[Marxism] "Political Islam" (was: Frei Betto: Encounters with Fidel

Einde O'Callaghan einde at gmx.de
Fri Aug 18 19:03:32 MDT 2006

Louis Proyect schrieb:
>> Actually that isn't strictly true of James Connolly.
>> Einde O'Callaghan
> James Connolly, "Socialism and Religion":
> This is the main reason why Socialists fight shy of theological dogmas 
> and religions generally: because we feel that Socialism is based upon a 
> series of facts requiring only unassisted human reason to grasp and 
> master all their details, whereas Religion of every kind is admittedly 
> based upon ‘faith’ in the occurrence in past ages of a series of 
> phenomena inexplicable by any process of mere human reasoning. 
> Obviously, therefore, to identify Socialism with Religion would be to 
> abandon at once that universal, non-sectarian character which to-day we 
> find indispensable to working-class unity, as it would mean that our 
> members would be required to conform to one religious creed, as well as 
> to one specific economic faith – a course of action we have no intention 
> of entering upon as it would inevitably entangle us in the disputes of 
> the warring sects of the world, and thus lead to the disintegration of 
> the Socialist Party.
> full: http://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1901/evangel/socrel.htm
This isn't the only piece Connolly wrote on religion - particularly in 
Labour Nationality and Religion, 
http://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1910/lnr/index.htm, and, even 
more so, in his debate in the Catholic Times in 1912, 
http://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1912/rome/index.htm, Connolly 
makes a number of concessions to religion and specifically Catholicism.

There were also a number of Bolsheviks of Muslim origin, e.g. Sultan 
Galiev, who approached Islam from within in a similar way to Connolly's 
approach to Catholicism from within, so to speak.

My purpose here is to suggest that it's not very helpful to make wide 
sweeping statements about Marxism and religion, which are relatively 
easy to refute if you look a little deeper.

Einde O'Callaghan

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