“A World Lit Only by Fire” by William Manchester, highlights the triumph of humanism over ideology. Humanism, in my simple terms, transcended ideology by respecting the value of human life.

Since the times of Christ, and actually since the beginnings of mankind, there has been a constant push to enslave all thinking into a box. A box that has specific walls and sides made from ideology. The box is constructed by trading individual responsibility and self-determination for the expected, but never delivered, ease of harmonious group-thinking.

This was never more stark than the Catholic church’s attempt to subdue mankind by removing all education and only allowing an select group of acolytes to have knowledge. Marxism, in all its forms, follows the same path. Education is used as a tool to create classes of malcontents that can perform a function but don’t know why – demeaning mankind to being tools.

Both these attempts of instilling ideology, collective belief in ideas, instead of using all the tools at our disposal to understand more about nature and nature’s God, were bloody, horrible affairs. The dark ages are described “dark” for a reason: they were. In the same vein, all Marxist governments have a tremendous trail of blood: because they killed people.

Humanism allowed all civilization, even non-Western, to find truth by hypothesis and experimentation. In the simplest terms, it gave hope. When the world was dark, knowing that the earth revolved around the sun, and that our solar system was just one of trillions, provided peace because it highlighted the one simple objective of life: love God. Now mankind could cut through all the noise and focus on meaning. No longer did an obviously perverse and corrupt religion control man’s search of meaning.

Marxism is the same attempt to subvert and enslave. It demands that individual freedom, free thought, and more specifically that mankind can love God, be rejected in favor of ideology. What Marxists seem to forget, is that the world is lit by fire, and boxes make good tinder.