A Modest Proposal at Che-Lives February 1, 2004 by RedStar2000
There are six collections of my posts on this site with regard to communism and religion--and probably soon to be seven. That doesn't count related topics and leaves out a lot of posts that I never got around to gathering up.
It also leaves out the fact that in many respects contemporary Leninism is a religious cult.
A week or so ago, I made a "modest proposal" at Che-Lives that would actually serve to diminish, however slightly, the influence of religion on the board...and provoked an explosion of outrage.
Much as they would like to do it, the godsuckers can't stop criticism of religion...though they bitterly resent it.
But that is nothing compared with how they react to any effort--even the smallest--to actually interfere with their racket.
Keep in mind as you read that the people I've quoted consider themselves "leftists", "revolutionaries", and even "communists".
It's a depressing picture of how far we really have to go.
We have had two threads in the Politics Forum concerning French president Chirac's banning of religious symbols in French public schools.
It got me to thinking...what about the folks who choose usernames at Che-Lives to express their religious sentiments? Is this the place for that sort of thing?
If you stop and consider the matter, there are usernames that would provoke instant banning...someone who registered as "Hitler_Rules" would not last 24 hours.
But I'm not talking about the users themselves here; I'm questioning the use of "inappropriate" usernames at Che-Lives.
My idea is that if someone registers with a religious username, the administrators would pm or email them with a request to pick a "secular" username. If the user did not respond within 5 days or so, the administrator would assign a generic username to that account and notify the user accordingly.
By generic, I mean something like "CheLivesUser" plus their membership number. Thus "Jesus_Lives" would become "CheLivesUser6975".
If they later on decided on a non-religious username that they liked, they could do what people do now who want to change their usernames.
I repeat--so as to avoid misunderstanding--no users themselves would be banned...just religious names that we feel are inappropriate for a left message board.
After all, if a reactionary like Chirac can "do the right thing" on this issue, why can't we?
First posted at Che-Lives on January 24, 2004
Well, I poked the stick into a hornets' nest, didn't I?
Much furious buzzing, indeed.
Let's have a look...
I voted no but not because of "freedom of religious expression" but because of freedom of speech.
Then you voted incorrectly; nothing was said about restricting the content of any user's posts.
As an atheist I am not offended by Christians or Muslims and I think it works the other way too.
No, actually Christians and Muslims are extremely offended by atheists. They've been known to kill them, as a matter of fact. One atheist was hung in Scotland as recently as 1820 or thereabouts. And there was the Rushdie scandal only a few years ago.
If you ban religious names, then why not ban all talk of religion?
Well, one reason is that it would leave me a good deal less to post about.
Seriously, the proposal does not refer to the content of any user's posts.
At che-lives, however, even the non-religious members are very ambiguous about it. The subject of religion comes up a lot, and I don't think we have the intention of urging people to put it aside by forcing them to not-so-blatantly express their religious affiliations.
I'm not sure about what this means...but I repeat again that people can still talk about religion as much as they want.
According to the "god poll" in the Philosophy Forum, by the way, about 50 per cent of those voting were atheists, 25 per cent agnostic/unsure, and 25 per cent believers.
But I agree with you about the "ambiguity"...as shown in the poll results thus far.
...so the argument that religious people try to force their beliefs on people by wearing a cross or veil, could be said for the red star.
It's pretty unlikely that my proposal would be extended to cover radical political symbols on a left message board, don't you agree?
I don't think the user Jesus Lives is religious, nor do I think that support of Hitler and support of general religious stuff are on the same level.
I don't think there is a user named "Jesus Lives"...I just made that up as an example.
And I did make a distinction which you did not notice: the user registering with a name "Hitler_Lives" would be summarily banned. The user, not just his name.
The pro-religious name would be barred...not the user.
See the difference?
I guess my username would qualify, right?
Which is worse. A person that has a religious sounding name, or a person who supports religion in their posts?
Why stop at not allowing these usernames? Why not ban members who are "religious" or believe in God?
Yes, your name would qualify.
A person who supports religion in their posts can be argued with...but how do you refute a username?
Once again, this is not about banning members of the board because they are religious...any more than Chirac's proposal means banning kids from public schools who are believers.
I can't quite believe this! Why shouldn't somebody be allowed to choose "Jesus Lives" as His/Her username? Surely nobody finds it offensive... Do they?
Yes, I find it offensive...it's an "in your face" declaration. And I think it is inappropriate on this message board. If they want to go to bibleforums.com and register as "Jesus_Lives", that's different.
Or should we ban all religious talk from Che-Lives altogether?
And yet again, that's not the proposal.
Perhaps everything that Comrade RedStar is against should receive similar treatment?
I've discussed Chirac's abuse of power with you before redstar, so I know how much of a difference saying anything more than that would make.
Right...none at all.
And on we go...to see that since a reactionary like Chirac can "do the right thing" on this issue, can Che-Lives?
I don't think it's ever going to happen...
Pessimistic...but you may be right.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 24, 2004
Frankly, I don't have a problem with "pagan" names. I think if someone registered as "Daughter_of_Isis" or "Son_of_Wotan"...no one would really be inclined to take it as a serious religious statement.
Christianity and Islam are the "big two" in the world today and the ones that cause real problems...and throw in Hinduism as well.
And I'd be on guard against Jewish fundamentalism also; somebody who registered as "Gideon's_Sword" is probably a clerical fascist.
What about "Jade_Buddha" or "Zen_Master"? I'd rather not see them, frankly; there's way too much Eastern mysticism floating around these days. But let's face it, Buddhism simply doesn't have the atrocious track-record that Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism have...their "body-count" is trivial compared to the real bastards.
"Christian_Socialist" would grate on my nerves as well...even though it is, technically, a political name. I would hope that it would never come up.
I would probably be disappointed.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 24, 2004
Redstar, my point was that the reason why people are asked to not bring religious symbols into public schools is because it causes tension between members of different religions.
That may be a "nominal" reason, but I don't think it's the real reason.
Indeed, I agree with those who've argued that Chirac's proposal is a cynical ploy to win support from French reactionaries...he thinks they will perceive it as a "blow against Islam" and, by extension, a blow against Muslim immigrants.
But as I noted in the second thread on the subject, his motives are irrelevant.
The actual effect of his proposal (as of my own) will be to push religion out of public life...in a small way, thus weakening it as a social force.
And that's my motive for starting this poll and making this proposal, of course.
I want to see if in this small part of public life, people on the left share my view that "in your face" superstition is something that is unacceptable...or not.
One could take that statement to mean that pagan names aren't a "serious religious statement" because their belief isn't serious.
However, I know you enough to know you didn't mean it like that, and mean that Pagans aren't looking for converts, just not to be burned at the stake.
Yes, I would say that in a pragmatic sense, the idea of "serious religion" means an effort to "convert the unbeliever"...or kill her. Pagans may be as "serious" in their beliefs as anyone...but since they're "not in people's faces", they're not regarded as "really serious".
I said no, re. articles 50 and 53 of the USSR constitution.
Certainly a unique response. Be it noted that after the end of the USSR, the god suckers crawled out from under their rocks with a proposal to canonize "St. Nicholas the Martyr"--that's bloody Nicholas II, the last Czar to you and me.
Funny how there's two choices for allowing people to choose the username they want. Here in Quebec, we know that the way you phrase a poll can be very influential.
And not just in Quebec. I did try to phrase the choices in as "neutral-sounding" language as I could come up with.
It's amusing to think of alternatives...
( )Yes, strike a blow against those "dark-age" fakers.
( )No, stand up for Jesus/Allah/Vishnu, etc. and curse the unbelievers.
( )I don't give a rat's ass what those fools call themselves.
But, since I was pretty sure this would be a very controversial poll, I decided to use "neutral" language.
Believe me, if someone registers as "Son of Wotan", he would probably [be] banned pretty fast by me, because he's most likely a Nazi, at least where I'm from.
Point taken; I should have made up a better example. There was definitely a current of "Teutonic theology" closely associated with Nazism...the first Nazi newspaper was partially financed by an outfit called the "Thule Society" who were really into that crap. And Nazi party rituals were, in some cases, directly copied from old Teutonic precedents.
Finally, I think that my proposal should not be implemented unless the "yes" vote is greater than the "no" vote and the "don't care" vote put together...in other words, "yes" should have an absolute majority of all the votes cast.
If that doesn't happen, perhaps I'll try again in a couple of years...and see if we have "caught up" with the French National Assembly by then.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 25, 2004
I don't want my movement to be categorized as anti-religious, because I sure in the hell don't want to turn those 100+ million very well organized religious people that go to church every Sunday and are a captive audiences to 1 person speaking for a complete hour against my movement.
Try to think of any other organization within America that can boast 100 million volunteers that go to an organized meeting weekly, has television CHANNELS (not shows), radio stations and magazines. That is an incredibly powerful force that is a bull to all other mice movements out there.
That is an enemy I don't want, because I know that no legal courts or ACLU is going to protect me from them once they start telling each other that my progressive movement is intolerant of religions. Once that frenzy starts from the mouth of priests and preachers to the congregation, you can time the life and power of your movement with an egg timer.
It is a matter of picking the correct fights to have in order for a movement to survive, anybody that has seen what the 50's did to the leftist movement in this country should realize that self-preservation is a must and compromises in certain areas must be maintained. I suggest to any leftist that is intolerant of religions for any reason should bite the bullet on personal feelings with this one for the sake of prosperity for an ideal as a whole.
Become religiously intolerant and see how well 80% of the world's population views your movement. Those are religious people and people who believe in freedom of religion.
The problem is that as soon as we appear "on their radar", we will be characterized as "religiously intolerant" no matter what we say.
Look at Venezuela's Chavez...he never makes a public appearance any more without his "plastic baby Jesus doll". He doesn't just hold it up...he kisses it. (Don't know whether he gives tongue or not.)
The outcome? Every Catholic pulpit thunders against him...he is "Satan incarnate". The archbishop of Caracas has said that if Chavez wins the referendum, Christians will "take to the catacombs". I think that's the same archbishop, by the way, who was directly involved with the planners of the failed coup in April of last year.
My point is that no matter how much we kissed their ass, it would accomplish nothing.
They hate us...and for good reason. They understand--a lot more clearly than many at Che-Lives--that any kind of real revolution would almost certainly mean the "end of the line" for their rackets.
Even if "tolerant communists" came to power and the public practice of religion were allowed to continue, they know that communists would seize their wealth and keep them from acquiring more.
I think you would be shocked at how much commercial real-estate is owned by organized religion...and what a handsome tax-free profit they turn on it. And that doesn't even scratch the surface...any idea of how much common stock is owned by religious "trust funds" and "charities"? No, I don't know--much of it is pretty well-disguised--but I'm sure it's a lot. And then there's banking and finance...what marvelous divine snake-pits await discovery in that notoriously murky sector?
Well, you get the idea. As soon as revolutionary movements appear, they will be bitterly attacked by all religious leaders of consequence.
So the real question is: will the congregation listen and respond?
Or will what we have to say "make so much sense" that even ardent believers will shut their ears to their "shepherds"?
After all, the American Catholic Church has been screaming at American Catholics to quit using contraception and not to have abortions...with the result that contraceptive use and abortion rates are just about the same among American Catholics as among non-Catholics.
I don't think we have "anything to lose" by being "up-front" and "intolerant" of reactionary superstitions.
Instead of reacting "defensively" and trying to "prove" a "respect" for religion that we do not actually have...I think we should be openly hostile and attack
superstition from the beginning.
There's just nothing to be gained from the pretense of friendship or even indifference to a ruthless and implacable enemy.
Anybody that thinks communism will wipe out organized religion has another thing coming, religion is going to be on the face of this planet for as long as the human race is here, because unlike communism, religion has been around through every form of government throughout the history of the human race. It has survived persecutions of the worse degree imaginable. It has evolved through memes like an unstoppable virus, poor ones dying off or being gobbled up by stronger ones, till it has reached an almost perfect self-sustaining, self-replicating, indestructible ideal brought forth through trial and error.
I would agree that religion is a pretty tough old bird...certainly tougher than Marx and Engels thought it was.
Does that mean it is "indestructible" in an absolute sense?
We have seen religion retreat in public influence since 1789--with ups and downs, to be sure. Like the German Army in 1944-45, they fight bitterly and well...but they retreat nevertheless. I thought it symbolically interesting when the pope publicly whined about there being no explicit mention of (much less tribute to) Christianity in the preamble of the new Draft Constitution of the European Union.
And, at long last, they're taking down the crucifixes in Italian public schools.
I think history has shown us that they can be beaten back from one fortress and then another and then another...and suggests that with sufficient determination, they can be utterly defeated.
The more we learn about the real universe, the more we can really do about it, the less they have to say that anyone is interested in.
I do not suggest that it will be "easy"...nothing really worth doing ever is. It may take three or ten or thirty centuries to finally bring this infamous chapter of human degradation to a close.
But what is that? The average life-span of a mammalian species is currently thought to be around 8 million years...and we humans are but small children, only around 150,000 years old.
I think it's time to grow up and "put away childish things".
First posted at Che-Lives on January 25, 2004
But I hardly see how being religious is ok, but having a religious username isn't? Please explain, comrade.
Being religious is "not ok" in my opinion...I think it is very reactionary.
But, at this time, we have two forums where those reactionary ideas can be struggled against...and I think that's working very well. So I have no problem with people bringing up their superstitious delusions in the Philosophy Forum or in Opposing Ideologies.
In fact, I like it when they do it in those two forums. It gives me a big fat target!
But what do I say when those names show up in Politics or Theory?
Maybe I should draft a "boiler-plate" paragraph and insert it at the beginning of my response to their posts...The use of religious usernames is, in my opinion, offensive and inappropriate at Che-Lives.
Think that would work?
At che-lives, though, I don't think anyone will be bothered.
I am "bothered" and it looks like there's more than a few who agree.
And I certainly don't think that showing leftists how "in-your-face-superstition is unacceptable" will accomplish anything. It certainly won't change religious member's opinions on religion.
Of course it won't change their opinions; that is not its point. But it may provoke some thought on their part...why are lefties so opposed to that crap?
(Chirac's proposal will not convert Muslim girls to "instant atheism"...but it will provoke them to think.)
This is probably the wrong place to ask, but can I change my user name to
This would qualify me automatically for a ban under redstar2000's rule, and I am afraid that I would have [to] leave che-lives anyway if that did happen.
If you're joking, that's not funny. If you're not joking, then yes, I think anyone who wants a username like "Hitler_Lives" should be permanently banned!
What a stupid question...
As you are the resident expert on stupidity here, I defer, of course, to your considered judgment.
...under your reign of terror I would have my username banned...
Yes, right before we cut off your head...assuming we could find it. (Hey, did anybody look up his ass?)
I could go on for ever pulling this idiocy to pieces, but I have better things to do.
Yes, I'm almost certain you have at least one other thing to pull.
Get a life.
Get a brain!
I imagine the voting will be closed shortly on this proposal. Although the "good guys" only won 25% of the vote, we did get 40% of those who had a clear preference.
That's not bad for a "first try"...and I'll put it up for a new vote in a year or two.
I'm confident that someday Che-Lives will move to the left of the French National Assembly on this issue.
It will just take awhile.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 27, 2004
You're walking around here telling people to "pull their heads out of their asses"...
No, just the imperialist lackey. But you're right, I'm wasting my time. As you can see from his last post, it's permanently implanted there.
You, like the good people ruling France, need a lesson in tolerance. Religion is very often linked to culture, and to ban religion, and to come down hard on those who preach it, and to arrest those who name their children "David, or "Mary" results in a oppressive overly authoritarian police state.
The "religion/culture" argument is one I frankly don't understand...especially when it's used both ways.
For example, there's an old thread on Islam in Opposing Ideologies in which I pointed out the charming custom in Bangladesh of throwing acid in the faces of unveiled women (another user had posted a picture of one of the victims...which is probably also still available somewhere on this board).
The defenders of the faith replied "Oh, that's culture, not religion."
Now you suggest that the banning of head scarves is "an attack on culture"...even though everyone knows that it's a calculated display of religious faith--and is even a "holy obligation" of women according to one of the "big dogs" in Egypt (BBC News).
I have never suggested "arresting" people who name their kids "David" or "Mary"...where in the world did you get that idea?
It raises an interesting question though...and here's my suggestion. Parents can saddle their kids with any name they like...but at the age of 12 (or any age thereafter) the kid can change it by simply sending an email to the central name-registry.
I think that will "solve" the problem of some poor kid being named "If-Christ-Had-Not-Died-Thou-Wouldst-Be-Damned" (real name, from the time of Cromwell--he was called "Damned Lastname" for short.)
...let's not make the same mistake twice and burn people alive because we disagree with them!
Why address this to me? It is American Christians who burn people alive (from the air) today...not communists. It is Islamic governments that stone people to death or behead them for "moral trespass"...not communists.
Are you suggesting that I should "learn a lesson in tolerance" from those bastards?
First posted at Che-Lives on January 27, 2004
I don't think you've been paying attention.
I completely agree with you, Redstar, about the presence [of] religious members not being 'ok'.
You are agreeing with something I never said.
I never proposed "let's ban the godsuckers". Indeed, as long as their superstitions are confined to Philosophy and Opposing Ideologies, I am fine with that!
How many times do I have to repeat it???
But I really doubt that we'll be having a staunch policy against religion.
And the issue here is that you believe that preventing users from using names that reflect their religious affiliation is a step in the direction of eliminating the reactionary presence of religion as capitalism's conciliator and subduer of the masses. I do not think so.
Ok, we disagree.
Please explain why you feel this measure will really strike a blow against religion, or make you (and others who agree with you) feel better about religion?
I don't understand what you mean about "feeling better about religion".
My proposal is, admittedly, a parallel with Chirac's proposed ban on ostentatious religious displays in public schools. In fact, the two threads in Politics that discussed Chirac's proposal are what gave me the idea...why is "Jesus Christ" posting at a left message board? It's just completely out of place.
Would my proposal "strike a blow against religion"? Yes, a very small one. Chirac's proposal is a very small blow against religion (even though his motivations are reactionary).
This, however, is silly.
That's less than convincing, coming from you. Aren't you one of those Leninist fellows who are always telling us we "can't go straight to communism"?
Well, we can't go "straight to atheism" either, right? So we take it in small steps.
Actually, as you can tell from some of the howls of outrage, my proposal is not the least bit "silly"...as I expected, it "hit a nerve". Any step taken against the god racket will seemingly provoke that reaction...even on a "left" message board.
And speaking of howls of outrage...
First of all redstar let me begin by telling you how incredibly asinine this entire idea is. I understand you have your beef with religion, but you are just going way too far with this. I expect someone on the left to be a little bit more open minded or, barring that, willing to allow freedom of speech.
My proposal did not concern the contents of what people post...something you would have learned had you bothered to actually read the first post in this thread.
Beyond that, your identification of the abstract "virtues" of "open-mindedness" and "freedom of speech" is, in my opinion, inconsistent with a revolutionary outlook.
I understand...you don't think of yourself as being a revolutionary. But you cannot fairly reproach me for not being like you.
We look at things very differently.
...they let you have your opinion, now let them have theirs.
Well, no...where they have the power, they would hang me "for my opinion". Ask Rushdie!
Way to be condescending. If nothing else the "superstitious delusions" line reminds me of Cappies who call socialism and communism "silly pipe dreams".
I don't think it's "condescending"...I think it's a plain statement of fact.
And maybe the "cappies" have a better grasp of ideological struggle than you do.
It's good to see you've taken up Christian hunting.
Where have you been for the last 15 months? When have I not been "hunting" them down and attacking their views?
...does that mean I shouldn't be allowed to speak on a weight loss forum?
No, I wouldn't say that. But if you went to loseweightforums.com and registered as "I_LOVE_FAT" or "FAT_IS_GOOD"...I think you might just catch some well-earned flack.
I wouldn't blame them...your username would be inappropriate and offensive.
If some cappie had your name changed on a rightwing political forum would it really make you change your opinion?
I don't go to rightwing boards. But if I did, and registered as "Capitalism_Sucks", I'd expect to be banned. They'd rightfully regard my name as inappropriate and offensive.
All that's going to happen is you are going to confirm that all marxists want to do is push people around and steal their rights.
That's absurd; you're just indulging in rhetorical exaggeration.
"Push people around", indeed!
I really hope you don't see any correlation between Hitler and Jesus. Regardless of whether or not Jesus was fictional or a real rabbi who was a damn liar. He still preached a message of peace and brotherhood regardless of the religion he was promoting or what that led to. Hitler organized a mass genocide.
Are we having an epidemic of attention-deficit disorder here...or are you just too lazy to read the thread? A smartass suggested that he would like to change his username to "Hitler_Lives" and I said that anyone who wants to do something like that should be permanently banned.
It had nothing to do with the substance of my proposal.
And, as a historical note, no one knows what "Jesus" preached...all of the "information" is second-hand and nearly all of it dates from four or more decades after his death.
Redstar, it's wonderful that you hate religion. It's stupendous and I'm very happy that you want to rip people's entire world and comfort to shreds.
Don't forget the "reign of terror" that I plan to "impose".
First posted at Che-Lives on January 27, 2004
Judging from your reply to me, it seems that your reasons for this measure are to (1) encourage religious members to rethink their theology and (2) protect atheist members from rude and blatant expressions of superstitious loyalty to religion.
My point is that your measure to ban religious usernames will certainly not accomplish the first.
Regarding the second, I am yet to find out exactly how a lack of religious usernames will satisfy your belligerent attitude towards religion.
(1) It might...you never know.
(2) Even if you are afflicted with a crippling leg injury, it still feels pretty good to get that damn pebble out of your shoe.
Like I said, this is an extremely silly way to demonstrate Che-live's hostility towards religion. Because this is all it may accomplish. Not that it would be a bad thing, but it would do so in a bad way.
Look at the reactions of the godsuckers...they don't think it's "silly".
They think it's a "reign of terror" and a "shatterer of worlds" and "burning people alive".
Whenever the god racket is threatened, the heavy artillery is rolled out. It's never "silly" to them.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 27, 2004
Warning: All Members who have some type of belief that conflicts with those of Redstar will be badgered by the aforementioned member until they get sick of being a target and leave. If you don't like being badgered and insulted by Atheists then please leave the site now.
Then we stick the statement on the front page with a big picture of you wearing Dracula fangs and a tattoo of a Hammer and Sickle Dripping blood on your forehead as you scream at the camera.
Sounds ok with me...but how about if I wear my Satan mask?
And your outlook is inconsistent with a leftist movement that doesn't result in a tyranny. The type of "revolution" you seem to be advocating looks like it will result in a tyranny. Especially if you feel freedom of speech is so unnecessary to a revolution.
There will be freedom of speech for revolutionaries and no freedom of speech (or at least very little) for reactionaries. That doesn't mean there will not be many heated controversies...I'm sure there will be. And the decisions will be made by the revolutionary working class.
Cappies, Nazis, godsuckers, racists, misogynists, etc. will have no say in the matter...any matter.
You've been saying your message for some time now, you're still here. Where exactly do you live where religion lacks power?
Yes, I can speak bluntly on the internet. Suppose I print a collection of my posts and hand copies out on Sunday morning in front of one of the half-dozen churches within a few blocks of my building...want to buy me some health insurance first?
Or would you want to join the mob of hysterical barbarians kicking me to death?
you also are a bit more colder than I am...
That's true...when it comes to those I perceive to be enemies of working class emancipation, my hatred is icy.
What you all have in common is your inability to see anything with an open mind. You get set in your ways and refuse to hear anyone else, or even try to understand where that person is coming from. There is nothing wrong with having disagreements, but you and those on the right are far too close minded to actually get anything productive done.
The facts are different. I have always been open to logical arguments buttressed with evidence...and even when I disagree, I respect those who attempt to use the power of reason to understand and change the world.
What you are really complaining about is the fact that I don't have "an open mind" towards irrational, superstitious bullshit.
In that respect, you are right...I'm guilty as hell!
And proud of it!
...your reign of terror will be created when your revolution is successful. I'll withhold criticism till then...though knowing people like you, I'll probably be exiled or killed by my second book.
But the real reign of terror that is capitalism doesn't worry you. After all, they do let you pray as much as you like.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 28, 2004
WOW! I didn't realize that atheists were all about converting people. Christians say "God-less" atheists (those like redstar) say "God-suckers".... Christians want to knock on your door and tell you about their god... atheists want to hang out in front of church and tell people why they shouldn't have the right to practice their religion...
I think you misunderstood my response...I have no interest in hanging out in front of churches passing out leaflets against religion--that was just to ask him how "tolerant" he thinks modern godsuckers really are.
Actually, I'm in favor of removal of religion from public life...as I've said many times and gone into much detail explaining.
Naturally, I would like to "win" more people to atheism just as I would like to "win" more people to communism. But that process is one of argument and evidence...on a message board.
I promise to never show up at your door -- or anyone's door -- to give you the glad tidings that there are no gods.
...look, I don't want to be preached to by Christians or Atheists. I had respect for people who were atheists, but if most atheists are anything like RedStar then they have the same disgusting elements that I hate about Christians.
Everywhere you go in life, you're going to run into people, corporations, institutions, and governments that try to convince you to agree with them. Only if you avoid all contact with humans and all of their cultural artifacts will you ever be "free" of being "preached to".
But it will be lonely...and kind of boring.
I don't want to live in a society where only Christians have a voice, nor a society where only atheists have a voice. Reading RedStar's posts I can just picture Pat Robertson spouting off the exact opposite, that "God-less heathens" and "Sinners" do not deserve a place in politics, nor a public voice to spout their, "Evil."
Reminds me of an old union song: They say in Harlan County, there are no neutrals there...
I daresay Pat Robertson is just as "fanatical" in his way as I am in mine...both of us see this struggle as crucial for the future of the human species.
We take it seriously.
Those who want to be "fair" and "neutral" and "tolerant" distress and irritate us both...such people do not take the matter seriously.
Now, if you want a classless society in which superstition continues to have a "legitimate" public existence, how do you propose that the reactionary content of superstitious ideas be struggled against?
When the godsuckers say that women must wear the veil or be severely punished--and then proceed to actually do that--what is your response?
When the godsuckers say that women's clinics are like Auschwitz--and then proceed to start blowing them up--what is your response?
As the song has it: Which side are you on, boy, which side are you on.
I don't think it's RELIGION that's the problem, I think it's FANATICS and RedStar has shown constantly that not all fanatics are on the side of religion.
Why don't you at least wait until I've burned a few godsuckers at the stake before putting me in their camp?
Wouldn't that be fair?
Who gives a fuck?
Read the thread and see.
Well that's the sort of question numerous people have asked redstar in the past, many of whom have even left now because they refused to put up with the numerous bullshit attacks which seem to stem whenever anyone challenges Redstar's view of the world...
Oh spineless lackey of U.S. imperialism, when are you leaving? Soon, I hope.
I have always been one to believe that debate and results are the way to defeat the enemy, not oppressing them into silence. This action which you propose is the the mirror image of how the cappies silence the working class...
Yes, exactly. The implication of class war is that one side wins and the other side loses.
If we win, I think we should be absolutely ruthless with the losers...as they have been to us so many times in the past.
If they do beat you to a bloody pulp, I'm sure the ACLU will come to your rescue.
That's really comforting to know.
You rely too much on Empirical evidence, though being an Empiricist I would expect that from you. However Philosophy and Morality are good ways of arguing also, especially when arguing about abstract topics.
No they're not...they are mostly if not completely "hot air". Empty assertions that this is "true" or that is "false" without any real world referants...unless they have some goons along with them to make sure you "agree" or else.
Limiting freedom of speech is limiting freedom of speech, period.
Freedom of speech is already limited on this board: *No Nazi Trash!*
By your logic, that makes the owner a "Stalinist".
Besides redstar, weren't you the one who always attacks Leninists and asks who decides what is reactionary?
In this situation, it is the members of the Commie Club who decide "what is reactionary"...not me!
I offer a proposal and defend it as best I can...but the people decide.
The exact opposite of Leninism in theory and practice.
I take it that your real objection is that I "dared" to even offer a proposal that you didn't like.
Too bad! I will offer a proposal any time on any subject that I think is in the interests of proletarian revolution...even if it's defeated by a vote of 1 for and 1,000,000 against!
It's called integrity.
PS: The suggestion that I possess any kind of "charisma" is, in my opinion, absurd.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 28, 2004
I'll make it easier: tell me how supporting Chirac's law is compatible with your anti-Leninist, anti-authoritarian reasoning.
Because Chirac's law serves to weaken (ever so slightly) one of the main ideological fortresses of authoritarianism.
Why do you think anarchists say "No Bosses, No Gods, No State"?
They understand the fundamentally reactionary nature of religion...even though some of them would probably think I am "too harsh". But the anarcho-syndicalists in the Spanish revolution didn't "fool around"...they usually executed any priests they got their hands on.
Want to give them a lecture on "freedom of speech"?
It seems to me that your position contradicts itself. You admit that "limits" are "necessary"...or do you? Should Che-Lives be "open to Nazis"?
You apparently believe that there is a "slippery slope" with regard to "freedom of speech"...once you take the first step down it, you're on your way to becoming "the next Stalin" no matter what your intentions might be.
So the administrators are "already on the road" to being "the next Stalin", right?
Or is it just me you're reacting to? Do I "secretly control" the administrators and get them to ban anybody I don't like?
Or do you think that's my "master plan" for conquering the universe?
Look, guy, I'll be 62 years old in a couple of months and I'll be lucky to see 65! (The glories of a mis-spent youth & all that.) Get it through your head that I have no ambitions to "lead" anything...I'm too fucking old!
Maybe somebody will "use my ideas" to become "the next Stalin". It won't be me!
I need an answer, cause I'm seriously disturbed and depressed because of all of this. I became anti-authoritarian thanks to you...
Well, I'm sorry to "disappoint" you...but perhaps you became anti-authoritarian for the wrong reasons.
It does little good to adopt a political position "because" you "admire" certain individuals who have that position. Unless you really grasp the ideas for yourself, you will be reduced to following whatever they say...and altogether cease to think for yourself.
That's no good.
Beyond that, the attribution of "charisma" is at least faintly insulting...it suggests that my arguments have no merit "other" than the fact that they are "well-written".
You have a right to your opinion about that...but I have the right to reject it.
And I do!
First posted at Che-Lives on January 28, 2004
...so are you supporting Kerry or Dean?
Why do you ask such a foolish and irrelevant question?
I have stated my opposition to participation in bourgeois politics in many threads...do you think I was just rattling my keyboard?
For example, here, someone could vote "No" and still oppose it for different reasons than "violation of religious expression." Just put "yes," "no," or "I don't know/care."
Point taken. It was originally going to read
( ) No, I think we should suck up to reactionaries at every opportunity.
But then, I was trying to be "fair"...for all the good it did me.
I don't think so, all it does is send the slaves ever further into the grips of their masters, just as 9/11 did to the American public. You hand one enemy the power to legislate what should never be legislated, and hand another the power to galvanize where they were clearly on the decline.
Well, we disagree.
But consider...should the government--even a bourgeois government--not be permitted to outlaw the public wearing of a Nazi uniform or the display of Nazi flags? You did say "never"...are you sure about that?
And, by your logic, how would you ever be able to take any actions against reactionary superstitions...and remain consistent?
How could you, for example, prohibit genital mutilation for religious purposes? Or parents who rely on "faith healing" rather than medicine?
More broadly, how could you ever actively suppress the capitalist class and remain consistent with the principle that you've articulated in this thread?
I simply can't fathom the "distinctions" that you are making. You express outrage at the proposals of Chirac and myself--both of which are quite modest--and yet also say that when it comes time to bring out the crane and wrecking ball to use on a cathedral...you want to be there and take part.
I do not understand your viewpoint.
You can't dismiss me like you do him, don't try.
I have not tried to do that. He's a fake leftist; you seem to me to be very confused.
This is why people like you, of whom the movement is filled to the brim, now scare me deeply. Anyone who disagrees is "reactionary", and we all know how many rights they should have.
Where do you get that from? Who have I labeled a reactionary unfairly? How many discussions in how many threads have I been in without "going for the throat" or anything even close to that?
I think it's astounding that you are "scared" of "people like me" in an era in which religiously-motivated violence is pervasive. (I just posted a new topic in the Politics forum on Hindu-Muslim violence against women...and it is horrifyingly gruesome!)
The people who do the real shit don't alarm you; you're "scared" of what "people like me" "might do someday".
Does that make sense?
There can be limits to freedom of expression, but they need a compelling reason.
That's meaningless. My "compelling reason" is your "outrageous act".
It's like the U.S. Supreme Court's doctrine of "compelling state interest"...the government has to convince the judges that the state has a "compelling interest" in abridging "freedom of speech" before the court will allow them to do it.
Then, it's ok.
...you have a way of pissing off a minority that the majority loves to see you use.
Excuse me, but on this issue it would seem that I'm very much in the minority.
Perhaps if a hundred French revolutionaries had suddenly joined Che-Lives, my proposal would have won easily.
You play on the emotions people have against religion, the state, Leninists, the Iraq war, the drug war and do it very well.
That's funny, I could have sworn I was appealing to people's reason. I was almost certain that I was using logic and evidence in support of my views.
I am "shocked" to discover that all this time I've "really" been "playing on people's emotions".
What will I "learn" next???
In every argument, there's a bogeyman, whether you realize it or not.
You mean to say, of course, that in every argument there are at least two or more positions, one or more of which I disagree with, and actually say so.
Well, yeah...I can't dispute that one.
Sometimes though, you're wrong and very scary.
Sometimes I am indeed wrong and have even actually admitted it.
What's "scary" about that?
Despite your delusions of grandeur...
...most brilliant and perfect one.
In other words, I "must think" that "the sun shines out of my ass".
I won't speculate on your reasons for asserting this kind of crap...but you must realize that people here will see it for the crap that it is.
I'm not Bob Avakian...and everyone here knows that. I've never claimed to be "grand" or "brilliant" or "perfect"...nor have I ever implied that people should treat me "as if" I "were" those things.
So what's your real complaint?
...you will turn up with armed police and probably murder the inhabitants of the house because they have the audacity to be hiding a crucifix under the rug.
Another typical discharge from the fake leftist.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 29, 2004
So you aren't concerned with becoming your enemy? If it is wrong for them to do it, why is it right for you to?
If something is morally wrong it is always morally wrong, regardless of the situation.
Dear me! Class struggle is not a question of "morality". The struggle for the liberation of the human species from class society cannot be judged by "moral standards"...even if such standards could be coherently defined and shown to actually make some kind of sense.
It's them or us!
How do you empirically prove what is good or what is bad? How do you prove what justice is empirically? Even if you cite empirical evidence, it's only used to back up a philosophical point.
Why do you say "only used"? That's what counts...to support what you assert with evidence.
If all you ever say is "X is true because I say it's true"...you've said absolutely nothing.
But if a Nazi comes here and actually tries to debate, fine, let them stay.
Well, at least you are being consistent...unlike others. I think you are profoundly wrong about that...but at least you are holding on to your principle no matter where it takes you.
I just don't want to go there.
Excuse me, but RedStar2000 has been flaming this entire thread, you want to step in against flaming, ok then fine, but why don't you be fucking fair about it? It's ok to call people "Godsucker" and "Fake leftist" etc, and all the nasty comments he has given to people who don't agree with him in this whole thread...
What "nasty comments"? It's true that I have coined the word "godsucker" for believers in superstition and it's also true that I think the imperialist lackey is a fake-leftist.
What other "nasty things" have I said about anyone in this thread?
I think it's really funny that while you people sit in your armchairs in front of your computers talking about how banning religion will create the effective change we need for the working class...
You were also sitting in a chair (perhaps not an armchair) in front of your computer while you were writing your post.
I grow weary of this sort of rhetorical gesture...we all sit in front of computers typing posts.
To my knowledge, there are no cases in recorded history of anyone physically engaged in violent confrontation with the ruling class and typing a post at the same time.
(Personal note: my "armchair" is actually a discarded kitchen chair with a thrown away couch cushion as padding. It has no arms.)
Religious groups are feeding the hungry through food banks, wheels on meals, etc...Are helping to build homes for the homeless and poor through Habitat for Humanity etc...Groups like the Presbyterian Church are down in El Salvador helping to create alternatives to free trade such as worker collectives that will effectively better these peoples lives...
Yeah, the "Mother Teresa effect".
Religious charity creates marginal improvements in the lives of an insignificant number of people...granted.
Those improvements, though marginal, are nevertheless greater than anything revolutionaries can do at this time...also granted.
That the proper conclusion to be drawn from these facts is that we should give up all this revolution netbabble and go buy a can of beans for some homeless guy...is bullshit!
Communism is not a "mega-charity"...it's purpose is not to "help people less fortunate than ourselves".
It is about liberating ourselves from the chains of wage-slavery.
Something that those who run the god rackets are not only uninterested in but vehemently opposed to...as they've shown too many times to count.
Charities, by the way, are also bourgeois rackets...and any money you give them is as likely to buy the CEO a new limo and a hooker as it is to "help people".
...Yet you feel uncomfortable with these people having the beliefs they do, so lets get rid of religion.
It's not a matter of "discomfort". Religion has co-existed with class society for all of record history and the evidence for its reactionary social role is overwhelming.
Not to mention the small detail that if we don't get rid of it, it will surely get rid of us.
I don't think we are debating about two polar opposites here...I don't support theocracy, but I also don't support an anti-religious police state.
As has been demonstrated clearly in the Middle East and less clearly in the west, the truly religious regard anything less than a theocracy as "an anti-religious police state".
To be blunt about the matter, I suspect that the only reason that we don't suffer under a Christian theocracy in the United States is that the bastards themselves can't agree on who should be "top dog". No version of Christianity here has anything like the kind of majority necessary to actively impose their domination...if one of them did, they'd go for it in a nanosecond.
If you look at something like "the war on drugs"...you can see what they can "accomplish" when they get together on a policy.
"Tolerance" isn't exactly the word that leaps to mind.
I'm not confused, I just know there is a time for attacking religion, and it has to be all out. Right now is not the time, and this nibbling on the alligator's tail is stupid. If you wanna kill it, go straight for the throat.
Perhaps. Swallowing the alligator whole is not exactly something to look forward to, in my opinion.
Seriously, I think history suggests that it will be a long struggle, consisting of many battles, fought on many fronts, to rid the planet of superstition.
If Chirac's proposal is a "small skirmish", then my proposal doesn't even rate a mention.
I'm one guy and I do what I can.
No, I don't believe you should ban Nazi uniforms, people can wear what they want.
That statement speaks for itself.
See, you might not be overtly labeling me reactionary, but just implying that I am more worried about you than religious violence is enough. We all know what you're getting at.
Well, I and "people like me" are the ones you made a specific point of saying that you were "scared of".
Curiously, you evidently are not "scared" of people parading in Nazi uniforms.
Is "freedom of apparel" your "over-riding principle"?
Well, it might not be necessarily ok, but it's more likely to be a reasonable limit if the government isn't given free reign to do it whenever they feel like it.
Do you disagree with this?
In practice, the government does have free reign...they just have to go through the ritual first.
You might not claim it, but you act like it. Anyone who disagrees with you is confused about their leftism, uneducated, just hasn't thought it through. They can't possibly disagree with you just cause they disagree, you have to imply that they just have a lot to learn before they can ever talk to you.
"Just cause they disagree" is not a good reason.
When someone disagrees with me and offers coherent arguments and evidence, I don't label them "confused", "uneducated" or "reactionary"...I counter the arguments or I shut up.
On the other hand, if what they actually say strikes me as "confused", "ignorant", or "reactionary" then I will say so...and explain why.
One of the popular views in America is "all opinions are created equal"...hence the expression "whatever". It's actual purpose is to end discussion--the inference is that I disagree with you but you have a right to your (wrong) opinion.
My view is that "bad ideas" don't go away by themselves...they must be struggled against and defeated. If they are allowed to spread uncontested, they sooner or later lead to bad practices.
Thus, though it may appear "arrogant" to some when I say that "X is a reactionary idea"...what I'm really doing is trying to prevent the reactionary practice that will otherwise arise from X.
Hitler did not begin the mass murder of the Jews without first convincing huge numbers of Germans that "the Jews are our misfortune".
I believe that we should allow religious names, I think it's cruel not to.
Wherein lies the "cruelty"? As I said earlier, if they want to go to jesusislordforums.com and register as "Jesus_Lives"...they are free to do so. In that context, their choice is appropriate.
But if I went to a message board like that and registered as "Satan_Is_Lord", what would their reaction be?
You know what it would be.
Not to mention my fate should they actually get a chance to physically pay me "the wages of sin".
...some leftists hold religious beliefs and that should be respected...
Some "leftists" hold racist or misogynist or homophobic "beliefs"...do we "respect" that? Should we?
When you stop and think about it, what is a "leftist"?
And isn't that what these sometimes acrimonious discussions are really about?
First posted at Che-Lives on January 29, 2004
Wonderful, there you go again, twisting words wherever you can instead of addressing the argument.
What words did I "twist" and in what way?
Good strawman there, wonderful how you continue to deflect what I'm saying. There is a difference between beating the shit out of racist fucks in Nazi uniforms, and the government arresting them for it.
Yes there is. I would much prefer the latter but am quite willing to accept the former.
And you, seemingly, are not.
(It's been my experience that remarks about "straw men" are generally...made of straw.)
Freedom of apparel isn't an over-riding principle, it is just something that makes sense. It's idiotic to allow the government to control the "little" things. They tend to be the most dangerous. A government that legislates clothing is, to me, psychotic.
Well, this is evidently something you feel quite passionate about.
I don't know what else to say.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 30, 2004
If morality is not an issue then why have the revolution? Whats wrong with having a class society then?
Not a thing if you are in the ruling class. Everything if you are in the exploited class!
Capitalists think capitalism is "moral". Communists think communism is "moral".
In both cases, their "morality" springs directly from their class position.
Slaves never believed that slavery was "morally right"...slaveholders thought the institution was "created by God almighty".
Morality has no "independent existence". It is always a reflection of material interest...all claims to the contrary notwithstanding.
All of the reasons that justify revolution and a classless society are based on morality. And I wouldn't be a socialist if I didn't see socialism as morally right.
Go right ahead. But any undergraduate philosophy student can probably rip your "moral reasoning" to shreds...if she wants to even bother.
She would take your moral propositions, one by one, and de-construct them to show that they were illogical and irrational. Then she'd easily demonstrate that what really bothers you is that you're down towards the bottom of the food chain and don't like being there.
I don't like being there either...nor do most people. Being a wage-slave really sucks!
That's "justification" enough...for revolution, classless society, ruthless suppression of the old exploiters (including the god racketeers)...the whole package.
They [the ruling class] are humans too and I will treat them as thus.
Fine. Don't be shocked when they decline to return the favor.
It's a matter of historical record that working class revolutionaries--even Stalinists--tend to be far more "humane" than their (and our) enemies. If you match up comparable situations, you'll find that in every case the old ruling classes resorted to torture and murder far more often and far more extensively than working class revolutionaries.
Only the maniacal Pol Pot has a record comparable to the capitalist norm.
Usually the comparison is made between Hitler and Stalin. If Stalin had "really" been "as bad as Hitler", then following the German surrender, Stalin would have colonized the territory of east Germany with Russians and attempted to exterminate "the German race"...this was Hitler's ultimate goal in the Slavic lands, starting with Poland.
Or compare Cuba and Chile. Whose hands are the bloodiest? By far!
And would anyone like to argue that Chiang's gangster-fascist regime in China was "more humane" than Mao's despotism?
It's no contest. You'll treat the old ruling class like "humans" and they'll treat you like vermin to be exterminated.
You'd think after a while we'd learn better, wouldn't you?
I don't want it to ever be said that I did not respect a man who could effectively argue a point he firmly believed in. If he disagrees with me, he has every right to try and convince me of his point, and I of mine, in a civilized debate.
Another illusion: that ruling classes and their lackeys are "civilized".
Where their material interests are at stake, they put savages and barbarians "in the shade". Cf. Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But if I don't respect his right to free speech then I have failed.
Tell yourself that when you are in front of his firing squad. It will be a comforting thought in your last moments.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 30, 2004
Perhaps it would make more sense to ban all non-Marxist...We need to ban all people who call for voting in bourgeois elections. We need a ban on all Socialist (with their silly odd varieties), all...
You know who I'd really be tempted to ban if I had the magical power to do that?
I'd ban the people who can't read!
I've lost count of the number of times when I have made a statement or argued a position or, in this thread, offered a proposal...only to see what I said WILDLY EXAGGERATED to the point of complete idiocy.
How many ban threads have I started? Against who? For what reason?
How many "restrict to OI" threads have I started? Against who? For what reason?
(To the best of my memory, the answers are one and zero, respectively.)
You take my modest proposal to bar usernames with religious connotations and convert it into a wild orgy of banning everyone I disagree with about anything.
Is that your idea of how to discuss matters of controversy in an honest and principled fashion?
I think your reaction (as well as some others) are perfect illustrations of the point I made a few pages ago in this thread.
Even the smallest attack on the god racket and the heavy artillery is brought out at once. I am "the next Stalin", a "blood-thirsty tyrant" who will establish a "police-state", starting with Che-Lives and then conquering the whole world, blah, blah, blah.
The venomous imperialist lackey thinks it would be "poetic justice" if I were stabbed in the back by a priest wielding a crucifix sharpened to a knife-edge...and left floating face-down in a river.
Yes, you godsuckers are really just "full of love", aren't you? It oozes from every orifice.
I may have lost the vote--this time--but at least I exposed something of what you're really like.
The user who picked his name as a joke and not cause he's religious, I suspect left for this.
How do you know he left? How do you know it was "because" of this thread?
People come and go at message boards for all kinds of reasons--some of them even have real lives. (!)
But if he did indeed pick his username as a "joke", then nothing in this thread could possibly have offended him...except that some did not think his joke was funny.
Someone who would leave because everyone didn't laugh at his "joke"...would not be much of a loss.
I think we should end this before we turn off any more che-lives members.
I thought it was over several pages ago...but I will keep responding to the statements of others as long as I see an argument to be made. If there are people here who are "turned off" by strong controversy, then they really have "come to the wrong board".
Isn't there a board called OnlyNiceTalkForums.com?
First posted at Che-Lives on January 31, 2004
Postscript: The proposal was defeated by a vote of 16 in favor, 30 against, and 33 abstentions.
Assuming the "god poll" is a reflection of the percentage of believers, non-believers, and uncertain membership of the CC, the proposal should have won as follows:
44 Yes; 21 No; 14 Abstain.
Assuming a vote along "straight party lines", this means that 9 atheists voted "no" and a whopping 19 atheists abstained.
The "atheist" vote was a total fiasco. What "should" have been an "easy win" turned into a complete disaster.
The hold of superstition is so powerful that even a majority of atheists are too cowardly to confront it directly.
· Communists Against Religion -- Part 19 June 6, 2006
· Conversations with Capitalists May 21, 2006
· Vegetable Morality April 17, 2006
· Parents and Children April 11, 2006
· The Curse of Lenin's Mummy April 3, 2006
What Did Marx "Get Wrong"? September 13, 2004
Class in Post-Revolutionary Society - Part 1 July 9, 2004
Demarchy and a New Revolutionary Communist Movement November 13, 2003
A New Type of Communist Organization October 5, 2003
The "Tools" of Marxism July 19, 2003
Marxism Without the Crap July 3, 2003
What is Socialism? An Attempt at a Brief Definition June 19, 2003
What is Communism? A Brief Definition June 19, 2003
A New Communist Paradigm for the 21st Century May 8, 2003
On "Dialectics" -- The Heresy Posts May 8, 2003
|In particular, I think message boards are a terrific way to reach people who are "interested" in communism but who actually know almost nothing about it.
Duplicate entry '1152057428' for key 1|