Monday, July 24, 2017

The Real Engels

Andrew Stuttaford reporting over at NRO on the moving of a statue of Engels from Ukraine to Manchester, England, had a reminder of what the real Friedrich Engels wrote.  Tristram Hunt's cliche that millions have been killed in the name of Christ probably deserves some correction, but it has been done so many times, with so little effect on the popular mind, that I don't think I have the energy at present. It is at least worth mentioning that millions died under communism not because of "interpretations" of what Engels and others wrote, but what they actually did write.

A hospital chaplain - Princeton PhD, ordained UCC - once told me that more people had been killed in the name of Christ than any other name.  I'm thinking that Mao and Stalin put up some big numbers in a few short decades (as opposed to 20 centuries) and note that the deadliest wars have been Asian and wars of aggression been Moslem. Christians persecute those in their midst rather than invading abroad. Christians have done much invading over the years, certainly, but largely for economic reasons and to secure trade. Not the same thing. Invoking Christ has been a frequent tool of justification, but seldom even the declared, face-saving reason for war.

2 comments:

Kevin Gentzler said...

Interesting post. I study genocide and mass atrocity. There a number of books that describe the numbers of people killed under the Mass Murderers known as political leaders in the communist countries on the Asian continent. The argument is that communism in its pure form will not allow genocide, it is corrupted by a Dictator. If every time communism has been tried it ends up the same way, I submit, the truth is communism is unworkable and a failure and leads to mass atrocities in order to keep the proletariat in line.

GraniteDad said...

Kevin, great insight there, couldn't agree more. If every time we try something it burns us, maybe stop trying it.