Religion: [noun]: “Belief in or acknowledgement of some superhuman power or powers which is typically manifested in obedience, reverence, and worship; such a belief as part of a system defining a code of living, esp. as a means of achieving spiritual or material improvement.” – Oxford English Dictionary
Earlier this week, Effie Deans wrote a brilliant piece about, in part, the left’s obsession with defying human nature and achieving absolute equality. That piece, judging from reaction on social media certainly has struck a chord with people- as people have witnessed the left’s escalating zealotry. Many people are rightly extremely confused by the irrate behaviour of some leftists recently- examples include calling for iconoclasm of statues of historical figures and accusing everyone of being a Nazi who doesn’t share their world view- including the likes of ultra-moderates like Prime Minister Theresa May. Many people are wondering how a political movement can be so passionate about matters large and small- to being equally outraged and apocalyptic about Brexit and the colour of shoes in shops.
Like with most things, there is usually a “method to the madness” if one studies something close enough. With socialism, (of the Marxist variety not watered down social democracy), it is important to understand that it is not a simple set of beliefs for improving the economy or improving public services. Marxist socialism is a utopian and apocalyptic religion that’s goal is eventually the equal sharing of goods and the eradication of traditional human nature. Like most religions, its goal is nirvana and heaven, but for the Marxist the heaven is of this world.
“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too…
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world.”- St. John of Liverpool
I first wrote of socialism as a religion in 2013. I saw it as a religion in decline and no longer purely practiced- sort of like the Church of England today. I saw modern western socialism as being a hang over from the 20th century- with flocks who held to a New Testament of “hope and change” of Barack Obama (or fewer “Milifandom” of Ed Miliband)- but that was not the true religion of the prophets from the 20th century but rather a lazy belief in the omnipotence of the state. Four years later, we can see that the vision of Prophet Karl Marx (peace be upon him) and St. John is alive and well- fighting for their god of equality tooth and nail in the great revival led by the Rev. Jeremy Corbyn, the Rev. Bernie Sanders, and others. However, before we turn to what is behind the revival of the religion, we must first understand their theology.
“The theory of Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” – From the Holy Communist Manifesto and the Prophet Karl Marx (peace be upon him).
As discussed above, many people are flummoxed by the rabidity of the socialists on matters large and small. Many people are also surprised by the sheer hypocrisy of their stances in regards to many issues However, it is not surprising, if you keep the above theory of Marx in mind. I will give three examples- domestic policy, foreign policy and cultural issues.
Domestic Economic Policy. Every single Labour government has left the country in a worse economic state than it inherited. It was under a Labour government when Britain was forced into the winter of discontent and accept IMF loans in the 1970s. However, British socialism is a tame example compared to other forms of socialism- whether it be people starving and abolishing democracy in Venezuela or the sheer horror of North Korea- saying nothing of the collapse of the Soviet bloc in the 1980s. So then why do socialists cling to views that have so often ended in disaster and misery? The answer is unfortunately very simple, the goal of economic policy is equality and the eventual abolition of private property- not economic growth.
Take for example a fairly small and less intense issue- tax rates. Economics shows that lower taxes result in higher tax collection due to higher wealth creation and that most of the taxes collected comes from the rich. In Britain and the United States, arguably the two most capitalist of western nations, the rich pay nearly all the taxes while the poor pay almost no taxes at all. Surely this would be a cause of celebration for the socialist? One would think that, but that would be wrong because the goal of socialism is equality. If people, or companies (called the “bourgeoisie” in Marxist scriptures) are prosperous that is bad because it means the goal of true economic equality is farther away. If someone or some organisation are less subservient to the powers of the state or can influence it to help businesses, that means that the goal of equality is farther away because those companies and individuals are better off than others. The state must bring upon equality and that means punitive taxes. It is only fair that taxes be as high as possible on successful people and companies because the goal is equality- not economic growth. The state is the only way to enforce equality until the heaven on earth of communism. Therefore, is it a success that the world’s poverty rate has fallen from 94% to around 10% in 200 years? NO! Because it means the goal of paradise is father away as people are distracted with the material distractions that accompany middle class life. As far as the Marxist is concerned, the “middle class” created during industrialisation are a bunch of evil collaborators trying to stop equality and their well being should not be the concern or the priority of government economic policy- rather it should be equality.
Foreign Policy. Many people are especially confused by the socialist’s seemingly contradictory stances on foreign policy. Why is the socialist outraged by Texas and Saudi Arabia drilling oil but think it is wonderful that Venezuela was a petro state and the USSR plundered its forests and dried its own Aral Sea? Why does the socialist oppose fracking in England but support Scotland building an independent state based off oil? Why does the socialist decry supposed human rights abuses by Israel but not mind at all when Cuba violates human rights? Why does the socialist condemn the invasion of Iraq by the US and UK but support the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets? Why is the socialist enraged by killings done by British troops or loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland but not bothered at all by killings done by the IRA (Jeremy Corbyn’s friends who killed more than British troops and loyalists combined)? Why does the socialist condemn homophobia and sexism in the US and UK where gay marriage is legal and women are guaranteed equal pay for equal work under the law, but never condemn homophobia and sexism where being gay is illegal and being a woman means you are a second class citizen in countries like Iran and (until Trump became President) Russia? The answer is very simple- the Americans and British and their allies are always the villains.
One might wonder, why would the socialist hate America and Britain more than anyone? While capitalist generally, they are not the most free marketer- that would be a place like Singapore, Dubai, or Switzerland. They are not the most socially traditional- that belongs to the likes of Iran (good) and Saudi Arabia (bad). No, the reason why the Americans and British are the “Great Satan” is because they are the ones who have defeated socialism in this world. It was the British Empire who spread global capitalism and it is American fuelled globalisation that continues to spread it to every corner of the globe to this day (with the help of their “stooges” like Israel (evil stooge number one), Australia and others). Furthermore, it was the alliance led by the United States and the United Kingdom- in NATO and in theatres across the world- that defeated socialism and thus prevented the dream of heaven on earth in communism in the last century. Therefore, the Americans and British must always be opposed, no matter who the enemy is. That is why Brexit is bad for most socialists (at least the new ones- maybe not Corbyn who is of the old faith) for instance. The European Union, for all its faults of dealings with evil corporations, diminished the influence of Britain under the European collective and pursued the goal of abolishing countries (especially evil countries like the UK)- and abolishing nation states is closer to the communist goal.
Unfortunately for the socialist however, they tend to be defeated on economics and foreign policy because their ideas frankly do not work very well in practice. They were not just defeated in the Cold War, but have suffered more recent set-backs with Brexit, the election of Donald Trump (although, in fairness, the election of Trump may have been a set back for anti-socialists as well), and the collapse of Venezuela. Therefore, they have taken aim at a new vessel for bringing forth global salvation- cultural wars.
The Cultural War. The great socialist revival, 25 years after communism collapsed, has been almost entirely due to their excellent strategy when it comes to waging war for cultural equality. “Cultural equality” defined here does not mean equality of opportunity or respect (which are good things), but rather equality of outcome. What does that mean in the cultural realm exactly? I mean iconoclasm and the move at destroying the knowledge of the history of the capitalist society.
I grew up in the nineties and the noughties. Up until the financial collapse of 2008 this was the so-called “end of history” and individualism was king. But the socialists, who during that time largely controlled the education system as they do today, were very clever in that they played on the sense of entitlement and individual narcissism of the group of young people I grew up in. They would tell us that we could be anything we wanted to be, but on the other hand, if we didn’t get what we wanted, we were oppressed by an unfair (capitalist) system. Didn’t get into the good university of your choice or become a famous celebrity? Racism. Or Sexism. Or Homophobia. Or because you aren’t rich enough. Or because corporations are evil. Or because of Christian bigots or whomever. It could never be our fault and individual responsibility is not real. Like what was seen with many of the baby boomers, growing up wealthy is not a deterrent to being swayed by the belief in radical equality. Rather, when the financial collapse happened, the millennial generation’s sense of entitlement took an ever bigger shock. Not only could one not be a movie star or partner in a huge law firm by the age of 25- one could barely find a job at all! This was an enormous hit to the psyche of this most privileged of generations and thus the siren sounds of socialism sounded more appealing to them. Young people, radical by nature as a general rule regardless of era raised in, thus turned to people like Bernie Sanders and Jeremey Corbyn- figures of the political fringes. And even though the economy has largely recovered, the ideas of the financial downturn, of unfairness and the need for a state to provide prosperity to them as a matter of entitlement, have stuck with many millennials as they enter adulthood- and the socialists win the majority of their votes.
The other essential facet of the socialists’ cultural war is the teaching, or rather lack of teaching, of history. As discussed above, socialists see the United States and United Kingdom as essentially evil countries. Therefore, it is important when teaching on the US and UK to only teach about the bad things we have done in history, rather than the positive.
For example, look at the way slavery and racism in the UK is taught and heavily focused on in schools. Slavery and racism are clearly an evil. You deprive someone of their dignity as a human being when you enslave them and/or racially discriminate against them. So when the socialist teaches history they use a universally agreed upon evil to make a perverse point. The socialist argues that the British Empire was “inherently” racist. And therefore, that is what they teach their students- by focusing on incidents of racism in the British Empire. However, what they do not teach is that it was the British Empire who not only were the first to end slavery- but it was the British Empire who sacrificed lives and taxes to use the Royal Navy to stamp out the slave trade. They will focus on when the British Empire sometimes ruled heavy handedly- but do they acknowledge that Britain brought parliamentary democracy to almost all of their colonies- including the biggest democracy in the world in India as well as prosperous nations such as Canada and Australia and Singapore? Of course not. They focus on some Medieval oppression done to Scotland (a time when frankly everyone was oppressive), but neglect to mention the Scottish UK Prime Ministers, professors, soldiers, merchants, inventors, explorers, philosophers and any other trade who benefited from the world stage the United Kingdom provided the Scots. They bring up that Churchill might have said mean things about Gandhi (both of whom, by the way, fought for the British against actual proponents of Apartheid in the Afrikaners in the Boer War) but skip the fact they he stood up to true, unencumbered racist evil in Nazi Germany and led the nation, alone, and then later with allies, to beat the Nazi evil. The socialist, in teaching history, selectively focuses on certain trees to ignore a beautiful forest. Ignorance of historical figures is very common among students.
A similar line of teaching is applied to demonise America. Focus on the bad of say racism and slavery, while ignoring the significance of fighting a civil war to free slaves and passing laws to right the wrongs of its poor race relations- what is most important is to focus on the bad parts of the past. With socialist teaching of history, ignorance is absolutely essential to promote following of socialism. The fact that the institution of slavery has existed in almost every human society up until the nineteenth century, including in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America, is not taught at all. The fact that Communists are the biggest murderers in human history and that the bloodiest dictators to ever walk on the face of the earth are named Mao and Stalin is also conveniently not taught. Learning the history of great historical or literary figures is considered bad because many of those people are “dead white men.” In the name of “equality” the great achievements of our civilisation- of freedom, rule of law, habeus corpus, parliamentary democracy and yes, capitalism, is condemned.
For the establishment of a new religious order the remnants of the old order must be destroyed
Then the world will be for the common people, and the sounds of happiness will reach the deepest springs. Ah! Come! People of every land, how can you not be roused.- From the Holy Communist Manifesto and the Prophet Karl Marx (peace be upon him).
There is a perfectly logical reason as to why the socialists want the history of capitalist civilisation destroyed- because their goal is to replace it with there perfect society of a “workers’ paradise.” This is not unique to the Church of Socialism, this is what religious fundamentalists do to usher in the superiority of their religion over the old order. When the Christians took over the Roman Empire, the Altar of Victory had to be removed from the Senate, though it had been there 400 years, because the world was now Christian and the Altar of Victory signified paganism. The Hagia Sofia could no longer be a Church and had to become a mosque because the Byzantine Empire was conquered and Constantinople became Istanbul. The Aztec temple had to be torn down brick by brick and made into a cathedral with those same bricks when Mexico was conquered by Spain. The monasteries had to go and become estates to the new nobility of Henry VIII during the Reformation. Palmyra’s antiquities had to be destroyed because of the establishment of the Caliphate of the Islamic State. The socialists are no different than any extremist religious movement. Therefore, not only must Nelson be torn down from his column, but that is why they become so irate at the thought of a monument of Thatcher- because to them that would be like erecting a monument to Baal in the Temple of Solomon. The monarchy must go and the wigs of barristers must go. The nuclear family must go as must the banks. All must be equal- and every tactic must be used to achieve the equality- whether it be racial wars or dishonesty or re-education- because all must be sacrificed for the coming of the New Jerusalem.
A new world order must come- a world foretold in the Holy Book of the Manifesto. That is why socialism is a religion.