Date of Award

Spring 1960

Document Type




First Advisor

Rev. Cornelius Kelly


Perhaps the commonest mistake made by men and women of the free world today is to judge Communism strictly as an economic system, Many people see Communism only as a representative of the proletariat in opposition to the bourgeoisie represented by Capitalism. According to their reasoning. Communism can only be crushed by building Capitalism into a huge and powerful machine which will render Communism helpless, thereby, leading to its ruination and fall. Atlas missiles and hydrogen bombs are our only protection and salvation against the onslaughts of Russia and China.

To judge Communism only in the light of the above is a monstrous failure and blunder on the part of the western world. Communism finds its strength and backbone not merely in its economic doctrines, but in its philosophical principles formulated and vitalized by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engeles during the latter part of the nineteenth century. Before the revolutionary objectives of Marxian economics can be successfully refuted, its basic metaphysical and epistemological principles must be refuted. Perhaps, there is nothing that renders the defense of the Western world so inadequate as the misunderstanding of the position and principles and the under-estimation of the strength of Atheistic Communism.

Communism is a philosophy which denies the existence of God, and puts into practice the false axiom that the end justifies the means. Christianity, according to the Marxist, is the sign of the oppressed, the moral law is an ancient and medieval superstition. Human dignity and common sonship under God must be replaced by the omnipotent state and omnipotent fate. Murder, lies, and deceits are justified and true if they contribute to the forward advancement of the ideal of Communism. The Communistic pseudo-ideal of justice of equality and fraternity conceals itself in a false messianic ideal entrapped by delusive promises. Because of their perverse ideals, the Communists have crossed the border-line of sanity, and we are dealing with a paranoic mentality beyond the reach of logic and reasonable appeal. If we attack only the externals of Communism, so to speak, and not the heart of its philosophy, we shall be like men swinging our fists at the wind.

The entire program of Communism shows a purposeful integrated unity that is not only comprehensible, but is almost mathematically predictable. Each one of its doctrines and theories logically proceed from its laws of the dialectics and from its basic epistemological principles. Marxian Communism can only be stopped by uprooting its pseudo-metaphysical and epistemological assumptions, and by restoring man and his mind to their true dignity intended by God.

It is our expressed purpose in this thesis to examine in detail the basic metaphysical and epistemological principles of the Marxian theory of knowledge. Marxism regards its theory of knowledge as extremely important to its whole system. Engles himself states that the great basic question of all philosophy is that concerning the relation between thinking and being. After stating this theory of knowledge in chapter one, we shall endeavor to refute this theory in the light of Thomistic Epistemology in chapter two. However, we should realize that no philosophy is born in a vacuum. Usually, one integral system of philosophy is the result of several systems, and Marxian Communism is no exception to this rule. Karl Marx took some basic points from other systems, such as the "dialectics" of Heglianism, the materialistic notions of Democritus and Epicurus, and the theories of some French and English sociologists, and gave them a new meaning in his own system. Therefore, we shall begin in the Introduction by examining these influences which gave character to Marxism. Also, we shall briefly examine the basic metaphysical principles of nature in the Marxian system, such as the "laws of the dialectics," which logically gave rise to the theory of knowledge. It will be seen that the basic epistemological principles and notions of Marxian Communism are anti-rational, and consequently, the whole system has no right to exist.

Before concluding this preface, I wish to state my conviction that the true adversary of atheistic Communism is not Capitalism in general or any particular country, but the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Church realizes her sacred trust given to her by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to safeguard the true dignity of man and the moral law. Christ promised his Church, moreover, that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. Truly, Communism has tried again and again to undermine the truths of God and will continue to try, but in the end its efforts will be in vain and will lead to its own destruction. For how long God will permit men to spread this evil, we do not know. But in the meantime, we should not place all our trust in missiles and bombs alone, but in the truths of God. By spreading these holy truths, Communism will grow weak and finally disappear, and the scars it has left will one day be healed. I can only hope that this thesis, in some small way, will help the Church to conquer and overcome the ruthless attacks of Communism which today are being waged against her and all mankind.