Saturday, 19 May 2012
Neo-Marxism in the Church
Neo-Marxism is a loose term for various twentieth-century approaches that amend or extend Marxism and Marxist theory, usually by incorporating elements from other intellectual traditions, such as: critical theory, psychoanalysis or Existentialism (in the case of Sartre).
Erik Olin Wright's theory of contradictory class locations, which incorporates Weberian sociology, critical criminology, and anarchism, is an example of the syncretism in neo-Marxist theory. As with many uses of the prefix neo-, many theorists and groups designated as neo-Marxist have attempted to supplement the perceived deficiencies of orthodox Marxism or dialectical materialism. Many prominent neo-Marxists, such as Herbert Marcuse and other members of the Frankfurt School, were sociologists and psychologists.
Neo-Marxism comes under the broader framework of the New Left. In a sociological sense, neo-Marxism adds Max Weber's broader understanding of social inequality, such as status and power, to Marxist philosophy. Strains of neo-Marxism include: critical theory, analytical Marxism and French structural Marxism.
The concept arose as a way to explain questions which were not explained in Karl Marx's works. There are many different "branches" of Neo-Marxism often not in agreement with each other and their theories.
1.1 Limitations within orthodox Marxism
1.2 Expansion of Marxist critiques
2 Neo-Marxist theories
2.1 Neo-marxist theories of development
2.2 Neo-marxian economics
3 Neo-Marxism in the Church
Limitations within orthodox Marxism
The development of Neo-Marxism came forth through several political and social problems which traditional Marxist thought was unable to answer. Examples to this were: Why did socialist and social-democratic political parties not band together against WWI, but instead supported their own nations' entrance into the Great War? Why, although the timing seemed to be right for a workers' revolution in the West, had no large-scale revolution occurred? Also how at this time could the rise of Fascism occur in Europe?
All these questions led to internal problems within Marxist theory, which caused renewed study and reanalysis of Marx's works to begin.
Expansion of Marxist critiques
One idea that many "branches" of Neo-Marxism share is the desire to move away from the idea of open, bloody revolution to one of a more peaceful nature. Moving away from the violence of the Red revolutions of the past while keeping the revolutionary message. Neo-Marxist concepts can also follow an economic theory that attempts to move away from the traditional accusations of class warfare and create new economic theory models, such as Hans-Jürgen Krahl did.
Several important advances to Neo-Marxism came after World War I from Georg Lukács, Karl Korsch and Antonio Gramsci. From the Institute for Social Research founded in 1923 at the University of Frankfurt am Main grew one of the most important schools of neo-Marxist interdisciplinary social theory, The Frankfurt School. Its founders were Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno whose critical theories had great influence on Marxist theory especially after their exile to New York (Columbia University) after the rise of National Socialism in Germany in 1933.
Neo-marxist theories of development
The Neo-Marxist approach to development economics is connected with dependency and world systems theories. Here the "exploitation" which defines it is a marxist approach is an external exploitation rather than the normal "internal" exploitation of orthodox/classical marxism
The terms Neo-Marxian, Post-Marxian, and Radical Political Economics were first used to refer to a distinct tradition of economic thought in the 70s and 80s.
In industrial economics, the Neo-Marxian approach stressess the monopolistic rather than the competitive nature of capitalism. This approach is associated with Kalecki, and Baranand Sweezy.
Theorists such as Samuel Bowles, David Gordon, John Roemer, Jon Elster, and Adam Przeworski have adopted the techniques of neoclassical economics, including game theory and mathematical modeling, to demonstrate Marxian concepts such as exploitation and class conflict.
Neo-Marxism in the Church
I have been consistently concerned about the global warming/green agenda entering evangelical churches now for many years. There are a dozen church-based organizations that exist entirely for environmental reasons and many others who are just supportive of them. Green outfits include the Evangelical Environmental Network, Blessed Earth, Restoring Eden, and even the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative. The National Association of Evangelicals remains focused on many solid issues but is also a part of the climate change agenda.
In defense of these organizations, let me say that I am sure their purpose is well-meaning. I doubt that they have globalist interests like their secular climate change counterparts. Some of their message should be heeded. If so, we wouldn't have so many reckless and greed-driven disasters, such as the Gulf oil spill of last summer. But they are being used and manipulated by the agenda of the one-worlders, including socialists and even neo-Marxists. I will explain that in this column.
In the 1940s, evangelicals stepped forward and said "enough of the social emphasis." The National Council of Churches was embroiled in that. Evangelicals back then boldly stated that Christians should be focused on spiritual purposes: Saving souls and not saving trees; witnessing and not poverty; evangelism and not social justice; spreading the gospel and not nuclear disarmament. The Bible says we are to care for creation but evangelicals should not be trying to "save the planet." We cannot have "Heaven on Earth" as some suggest because that will only happen at Christ's return. In the meantime, we should care for creation as best as we can but realize that "all creation groans" (Romans 8:22) and some issues can never be resolved.
I have never met a Bible believing Christian who suggests that because creation is lost just like man is lost that we should abuse the creation.
Now Czech President Vaclav Klaus has come forward to sound an alarm. He says, "I used to live in a similar world called Communism. And I know it led to the worst environmental damage the world has ever experienced. I feel threatened now, not by global warming as I don't see any, but by global warming doctrine, which I consider a new and dangerous attempt to control and mastermind my life and our lives, in the name of controlling climate or temperature."
Klaus cautions that the environmental movement warns of "imminent mass poverty and starvation for billions" but that this is just a ploy. The secular and government-driven effort to battle climate change is motivated by their desire to control and redistribute the wealth and to reduce the population.
Klaus concludes, "Global warming alarmists want to change us--they want to change our behavior, our way of life, our values. They want to restrict freedom. They know what is good for us. They are not interested in climate. What is in danger is freedom, not climate." He then went on to describe the parallels between the loss of freedom under Communism and the new global warming doctrine.
The environmental folks even have their own eschatology as they are trying to save the planet from its destruction from global warming. Where does it talk about that in the Bible? God says day and night will continue until He says differently (Genesis 8:22). Some green Christians--and certainly not all-- emphasize salvation from pollution more than sin. This is the theology of outfits like Greenpeace, so why have Christians signed on? This is the perfect "religion" for a secular generation.
The Evangelical Environmental Network pushes a book of theirs titled Global Warming and Our Risen Lord. Our risen Lord Jesus Christ, I am sure, didn't and won't focus on global warming. Yet a book has been written about this! Where is the balance? Our risen Lord is only about connecting sinful people to His Father! Our risen Lord isn't about junk science.
Christian organizations pushing environmentalism need to be aware that they are being used by globalists who are pushing the one-world agenda, socialism and even neo-Marxism. If the evangelical environmental organizations aren't very careful, some non-discerning, naïve participants could easily drift into those camps and be swallowed up by people who will run roughshod over their spiritual principles. They will be seduced by a corrupted, socialist-driven plan that is putting the entire world at risk. And at worst, this is just neo-Marxism in disguise, something our Lord and Savior would renounce and that runs counter to orthodox Christianity.
We can't restore Eden. Nowhere in the Bible do we see that.
For sound, balanced, and Bible-based information on the environment, visit Cal Beisner's organization, The Cornwall Alliance. Their DVD series called Resisting the Green Dragon presents truthful information on these issues. Cal is my frequent radio guest. This organization calls this what it is: One of the greatest deceptions of our day.
To better understand these issues, visit our Web category of "Spiritual Deception."
Get acquainted with "Understanding the Times" radio, now heard in 416 radio outlets. We post our weekend programming to "radio archives" on Sunday. If you would like info on podcasting via iTunes, visit this link. We air Saturdays, 9 to 11 a.m. on AM1280 the Patriot and AM980 KKMS out of Minneapolis/St. Paul. You can "listen live" there. This weekend, Jill Martin Rische, the daughter of the late Dr. Walter Martin, joins Jan for a two-hour discussion on the influence of the paranormal.
We encourage you to listen to segments of the new radio drama, "The Coming Global Transformation." This drama was featured last weekend and focuses on life before and after the Rapture of the church and is produced by Jim Tetlow of Eternal Productions. It is an excellent witnessing tool.