Karl Marx once explained that his object in life is “to dethrone God and destroy capitalism.”
Two weeks ago, Gallup published shocking results of a new poll showing rising Godlessness in America. Though the poll showed the majority of Americans still believe in a supreme being, the percentage of Americans without that belief has dropped a whopping 6 percent since 2017. The current 81 percent of believers stand in stark contrast to the 90+ percent of Americans who believed in God up until 2011. Specifically, the polls showed this unbelief was almost exclusively among liberals and the young: “Conservatives and married adults have had essentially no change. The groups with the largest declines are also the groups that are currently least likely to believe in God, including liberals (62%), young adults (68%), and Democrats (72%). Belief in God is highest among political conservatives (94%) and Republicans (92%).”
This new poll reflects the influence of Marxist ideology on our young through the classrooms, and we can expect this to increase alongside the growing acceptance of socialism. We have little time left to reverse this troubling trend.
First, Karl Marx was not solely committed to ending capitalism, but was even more committed to godlessness as the predicate for his “utopian” socialist system. In summarizing his life’s work, Marx proclaimed that his object was to “dethrone God, and destroy capitalism.” The notable early Marxists like Lenin were equally vehement opponents of God. After the Bolsheviks took power in Russia and founded the Soviet Union, those Marxist leaders quickly created the “League of Militant Atheists” (also known as the “Society of the Godless”) with the motto: “Struggle against religion is struggle for socialism.” Under Marx’s theories, religion was part of the superstructure upholding capitalism and the “original sin” of private property. As famed author and anti-Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said of Marxism: “The world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions.”
Alongside the ungodliness, recent polls also show that among young Americans' support for socialism is rising as well. A June 2021 The Hill article noted: “Fifty-four percent of Gen Z adults said they had a negative view of capitalism, while 42 reported having a positive view … The number of 18- to 34-year-olds who have a positive view of capitalism also appears to be shrinking. Forty-nine percent said they had a positive view of capitalism and 46% said they viewed it negatively … But two years ago, 58% said they viewed it positively, while 38% said they viewed it negatively.”
These numbers are not surprising, considering that even back in 2016 studies found that openly Marxist professors outnumbered conservative professors by a wide margin. Conservatives, particularly Christians, are most likely to self-censor to avoid persecution in school by a wide margin. A multitude of articles has been written about the overwhelmingly anti-Christian and anti-capitalist environment on college campuses.
The 20th century gave the world a chance to see the results of Marxism. Every country that attempted Marxism failed miserably. Not only in Marxism’s catastrophic failures with the economy but destruction of life and freedom overall. Over 100 million people are estimated to have died under Marxism. Beyond that, religious citizens were crushed and driven to the sidelines of society, as Solzhenitsyn and many others have made clear. In the few remaining Marxist states, Christians remain a persecuted minority.
It’s time for Americans, particularly young Americans, to stem the tide. Let’s follow the admonition of our Lord from Proverbs 14:34 that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Teach our young to value righteousness, and condemn Marx and his attempts to dethrone God.
Bill Connor, a retired Army Infantry colonel, author and Orangeburg attorney, has deployed multiple times to the Middle East. Connor was the senior U.S. military adviser to Afghan forces in Helmand Province, where he received the Bronze Star. A Citadel graduate with a JD from USC, he is also a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army War College, earning his master of strategic studies. He is the author of the book Articles from War.