Talking to Christians was Re: To CYeats was Re: a quick query

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at SPAMarnet.com.ar
Mon Aug 14 05:54:38 MDT 2000


En relación a Re: Talking to Christians was Re: To CYeats was R,
el 13 Aug 00, a las 22:59, Carrol Cox dijo:

> I think these problems bulk far greater in (semi-vacuous) theory than
> in actual day to day practice -- and I suspect that has been your own
> experience over the years. Practice revolves around particular issues
> and the participants in the struggle don't ordinarily quiz each other
> over ultimate philosophies. "The Church" will doubtless always be
> our enemy -- but there is no necessary linkage whatever between
> what "The Church" says and what this or that particular member of
> the church will think on a given occasion. The beauty of all non-marxist
> positions (from a marxist perspective) is the utter divorce of theory and
> practice they allow, which means that all sorts of people who would
> be our enemies if they were "logical" (drew that "logical" conclusions
> from the abstract principles they hold) nevertheless turn out to be our
> friends on specific issues -- even when the specific issue that comes
> to the fore is the overthrow of the state.
>
> That's why our real enemies hate fellow travellers so -- fellow
> travelers make the revolution.

Although this is great thinking and speaking, I would say that it is
more than a bit too schematic. In fact, there IS a common ground
between religion (monotheistic religion, so far as I know, but I
would even bet that it is a common ground with any form of religious
belief) and us, a common ground that capitalism attacks.

This ground is the field of trascendence. We Marxists, dialectical
materialists, find trascendence of the limits of individual life -
lifespan include, indeed- in social and  historic action (the Kingdom
of this World), while religion seeks same thing in Heavens or
wherever. The only social formation that has no structural haven for
this feeling of trascendence is, no surprise, capitalism. Radical
individualism will always find it hard to answer the question raised
by individual death. Sense and meaning come to a close when
confronted to this simple question. Thus, capitalism breeds the only
truly atheistic social formation that has ever existed (this is
precisely why religion can become a side issue in life).

Western religions have seen capitalism come to life, so that they may
calmly expect it to die. Common political work with religious
movements does not only stem from eventual coincidences, it may also
be fostered by this basic coincidence. In this sense, if religion is
our "enemy", it is our "enemy" in the sense paganism was an enemy to
early Christians, that is, we shall have to see if stripped off its
links with power it will be able to survive in a socialist world. I
would not take bets easily. There is much on our side to do if we
think it important to fight religious feeelings once we get to power,
not only "antireligious propaganda" (this was, IMHO, one of the most
tragically senseless activities the Bolsheviks engaged into during
the High Years of the Revolution: our work here must be on a deeper
level).

As to Third World Catholics, will send some comments one of these
days.



Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar





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