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Marxist Philosophy and Marxist Metaphysics

QUESTION: Marxist Philosophy – Marxist Metaphysics


As previously noted, Marxist theology and philosophy deny the supernatural. The universe is all that exists and all that ever will exist. “Materialism gives a true picture of the world, without any irrelevant adjuncts in the shape of spirits, of a god who created the world, and the like. The materialists do not await the help of supernatural powers, they believe in man, in his capacity to transform the world by his own hand.”1

Whether Marxists choose to admit it or not, their philosophy includes a metaphysical cosmology. They are far from bashful about declaring the absence of a God or anything supernatural in the universe, just as they are more than willing to proclaim that the material universe is all that exists and that it has always existed and always will.

Marxist Philosophy – Dialectical Matter
Marxist philosophy relies on a specific ontology, as well. For Marxists, the ultimate substance and the ultimate cause is ever-changing dialectical matter. Perhaps this is why they choose to avoid metaphysics—it is difficult, in the face of modern physics, to argue that matter is the ultimate substance. Nonetheless, Marxist philosophy holds tenaciously to the view that matter is all that exists, that it is eternal, and that it is the ultimate substance or reality.

Alexander Spirkin, a modern Marxist author, writes that “matter is the only existing objective reality: the cause, foundation, content and substance of all the diversity of the world.”2 Engels says we know from experience and theory “that both matter and its mode of existence, motion, are uncreatable.”3

Marxist dialectics, then, is not opposed to metaphysics in the traditional sense of the word. In truth, Marxist philosophy relies on its metaphysics (ontology and cosmology), which it assumes in its entirety without rational defense, to provide a basis and explanation for being, the nature of the universe, and ultimately humanity itself.


Rendered with permission from the book,Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews(Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Raymond S. Sleeper, ed., A Lexicon of Marxist-Leninist Semantics (Alexandria, VA: Western Goals, 1983), 168.
2 Alexander Spirkin, Dialectics and Materialism (Moscow, USSR: Progress Publishers, 1983), 66.
3 Engels, Dialectics of Nature, 337.
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