New Post on Middleton Murry

See new post under Writings for an extended analysis of John Middleton Murry’s views on British society and the church in the twentieth century. One quote from Murry:

When democracy “spews the coal out of its mouth” it becomes not only barbaric but “something new…a Christian society which has reverted, and bears the mark of its apostasy upon it”.

Marxism and Christianity

Middleton Murry had no time for those fellow Christians who just dismissed Marxist theory out of hand. He himself could be described as a Christian Socialist. This didn’t mean he believed in Marxist ideas such as the dictatorship of the proletariat, revolution or atheism. But he saw a great truth in Marx’s idea of humans being governed by forces of economics and class struggle. You couldn’t answer such strong analysis by simply asserting the Christian doctrine of free will, that individuals were free to do good or evil. This was “pious nonsense”. The ordinary worker was “the passive and unconscious slave of an economic system which he does not understand, and which he makes no effort to control”. What was the Christian answer? Murry advocated a full commitment of the churches to thorough-going social and economic reform, a commitment to effective regulation of capitalism. A revived Christianity needed to aim at a moral conversion of society, away from the excesses of economic individualism and self-interest.

[Murry, The Price of Leadership, 1938, pp.152-153].