carol and lou on religion

Craven, Jim jcraven at
Thu Dec 28 12:04:59 MST 2000


Action not guided by sound theory and scholarship leads to groping in the
dark and lashing out in potentially unproductive directions; theory and
scholarship divorced from application, action and concrete realities,
becomes sterile and useless--like a compass without a ship, or worse. Of
course they are dialectially united.

But we should be careful about charging people with being theory mongers,
divorced from concrete action, because who really knows on this list what
people are doing--actionwise--beyond this list? I for one, can attest that
Louis does a whole lot of very concrete revolutionary action, in ways that
few will ever know, beyond his considerable scholarship and breadth/depth of
knowledge on a variety of subjects.

BTW, on the subject of religion, Marx was clear that the attack against the
conditions and forms of oppression that give rise to religion and the "need"
for religion, should not take place primarily through an attack against
religion but rather the reverse--the analysis of/attack against religion
should take place via an attack against the conditions and forms of
oppression that give rise to and shape the content of religion.

Jim Craven

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Maki [mailto:alanmaki at]
Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2000 10:03 AM
To: marxism at
Subject: Re: carol and lou on religion

I find it very difficult to understand how "marxists" can spend so much time

on some of these topics while Leonard Peltier languishes in prison and
workers in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada face one of the most difficult strikes
in North America..... did anyone ever read in marx anything about "action"?

Alan Maki

>From: " George Snedeker" <snedeker at>
>Reply-To: marxism at
>To: <marxism at>
>Subject: carol and lou on religion
>Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 14:01:49 -0500
>I think it was Cornel West who argued that Marxism had nothing to say about
>the question of death. this is why he thought we still needed religion to
>answer human needs for metaphysical questions. carol's and Lou's posts
>this question to mind. personally, I don't think Marxism need answer all of
>the questions in the universe. I have always thought religion  was more of
>problem than a solution to any human form of suffering. enter Freud
>replacing Durkheim. I mean what is it that leads us to run to the
>supernatural for help during hard times? is this need conditioned by modes
>of production, or is it a basic human weakness? there is a relationship
>between the personal and the social. Marx might say that the personal is a
>moment of the social since you can not have a personal without a social.
>even Durkheim knew this quite well.
>I have a friend, a good atheist, who when her brother was under going open
>heart surgery prayed for him. she told me that this was because she might
>wrong and why should he suffer?
>George Snedeker

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