07 January 2022

How Marxism 'Won' the War of Ideas

Augusto Del Noce
In the first edition of Political Visions and Illusions, published a dozen years after the historic collapse of communism in eastern Europe and Russia, I treated Marxism as largely a spent force, a casualty of late modernity and of its own internal contradictions. However, when the Portuguese translation was in process, a copy editor at Vida Nova wrote me to disagree with my assessment. My analysis had not taken into account developments in Latin America where Marxism was still a potent force. He persuaded me to make one change in the text which went into the Brazilian edition published in 2014.

When I was working on the second edition a few years ago, I could no longer treat Marxism as moribund, because in a more subtle form it continues to influence the academy and, quite naturally, those educated within its context. The Italian philosopher Augusto Del Noce (1910-1989) saw it coming and predicted its future course. Francis X. Meier writes about Del Noce in yesterday's Wall Street Journal: How Marxism ‘Won’ the War of Ideas. An excerpt:

Del Noce’s real genius was his prophetic insight into the rise of Western irreligion. He saw that Marxism “won” the war of ideas, even as it collapsed as a theory, by establishing the economic dimension of man as humanity’s defining reality. For Del Noce, the West “defeated” Marxism not by reaffirming biblical morality or Christian anthropology but by quietly shedding both. Western countries won by outproducing Marxist systems on their own terms, with material results—superior science, superior technology, more and better consumer goods. The dark side of technology, Del Noce argued, is a passion for “total revolution”—permanent revolution against the past doing business as innovation. The byproducts of its success have been religious agnosticism, sexual liberation and radical secularism. By the time of his death, Del Noce viewed much of Western society, despite its Christian residue, as the most thoroughly atheist in history, a feat achieved not by persecuting God, but by ignoring and rendering him irrelevant.

Read the entire article here.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Jacques Ellul was an earlier profit of this development. Technocracy he identified as the greatest assault on Christ and the kingdom of heaven. Let his voice speak since it speaks out of a personal conviction that no man or god is like HIM. Harmen Boersma

David Koyzis said...

Thank you, Harmen.

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