Everyone knows the traditional Christian narrative of the origin of mankind, the concept of original sin, and the concept of salvation and judgement. Jehovah creates Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge and gain knowledge of good and evil after being tempted by the serpent (often supposedly Satan or Lucifer), and get banished from the garden because of it. Thousands of years later, Jehovah sends Jesus, his only son, to die on the cross and supposedly open the way for the redemption of mankind. And eventually, the day of judgement arrives when the believers go to the kingdom of Jehovah and everyone else is condemned to hell.
This is also the narrative shared by Islam, except that in Islam it is the prophet Muhammad that reveals teachings that lead the way for mankind. I should point out the original sin myth was originally a Jewish myth (which may also have had its roots in older cultures), but the narrative of the fall followed by redemption and judgement is basically Christian.
But would you believe that same narrative is shared by both Nazi and Marxist ideology?
Apparently, Nazi ideology believed in the same cosmological conflict that underpinned Zoroastrian, Christian, and Islamic thought, just that they believed that the Aryan race was light and every other race of humanity was dark. They somehow convinced themselves that the world once consisted only of one race of people (namely the Aryan people) until the rise of different races, and they believed that paradise on earth would be ruled by the Aryan “master race” and brought about through their domination of the world and the destruction of so-called subhumans. There is a similar belief regarding the existence of other races found in the cosmology of Nation of Islam, which apparently believes that the whole of humanity used to be black and that white people were created by an evil scientist named Yakub. The same group believed that the Earth is 76 trillion years old.
The philosophy of Karl Marx also stresses a similar narrative. Karl Marx, along with Friedrich Engels, argued that primitive human society was originally an egalitarian society where common ownership prevailed. Basically primitive communism, or Ur-Communism. According to this narrative, that age ends with the introduction of private property. Private property, according to Karl Marx’s theory of history, lead to monarchy, feudalism, and eventually capitalism, all described as authoritarian and slavish in nature. After a revolution of the workers against capitalism, and after the rise of socialism, Marx thought that society would be put under the dictatorship of the proletariat, and that this would eventually lead to the dream of a world without governments, laws, nations, social class, and private property, a world were everyone works for everyone and not for their own reward.
Have you noticed the pattern yet?
Christianity, Nazism, and Marxism all believed that the world originally was “perfect” until the rise of some aberration, and that the world would finally be saved by the removal or destruction of that aberration and a perfect order would arise on earth. For Christians, the aberration is knowledge, particularly the knowledge to decide good and evil. Before the serpent tempted Adam and Eve they were mindless thought-slaves. For the Nazis, the aberration was racial diversity as opposed to racial “purity”. For Marxists, the aberration is private property as opposed to collective ownership. They all believed in an aberration that was based on that which enabled human beings to differentiate themselves from others or grant themselves their own identity. The Christians condemned individual thought, and the freedom thereof, as original sin. The Nazis condemned biological and racial individuation as “subhuman”. And Marxists condemned the birth of private property as equivalent to original sin. They condemned individuality, and dreamed of a world where everyone was the same as each other in some way or another. Christian belief prescribed total theocracy, Nazi ideology prescribed total racial hegemony, and Marxism prescribed total egalitarianism. If you think about it then I am certain you may realize that these goals aren’t so different after all. The only difference between them would be their attitudes towards religion, since Marxism attributes religious belief as part of the fall from the primitive egalitarian society.
I also sense that the narrative behind all three beliefs stems from Hesiod’s myth of the Golden Age, and the attitude that underpins it. In Greek mythology, the Golden Age was an age where mankind lived in harmony with the gods, without toil or grief, and where the abundance of food was practically infinite so there was no need for humans to practice agriculture. In the story of Hesiod, this Golden Age ends when Zeus defeats the Titans, ruled by Cronus, and rules mankind, and then Prometheus steals the fire of the gods, which was withheld by Zeus, and gave it to mankind. By doing so, Prometheus gave each person the source of intellect, spirit, and the drive to leave the nest and carve out ones own path and individuate oneself, and Prometheus was punished for it. After this and the mythical events of Pandora’s box, the Greeks believed that each age (except the Heroic Age) become progressively worse, with mankind having to toil for itself more and more. Thus the Greeks pined for the days when they lived in harmony with the gods, and Prometheus was viewed negatively for leading mankind into successive ages of suffering. The difference is that there doesn’t seem to any conception in Greek thought about a utopia happening at the end of human history, caused by the removal of a supposed aberration in humankind. All that is certain in Greek mythology is that someday the current generation of mankind would be destroyed like previous generations.
I honestly don’t know where this Golden Age mentality comes from, and I don’t feel like the idea of a perfect society in the beginning that degenerates over time has any real basis in actual human history. If anything, human civilization has been constantly evolving and progressing for the better, and our understanding of the world has evolved likewise with time. Whether that’s attributed to the fire of Prometheus is down to your opinion. 😉 But seriously, would you really want mankind to regress to the Stone Age, the Paleolithic Age, or the days when we were equivalent of chimpanzees? Because in my opinion, that’s what the narrative of the Golden Age seems to encourage. It encourages regression instead of increased understanding, and tribalism instead of individuated existence. And in the form of Christian, Nazi, and Marxist ideology, this is even more egregious because it condemns individuation on all levels and desires a state of homogeneity. In a sense, this might be taken as a regression in its own way.