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The Heresy Of Marxist Humanitarianism

November 4, 2020 Frontpage No Comments


There are two prevailing heresies in Christianity, and especially Catholic leadership, and they seem to go together. A crypto-Marxist humanitarianism floods Christianity. To be hip and in sync with the zeitgeist, Christian leaders, intellectuals, writers, and students — and I certainly know about students — give paeans to Karl Marx while being completely oblivious to basic economic laws or history.
This Marxism is now tempered by the spirit of humanitarianism glossed over with counterfeit Christian language. The heresy arises when this Marxist-inspired humanitarianism becomes the central cult of the Christian religion. Rather than a call to service and conversion, this new humanitarianism is hatred veiled as love.
It is true, one might argue, that the Catholic Church (in particular) has also been harsh toward “capitalism.” I do not wish to quibble over terminology and what is meant by “capitalism” or what is meant by “markets.” Suffice to say that in economics there is a distinction between the two.
But the Church has always been more critical toward socialism and Communism, those materialistic, and therefore atheistic, militant philosophies of subjection and tyranny. The Church’s dignity of labor is deeply traditional and in line with Christian anthropology. Marx’s “dignity” is revolutionary, homogenizing, and ideological; there’s no dignity to Marx’s proletariat man with blood on his hands.
Humanitarianism is the subtler killer though. Like the Snake, humanitarianism comes with a beguiling smile. It promises compassion, comfort, and liberation but usually ends with uneasiness and enslavement. More egregiously humanitarianism weaponizes compassion and sentimentality to enslave others to its cause, not merely its recipients.
The Catholic Church is the largest non-governmental organization engaged in humanitarian efforts around the world. From education to health care and welfare, even critics of the Church are often not blind to the Church’s humanitarian mission and work.
The problem that so many have is that Catholic humanitarianism is tied to Catholic theology: the understanding that man is the greatest of all creation, called to greatness, and yearns to be unified with the Beatific Vision long lost through conversion and repentance. This contrasts substantially from the Marxist humanitarianism which simply sees “people of color” as the “exploited class” of economic competition and calls for retribution in the form of violence.
In this battle, where the real dialectic plays out, there are two competing visions of man and the world that are not reconcilable. There is the Christian vision of man — made full by the “Totus Christus”— who is made in love and wisdom for love and wisdom and made to worship and lead the world in a chorus of praise directed to God through Christ. As St. Augustine noted in The City of God, despite the woes of the world and of life, it is still better to exist than to not exist. Only in Christ is man healed and finds the wisdom and love he was made for.
The Marxist-humanitarian vision of man is a depreciated man, a random assortment of matter that was abused and exploited by another random assortment of matter. Marx’s man is not made in love and wisdom for love and wisdom, neither is man made in relationship for relationship nor praise of anything. Marx’s man has no soul either, and the world is nothing but a giant competitive board of economic domination.
According to Marx, the world was created in economic domination which is why it ends with a new form of economic domination (stylized as the liberation of the proletariat when they revolt against their capitalist overlords) which brings about an imaginative utopia.
The heresy of Marxist-humanitarianism is that not only is its anthropology and understanding of the world anti-Christian, it is motivated out of hatred rather than self-love. It is the hatred of the upper classes, the “haves,” which pushes this humanitarianism to take by force (legislated or otherwise) from those whom the self-described defenders of the poor and oppressed despise. As many men and women who have left the Left have long noted, it is not that these (generally well-off and middle-class revolutionaries) people love the poor, but that they hate the rich.
Catholicism is bound up in all of this through figures like Cardinal Marx (aptly named, all things considered), Cupich, and Tobin — who subtly preach the gospel of insurrection and civil disobedience rather than “the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ” as Pius XI articulated. The new humanitarianism of Catholicism is divorced from Christ. Man is divorced from God and the call to repentance and divorced from the transformation of body and soul to the greatness called forth from every human regardless of race, class, or sex. The toxic fruit of liberation “theology” has come full circle.
Animating a part of the Marxist vision is a hatred of current life. Catholics understand that man is fallen and with him the world he builds. That the world is not perfect and will never be perfect is a truism that any Catholic should know.
But Catholics have always found the good in the world and the right praise to be given despite all of this. This explains the eternal treasures of the Church from art, architecture, and music. All of which give man something to strive for, something to look up to, and something to model himself after. And it is those treasures that the Marxist humanitarian wishes to destroy in the name of progress, liberation, and equality. Worse is the fact that some “Christians” agree with this ideology on the grounds of making a “more Christian world” from it. What twisted thinking.
The real heresy of this cult of humanitarianism is that it offers nothing for depreciated man to rise to and offers no conversion of the soul. As such, this new humanitarianism criticizes the haves, throws material wealth at the despondent without calls for them to saddle forth, and implicitly denies the reality of original sin and the struggle against sin. Take from those you hate and all will be well is the dogma of Marxist humanitarianism.
Moreover, this new humanitarianism embraces the philosophy of nihilistic suicide which it coats in compassion and mercy — thus corrupting the compassion and mercy of Christianity in the process which calls for compassion and mercy but also calls for man’s divinization and cultural creativity in praising Truth itself.
Sadly, much of the current leadership of the Catholic Church has accepted this new humanitarianism as the substitute for the totality of the Catholic religion. It is, ultimately, a corrupted and Satanic parody of the Catholic religion. It praises the poor divorced from God. It praises “compassion” divorced from charity. It praises an abstract and depersonalized form of “love” divorced from intimacy, sacrifice, and virtue.
This is not to say that the Catholic Church, and Christians more generally, should not be engaged in humanitarian efforts. It is to say that Christian humanitarianism must never forget the Christian component to it: the call to greatness by way of conversion and divinization. Insofar that the new humanitarianism does not do this it is not Christian and never will be no matter how many Christians have become its mouthpiece.

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