Kuyper Against Marx Essay

Kuyper Against Marx Essay

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The Industrial Age brought much hunger, poverty, and despair with its many technological innovations aimed to make man’s life better. Although Kuyper and Marx agreed that social conditions in the Industrial Age were not acceptable, they differed on the cause and solution to the poverty and despair in the modern world. Kuyper’s approach to the problem of poverty is like minimally invasive surgery, less damaging but more time-intensive. Marx’s approach, however, is like amputation with no cauterization, quick but with little chance of recovery. Marx seeks to heal a wound by creating another; Kuyper seeks to heal through correcting the heart of his age.
In Marx’s opinion, the cause of poverty has always been due to the struggle between social classes, with one class keeping its power by suppressing the other classes. He claims the opposing forces of the Industrial Age are the bourgeois and the proletarians. Marx describes the bourgeois as a middle class drunk on power. The bourgeois are the controllers of industrialization, the owners of the factories that abuse their workers and strip all human dignity away from them for pennies. Industry, Marx says, has made the proletariat working class only a tool for increasing the wealth of the bourgeoisie. Because the aim of the bourgeoisie is to increase their trade and wealth, it is necessary to exploit the worker to maximize profit. This, according to Marx, is why the labor of the proletariat continued to steadily increase while the wages of the proletariat continued to steadily decrease.
Marx states that the bourgeoisie not only took advantage of the proletariat through a horrible ratio of wages to labor, but also through other atrocities; he claims that it was common pract...


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...nt. What makes Kuyperian methods work is that it relies not on the perfection of man, but on the perfection of Christ. Christians are able to put aside their selfishness and greed because their beliefs and the Holy Spirit enable them to. They realize the fallen state of man and are therefore already on the watch for abuses of power and position. Another strong point of Kuyperian methods is that it is voluntary, not involuntary. Communism is forced on the population, creating resentment that leads to rebellion. Generosity and dedication to serving the poor are not forced upon anyone, leaving them free to enjoy it. In a culture that is so focused on personal desired as the twenty-first century, it is far more likely that the methods of Kuyper will be successful on a large scale.


Works Cited

Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx
The Problem of Poverty, Abraham Kuyper

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