expressed the notion that society is a living organism and that it’s evolution can be directed. In fact, without this foundation, even the fictitious designs of Communism fall apart. After all, only a madman would think 7 billion individuals would ever come to be of one mind on their own accord. Yet this is exactly what Marx asserts will eventually happen, and the only possibility of this ever happening is if those 7 billion cells are just part of one body with one brain (and, naturally, Marx wanted to be the brain — as do all of his disciples since).
In reality, these are just a continuation in the long list of example of the followers of Marx getting things 180 degrees backward. And this is why a person who cares about the truth should be very, very skeptical of anything that is said by anyone who dwells on the political Left.