We begin this piece with an apt quote “to keep our heads straight”, as the saying goes. From there we will explore how religion was originally a pro human idea that considered the needs of the masses. Religion is accessible to the masses, whereas Marxism is not, which nevertheless is unfortunate, but true nonetheless. Marxism is popular on college campuses and no where else. We mean to change this completely, making Marxism and the social gospel a completely proletarian movement!
Religion: Spiritual Bondage
Writing in May 1918, Bolshevik leader Nikolai Bukharin outlined the Marxist approach to the struggle against religion and religious institutions, including by drawing on the experiences of the young Soviet republic that issued out of the 1917 October Revolution.
"Religion must by fought, if not by violence, at all events by argument. The Church must be separated from the State. That means that the priests may remain, but should be maintained by those who wish to accept their poison from them or by those who are interested in their existence. There is a poison called opium; when that is smoked, sweet visions appear; you feel as if you were in paradise. But its action tells on the health of the smoker. His health is gradually ruined, and little by little he becomes a meek idiot. The same applies to religion. There are people who wish to smoke opium; but it would be absurd if the State maintained at its expense, that is to say, at the expense of the people, opium dens and special men to serve them. For this reason the Church must be (and already is) treated in the same way: priests, bishops, archbishops, patriarchs, abbots and the rest of the lot must be refused State maintenance. Let the believers, if they wish it, feed the holy fathers at their own expense on the fat of the land, a thing which they, the priests, greatly appreciate.
On the other hand, freedom of thought must be guaranteed. Hence the axiom that religion is a private affair. This does not mean that we should not struggle against it by freedom of argument. It means that the State should support no church organisation. As regards this question, the programme of the Bolshevik Communists has been carried out all over Russia. Priests of all creeds have been deprived of State subsidy. And that is the reason why they have become so furious and have twice anathematised the present Government, i.e., the Government of the workers, by excommunicating all workers from the church. We must note this. At the time of the Tsar they knew well enough the text in the Scripture which says, “There is no power but from God,” and “The powers that be are to be obeyed.” They willingly sprinkled executioners with holy water. But why have they forgotten these texts at a time when the workers are at the head of the Government? Is it possible that the will of God does not hold good when there is a Communist Government? What can the reason be? The thing is very simple. The Soviet Government is the first Government in Russia to attack the pockets of the clergy. And this, by the way, is a priest’s most sensitive spot. The clergy are now in the camp of the “oppressed bourgeoisie.” They are working secretly and openly against the working class. But times have changed, and the masses of the labouring class are not so prone to become the easy prey to deceit they were before. Such is the great educational significance of the Revolution; revolution liberates us from economic slavery, but it also frees us from spiritual bondage.”
—Nikolai Bukharin, Programme of the World Revolution (1918)
We implicitly agree with the foregoing, but add at this time, that there is such a thing as liberation theology, which is by and large denied and fought against by the bourgeois state and the organized church who would rather use religion as a tool of terror and oppression, to keep the working class under subjugation and the establishment in power. As Communists, Socialists and Anarchist, we need to enlist the support of the elements of the liberation theology; though not allow mystics to hold state power. State and religion must be kept separate! The world working class that produces all real wealth and value must rule! Religious leanings are a private matter and should be kept that way, nor should a person be persecuted due to intuitive leanings. Intuition has allowed humanity to make many scientific and artistic leaps forward. We need only to look at the epiphanies of people like Einstein, Tesla and others to see this at work.
When Marxists effect a take over in some countries, the population under their government remains primarily religious, even if that practice was subject to persecution. One might say that this a carry over from the ealier order, but can Marxism truely stamp out all vestiges of religion? If the former Soviet Union is an example; at least in that case; no! Marxism in its purity struggles to increase freedom of thought and expression insofar as that freedom does not result in the censorship of others. This is a central idea that was supposedly one guaranteed by democratic norms that the bourgeoisie likes to espouse in contradistinction to the Communists.
History demonstrates that when theocracy becomes a state power, there is tyranny against all who disagree with the theocratic order and intense subjugation of the people under control, whether they agree or not. Theocracies are a reactionary throwback to an era prior to the bourgeois revolution that had one of its roots in the split of the Protestants from the corruption of the Catholic Church. The emerging bourgeoisie supported the Protestant "faith only" approach to religion as opposed to faith and works of the Catholics. This faith only for salvation allowed the bourgeoisie a lot of mobility to rob and oppress the masses in a host of ways and still look holy through death bed salvation via the acceptance of Jesus as God and faith in him as the savior and scapegoat of a sin sacrifice. At the same time, the very religion that allowed them so much room to do as they did, was used to keep the populace under tight rein and control through ingrained superstition and fear of the unknown. That same religion was used as a wedge to keep the masses away from "Godless Communism". Thus the great ideas of Marx that would have brought down to Earth, the fulfillment of the visions contained within the Bible and other world religious texts, were successfully blocked by the bourgeoisie so that they could profit at the expense of all who work.
Marxists balked and revolted against these abuses and all those who parasitized from the promulgation of them off the masses with plenty of justification. Unfortunately, religious ideas throughout history were used as an opiate to sedate the masses. It was done by the church, the aristocracy and now the bourgeois state, despite the sometimes obvious fact that they did not follow these concepts themselves. The people were given the socialist vision of "pie in the sky by and by when you die" as opposed to the real one here and now. As Communists, Socialists and Anarchists, our basic belief is that the people who make the pie should get the whole pie right now. Thus we have the idea to occupy the pie factory (or any other mine, farm, forest, fishing areas, factory, store, office, apartment) and seize the sum of productive capability for themselves; excluding the bourgeoisie and their entire state apparatus. Marxists struck hard at the root of corruption and still do, even if corruption is paraded in the name of God. Thus they earned the title of "Godless Communists" exaggerated out of all proportion by the class enemy, the bourgeoisie that has taken over the class war from theocrats and aristocracy against the toilers. If anyone is Godless, it is the capitalist order run by the bourgeoisie themselves, for they demonstrated this throughout their history to the present by their sheer lust for wealth and power at the expense of everyone and everything else.
There are liberation theologizes who agree with the central ideas of Communism and are strongly opposed to capitalism to the point of sacrificing their lives, one of who is Jose Maranda who wrote Marx and the Bible.