Thursday, November 6, 2008

Marx and Christianity?

Groucho Marx was, according to some, a very funny man. Karl Marx, was a German with a big beard (see photo)

But his beard is not all that Karl Marx was famous for. A contemporary of Charles Darwin, Marx theorised about communism among other things. One of the other things was ideology.

Recently I had the privelage of writing an essay assignment on Marx's ideas concerning ideology, and I say 'privelage' because previously I only thought of communism when Marx was mentioned. Because of the 'failure' of communism, evident in the last 20 or so years, I didn't think much of him, but as I started reading his works I began to see his true genius. Not just in a fashion sense, although that beard is truly remarkable. But Marx was able to step outside of the 'system' so as to understand how the ideology of a society - religion, morality, law, etc. was based on the economic system.

Because Marx started from a humanist perspective there is much that I disagree with, but his writings helped me understand the connection between capitalism and modernism and postmodernism (and post-postmodernism). Both of them have the same value system, of the individual and freedom, among other things. As Christians we have spent much energy on 'discipling the nations', trying to not just preach the gospel, but establish a Christian worldview, but all the while, economically the nations are moving towards a global market based on capitalistic economic philosophies. Even as we have learned to be 'wholistic' and focus not just on salvation, but the 'whole' of man, have we neglected the economic area? Have we left the door open for the growth of modernism and it's offspring? What does Christian economics look like?
What do you think?