When Grace Hopper found a moth in the Harvard Mark II computer, she unintentionally gave rise to the term “computer bug.” With such a marvel of human engineering, no one had considered that a tiny, insignificant, almost laughable mistake could completely disable the most advanced technology of its day. Certainly, no one could understand how magnificent an analogy this would be for Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels theories.
At the time these men published the Communist Manifesto, the work was hailed as a major breakthrough in socio-economic theory. In all the excitement, no one took the time to truly consider the implications of the theory, let alone the practice of the text. Even now, besides a few points, people have still failed to realize how unattainable a theory Marxism truly is. The fall of the Iron Curtain enabled men to condemn communism as a failure in practice. But it would be too simple to let Marx and Engels off the hook for the failures of their ideas from a philosophical perspective.
The Marxist conception of a materialistic outlook of reality is actually the most profound weakness of the philosophy, and is the primary point of contention. By embracing materialism, these gentleman denied the higher authority of principle and universal law. To challenge them, one need only counter by proposing the idea of a universe completely devoid of matter. If nothing existed, not even dust particles, and only the empty space of the universe remained, truth and law would remain as well. The universal truth would be that nothing existed, and that the law would be space itself.
Carrying on with the materialistic strain, Marx’s dialectical materialism is the next to fall under criticism. The entire concept is defeated by two important points, dialecticism and materialism! Pretending that materialism is the true nature of reality, all matter changes over time. Nothing material or manmade is able to last indefinitely, which includes the state. In Stalin’s own explanation, “something is always arising and developing, and something is always dying away.” Now of course, we would disagree with this point, but then fascism does not subscribe to materialism! Back on point, the communist notion of the state could not last indefinitely being man made, which implies that the concept of the workers’ paradise is not eternal.
Considering the dialectical aspect of the notion gives an even stronger argument against itself, because of the very design of the notion. Once again pretending that Marx is right, there is absolutely nothing which can indicate that the pattern of history as “thesis, antithesis, and synthesis” would stop upon the attainment of communism. Once it were to reach that point, communism would no longer be the synthesis and would become the thesis. This in itself would eventually give rise to an antithesis, and communism would be undone. Both aspects of dialectical materialism thus prove that in the absolute most unrealistic case, in which Marx is completely right, communism is only a temporary point on the highway of history.
Moving to a separate issue, one cannot overlook the problem of Marxist morality. In a fascist society, the state seeks to educate the youth of the nation and train them to respect good moral and ethical principles. Fascism seeks to accomplish this through cooperation between the state and the family, religious institutions, the community, and other traditional means. This will foster an organic morality, one developed via natural means, much like a tree planted in good soil and with strong roots. Communism, on the other hand, would seek to impose morality apart from these institutions, and indeed even seek to undermine such foundations of society. It can therefore be surmised that the communist morality is a synthetic morality, fabricated on a factory production line by the state without respect for cultural history or tradition.
To conclude, it would be foolhardy to suggest that Marx of Engels had intended for their ideas to have been practiced and played out the way they were. It may not even be entirely accurate to lay at their feet the crimes committed in the name of their ideas. However, it cannot be denied that the ideas they espoused were flawed from the beginning. Had they professed an ideology more firmly planted with traditional roots, they may have even met success. Unfortunately for them, they attempted to translate reality into fantasy. Their marvel of engineering was undone by a few bugs.