Last December I began a little two-bit blog named “Shapka & Coffee.” Here I am, a year later, still standing; quite an accomplishment for a slacker like me.
My intent at the beginning of this personal journey was to have a place where I could hash out my meanderings and people could listen in. I am grateful for those who have stopped by once in a while, and left a “like”, or a note of approval or dissent. Either way, your insights have forced me to refine and sharpen my skills when it comes to communicating through written ideas and words. I’m a pastor, and these are the tools of my trade.
I chose the title “Shapka & Coffee” for two reasons: (1) I like wearing big fuzzy Siberian hats. (2) I spent a year of my life in Russia, and while there teaching the bible, I found myself daily drinking coffee or tea. That experience has greatly affected me, and it made me realize there is more out there than Cleveland, Ohio and Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Believe it or not you Wolverines, Spartans and Buckeyes - - the rest of the world shockingly does not revolve around football or Cedar Point).
As a result of my time spent in Eastern European culture; my mom who is an avid reader, will send me anything she finds on Stalin, Lenin, Communism, Tyranny and recipes for Red Borscht. One constant topic I am very sensitive to in all of these readings is the menacing presence of socialist thought. In particular, I find the dirty fingerprints of Karl Marx on much of Eastern Europe’s sordid history. For those of you who have not really heard of Karl Marx, he was a 19th Century German economist that developed a brilliant and terribly destructive system to understand the world by. (Live in Russia for a year and you will understand just how destructive it has been). His was a philosophy that came out of a deep desire to defeat capitalism and curtail once and for all its influence and excesses.
What really troubles me about Marxism is that presently, through mostly covert means, it is holding enormous sway on our present day American experience.
His terms and categories are everywhere these days. People, especially on the left side of things, have willingly swallowed his premises, assumptions and conclusions without even knowing that these same ideas have been responsible for massive amounts of blood-shed, war and the loss of dignity to humanity in general. Marx built his ideas from a foundation that had no use for God, and the over-arching belief that humanity is in a fight for survival between people from differing economic classes.
Karl was cut out of the same “revolutionary cloth” as Thomas Muntzer, the 16th Century “Peasants War” fire-brand, and the guillotine happy Jacobins of the “French Revolution.” He was the main influencer on the Russian Revolution, Chairman Mao’s Cultural Conquest, Latin American “Liberation Theology”, and even inspiring present day “Black Liberation" writers and preachers. All of these movements have the same common goal: To maintain an ongoing struggle to overthrow the oppressor. It never ends, nor does Marxism intend for it to. The irony of each of these Marxist movements, they believe with their whole heart, they are in the right - - which gives to them an air of smug justification when they commit often violent and criminal acts in the guise of revolutionary righteousness.
My concern with Marx is simple, I want for people to see that his ideas are both antithetical to a Biblical Worldview and they are intentional in destroying the fabric of healthy national body politic. By nature Marxism wants conflict; and it accomplishes this by using the basest of human instinct, “jealousy” and “greed.”
So I have decided to continue my “Shapka & Coffee” meanderings by exploring Marxism on Mondays. Look at it as an “Idiots Guide on Marxism.” I will (K.I.S.S.) keep it simple stupid, so I hope you read it. And I am not calling you stupid, this is simply a cool way of saying I will try to make it fun and easily understandable. Last but not least, if you pick up anything from my odd mind, I hope you realize that when it comes to economics, finding solutions for the poor, and deciding who really is just, there really is “nothing new under the sun.” Ferguson, Occupy Wall Street, and Paul Krugman have been heard and tried before.
So grab a bag of M & M’s, put on your Shapka, a warm cup of Joe, and get ready to wrestle with Karl.