is communism a religion?
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31-05-2017, 11:57 AM
is communism a religion?
First - communism never was for it was end state toward which USSR and other countries under it influence journeyed. Said journey end with Khruschev and dream of achieving utopia ended with "really existing socialism" of Brezhnev era. There was no communist countries only marxist-leninist, maoist or pol-potist.

Second - marxism-leninism can be called religion or political religion. Best take on this I saw in Rafał Imos "The Faith of Soviet Man" which is only in polish (he consider m-l gnostic religion). You can look through Raymon Aron "The opium of the Intellectuals" or Hans Maier "Totalitarianism and Political Religions" volume II. There are two articles treating about the subject.

If you want to know more about m-l and marxism then I reccomend Leszek Kołakowski "Main currents of Marxism".

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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31-05-2017, 01:32 PM
RE: is communism a religion?
It seems to me that religions must include some kind of totally nonsense superstition about "the unseen", so communism doesn't count.

Human nature seems to disqualify communism from working as it was intended to (based on my simple understanding of it anyway) and so it instead has become perverted into dictatorships. I don't really get that at all, and in what way these versions even remotely resemble communism.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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31-05-2017, 01:48 PM (This post was last modified: 31-05-2017 01:55 PM by Szuchow.)
RE: is communism a religion?
(31-05-2017 01:32 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  It seems to me that religions must include some kind of totally nonsense superstition about "the unseen", so communism doesn't count.

Human nature seems to disqualify communism from working as it was intended to (based on my simple understanding of it anyway) and so it instead has become perverted into dictatorships. I don't really get that at all, and in what way these versions even remotely resemble communism.

Communism was supposed to be "jump from realm of necessity to one of freedom", final phase of Marxist journey. Also communism couldn't be perverted cause it wasn't ever achieved and some would say wasn't even pursued*. It also couldn't been religion. Marxism-leninism however... That depends on how one define religion - Klaus-Georg Riedel write about "virtuoso religion" in his "Marxism-leninism as political religion" [Hans Maier, "Totalitarianism and Political Religions" volume II], Imos see it as gnostic faith with prophets and saints [Rafał Imos, "The Faith of the Soviet Man"].

*Depends on how one judge Lenin and Stalin action. Brezhnev era was definitive end of chasing the dream and deideologization.

Edit: If you're interested check "Anarchy, communism, nationalism" thread in History subforum. There I gave longer answer on why I think that m-l (not communism, distinction is important if overlooked) is religion.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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31-05-2017, 01:54 PM
RE: is communism a religion?
I'd say in many ways it was an old-fashioned oligarchic tyranny, coupled with some major Cult of Personality elements thrown in from the original leaders. It's a pretty standard model of human behavior, unfortunately, and hardly unique to Leninist/Stalinist Marxism.

The part that strikes me as most religion-like are the "unquestionable" dogmas pushed and propagandized by those leaders, and the punishment of those who questioned them... and the unwillingness to face facts, even when millions are dying from purges of "sinners" against that dogma and from unscientific ideas that suit the dogma (e.g. Lysenkoism, which resulted in the starvation of millions, often added to Stalin's murder toll).

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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31-05-2017, 03:35 PM
RE: is communism a religion?
(31-05-2017 01:54 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  The part that strikes me as most religion-like are the "unquestionable" dogmas pushed and propagandized by those leaders, and the punishment of those who questioned them...

This reminds me of a Hitchen's quote which went something like, "The most religious state I know of is North Korea." (paraphrased)
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