Marxism as False Religion

The ‘marxist professor’ (Glenn Bracey, Villanova) highlighted by the video linked in this article is not wrong in the most broad outline, about Marx’s theory of alienation, as a critique of commodity markets. He just so mangled and misapplied the concept that it’s almost unrecognisable.

The theory of alienation is about the separation of human activity from fundamental human nature. It’s a metaphysical theory about where value derives from in the products of human labor. It is not a “spiritual concern” (whatever that means). Marx was a materialist, not an idealist. Marx rejected Christianity as just another ideology (one that, on his view, appropriated the problem of suffering to its own ends). So this guy’s attempt to incorporate liberal Christian sympathy into his analysis is purely cynical. What’s more, this ‘professor’ is clearly differentiating between multiple human natures. Note how and where he says “our species being!” - he means, black people have a fundamentally different nature than white people, and that living in western society is alienating black people from their nature, because western society is ‘white’.

This is extremely dangerous rhetoric. Conceptualizing each other as having fundamentally different natures is going to lead to a race war.

(PS: ‘species-being’ is actually a concept Marx borrowed from Hegel and Feuerbach, to use in his early Paris writings - which is where the concept of alienation comes from. He stopped using that concept by the time he got round to writing Das Kapital. ‘species-bieng’ is, itself a horrible German mangling of Aristotle’s explanation of human nature. Marx stole the concept, and then relocated the essential feature of Man from the mind, to the body, by way of its activities. Namely, productive labor. This way, he could remain committed to his materialism).