Religion & Counter-Revolution (was Re: Religion -- or the lack ofit -- should be up to the individual)

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Mon Jan 1 19:23:09 MST 2001

Danielle Ni Dhighe wrote:

> At 02:54 PM 12/28/2000, Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
>  >Spiritual beliefs & bourgeois counter-revolution can
>  >go hand in hand.
> I won't disagree, but it shouldn't be assumed that spiritual beliefs
> necessarily lead to bourgeois counter-revolution.  If a person is a
> historical materialist committed to creating communism, I think any private
> spiritual beliefs of theirs are unlikely to lead to bourgeois
> counter-revolution.

I really don't understand what in the world a "private spiritual belief"
could be or mean. It seems to me to be primarily word magic. That
is, the _word_ "spiritual" has powerful suggestive  qualities which a
person believes are important and thereby clings to the word without
really giving it any material content. On this basis, I guess my objection
would be not to religious belief but to belief in magic (word magic),
and I don't understand how anyone clinging to word magic can
claim to adhere to historical materialism. I _can_ understand, very
easily, how such a person could be wholly committed to the struggle
for communism, but I don't see how such a person could make
very useful contributions to strategic or tactical theory or to the
materialist analysis of the enemy.

Incidentally, I believe insistence on the inevitability of socialism
is, probably, essentially a religious, or perhaps a spiritualist one.
Magic, spiritualism, and inevitabilism all share a distrust of human
capacity and assume that human survival depends on forces
outside of and independent of history. All are equally incompatible
with historical materialism.


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