On Bhaskar's turn to God was Re: my column

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at SPAMqut.edu.au
Sun Nov 26 14:32:59 MST 2000

Jim wanted to know why he should not have been shocked by Bhaskar' turn to
God. Well if he had been a member of the Bhaskar list he would have kno2wn
that I spotted this trend about two years ago.  For me Bhaskar's
"conversion" is simply a classic instance of the return of the
repressed.  That of course is not to denigrate it in any way.

But Jim has raised a wider question, what should the attitude of the "hard
bitten rationalists" be to the resurgence of the spiritual, which is so
evident in the new anti-capitalist movement.  I like to point out here
Lou's example of the first American Marxist (name?) who doubled as a
medium.  Many of the early socialists and Marxists were interested in such
matters.  It was I suspect the less than benign influence of Lenin with his
obsessive attacks on religion that turned the Marxist movement away from a
sympathetic look at those of us who seek transcendence on other than
material levels.

I argue here that what we need is a very broad movement if we are to wind
back capitalism.  Within that context tolerance and acceptance is an
absolute necessity.

Now if it helps Marxist can take refuge in the distinction between
objective and subjective idealism.  Bhaskar is now an objective idealist in
that he asserts the primacy of spirit over matter.  He is not a subjective
idealist like the post modernists in that he does not claim that the
material world has no independent existence apart from humanity's cognitive

Bhaskar's objective idealism puts him in the company of the Vedic scholars,
Plato and Hegel.  We should note here Lenin's remark about idealist.  think
of it like this Jim.  Objective idealists may be a bit crazy but they are
still family.

It all depends whether they think the kingdom of god can be realised here
on Earth.  If they support that then we have an alliance.  If they want pie
in the sky when we die then we have nothing in common with them.

warm regards


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