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

James Farmelant farmelantj at
Mon Aug 14 07:45:48 MDT 2000

Interestingly enough, one of the great critics of Marxism,
the sociologist Max Weber had a similar view of the
relationship between capitalism and transendence.  Since,
unlike Marxists, he did not look forward to revolution,
he placed his hopes in what he called charisma as the
way out of the loss of transcendence that capitalism
through its relenteless processes of rationalization
and bureacratization were imposing on humanity.

BTW an interesting book on this whole issue was
social democrat Michael Harrington's book
*The Politics at God's Funeral.*

Jim Farmelant
------Original Message------
From: "Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky" <Gorojovsky at>
To: marxism at
Sent: August 14, 2000 11:44:57 AM GMT
Subject: Re: Talking to Christians was Re: To CYeats was Re: a quick query

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

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

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at

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