Kuyper Against Marx

1795 Words Jun 25th, 2018 8 Pages
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
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Marx’s solution to poverty and social injustice is Communism. The principles of Communism as listed in the Communist Manifesto are: elimination of private land ownership, graduated or progressive income tax, elimination of inheritance rights, confiscation of rebel and emigrant property, state control of money and credit, state control of manufacture and agriculture, universal labor, combination of agriculture and manufacture leading to no distinction between urban and rural, population spread out over the country, free education, proper child labor. By centralizing all power, capital, and property in the state, theoretically all power, capital, and property would belong to all citizens equally. If the state controls all manufacturing and agriculture, and if all citizens are required to work, than theoretically the workers will not be mistreated as they are their own employers through the state.
Kuyper’s solution is Christian action. He believes that various Christian social agencies can cause social change through political and charitable action. In light of the plight of the Industrial Age’s lower classes, he calls for still more charitable aid to be given so that no Christian lives in luxury while his neighbor goes hungry. To address the despair of the oppressed workers, Kuyper says only the love of Christ as shown through the deeds of Christians can console them. The ideals of the French Revolution must be overthrown by the message of the Christian Gospel so

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