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IS MARXISM THE RELIGION OF ATHEISM?
in Philosophy

By GrafixGrafix 230 Pts edited March 22

Marx was scathingly critical of all religion, tagging it as 'The opium of the people'.  Lenin echoed his words when he stated, “Religion is opium for the people, a spiritual booze".


“We Communists are atheists", declared Chou En-lai at the Bandung, Indonesia Conference in April, 1955. This Chinese Communist leader captured the fundamental theological ingredient of Marxist Leninism in one word:  atheism. 

Marx said: "Philosophy makes no secret of it", following up with the words of Prometheus: "In sooth all gods I hate",  declaring such to be the philosophy of Marxism, "By its own admission, by its own motto against all gods, heavenly and earthly, who do not acknowledge the consciousness of man as the supreme divinity. There must be no god on a level with it.”

Marxist faith & religion

The ideology does not include any supernatural beliefs, but despite its rationalist pretensions, it has a definitive quasi-religious, faith-based quality that is uneniable.  Bertrand Russell in his History of Western Philosophy  defined Marxism's fundamental conceptual precepts and likened them to a faith-based system in the following manner:
  • God is replaced with Dialectical Materialism
  • The Messiah is replaced with Marx as the founder
  • The Elect is replaced with The Proletariat
  • The Church is replaced with The Communist Party
  • The Second Coming is replaced with The Bolshevik Revolution
  • Hell is replaced with Punishment of The Capitalists
  • The Millennium arrives as the final realization of The Communist Commonwealth
Another quasi-religious element peculiar to Marxist Communism is the nurturing of personality cults by Communist leaders. Lenin and Joseph Stalin were the first, followed by Mao Zedong and others.  North Korea's leaders demonstrate a continuing personality cultism in their Communist monarchy, with three generations of god-kings so far.

Questions For Debate:

1.  Why would anyone begrudge the people their "spiritual opium" with such a burning hatred for their God or gods?  Isn't that somewhat irrational in and of itself?

2.  Was Lenin an opportunist, in that he used Marxist atheism as a tool to create a following through which to orchstrate a revolution and make a power grab?   

3.  Who funded Lenin and the Bolshevik Revolution?  Lenin had no wealth, was but a poor soul exiled in Switzerland. His passage to Russia was paid for by vested interests, overthrowing Czar Nicholas II - ending the Romanov dynasty.

4.  Why did these capitalist interests fund Lenin and the entire Revolution?  What did they have to gain?
 
The further back we look, the greater forward insight we can have. History speaks.



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  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    You will like the following articles:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_communism
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_socialism
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somali_Democratic_Republic

    Marxism is just a pseudo-scientific theory according to which the society consists of multiple separate classes that are in the state of permanent conflict with each other. Dialectical materialism does not require atheism, and Marx believed that the problem with religion is not that it is not based on logic per se, but that it is usually used by the ruling class to deceive and control other classes (one of the few things he actually got right). There have been countless Islamic communist regimes, and many Christians also embrace communism.

    Marxism also is not a religion, as it does not feature any supernatural deities. It is just a pseudo-science based on a very wrong understanding of the world conflicting with all evidence.
    Happy_Killbotpiloteer
  • GrafixGrafix 230 Pts
    edited March 21
    @MayCaesar - So much wrong with your statement.  No Christian can  embrace Communism and remain a Christian.  It is not ideologically or philosophically possible.   Communism's self-confessed ideology is a 
    G O D L E S S   society, a Godless collective.  I think you mean that Christians embrace the idea of a "collective" in the way an Israeli Kibbutz works, which cannot be called Communism for the reason that Communism actually has its own identity - an authoritarian and dictatorial Politburo, ruling over the collective commune of the proletariat, which must be, by mandate, a Godless community under a Godless State.  That's the full definition of Communism.  A Jewish Kibbutz although also a collective, is not ruled by an authoritative State with a mandatory Godless requirement.  It is important not to ignore these qualifiers.

    Communism is not a blanket definition for the concepts of either a "commune"  or a "collective".  It is more than that.  It is an entire political and anti-religious system as well, whereby a "commune", which is what you are really describing may well be supported by a Christian outlook.  Marxism is not "psuedo" anything.  It is very real, very visible in its manifestation, although very invisible in its operation - a politic of stealth.  That's why people deny its existence.  Neo-Marxism is what operates today, commonly termed as "Cultural Marxism".  It's Agenda is to undermine the culture of its target, a perceived competitor or enemy - happening right under our noses as we speak, without the people even aware of it.  That's why it is so successful.  It "creeps" up on society..

    The word "religion" can  be used to describe many systems, which don't necessarily need to be movements or groups which literally "worship" on bended knee at any altar of any God.  It is frequently used to describe fervor,  a fervor for a politic, for a social paradigm, or a philosophy or a movement.  In the way Marxism is revered, clung to, defended hotly and passionately, including its expansionist Agenda and primary goal of inculcation, it most certainly falls under the definition of a "religion" in the literary sense.
    piloteer
    The further back we look, the greater forward insight we can have. History speaks.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    @Grafix

    I just showed you that there are Marxist/communist Christians and Muslims out there. You do not have a monopoly on deciding who is Christian and who is not; for all purposes a Christian is a person who follows the Bible, and the Bible can be interpreted in many different ways.

    Regarding what Marxism is, you do not have to explain it to me, as I was born in a Marxist-Leninist country. ;) Marxism is, in general, just the idea of warring classes (Jordan Peterson explains it surprisingly well, and I recommend that you listen to him to gain a better understanding of this subject), which is compatible with all religions, as it features not a moral framework or historical claims, but a model of societal interaction. You can believe that this is how society actually operates, while still abiding by a moral ruleset from one of existing religions and believing in a particular history of the world.

    Atheism is what Marx personally favored, but do not confuse his views on this with the philosophy he promoted and suggested as a model of societal organisation. He never said that atheism absolutely has to be the official ideology of a communist society; it was merely his personal preference. Of course Marxist regimes around the world usually embraced this preference, but not all did; especially in the Islamic world there were quite a few Marxist regimes or rebel factions that followed Islam at the same time. In fact, Iran even nowadays features a socialist-Islamic ideology, quite strongly connect to Marxism, albeit featuring some differences as well.

    Atheism in itself also has nothing to do with Marxism; it is just lack of belief in a deity. I am an atheist, and I do not take Marxism seriously. Same as not every Christian endorses the Crusades, for example. There are many possible manifestations of a given world view.

    For that matter, Marxism and communism are also not the same. Marxism is the ideology describing how the society allegedly operates, and communism is a proposed system of societal organisation in response to that.
    Happy_Killbot
  • DeeDee 1707 Pts
    edited March 21

    The full quote from Karl Marx translates as: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people". Often quoted only in part, the interpretation of the metaphor in its context has received much less attention


    What part of the term religion do you not comprehend ? It’s funny also as you’re basically saying Atheists are as foolish as you are as they believe in a god 


    religion

    /rɪˈlɪdʒ(ə)n/

    Learn to pronounce


    noun

    noun: religion

    1. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God 



    The label of cultural Marxism is tossed out yet again adding to yet another from your long list of ridiculous conspiracy theories ......


    Rational wiki .....


    “Cultural Marxism" (both uppercase) is a common snarl word used to paint anyone with progressive tendencies as a secret Communist. The term alludes to a conspiracy theory in which sinister left-wingers have infiltrated mediaacademia, and science, and are engaged in a decades-long plot to undermine Western culture. Some variants of the conspiracy allege that basically all of modern social liberalism is, in fact, a Communist front group.


    It’s a very silly and childish debate topic which unfortunately is just another in a long list of hate debates posted up by militant American religious loons on here 

    Happy_KillbotPlaffelvohfen
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    I will agree that the label "cultural Marxist" makes little logical sense. Marxism is Marxism; it is not "cultural", it just is.

    It is true that there are obvious parallels between Marx' idea of warring classes and the popular nowadays idea of clashing identities, so, I suppose, the label "Marxism" is not completely unwarranted, albeit it is certainly not precise enough. I would instead just call it "collectivism", because that is what it is: splitting people into collectives based on some abstract features not taking the individual peculiarities into account - and then proclaiming that these collectives are somehow "living" entities that should be treated uniquely.

    Collectivism is what thinking of groups versus individuals really is. Identity politics is one form of collectivism, and Marxism is another (although the two are not mutually exclusive). There are relatively few actual Marxists in the developed world nowadays, although there is a lot of socialists who share some of the Marxist views.
  • thelothelo 2 Pts
    edited March 21
    @Grafix ;

    "Who funded Lenin and the Bolshevik Revolution?  Lenin had no wealth, was but a poor soul living in New York. His passage to Russia was paid for by vested interests, overthrowing Czar Nicholas II - ending the Romanov dynasty."

    "Why did these capitalist interests fund Lenin and the entire Revolution?  What did they have to gain?"

    Lenin never set foot in New York. You're thinking of Leon Trotsky. In 1917 Trotsky was exiled to the US by Spanish authorities for stoking anti-war sentiments. He stayed in New York for less than 3 months. While there, he made his living writing for two socialist magazines:
     
    1. The Forward -  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Forward

    A yiddish-language socialist magazine.
    It's publishers are not-for-profit.
     
    2. Novy Mir - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novy_Mir_(1916_magazine)

    A Russian language socialist magazine. It was edited by Nikolai Bukharin and Alexandra Kollontai, both noted members of the Bolshevik Party.

    They would return to Russia using the funds they earned from this magazine alongside Trotsky in March of 1917, to help start the October Revolution. As for the Bolshevik Party, they were largely funded by member dues, and robbing banks (yep). 

    A Marxist revolutionary returning from exile to participate in a communist insurgency is about the furthest thing from a "capitalist interest" I can think of. To suggest that the man who was known for, among other things, being the founder of the Red Army was funded by "capitalist interests" is nonsensical.

    Capitalists do not seek to gain profit from the spread of socialism or communism. It is partially why the United States funded so many military coups around the world to prevent the now-disproven theory of the Domino Effect. Ideologies that seek to empower working people above all else do not appeal to capitalist interests.

    Cult-of-personality dictators have nothing to do with Marxism. Karl Marx was strongly opposed to the concept. Every single leader you listed had their own ideological style; Stalinism, Maoism and Juche for North Korea, respectively. As for Lenin, his cult-of-personality was posthumously perpetrated by Stalin. 

    Comparing Marxist concepts to theological concepts is misleading. Marxism is built on the study of historical patterns. Although it is outdated, it is scientific in nature. It's claim that "history can be understood through a series of class struggles" is widely accepted today as a genuine sociological pattern.

    Historical context is not present in this argument though. Your argument can be understood as a series of false equivalencies. 
  • AlofRIAlofRI 552 Pts
    Why would an atheist even WANT a religion? I certainly don't want one, don't need one, don't believe in one, don't want anything to do with one.

    I can only answer for ME, but, no, Marxism ain't my religion. Next question??
    Happy_KillbotPlaffelvohfen
  • AmpersandAmpersand 776 Pts
    edited March 21
    The comparisons between Christianity and communism look very weak. Dialectical materialism is just a viewpoint and way of analysing social change. it's not analogous to a deity in a religion. For other points, the similarity is so vague that it applies in millions of scenarios. The rest are so vague that you can pretty much link them to group with members. I mean your similarities are basically "Hey, they're both groups! and Both groups have members! And these groups were founded by somebody!". The same literally applies to every single group in existence.

    To answer your questions:

    1) The full quote is "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people". You can see in this fuller quote that the view of religion is more positive, a way to reach towards something good due to the victimisation and lack of power people feel. The issue is not that religion doesn't serve a function, but rather that that function is merely covering up the symptoms of the overall disease (inequality brought about by feudal and capitalist economic systems). It was Lenin who took a much more militant stance on religion.

    2) No, that seems unlikely and counterfactual. Lenin joined as a worker at the grassroots of the movement and for much of the time that he started to dedicate himself to socialism the chance of there actually being a socialist revolution seemed slim and the chances of him leading it even slimmer. On the other hand the chance of being punished for involvement in radical politics was high (he spent years exiled in Siberia) and certainly not a path to stake anything on if all you cared about was personal power. The only realistic assumption is that he was committed to his cause, regardless of whether you think poorly or positively of that cause.

    3) The German government arranged to help Lenin get to Russia: https://spartacus-educational.com/Lenin_Sealed_Train.htm

    4) Germany was at war with Russia so sending revolutionaries there seemed like an easy way to help knock the USSR out off the war. They had no long-term interest in Lenin succeeding, but for the short-term they needed to do anything they could to close down the Eastern front and concentrate all their forces in the West to try and knock out France and Britain.
    Happy_Killbot
  • DeeDee 1707 Pts
    @MayCaesar

    **** Marxism is Marxism; it is not "cultural", it just is.

    I still do not know what Marxism is or Socialism is as the parameters shift from each individuals take on such systems applied to the masses. There are so many different versions of Marxism and thus Marxist thinking around the globe and each one claims their version is truest to what Marx believed to be the ideal  in this it’s rather like religion as in each group claims their version is the “ one true one” and all others in error 
  • DeeDee 1707 Pts
    edited March 21
    @MayCaesar

    ***** I will agree that the label "cultural Marxist" makes little logical sense. Marxism is Marxism; it is not "cultural", it just is.

    I still do not know what Marxism is or for that matter socialism . Lenin based his views of such on his interpretation of what Marx actually wanted as did Stalin who considered the political and economic system under his rule to be Marxism–Leninism

    I know what Marx believed from his writings but like religion its all down to subjective interpretations of what individuals believe Marx actually meant and each one claims his/ her version is pure Marxism as in truest to what Marx himself envisioned, rather like the religious claiming their particular view on such is the right and only one 
  • GrafixGrafix 230 Pts
    edited March 23
    @MayCaesar - No you didn't "show" me or anyone for that matter in the absence of any evidence at all to substantiate your claim that 
    @Grafix - I just showed you that there are Marxist/communist Christians and Muslims out there. You do not have a monopoly on deciding who is Christian and who is not; for all purposes a Christian is a person who follows the Bible, and the Bible can be interpreted in many different ways.
    Anyone can make hollow claims and pretend that they have "shown" something.  A hollow claim is what it is.  Hollow.  It proves nothing, shows nothing, teaches nothing and informs no-one.  Put aside the deep-seated bigotry against Christianity and work out the logic of it, namely, that it is impossible to be a Christian and at the same time subscribe to a GODLESS doctrine.  Communism demands Godlessness and the Proletariat locks up or lops off the heads of those caught worshipping anything, even idols. .  LOL!
    Regarding what Marxism is, you do not have to explain it to me, as I was born in a Marxist-Leninist country.  Marxism is, in general, just the idea of warring classes (Jordan Peterson explains it surprisingly well, and I recommend that you listen to him to gain a better understanding of this subject), which is compatible with all religions, as it features not a moral framework or historical claims, but a model of societal interaction. You can believe that this is how society actually operates, while still abiding by a moral ruleset from one of existing religions and believing in a particular history of the world.
    Jordan Peterson I am familiar with.  Sometimes he's brilliant, other times he is afflicted with what all philosophers are - complicates a simple Agenda with a sophistry that was never intended.  Karl Marx's view was very clear cut and uncomplicated.  He resented capitalism and class distinctions and so invented a model which prohibited the worship of any God, which he believed would eradicate all three.  There's nothing more needed to define it.  Of course, he's long gone and not the problem.  It is those who now deploy his model and impose it on others to serve their personal, political and geo-political ambitions.
    Atheism is what Marx personally favored, but do not confuse his views on this with the philosophy he promoted and suggested as a model of societal organisation. He never said that atheism absolutely has to be the official ideology of a communist society; it was merely his personal preference. Of course Marxist regimes around the world usually embraced this preference, but not all did; especially in the Islamic world there were quite a few Marxist regimes or rebel factions that followed Islam at the same time. In fact, Iran even nowadays features a socialist-Islamic ideology, quite strongly connect to Marxism, albeit featuring some differences as well.
    Propaganda is always delivered with the intent to mislead.  It is important to learn to recognize it.  Behind every aggressive, jealous or predatory entity there is always an Agenda.  That's the lens through which such must be viewed.  Look for their Agenda, where it is a persistently plaintive, radical or seditious politic or philosophy.  Atheism is radical and seditious - its intent to undermine a culture by removing its foundational moral footing.  Karl Marx was a radical, resentful of capitalism and class distinctions, so any who engage his philosophy seek to do the same, target capitalism and annihilate individuality, corral the people into a herd mentality.  It's a politic of envy and then used to control the masses, although I don't for a minute believe that was what Marx had in mind.   Islam's Agenda has never been hidden.  It unashamedly and openly slaughters any who disagree with it, more specifically, Christianity.  Islam cannot successfully proselytize in the way that Christianity can, hence it preaches bloodshed and enmity against it.  So with this kind of lens on the three, let's analyse your take.

    It's not possible to remain true to the Islamic faith and at the same time be a Marxist, just as it's not possible for a Christian to do the same either, because worthsip of any form of deity is the antithesis of Marxism.  So then how must we define these "hybrids" as they claim to be.  There must be an Agenda.  Is it merely envy, hatred, resentment or a powergrab?  One doesn't usually jump into bed with the enemy, unless there's a significantly worthy gain to merit that.  So what common cause could they possibly share, despite their opposing and contradictory philosophies?  The common denominator which unites them is a common "enemy" - Christianity - each useful to the other in annihilating the same enemy.  It's why I said to you before, Islam, atheism and Marxism are brothers in arms, waging war against Christianity, each with the same goal - a power grab. 

    If they ever do succeed in ridding the world of Christianity, they will turn on each other in the final showdown to gain ultimate control of the world, that being the ultimate Agenda of each.  The propaganda is designed to misinform and to throw up "snow jobs" and "white washes" to confuse us all so that we don't twig to that, can't see the wood for the forest, the forest their propaganda to conceal the Agenda. If you look at Socialism, Marxism and Islam through that lens, then the world makes sense. It's why the Democratic Party supports Islam together with Socialist Marxist policies.  It in turn is using them for its political ambitions for ultimate control.
    Atheism in itself also has nothing to do with Marxism; it is just lack of belief in a deity. I am an atheist, and I do not take Marxism seriously. Same as not every Christian endorses the Crusades, for example. There are many possible manifestations of a given world view.
    If atheism were as benign as its propaganda would have us all believe, then it wastes a hell of lot of moulah, in the measue of billions of dollars on fighting something it swears does not exist.  LOL!   It is not arguing facts when you keep deferring to "what others believe", because their "beliefs" are irrelevant.  What is only relevant is what is REALLY occurring.  I don't really have an issue with the following statement ...
    For that matter, Marxism and communism are also not the same. Marxism is the ideology describing how the society allegedly operates, and communism is a proposed system of societal organisation in response to that.
    Said another way, atheist Marxism is the political construct and Communism is its manifestation and engine.  As Communism is married to the Marxist / atheist ideology, the three are inseparable.  That said, it cannot be construed that every innocent atheist is a Communist or Marxist, but all are generally Socialists and as Lenin said,  "The goal of Socialism is Communism".


    Happy_Killbot
    The further back we look, the greater forward insight we can have. History speaks.
  • piloteerpiloteer 674 Pts
    I think Ayn Rands existence proves that marxism is not the "religion of athiests".  She also proved that communism is the politics of christianity. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3208 Pts
    edited March 21
    @Grafix

    You said it yourself: Marx' message is essentially just a proposed model to deal with the alleged struggle between classes. Atheism does not come into the equation in any way.

    You just dismiss countless ideologies and individuals combining Marxist and religious views as impossible, despite thousands books written by ideologues that explain exactly how they can be combined. Well, it is your right to deny the facts.

    There is no some sinister agenda behind atheism. Most people become atheists on their own, without any external influence, especially since everyone is born atheist. No one has ever told me, "You know, god does not exist, so you must be an atheist". I always was; the first time I heard about the concept of "god", I thought it weird and irrelevant, and nothing said since then a single time prompted me to seriously consider that concept. No evil scientists from CERN or NASA ever showed up at my doorstep in hazmat suits.
    My views also have nothing to do with socialism/communism; I am an anarcho-capitalist and voluntarist. I am more of a capitalist than you are. Are you going to say that this, too, is somehow impossible?

    Atheism is just lack of belief in deity. How does that necessarily logically lead to socialism?
  • GrafixGrafix 230 Pts
    edited March 23
    @Ampersand - Nice to see an argument well put together.  Thanks.  You wrote ...
    The comparisons between Christianity and communism look very weak. Dialectical materialism is just a viewpoint and way of analysing social change. it's not analogous to a deity in a religion. For other points, the similarity is so vague that it applies in millions of scenarios. The rest are so vague that you can pretty much link them to group with members. I mean your similarities are basically "Hey, they're both groups! and Both groups have members! And these groups were founded by somebody!". The same literally applies to every single group in existence.

    Yes, I agree with most of that.  If you're familiar with Bertrand Russel's comparison, he wasn't making it to prove any simialrity in religiosity or ideology, but only to show that the structure and orchestration of the two were simiar in that Marxism had a founder, with a philosophy, also an ideologue, a passionate cause célèbre, which attracted a following who put their trust in the "creed" to deliver on the long-term goal, culminating in a final realization of the ultimate dream.  All of that fits with the characteristics of Christianity.

    1.  I also agree with your answer here, although you don't address why  Marx found it necessary to EXCLUDE the elixir of religion as a comfort for the souls of the oppressed?  I think the answer to that lies in his quoting Prometheus when he gave his definitive summation of what Marxism stood for.  Here's the whole quote again ...

    Marx said: "Philosophy makes no secret of it", following up with the words of Prometheus: "In sooth all gods I hate",  declaring such to be the philosophy of Marxism, "By its own admission, by its own motto against all gods, heavenly and earthly, who do not acknowledge the consciousness of man as the supreme divinity. There must be no god on a level with it."   It suggests he was a terrible bigot, perhaps and that colourd his politic of envy..

    2.  True,  Lenin did join up with the Bolsheviks in Russia as an ordinary worker, travelling there from Switzerland, but don't forget there were a great many wealthy and influential people abroad backing a Revolution in Russia, among his circle of contacts, including the pro-Russian Revolutionary in Germany, who financed and organized his passage back to Russia via contacts in high places. With such contacts, he could have just as easily been fitted up for a political appointment with their influence, but it wasn't part of the plan.  Being war time, the Germans knew he could be easily arrested, if caught by the allies. 

    Why would the German Govt. help provide safe passage to a Russian nobody, knowing they intended to attack Russia in the not too distant future?  Those financing him and the intended Revolution did not want it to be known that they were, so he was to stoke and fan the fires of Revolution and give it all the appearances of a grasroots revolt, rather than an orchestrated strategy, financed by wealthy Bankers.  He was their tool and they used Marxism as Marx never intended it to be used. Lenin was given the promise of becoming the leader of a new nation, Soviet Russia, so he used those vested interests to bring him to power.. 

    Agree with your answers to numbers 3. and 4.  It was in the interests of Germany to weaken Russia by staging internal revolution, before Germany attacked it.  Of course, Lenin had no idea that was the plan. It failed and Bolshevik Russia whipped Germany's backside by null and voiding the peace pact.   After the war was over, the new Bolshevik Party still needed funding.  As Germany was defeated and its government had no further interest in Russia, why did the Bankers from New York and London still finance the Boshevik Party, Rothschild in particular? 

    .

    The further back we look, the greater forward insight we can have. History speaks.
  • AmpersandAmpersand 776 Pts
    edited March 22
    1. He didn't find it necessary to exclude religion. The quote you are taking is AGAIN out of context, just like your previous misleading quote I had to clarify in my last post.

    You state "I think the answer to that lies in his quoting Prometheus when he gave his definitive summation of what Marxism stood for" and then go on to provide a quote about Prometheus. The problem was, that quote has no connection to marxism. it's what he wrote as a student for his doctoral thesis on the differences between Democritean and Epicurean philosophy, two schools of philosophy in ancient Greece around 2500 years old. Stating it is "his definitive summation of what Marxism stood for" as you have is ridiculous and completely counter-factual.


    2. You're confusing multiple different things which are separated by decades. Lenin most definitely did not " join up with the Bolsheviks in Russia as an ordinary worker, travelling there from Switzerland" as you claim.  He started getting involved in radical politics in 1887 as a student at university, being expelled, arrested and exiled for his actions. This all took place in Russia. It was around 15 years later that the Bolsheviks developed as a faction within the overall Russian Social Democratic Labour Party at the 1903 London conference by which point Lenin was the preeminent leader. His travel from Switzerland to Germany was 14 years after that (30 years after his initial entry into radical politics).

    Your question "Why would the German Govt. help provide safe passage to a Russian nobody, knowing they intended to attack Russia in the not too distant future" is similarly completely lacking in facts. He was not a nobody and has been a major international socialist figure for a long time (for instance being a Russian delegate to the 1907 2nd international conference in 1907 a decade before)

    3. and 4. What?? "It was in the interests of Germany to weaken Russia by staging internal revolution, before Germany attacked it.  Of course, Lenin had no idea that was the plan. It failed and Russia whipped Germany's backside."

    Really? REALLY??? Just no.

    Germany was not trying to weaken Russia before it attacked it, as you claim. Germany was already attacking Russia in this little event called World War One that you seem to have somehow missed and arranged Lenin's transport to try and put a government that would agree to peace with them so they could concentrate on defeating France and Britain. Lenin was very much aware of Germany's plan as he wasn't a deaf dumb mute, Germany's plan worked as far as Russia was concerned (Russia agreed to peace in early 1918 because it was getting its kicked and the Germans were less than a 100 miles form the Russian capital) and it's absolutely astounding that you think otherwise.

    You seem to not actually know very much about Lenin, Marxism or even basic history and just seem to be making stuff up on the fly to try and tie together some weird conspiracy theory.
  • GrafixGrafix 230 Pts
    edited March 22
    1.  On the use of Prometheus' quote, you misunderstand.  Marx himself used it, not me.  He used it to distill his definition of Marxism.  Remove my interjections of text in the sentence, then read the three italicised quotes as one uninterrupted statement.  These were stated in one breath by Marx to serve as the definition of Marxism.

    Context is not definition.  Defintions stand extant and support themselves, being how lexicons work. We cannot put emotion into a defintion.  I fully understand Marx understood that religion offered spiritual strength and solace to the poor.  That's precisely why this is such a perplexing question.  Knowing that he did  understand that, then for what reason would he believe that removing God from society would somehow  (a) be relevant to setting up a classless, socialist system and (b) by specifically prohibiting it as a social practice in his model of the system, would somehow improve the socio-political environment ?

    2.  Your history is mostly correct, but in terms of the global stage  of politics, the general populace and mainstream media, Lenin had no stature compared with Kings, Emperors, Princes and Dictators.  Lenin was a nobody in that respect, an obscure exile in Switzerland, hardly a likely candidate to lead a great nation, given he had no practical experience, no wealth and no family  connections in the aristocracy or upper classes.  Both he and his mate, Trotsky, were radical agitators and philosophers of no great note  at that juncture, even though well respected in a small clique of sophisticated Marxist intellectuals around the globe, but otherwise unknown outside of that circle of a small band of followers in scholarship, academic thinkers, the political class, educated Russians and government officials. 

    That awareness of their agitation and political activism, I agree, was ultimately the reason for their arrest and Lenin's exile.  Trotsky escaped to Europe, from where he was also expelled, finally landing himself in New York, an unknown there also.  He like Lenin, led anti-war protests and built a profile for himself in New York, but it was not until  Trotsky, like Lenin, was introduced to  foreign investors that either gained any clout.  Trotsky's  Red Army was financed by foreign interests, who sought to block the rise of Russia, to prevent her from becoming a redoubtable economic and political competitor on the global stage of trade,  industry, commerce and politics.  Without this investment of scores of millions of dollars in the Bolshevik Party by foreign interests, it would never have been brought to international  fame, nor succeed in politics with Lenin at its head.

    3.  I meant Lenin didn't know the German plan was to use him to defeat the allies.  The ultimate goal of Germny's drive for a peace agreement with Russia, was to weaken  the allied Russian front, using Lenin to put the Bolsheviks in power, the only political faction in Russia which expressed anti-war sentiment.  Even then his Bolshevik Party wasn't united in that.  Lenin and Trotsky alone  had expressed outspoken publc condemnation of Russia's involvement in the war.  As both had strong oratory and penmanship skills and significant connections in the Russian media, the German Government sought to use them for its propagandist campaign against the Russian involvement in the war.  German money won over the Russian media, using it to circulate pro-Marxist articles and propaganda among the Russian military, persuading key military to take the side of the Bolsheviks.  That military support gave the Bolshevik Party, a small minority, its strength to impose its Party politic - paid for by the German enemy - subversive treason by these Russians.
    .
    The further back we look, the greater forward insight we can have. History speaks.
  • 1. Please stop blatantly lying.

    As already explained Marx made that quote at the age of 23 as part of his doctoral dissertation as a student. The subject was "The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature". Despite your claim that he was "declaring such to be the philosophy of Marxism" the dissertation does not mention Marxism, socialism, communism or anything similar once. In fact you can see if you "join them together" as you ask, that he's specifically talking about philosophy as a whole.

    2. You seem to now be going on a random rant which has nothing to do with the question and so which I can't be bothered to correct you on. The question is "Was Lenin an opportunist, in that he used Marxist atheism as a tool to create a following through which to orchestrate a revolution and make a power grab?". Your response doesn't touch on this at all and my previous answer still stands. he obviously wasn't an opportunist because he dedicated decades of his life to this with little chance of getting anything out of it and frequent punishments like arrest and exile.

    3. Care to provide a single piece of evidence that Lenin was unaware of Germany's goals? Otherwise you largely seem to be agreeing with me.

  • GrafixGrafix 230 Pts
    edited March 22
    @Ampersand - You wrote ....
    1.  Please stop blatantly lying.
    As already explained Marx made that quote at the age of 23 as part of his doctoral dissertation as a student. The subject was "The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature". Despite your claim that he was "declaring such to be the philosophy of Marxism" the dissertation does not mention Marxism, socialism, communism or anything similar once. In fact you can see if you "join them together" as you ask, that he's specifically talking about philosophy as a whole.

    1.  That's true, he did write it for that purpose.  However that doesn't in any way discount the fact that this philosophy is the very same philosophy he later used  and defined as the foundation of what he perceived to be a Utopian model for social equity.  Why do you find it necessary to deny that?  Splitting hairs over when he said it or what he called it is pointless.  He used that very same philosophy as the foundation for his socio-political model, that we now call  Marxism.  It doesn't matter what he named it, if he did at all. Communist Russia was the first to put it into practise, albeit a possible distortion of what Marx intended.  Whether we call his philosophy "Socialism" or "Marxism" or "Communism", all basically founded upon that same Marxist model, expressed in the defintion he wrote in his youth, doesn't change its actual definition.  Why split hairs over it?  There's no lie here.

    2. You seem to now be going on a random rant which has nothing to do with the question and so which I can't be bothered to correct you on. The question is "Was Lenin an opportunist, in that he used Marxist atheism as a tool to create a following through which to orchestrate a revolution and make a power grab?". Your response doesn't touch on this at all and my previous answer still stands. he obviously wasn't an opportunist because he dedicated decades of his life to this with little chance of getting anything out of it and frequent punishments like arrest and exile.  

    2.  We can't deny that Lenin grabbed the opportunity to fund his cause célèbre in exchange for treason - accepting money from the enemy - with no compunction, knowing he was committing treason of the highest order, considering that his homeland was at war with that very same enemy.   I would have thought that describes the ultimate opportunist.  Just because he risked and sacrificed his liberty and freedom in the name of his cause, does not make him any the less an opportunist.  It just means he was passionate, even fanatical - unshakeably committed to his convictions.  To commit the ultimate high crime of high treason - which he was later charged with by the way - for the sake of funds, I think demonstrates the ultimate opportunist.  Dedication and passion don't rule out acts of opportunism.  What gave you that idea?

    3. Care to provide a single piece of evidence that Lenin was unaware of Germany's goals? Otherwise you largely seem to be agreeing with me.

    3.  That's like asking an atheist to prove there's no God.  All that is on the record in the War Archives of the Military Intelligence Dept., (MID) is that Lenin discussed with the German Agents the funding of a plan for him to overthrow the Provisional Government in situ of Kerensky, following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II's imperialist monarchy and bring to power the Bolshevik Party, that it must run on an anti-war policy and then sign a peace pact with the German Government.  Obviously, he would know  that was advantageous to the Germans.  

    What cannot be known or established from the record is whether he knew the actual intent  of the German Government, subsequent to the closing down of the Russian Front. Germany sought to move all of its military apparatus from the Russian Front to the Western Front and defeat the allied forces of Britain, France and Western Europe and thereby win the war.  At that juncture, Germany could see it wasn't winning outright and that the war could become protracted.  The records show that Germany saw the closure of the Russian front as pivotal to its winning the war.  It considered that it must defeat the Western allied forces, before  the U.S. entered the war - which was only a matter of time.  It considered it could only defeat the U.S. if the other Western allied nations were already defeated.  It's goal was global domination. If it defeated the U.S, it intended to then attack Russia.

    .

    The further back we look, the greater forward insight we can have. History speaks.
  • @Grafix

    1.  That's true, he did write it for that purpose.  However that does not in any way discount the fact that this philosophy is the very same philosophy he later used and defined as the foundation of what he perceived to be a Utopian model for social equity.  Why do you find it necessary to deny that?  Splitting hairs over when he said it or what he called it is pointless.  He used that very same philosophy as the very foundation for his socio-political model, that we now call  Marxism.  It doesn't matter what he named it, if he did at all.   Communist Russia was the first to put it into practise, albeit a possible distortion of what Marx intended.  Whether we call his philosophy "Socialism" or "Marxism" or "Communism", which are all basically founded upon that same Marxist model, expressed in the defintion he wrote in his youth, does not change its actual definition.  Why split hairs over it?  There is no lie in that at all.
    It absolutely discounts your claims and your furious backpedalling does nothing you change that.

    You built your argument over the claim that Marx declared the philosophy of Marxism by saying "Philosophy makes no secret of it... In sooth all gods I hate... By its own admission, by its own motto against all gods, heavenly and earthly, who do not acknowledge the consciousness of man as the supreme divinity. There must be no god on a level with it.” That was at best factually incorrect and at worst a lie depending on whether you knew it was wrong or not, because as explained to you multiple items and as you now concede that quote comes from a paper he wrote as a student that has nothing to do with Marxism but is about the approach to religious authority for philosophers/scientists, e.g. should Galileo have been forced to say the sun was the centre of the universe just because that's what religious doctrine seemed to say.

    So yes, it discounts it because literally every single piece of the argument you presented up until now has turned out to be BS, so that's pretty damningly discounted.

    You now raise an additional claim that Marx totally said the same stuff but this time in reference Marxism, except you don't have any quotes of him saying it or evidence of information about what he supposedly said or when or who to. So in other words, you now have absolutely nothing except empty claims.

    2.  We can't deny that Lenin grabbed the opportunity to fund his cause célèbre in exchange for treason - accepting money from the enemy - with no compunction, knowing he was committing treason of the highest order, considering that his homeland was at war with that very same enemy.   I would have thought that describes the ultimate opportunist.  Just because he risked and sacrificed his liberty and freedom in the name of his cause, does not make him any the less an opportunist.  It just means he was passionate, even fanatical - unshakeably committed to his convictions.  To commit the ultimate high crime of high treason - which he was later charged with by the way - for the sake of funds, I think demonstrates the ultimate opportunist.  Dedication and passion don't rule out acts of opportunism.  What gave you that idea?
    I was going to reply to each of your points but I can say that I won't bother continuing because your arguments are getting so absurd it's like I'm arguing someone who is high or living in some alternate timeline which had a substantially different history of the 20th century. That you think pointing out that Lenin was working against the russian government is some kind of cutting point is simply so absurd it boggles my mind.

    Lenin did not become a traitor in exchange for money, he has been a "traitor" if that's what you want to call him for years. He was explicitly trying to overthrow the Tsar, e.g. being a traitor in the most literal sense possible and had been doing so for most of his life at that point. It's not some secret you're unveiling or scoring a point over, you're just acting surprised over the most superficial understanding of history.

    It's like saying "George Washington was a traitor to Britain and took all kinds of assistance of from Britain's hated enemies, the French." It's technically correct, but the fact that you think you are making a point by saying stuff like that shows a complete dearth of understanding of the situation.

    For point 3 as I can't be bothered to deal with you any more, I'll just point out that if you're going to concede (which you've done by changing from "Lenin didn't know the German plan was to use him to defeat the allies" to "What cannot be known or established from the record is whether he knew the actual intent of the German Government,") you can just concede, you don't have to blather on to make it look like you're making a point.
  • GrafixGrafix 230 Pts
    edited March 23
    @Ampersand ; You wrote ....
    It absolutely discounts your claims and your furious backpedalling does nothing you change that.
    Backpeddling?  How?  I've only ever claimed that the phrases define Marxism and that Marx wrote the phrases, even agreed when  he wrote them and why.  Where's the backpeddleing?  As I said before, when he wrote them or why, doesn't preclude his later use of that very same concept for his own philosophy, does it? For some inexplicable reason you refuse to countenance that.  You then wrote ....
    You built your argument over the claim that Marx declared the philosophy of Marxism by saying "Philosophy makes no secret of it... In sooth all gods I hate... By its own admission, by its own motto against all gods, heavenly and earthly, who do not acknowledge the consciousness of man as the supreme divinity. There must be no god on a level with it.” That was at best factually incorrect and at worst a lie depending on whether you knew it was wrong or not, because as explained to you multiple items and as you now concede that quote comes from a paper he wrote as a student that has nothing to do with Marxism but is about the approach to religious authority for philosophers/scientists, e.g. should Galileo have been forced to say the sun was the centre of the universe just because that's what religious doctrine seemed to say.
    The definition of Marxism remains true to that quote to this day.  That's an inescapable truth.  Even if there were  no evidence of his later using it as the conception of his own philosophy, it would not matter a whit for the reason that it absolutely and unequivocally defines what we today label as "Marxism".  It proves itself in and of itself.  There's nothing to argue for that very reason. You're splitting hairs. In the same vein ...
    You now raise an additional claim that Marx totally said the same stuff but this time in reference Marxism, except you don't have any quotes of him saying it or evidence of information about what he supposedly said or when or who to. So in other words, you now have absolutely nothing except empty claims.

    The same response.  Even if there were no evidence of his using that concept, (although there is evidence), it would be irrelevant for the reason it IS  the exact definition of Marxism.  Silly to argue about this.

    I was going to reply to each of your points but I can say that I won't bother continuing because your arguments are getting so absurd it's like I'm arguing someone who is high or living in some alternate timeline which had a substantially different history of the 20th century. That you think pointing out that Lenin was working against the russian government is some kind of cutting point is simply so absurd it boggles my mind.

    Whose "substantially different history of the 20th century"?  Yours?  Every detail I write is on the historical record in the Archives of the Military Intelligence Dept..  The factual record, not the revised one.  If I am "arguing [like] someone who is high or living in some alternate timeline", then so too must be the archived official record.  You gonna argue with it? Then you say ....

    Lenin did not become a traitor in exchange for money, he has been a "traitor" if that's what you want to call him for years. He was explicitly trying to overthrow the Tsar, e.g. being a traitor in the most literal sense possible and had been doing so for most of his life at that point. It's not some secret you're unveiling or scoring a point over, you're just acting surprised over the most superficial understanding of history.

    Definitions matter.  Lenin's earlier anti-war protests and anti-government rhetoric was not defined as "traitorous conduct".  Had it been, the Tsarist Imperialist government at the time, would have executed him, the penalty for treason.  He was exiled as a political dissenter, as a troublesome public activist for causing civil unrest.  There is a huge difference between that and treason, aka a traitor to one's own nation.   He was eventually charged with treason by Kerensky, much later though.  The only reason Kerensky failed to execute Lenin as well as all those involved in the overthrow of Tsarist Russia was because Kerensky benefited from that overthrow, he now the head of the new Provisional Government and was hopeful of being elected as the leader of that same government if officially elected to govern.  He believed in a democracy.

    He and Lenin fell out when it became apparent that the Bolshevik Party was not intending to run any kind of a democratic government.  Lenin had moved away from being a spokesman for the rights of the people to leading instead a Party which suddenly had a Red Army and the Cheka, both inventions of Trotsky.  The latter eventually became known as the KGB.  Lenin had to take control of Government by force, using the military which backed him, because the Bolshevik Party was still a minority Party and not all that popular.  If it did not take government by force, then Lenin would fail his funders back in Germany.  When Kerensky was asked why he never executed all of them for treason, subsequent to the charges, before the Bolshevik Party overthrew his government, Kerensky replied because he was naive and had never understood, until it was too late, that the Bolshevik Party would become a totalitarian, dictatorial and oppressive entity and not a democratic instrument of government.  Then you say ....

    For point 3 as I can't be bothered to deal with you any more, I'll just point out that if you're going to concede (which you've done by changing from "Lenin didn't know the German plan was to use him to defeat the allies" to "What cannot be known or established from the record is whether he knew the actual intent of the German Government,") you can just concede, you don't have to blather on to make it look like you're making a point.

    That's just unadulterated obfuscation of the facts already on the page, omitting the critical qualifiers which follow that opener, namely Germany's plan for global domination, to defeat the allies before the U.S. entered the war and then defeat the U.S.and if successful in that, then turn on Russia and attack it.  I even stated the plan was to attack Russia way back in my earlier replies to you, on this very discussion point, which you now choose to ignore.  Sorry, but I just see this last para as a cop out.

    The further back we look, the greater forward insight we can have. History speaks.
  • GrafixGrafix 230 Pts
    edited March 23
    @thelo - You wrote ...
    @Grafix  - Lenin never set foot in New York. You're thinking of Leon Trotsky. In 1917 Trotsky was exiled to the US by Spanish authorities for stoking anti-war sentiments. He stayed in New York for less than 3 months. While there, he made his living writing for two socialist magazines:
    Yes, thanks for the note.  I've amended my post.  Naturally, I did know that - my mind ahead of my digits on the keyboard.  Trotsky was funded by New York Financiers and Wall Street Bankers to set up his Red Army and the Cheke.  The latter later became known as the KGB.  He and Lenin used both in conjunction with military who supported the Bolshevik Party, to take over the government by force.
    A Russian language socialist magazine. It was edited by Nikolai Bukharin and Alexandra Kollontai, both noted members of the Bolshevik Party. 
    Both The Forward magazine and the SDP, (Social Democrat Party) were considered by the many to be Communist enclaves.  Most involved with the paper were members of the SDP, either exiled Russian Jews or German Jews who were pro-Russian Revolution and Marxist ideas.  Russian Jews hated the Romanov Monarchy because its history in the treatment of Jews was a blot on its copy book.
    They would return to Russia using the funds they earned from this magazine alongside Trotsky in March of 1917, to help start the October Revolution. As for the Bolshevik Party, they were largely funded by member dues, and robbing banks (yep).
    The member dues were not enough to fund the Revolution.  The Red Army wages had to be paid and then there was the massive propaganda campaign.  Two of the major Russian newspapers, including Pravda, were persuaded by generous sums to publish and circulate anti-Russian government propaganda, delivered daily to the barracks of the armed forces and rank and file for free, issuing tens of thousands of copies per day.  That was all funded by the German government.  Estimates total around 20 million German Marks spent on the overthrow of the Imperialist Tsarist monarchy.   I explain it in my posts to Ampersand.  I've never read in any official records that they robbed banks, so I can't refute or corroborate that either, either way.  You also wrote ...
    A Marxist revolutionary returning from exile to participate in a communist insurgency is about the furthest thing from a "capitalist interest" I can think of. To suggest that the man who was known for, among other things, being the founder of the Red Army was funded by "capitalist interests" is nonsensical.
    Yes, on the face of it, it does sound like a contradiction, but it is actually factual history.  The New York and Wall Street oligarchic capitalists and industrialists saw that the sheer size of the Russian population - a massive workforce - and a resource rich nation with vast tracts of land, including discoveries of oil, coal, gas, minerals, precious metals and gemstones, provided Russia with the potential to grow a msassive economy, way bigger than America's could ever hope to be.  It presented the potential for Russia to eclipse the American economy's global dominance.   American industrialists saw that as a threat.  You say ...
    Cult-of-personality dictators have nothing to do with Marxism. Karl Marx was strongly opposed to the concept. Every single leader you listed had their own ideological style; Stalinism, Maoism and Juche for North Korea, respectively. As for Lenin, his cult-of-personality was posthumously perpetrated by Stalin. 
    They behaved like dictators.  All dictators carve a heavily cultist-style following with a carefully crafted persona that is deliberate, after all they are the centre of power.  I agree with you concerning the posthumous profile which Stalin promulgated to build Lenin's reputation.  At the time of his death, the Russian people saw Lenin as a traitor.  Stalin later "polished" that reputation into "hero" status, the reason he had his body mummified and put on public display.  You write ...
    Comparing Marxist concepts to theological concepts is misleading. Marxism is built on the study of historical patterns. Although it is outdated, it is scientific in nature. It's claim that "history can be understood through a series of class struggles" is widely accepted today as a genuine sociological pattern.
    Bertrand Russel, who made that comparison, was a Marxist himself.  It wasn't based on any theological or ideological similarity, only a similarity of structure and execution.


    The further back we look, the greater forward insight we can have. History speaks.
  • GrafixGrafix 230 Pts
    edited March 23
    @MayCaesar - You wrote ....
    I will agree that the label "cultural Marxist" makes little logical sense. Marxism is Marxism; it is not "cultural", it just is.
    I agree it's a very poor choice of nomenclature and your misunderstanding of what it actually describes is understandable.  The word "cultural" doesn't actually describe the ideology itself, but rather its targeted purpose.  Cultural Marxism evolved after the failure of Communism to become a global politic accepted en masse, which is what Engels and Lenin had intended it to become, believing it would "catch on" with the working class all across the world, stunned that it didn't.  The Frankfurt School of Marxism in Germany created a revision of Classical Marxism to Cultural Marxism, after a re-grouping and analysis of the reasons for the failure of Classical Marxism and came up with neo-Marxism, otherwise known as Cultural Marxism.  Under Nazi Germany they fled Germany, afraid they would be imprisoned or executed by Hitler.  

    Their leading identities, Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse and Erich Fromm migrated to America and applied for  postings with left-wing Universities, such as Columbia, Princeton, Brandeis, and  Berkeley.  Cultural Marxism is applied to cultural practices with the specific purpose of undermining Western traditional norms.  A culture is targeted with the intent to dismantle and replace it with Cultural Marxisms.  We see the manifestation of that in the introduction of the term "The New Left", which cleverly concealed Marxist cultural infiltration, because its modus operandi  is a politic of stealth, undeclared, its presence always deliberately denied.  They introduced such "norms" to the West as feminism, genderisms, social justice, Identity Politics, anti-discrimination, multi-culturalism and the concept of the politically incorrect, etc.  You wrote ...
    There are relatively few actual Marxists in the developed world nowadays, although there is a lot of socialists who share some of the Marxist views.
    Again, the average person, even scholars in other disciplines, unfamiliar with the definition of Cultural Marxism or its modus operandi  of infiltration and inculcation in stealth, through which Cultural Marxism works, can be forgiven for thinking that it is not evident.  It intends not to be recognized, that the targeted nation be completely unaware of its presence, yet if we do a search of the profiles of many University professors it is easy to see those who are and who are not of the Marxist brand, with quite a number openly admitting they're Marxists - astounding in a nation like America that they can even be considered as acceptable professorial material.  Given enough time, they will destroy the Western culture, which is the intent and thereby destroy its global supremacy, which is the goal.


    The further back we look, the greater forward insight we can have. History speaks.
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