How Karl Marx Turned Old European Philosophers to Ashes!


Reading the old European philosophers – usually from Descartes onwards – is an interesting activity but is like sieving through the cold ashes of thought found inside another person’s head! Many are tolerated by the modern, bourgeoise State because although they might complain about his or that injustice, by and large they are fully supportive of European Enlightenment, its Industrial Revolution and the ruthless capitalist system that emerged. What is the point of this? Marx stated that we must question everything (meaning that we do not stand for any form of reactionary or bourgeois thought), and in so doing change the world! The work of the old philosophers charts the human mind struggling between the re-emergence of secular logic (known in ancient India, Greece, China and Africa, etc), and the thinking associated with the waning theology of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Although many philosophers appeared to reject the outer garb of this theology, they still retain the inner garb and could not abandon idealism as an outdated mode of interpreting the world. Idealism as related to the European mind is the equivalent of a Christian soul concept devoid of direct Church control and definition. As a consequence, these old philosophers mimicked the Church by presenting their different understandings as ‘ultimate’ and ‘unquestioned’ interpretations of reality. Of course, they cannot all be right, but they can all certainly be wrong! Bourgeois academia does not encourage this kind of critical review and will mark-down any student who presents this view in course-work or examinations, and yet in my view it is the only view worth having. The same bourgeoise establishment rejects or ignores the pivotal work of Karl Marx which brought an end to the Western experimentation with thought, and projected humanity into the modern world with the ability to understand the inverted nature of theistic religion (as a distinct stage in the development of human thought) and the historical materialism of reality. Marx fully acknowledges the existence of the mind and of the capacity and agency of consciousness, but stresses (like Darwin) that these attributes emerged from the conditioned characteristics of the physical brain. Reality, for a human-being, inhabits a pre-existing material world and interacts with that world via the mind and the senses. This is reality finally defined and Karl Marx did it first! All other philosophy that came before his understanding is deficient and overly mystical because those old philosophers simply did not have access to Darwin’s (or Feuerbach’s) work, or the critique of Karl Marx. Whilst religious people continue to interpret the ‘mind’ as a ‘god’, Karl Marx understood that religion is imagined in the mind and mistakenly thought to have originated in the outer world. Progressive individuals understand that the mind is a projection of the brain and is conditioned by the environment and genetic inheritance. Imagination is important for human development in many ways (including science), but in the ancient world, when humanity had no other understanding, it was falsely assumed that thoughts in the head originated in the physical world. The human brain evolved in size and cognitive development as human evolution progressed, eventually generating the mind and all its impressive functions and abilities. As there is no further mystery to human existence than this, Karl Marx understood that the attainment of correct (scientific) thought was effectively the end of speculative philosophy, and what life is really about is social justice and the empowerment of humanity because it is ‘correct’ to do so, and not because it is decreed by an unseen spiritual force.

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