The Holocaust was a period in history marked by the destruction of millions of Jews and others by factions of imperialists and believers who had different religion, social and political ideologies. The Holocaust had a great impact in global history and transnational characterization of nations (Assman, 2010). Historical experts perceive the event as a byproduct of undying fascism and strong inclinations toward the ideology of social Darwinism. It was perceived that belonging to weak societies meant that they were limited in their social, economic and political interactions while those from strong societies were accorded respect and granted power to impose cultural influence on those of weak societies.
Karl Max, one of the greatest philosophers and socialists of his time, advanced ideas that seem to contradict the ideologies behind fascism and social Darwinism. Karl Marx’s perception, and ideological views show the conclusions he could have made about the Holocaust.
Karl Max was a philosopher and a revolutionary socialist born in 1818 in Prussia, Germany.
He is known as the father of Marxism for his works criticizing the political and economic ideologies of capitalism (Callinicos, 2001). An interesting fact of Karl Marx was that he was born to Jewish parents, who later converted to Christianity in response to the German law prohibiting Jewish prominence in high society. He studied law and philosophy at University of Bonn, where he began research of existing political and religious establishments grew. He criticized these establishments for supporting suppression of workers and people of lower social class. His works paved a path for the political foundation for communist leaders in The Soviet Union, China, North Korea and Vietnam.
Given his personal and familiar background, assumptions of his view of the Holocaust can begin.
As evidence would show, Karl Max would have probably rebuked the justifications of those who organized and executed the Holocaust. As we know, the Holocaust was spread by popular beliefs that people belonging to a higher social order have the sole right and privilege to force their culture over those belonging to lower social orders. This point of view formed the foundation for radical leftism in the 20th century (Stevick, 2007). Jewish people and other social, economic and political groups that supported leftist ideologies instead of the popular right wing doctrines were subjected to negative perceptions and treatment, which escalated into mass murder between 1933 and 1945. Karl Marx’s ideologies and arguments conformed to what leftists believed to be the ideal regimen for promoting equality and social justice. In his book, Communist Manifest, Karl Marx urges the oppressed working men from all countries to unite against the ruling classes and promote equity by abolishing private property (Acker, 2006). Ideally, Karl Marx advocated for an equal society and fought for the oppressed. His ideologies resonated with the predicaments of people who belonged to lower social order in the 20th century. For this reason he could have opposed the ideologies of the ruling factions who supported the Holocaust.
The philospher would have used various arguments to discredit the ideologies and principles that inspired authorities to use violence against the Jews, according to his own views and research. First, Marx would have pointed out lack of social equality to oppose the Holocaust. Marx regarded the existing perceptions about egalitarianism as political concepts suited to benefit the bourgeois class interests. He expressed disapproval of these perceptions and advocated for the abolition of social class (Callinicos, 2001). As it is seen in historical accounts of the events before and during the Holocaust, perceptions about social class played a significant role in extending violence against the Jews and other people who did not fit within the established social dimensions.
He would have drafted theories of dialectical materialism to explore and explain the existing deficiencies in the thought patterns shown by those who supported the Holocaust. He would have refuted the theory of natural selection as a factor influencing people’s relevance in the society. This theory was used by ruling factions in Europe to promote political imperialism, racism and conservatism. Historical analysis shows that lack of political liberalism and rampant racism largely contributed to the Holocaust (Assmann, 2010). Furthermore, Marx could have opposed these ideologies and perceptions by advancing an argument regarding natural selection as a basis for social classification. Marx would have used Darwin’s rebuke of the idea proposed by those who advocated for social Darwinism regarding extending natural selection to human social class. With pointing at the misleading justification of those supporting social Darwinism by claiming that natural selection is influenced by genetic markups, which then invoke physical changes in the host. Therefore, it is invalid to claim that social changes and fight for survival in the society is a byproduct of natural selection.
In continuation, he would have concluded that it is important to have a society where every man aspires to do go good for the other. He was a strong advocate for a free, fair and classless society characterized by respect for humanity. It was once stated in his writings that history yearns for men who have chosen to work for the common good and make people happy in order to, experience immense happiness themselves (Acker, 2006). Therefore, he would’ve concluded by encouraging men and women to aspire for a noble course that will see them do good for others to achieve happiness. By doing so, people can avoid violence and hate toward each other.
Karl Marx could have also concluded by making arguments regarding the failure of religion to offer a solution to oppression. According to Karl Max, “religion is a sigh of the oppressed and a heart of a heartless world and the soul of a soulless condition.” Marx’s perceptions about religion is e a reflection of the world itself. His sentiments are seen as an active attempt to change the world to be a better place for everyone. Marx was of the view that religion was a false truth and that it was masking the atrocities and injustices in the society (Acker, 2006). This is true because religion was main factor that contributed to the Holocaust. In this case, Marx could have suggested abolishing religion in its entirety. Thus, abolishment of future or past Holocausts.
In summary, it is evident that Karl Marx would have not supported the reasoning of those who supported the Holocaust because they did not conform to his ideologies regarding social class and equality. Karl Marx would have used a Darwin’s counterargument regarding applying natural selection theory in the social context and lack of social equality among classes to oppose the ideologies that inspired the Holocaust. Finally, Karl Marx would have concluded that men should strive to do well for others and abolish religion in its entirety to avoid incidences similar to the Holocaust, past, present, or future.