ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Theory, Ideology and Idolatry

Theory, Ideology and Idolatry John Weeks IT is bitter irony that while the social theory of Karl Marx is based upon the view that history develops in response to impersonal forces and not the volutional acts of great men and women,1 the socialist and communist movements of the world haw been characterised by an uncritical reverence of great men, particularly Marx, Engels and Lenin, to the point of religious idolatry. This bizarre tendency which denies the essence of the materialist method is well known: the virtual canonisation of Lenin, then later Stalin in the Soviet Union, the cultlike worship of the aphorisms of Mao Tie-Tung, as well as the uncritical reverence for Mane and Engels. This denial of materialism has moved from the absurd to the grotesque when political considerations have dictated a de-frocking of the canonised, as with Stalin and Mao.

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