Darwin and Karl Marx in Cubaby Rit Nosotro
Change Over Time essay
Explain how Karl Marx was influenced by
Charles Darwin in the formation of scientific socialism. How did Social Darwinism
play out in Cuba?
Social Darwinism and Marxism sent shockwaves throughout the world. Among the nations that fell to these doctrines was Cuba. These atheistic doctrines always result in a worse situation. Deuteronomy 6:24 says, "The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today." When Social Darwinism and Marxism govern a people there is no fear of the Lord. Thus Cuba's situation worsened.
Social Darwinism has strengthened the socialistic view, despite the disagreements leading social Darwinists like Herbert Spencer had.1 The greatest achievement Social Darwinism accomplished for socialism was the uplifting of man. It justifies this by dissolving a belief in God and validating the upward climb of man.
The connection between Social Darwinism and Marxism is the view that humankind proceeds in an upward climb through struggle.2 God has no effect on history; rather, history follows a dialectic pattern. Darwin's theory of the evolution of man reinforced the Marxist view that man was on an upward climb towards perfection. Class struggle towards socialism fit well under the universal view of evolutionism. After Darwin had written "On the Origin of Species" Marx said in a letter to his colleague Engels, "Darwin's book is very important and serves me as a natural scientific basis for the class struggle in history. One has to put up with the crude English method of development, of course.'3 This shows that Marx found Darwinism important, and in a paper written by his friend Engels, the connection between Social Darwinism and Marxism is displayed as the replacement of "metaphysical reasoning" with the view that man is climbing upward.
When socialism made its appearance in Cuba it was through a violent takeover. Unlike some beliefs that socialism comes as through enlightenment, it was through violence that Fidel Castro accomplished his grasp of power and brought socialism. Guerilla warfare, gangster tactics, and eloquent speech brought Castro to power. Castro himself had a background that opposed socialism and social Darwinism. He was raised in Catholic school and taught about the Bible. However his own malicious nature inclined him to disobey it and his desire for absolute power was justified in communism. He even wrote a letter to Roosevelt when he was ten, asking for a ten dollar bill because he had never seen one in exchange for showing Roosevelt where iron mines where which he could use to build his ships.4 At first when Castro came to power he had to hold secret communist meetings because if the word got out that he planned to create a communist government the public reaction would be unfavorable, and eventually it did cause an insurrection.
Under socialism Cuba deteriorated. Cuba became dependant on aid from Moscow for economic subsidies.5 Castro had loyalists of the former government slaughtered. lands were confiscated and distributed among the poor, every person was given a house to live in or part of one, the U.S. embargo went into effect, and employs of U.S. corporations lost their jobs or wages; the result of these things over 110,000 Cubans immigrated by the end of 1960.6 When the Soviet Union collapsed the subsidies to Cuba ceased and unable to get loans or subsidies as a socialist nation, Cuba's economy looked grim.7 Prostitution became rampant as people became desperate for opportunities during times of food rationing and shortages of about everything.8
The influence of Social Darwinism and socialism in a country is devastating. In Castro's atheist Cuba, socialism greatly damaged the nation. A nation that follows Marxism suffers. Because there is no afterlife for nations, they must suffer the consequences for their sins on earth.
up2 Fredrick Engels, "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific" Engels/Marx internet library <www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1880/soc-utop/ch02.html>
up8 Montaner, Carlos A.
Journey to the Heart of Cuba : Life as Fidel Castro. New York: Algora Publishing,
2001. Journey to the heart of Cuba; life as Fidel Castro
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