Communism Essay Sample: Did Jews Start Communism?


Karl Marx is universally regarded as the ‘father’ of communism. A German Jew, his books and ideas formed the basis of the movement that became known as communism, the force behind the Russian Revolution that took place three decades after his death.  Whether there is a solid link between his origins and his ideas is open to debate. After all Marx converted to Christianity.

Communism focuses on common ownership and an economic structure.1* It is incompatible with the accusations that many Jewish people were controlling the economy, regionally and nationally.

Ultimately communism became known as a movement that had little time for religion, and seemingly little more for Jewish people. Arguably that was a consequence of personality far more than principle. Stalin waged ‘war’ on Jews within years of taking control of the Communist Government.

National strands of communism had little to either religion or ethnicity; the Jewish people were targeted by leaders such as Hitler who wanted to focus people’s minds on a subjective cause for their problems. In terms of the movement in Russia which overthrew the Tsar in 1917 and established a communist regime the leaders of that movement came from very different backgrounds. There was a Jewish element but Jewish people made up a very small percentage of the people coming under the Russian umbrella.

If these people had anything in common it was that they formed a population that viewed privilege in the Palaces of the Tsar and the ruling classes whilst comparing that with their own misfortunes. 2* People needed leadership, and indeed Trotsky was Jewish. Religion was irrelevant in their personal lives; they were simply hoping for a better future.

1’* Communism is the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat.  The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labor and does not draw profit from any kind of capital; whose weal and woe, whose life and death, whose sole existence depends on the demand for labor….
Engels, Principles of Communism (1847)

A house may be large or small; as long as the neighboring houses are likewise small, it satisfies all social requirements for a residence.
Marx, Wage Labor and Capital (1847)

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