Marx argued the universe was material in nature, with everything determined by scientific laws of matter. He denied the existence of the personal God of Judeo-Christianity and asserted there will be neither a final judgment nor an afterlife. Consciousness, he argued, does not determine social being, but social being determined consciousness, therefore, man and not God is the active, productive social being who determined his own social realities. For Marx, the human being’s real nature is discovered in the totality of his relations. However, he postulated, social relations are determined by economic activity. Thus, economic laws or economic determinism dictated the political, social, and religious realities that regulated society. Marx equally asserted that society and not God determined morality. Marx, in arguing all of the above, was dealing with concepts and themes that were current or pertinent in Western thought. Various societies, within their own cultural milieu, had already satisfactorily addressed or had avoided altogether these uniquely Western concerns. Thus, these ideas were not “universal” but primarily European concerns.
According to Marx, man is alienated from himself and from Nature. In fact, a foundation of Marxist thought, is the Theory of Alienation, which posited that capitalism alienated the human being from his human essence and ultimately from his labor. Presently, the State functions under capitalism, which through industrialization and economic oppression isolates the individual and does not allow him to maximize his potential. Marx sees the development of private property (and specifically the private ownership of the means of production) and the State that formed to protect it, as the source of human alienation. Factory owners (businessmen) alienated people from their labor. Objects we produce are not our own but the “bosses.” Capital (money) reduces social relationship to common commercial denominators. Hence, capitalism perpetuates a society that is against human nature. The fulfillment of human history, according to Marx, means the elimination of and not the reformation of capitalism and the State, a change that entails the nationalization of land, factories, transport, and banks. He proposed a revolutionary political party, the Communist Party, to provide the organization and direction to achieve these ends, and move humanity to the last stage in history, communism, where alienation and oppression end, and the State withers away.
Marxist’s Theory of Alienation was inapplicable to probably the vast majority of societies at the time he proposed it. His notions of labor, historical materialism (when implied progress), and private property, were all concepts that were popular in European parlances, but without foundation in many societies, especially Afrikan societies. He developed his ideas in a Eurocentric vacuum, built upon the gospel of mechanistic science, and the newly popularized theories of evolution. In his cultural arrogance, his white supremacist framework and generalizations, it never dawned on Marx that Western’s man worldview and not capitalism, was the source of his alienation. And here lies the problem, which has little to do with class, and more to do with a worldview based on dissonance and dichotomous thought.
According to Diop, Europe’s devastating cold during the Ice Age resulted in food scarcity, which bred an adversarial relationship between the human being and Nature. And this is the real source of Western man’s alienation, and not the development of private property, as Marx posits. As a consequence, a materialistic, competitive, insecure, self-centered, violence-prone individual was created, who was determined to conquer and control Nature. This antagonism with Nature created a fractured sense of self, and is the incurable defect of Western civilization. The Western worldview has created a dissociated person, a disjointed being unable to see the inherent unity of life; of the harmony between humans and Nature; spirit (mind) and body; man and woman; energy and matter. All complementary relationships are viewed as opposites or as confrontational. Instead of harmony, the West sees discord. Instead of the whole, it sees the part.