The Cathedral and the Wrecking Ball January 7, 2004 by RedStar2000
It is curious...
If I told a Christian that "after the revolution, all Christians will be executed"--he would simply shrug. "Martyrdom" is a "ticket to Heaven" that's "valid on all dates".
Tell one that no Christians are to be martyred, but all religious architecture will be demolished and religion will no longer be permitted to have a public presence of any kind...and the howls of outrage begin at once.
How earthly these "creatures of the spirit" are.
Is Marxism not a form of religion?
It's not supposed to be...though it must be admitted that many so-called "Marxists" do treat Marx as "holy scripture".
Real Marxists criticize that.
...and if that includes building churches, so be it.
What is the purpose of a church or other "holy building"?
It's not needed for "worship"...early Christians had no churches at all.
No, what it's for is propaganda in stone...it's an "in your face" declaration of the "power and prestige" of superstitious bullshit.
Guess what? Your "power and prestige" is going to be so much landfill when we are finished with you.
So much for free thinking in your society.
Ah yes, I listen to the "Atheist Hour" on the radio every night, don't you?
Hypocrite! You reproach communists for suppressing religion when the air-waves and the print media positively stink of superstitious bullshit in your so-called "free society".
And when the worm turns, you start squealing like a stuck pig about "freedom"!
Yes, we are going to do to you some of what you have always done to the "heretics" and the atheists.
Piss us off sufficiently, and we just might do some more!
Some religious buildings are superb pieces of art.
We'll save pictures...in an obscure internet archive with a small, underpowered server. The server will be operated on alternate Thursdays.
You believe that people should be able to believe what they want, free of oppression?
Belief is one thing, public action is something different. You can "believe" that "uppity black people" should be lynched.
Try doing that and we will publicly kill you.
Try telling other people that they "should" do that and we will hurt you.
I think we should do with fabulous cathedrals the same thing that the Soviets did with theirs. Turn them into museums with anti-religious themes. After all, they are historical monuments made to be enjoyed (in a tourist manner) by the public.
The problem is it didn't work. Cathedrals were built to "awe" people into belief--and as long as they stand, they continue to serve that function. As I said above, they are "propaganda in stone".
Rid the landscape of them and religion is instantly deprived of one of its major weapons...the gross physical evidence of its "significance".
Abolishing religion just angers those who are religious. If you restrict people from going to church, then underground ones just form.
That can't be helped...and is probably not a big deal anyway. If a handful of nutballs want to gather in someone's basement at 3:00AM and practice stupid rituals, who cares?
If and when they make a public nuisance of themselves, that's different.
But don't forget: adults only!
We catch you brainwashing your kids with superstitions--that's felony child abuse and you are in deep shit!
First posted at Che-Lives on December 30, 2003
So would you pull down all the ancient castles of England and Wales? The Tower of London maybe?
I didn't suggest that; just the cathedrals, etc. As to the remnants of feudalism, most are already in ruins, right? Why not just let them continue to deteriorate?
But there is an interesting point concealed within your question. What of those who still want to go around calling themselves "baron" this or "count" that or "earl" something else?
These are valuable to our society - as art, and to stand as part of history - our development, art and different faiths (for not all these religious buildings DICTATE the same thing, in fact, they contradict each other, effectively nullifying your ... "point").
All of a sudden, you're an "art freak"? And some kind of "history buff" too?
I expect we'll hear quite a few such "arguments" before the cranes rise and the wrecking balls swing. The kind of people who want to keep superstition alive will resort to any "cover" they can find to preserve their monuments to tyranny, ignorance, and servility.
Look, a "new world" means a new world...not the old one with some red cloth draped over the embarrassing parts!
The historical record of the significant religious structures will be maintained--the physical reality is no longer necessary and, in fact, is counter-revolutionary.
They're "outta here".
You simply don't have the right to DICTATE who can and who can not see these pieces, and feel them with their own hands. Walk within their walls - and make their own judgment, using their own free will.
I don't have that right--quite so. But if I can convince a significant number of fellow workers that destroying those structures is "the right thing to do"...then we do have that right.
Revolutions have always destroyed the public symbols of the old order or at least tried to do so.
Having made the greatest revolution of all, do you think we shall hesitate one second in smashing all the symbols of the old order that we can?
(Got a statue of some famous "patriotic hero" that you really admire? Go visit while you still have the chance--it will be turned into gravel and used to repair potholes.)
Such arrogance and pompous attitude make you a fascist in my eyes - a dangerous individual, who has something wrong with his head.
And you demonstrate a total ignorance of what fascism actually is.
Go read this thread...
and then tell me how "I'm" being a "fascist".
Burke argues in "Reflections on a Revolution" that the generation of Queen Mary decided for all following generations, a political and social way of life.
I could not care less what that right-wing pissant had to say about anything.
But yes, the generation that makes proletarian revolution a reality will indeed decide the shape of the future for many generations.
That's what revolutions do.
And on God... like I said it's impossible to argue.
For those who are truly impervious to reason, we shall, in Marx's words, "pass from the arms of criticism to the criticism of arms."
That doesn't mean that we will shoot people for being believers; but it does mean that those believers who make public pests of themselves will suffer a less than desirable fate.
Why should it be otherwise?
First posted at Che-Lives on December 31, 2003
In my opinion, Churches have a more active role these days (bringing together communities, helping the homeless etc) for society than castles...
It is precisely their "active role" that I wish to put a stop to.
You, like many "defenders of the faith", think that "helping the homeless", etc., has some kind of "existence" that is somehow independent of the real social role of religion.
That's not true. When a church does "good", it is done in order to pursue "evil" more effectively. It is done, specifically, in order to convince people that it is a "good institution" that "really cares about people"...that its "ideas" must be "really valid", etc.
It is nothing of the sort, of course. It cares only for the greater glory of itself...something amply demonstrated by history.
Thus, the old castles can be left to quietly crumble into dust...they don't mean anything any more. No one is trying to "bring back feudalism".
The ultimate aim of modern religion is clerical fascism or, if they can attain it, rule by priesthood...as in Iran.
If I have anything to say about it, we communists are going to keep that from happening.
Here we go again with your dictating. If a chap wants to call himself high leader of the order of the lesser spotted toad - who are you to say he can't?
I can't; we can...and will.
I recognize the importance of history - I love studying it. I shall be teaching it too.
Do you know what happened when the French tried to implement a ten day week? Or do you know what Stalin had to resort to? To give the people of Russia inspiration to fight on? You can't just change things. You can't ignore history...
Yes, and the French revolutionaries also introduced the metric system...you may have heard of it.
And likewise I'm well aware that Stalin resorted to patriotism and religion as "ideological justification" for fighting the German invaders...it turned out that he wasn't much of a "communist" after all.
People can and have "just changed things" and made it stick.
Otherwise, this discussion would be in reference to demolishing the temples of Jupiter.
Do you think that the concentration camps should have been pulled down?
I believe that most of them were; certainly the eastern "death camps" were destroyed by the Germans as the Russian army advanced.
The chances are that what you saw was a "reconstruction"...a pale reflection of what the original was like.
But yes, I think the "Holocaust tourist trade" is pretty sick...next thing we'll probably see is "fantasy concentration camp"--spend a week as a "Jew" in "Auschwitz".
The camp sites should be obliterated.
As well as the neo-Nazis who celebrate them.
My point was Paine's reply, which you should know off your head... being in the know about revolutions and the what not.
Why don't you quit "dropping hints" and just offer the quote that so impresses you.
Paine was an admirable bourgeois revolutionary and extremely progressive for his time.
I'm a Marxist, myself.
Why can't people come together and practise what they wish?
They aren't harming YOU. However, you propose to harm them if they wish to come together.
Yes, I'm such "an old meanie", aren't I?
First, I already said that if some stupid believers want to gather in someone's basement and mumbo-jumbo with each other, I don't really care. It's public life that I wish religion removed from...being aware that when deprived of public sanction, religions naturally decline quickly in influence and eventually become extinct.
Secondly, it is extraordinarily foolish of you to suggest that "people gathering together" are "harmless" by definition.
The Nazis began as a "harmless" group of guys who met in the back room of a beer hall; the "party treasury" was kept in a cigar box.
Had you been in Munich in 1920, you would, no doubt, have told me--in lofty tones--that "they are not harming you; why do you want to harm them?"
Because, unlike yourself, I do have a "sense of history"...and know that what begins as "harmless" may not always remain so.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 1, 2004
...one should also pull down castles, if one follows your logic...
Well, I don't think my logic implies this at all. But if someone wants to "go there", I have no particular objection...certainly I would oppose diverting resources to "maintain" or "restore" feudal castles, the "great houses" of the old landed gentry, etc. Just letting them rot away seems to be the simplest solution.
On the other hand, I'd have no problem with renovating Buckingham Palace into a modern apartment building...unless the building is already in a hopeless condition.
The key point in my "logic" is that religious architecture is propaganda for religion itself. I see no reason to tolerate that any more than I'd tolerate a monument to Adolph Hitler.
If that makes me a "dictator", then so be it.
You shall have noticed in recent weeks in the media that the Red Cross has watered its religious aspects down. As have many churches. You simply don't seem to understand the essence of Christianity though - you seem to get stuck on the subjectives. You are like me (and the teachings of Jesus); against established religion. Christians don't do something to convert you - they do it because they believe it's how they should live. It isn't religion that you are hating here, it's humans. Humans try to get you to join in with their group - it's the whole pack notion. The same is true of sport (try to get you to go along and watch, support), politics, education etc., etc.
The rowdiness of English sports fans is legendary; nevertheless, I've never heard of them going so far as to burn a "witch" or a "heretic". Maybe the BBC is "covering up".
I'm well aware of the fact that "Christendom" is presently on the "defensive" in the advanced capitalist countries...though the bastards are putting up very stiff resistance to secularism in the United States.
They are trying to "improve their image", "re-brand" themselves, in an effort to maintain "market share".
I have no doubt whatsoever that at such time as proletarian revolution looks like it's about to happen, they will have a "special revelation" to the effect that "Jesus was the first communist". (There was a little of this in the 1930s...when things were looking grim for capitalism.)
I don't believe a word of it.
Their track record has always been one of sucking up to whoever was powerful or looked like they were going to become powerful. And they've always been willing to play both sides of the street; the only reason that there ever was such a thing as "liberation theology" is because of the Cuban Revolution.
What they are really interested in is "keeping the god-racket going"...by any means necessary.
I'm also aware of the "humans as pack animals" hypothesis of "evolutionary psychology". I find the hypothesis unsupported by reliable evidence and the "discipline" which offers it to be junk science.
Why can't someone call themselves what they want? Why must you stop them? What's the harm in someone calling themselves something? If it has no effect on you or anyone else, there is surely no harm - thus no point or need to stopping it.
If it has no effect...that's a question, is it not?
If someone calls himself a "lord", what happens when he starts acting like one, or trying to?
If someone calls himself a member of the "master race", what happens when he starts acting like one, or trying to?
I know the answers to those questions; do you?
I don't know the specific details of why it failed, alas, I imagine however that it was a combination of factors such as social and historical values that ran too deep within the minds of the people.
Oh, come on! You're going to stand up in front of kids and "teach history" with that kind of mysticism? "Social and historical values that ran too deep within the minds of the people"?? Used a depth-gage, did you???
Like I said, poor kids!
These Gods didn't start with the Romans, nor end with the Romans.
They came from many sources (mainly Greek I guess), and remained afterward, although the actual Roman Empire had fallen. I'm looking at the pagan gods now, and English and other European, folklore and myths (although, of course, the temples arguably did go over night - although this was due to an invasion. I don't think this compares to what you seem to wish for...)
Would you want to demolish the Greek Temples that still stand, by the way?
You have that history all muddled up; I deeply fear for your students.
But to answer the question: no, the old temples of antiquity no longer have any religious associations in the modern mind...they are just "picturesque ruins" and, like feudal castles, may be left in peace to quietly fade away.
You have to see it with your own eyes though...
No, I dispute that. There are many thousands of books written about the Third Reich, including dozens of first-hand accounts of "what it was like" in the camps. One of the first ones published after World War II is called The Theory and Practice of Hell. Unless you lack the imaginative capacity of a turnip, simply reading this book will tell you more than you want to know about "what it was like".
And I still think that the "holocaust tourist trade" is sick!
Do you feel threatened when you see a church? I don't. And I don't when I see the Tory Party Clubs, the Liberal ones - or the Labour Party clubs.
Or mosques, etc., etc., etc.
Revulsion probably comes closest to the mark. But of course, I cannot but recall what they did to "unbelievers" in the past...and what they would love to do again if they could.
Sort of like a Jew watching a neo-Nazi rally.
As to the "clubs" of the bourgeois political parties that you mentioned, I don't think they are particularly significant one way or the other...just trash to be carried to the rubbish bin after the revolution.
Maybe you are just frightened easily? You are possibly scared that people can't be trusted to believe what you do; act the way that you want them to; think the way you want them to.
And maybe you just like to make up stuff and then attribute it to others without regard for testimony or evidence.
Instead of history, why not take up biography? The modern fashion is to "read the innermost hidden thoughts" of dead people, isn't it?
Best of all, since they're dead, they can't speak up and tell you that you're full of shit.
Which is something of a genuine risk when you try it on with people who are still alive.
As to your quote from Paine, long-winded bastard, wasn't he?
Well, it's a "common sense" observation: we are not bound by the will of the dead. Nor can we bind future generations to our will.
Ok, that's true, and so what?
Do you wish to imply that after we demolish all the symbols of the old order that some future generation will re-erect them?
Yes, in a literal sense, that is possible. Worse, they could even re-establish some form of class society, bring back wage-slavery, serfdom, or even chattel slavery.
Do I think such events are realistic probabilities? Of course not.
What would be the fate of someone who literally attempted to restore serfdom or slavery now? They would be sent to prison, of course. No argument about "restoring the ancient traditions of our ancestors" would save them or reduce their sentence by a single day.
Why should it be any different under communism?
First posted at Che-Lives on January 2, 2004
It is quite clear that you "communists" just want to abolish civilization. Civilization is Art, Culture, Language, HISTORY. etc etc
Yes, we are the "barbarians" at your "gate".
How is a church propaganda in stone - and a castle not?
There was a time when a castle was propaganda in stone...but that was a long time ago. The associations are dust, now...as the castles themselves will be in another ten thousand years or so.
No one cares.
To suggest that churches are dangerous in any way (do you feel inspired by Nazi propaganda?) is ridiculous.
What about those who are inspired...by either Nazi propaganda or religious fanaticism? They don't count?
What about books too? Would you burn books that teach against what YOU preach? Would you burn books that were not written by a model comrade?
The best strategy would probably be to let the existing "hard copies" rot away and print no new ones. If someone wished to read a "holy book", they could go to the public library and check out an updated version of the Anchor Bible...one that is heavily footnoted with scholarly explanations.
And there would be plenty of "histories of religion"--unsparing of the gory details.
And we'd keep an eye on the internet, of course. If any religion site started getting a lot of hits, we'd take it down.
If it happened more than once and we found out the same fuckers were behind it, we'd take them down.
We don't need that crap!
It has been a while since any of my local baptists have burnt a witch!
However, it hasn't been too long since some football fan got murdered by a rival fan.
You English! So hot blooded!
What will you do if you ever "get religion" again?
Don't tell me; I don't want to know!
Have you read Matthew, Mark, Luke or John then?
Like with the Romans. Big suck ups. Even if they did and do so - it is the art of being a successful pressure group.
Yes, big suckups! "Render unto Caesar" and all that. When the Jews rose against Roman tyranny--68CE--the Christians fled Jerusalem like rats from a sinking ship.
As to the "art of being a successful pressure group", that's certainly a dignified phrase for suckup.
Means the same thing, though.
Some are just interested in doing what they perceive to be acting like a good Christian.
Their "perceptions" are of no interest to me. The reality is that they've been running a racket...one that will be stopped.
Now if they get weapons and try to ACT like a king of all the world (instead of just CALLING himself king) we have a problem. But that isn't related to the act of calling yourself what ever you want - its believing that you can be, or act however you want.
Isn't related? Someone just starts "acting like a king" without regard to the concept of kingship?
I will grant you this much. If, by the time proletarian revolution takes place, the very idea of aristocracy has become a complete joke and no one would claim "noble blood" unless he wished to be thought a fool...then I would let it pass. Fools we shall have with us always...unfortunately.
But we will keep an eye on them...just in case one of them starts taking the idea seriously enough to start acting as if it were really true.
What makes you CORRECT?
Argument and evidence, of course. Two things that haven't much concerned you thus far in this discussion.
In which case the disadvantage with what you want to do is refuse the right of future generations to view these pieces, in the way that we can see and feel and experience Greek pieces today.
Yes, that would be the outcome of my proposal. Would future generations "resent" our precipitous actions? Would they feel "deprived"? Would they actually have been "deprived" objectively?
I don't think they would "miss" what they never knew...do you "miss" the weekly sacrifice to Zeus or Isis? Do you feel genuinely "deprived" for not having the opportunity to celebrate the Eleusian Mysteries? Or the inspirational experience of being bathed in bull's blood?
The fact of the matter is that every work of human hands will someday perish...the only real question is when.
Every generation decides what is worth preserving, what is worth ignoring, and what needs to be destroyed and replaced by something better.
The first communist generations will be no different. They may be more "destructive" than the "average"...but they will also build more new things than "average".
And, in the long run, it all evens out anyway.
But why destroy the past?
Because the recent past has associations which we wish to make clear are no longer tenable. If we are serious about ending organized superstition in human social life, it follows that destroying the massive public symbols of superstition is a must. To leave them standing is to provoke precisely the reactions of the faithful to the USSR--"this too will pass and then we'll re-open the churches, canonize Czar Nicholas II, etc."
Indeed, there is no "ultimate" way that such an outcome can be prevented with absolute certainty...but we must try very hard.
And then we'll see.
That's bullshit. You suggest that "they" are all alike. Total bullshit.
Essentially all religions are alike. Given the chance, they will persecute the non-believer even unto death.
History has demonstrated that this is what religions do.
When they are "weak", they're all about "peace and love". But when they have real clout, out come the instruments of torture, the stakes, the hangmen.
And the stronger their faith...the worse they behave!
You fear that "they" will burn you for being an "unbeliever" though!
You fear the church. If you didn't, you wouldn't care that much either way about the existence of the buildings. They are just shells mate; get over it.
If you had faith in the working class - you wouldn't be scared that a few buildings would make them all servants of imperialism when the revolution comes... Or if you do, you have little faith in the Working class...
You are quite right. I have no "faith" in the working class...or anything else. All I have to work with is argument and evidence.
The historical evidence clearly shows that religion is a "tough old bird"...it doesn't just go away by itself. If we want to be rid of it for good, strenuous actions are required.
The standing cathedrals are not just "shells"...any more than a monument to Adolph Hitler is just a convenient place for pigeons to shit. Both such items have powerful emotional and ideological associations...bad ones! Their absence is clearly preferable to their presence.
Do I "fear the church"? Do you "fear the Nazis"?
Do you wait for the stormtroopers at your door before you sound the alarm?
Reaction can be defeated...but not without fighting it as hard as we can.
Which is what I have proposed...nothing more.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 3, 2004
"blah, blah, blah" -- John Stuart Mill, Henry Steele Commager, Tommy Smothers, Potter Stewart, Voltaire, Alfred Whitney Griswold, Heinrich Heine, John F. Kennedy
Something for everyone, eh?
Philosopher, historian, comedian, judge, poet and war criminal. (Who the hell is Alfred Whitney Griswold? Banker?)
Am I supposed to be impressed by this parade of celebrities?
Like many, you are seemingly infatuated with the abstract "freedom of ideas and expression"...a quality that floats up in the air somewhere, disconnected entirely from the muck of the real world.
Back in the days when the bourgeoisie were revolutionary, they demanded "freedom of thought and expression" as a weapon against the old aristocracies that they were fighting to overthrow.
If you read them carefully, you will find that there were ideas that they did not want to allow, expression that they did not wish to permit.
Since those times, we have seen in our own era people imprisoned for simply having communist ideas and publishing them...and even having such publications in their possession.
I am, for example, old enough to remember the McCarthy period in the United States. Kids told me of their childhoods...when they watched their fathers and mothers burn all their left-wing books in the backyard, lest they be persecuted for simply having such books.
Thus, your collection of empty rhetoric does not mean squat! The truth of the matter, once again clearly shown in history, is that classes in power will attempt to suppress their rivals and the ideas of their rivals whenever they think it useful.
Your devotion to "free expression" is self-delusion; there are certainly ideas that you would suppress...with violence or the threat of violence, if required. I don't know what those ideas happen to be in your particular case...but I know they exist.
They [feudal castles] still represent class though. They represent what you think religion to be all about.
How many times do I have to say it? They no longer represent anything but "picturesque ruins". They have no contemporary associations.
Why do you keep returning to this side-issue?
If you have read the supposed words of Jesus, then you know that true followers wouldn't force a thing upon you. Matthew 26:52-53 It's a religion of choice.
26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
Ok, how does this make Christianity a "religion of choice"?
Or did you just toss this crap in to see if I was paying attention?
You are not against it; you are merely against authoritarians who want to force their opinions onto everyone and everything. Sound familiar?
It sure does...it's what Christians do whenever they get the chance.
you are going to stop people from loving ones brother? That's the teaching of Jesus.
Assuming you are right about that, what need have you for a massive cathedral?
If Christians were truly interested in "love", would not all those resources over the centuries been devoted to the poor...instead of massive monuments to power and prestige?
In Los Angeles, the Catholic hierarchy has just opened a massive new cathedral that cost US $280,000,000 to build. You can feed a lot of homeless for that kind of money.
No, you can "love" your brother all you want (provided he's post-pubescent)...but you can't do it in the nave of the cathedral; the building is no longer standing.
And what of those who call themselves Father Christmas?
You ask the strangest questions.
There will be no "Christmas" and thus no "Father Christmas".
Do you understand the concept of revolution at all???
It is your opinion that they [churches] should be knocked down. Far more hold the opinion that they should not. Thus, if we are being majoritarian - you are in fact quite wrong.
In the era of revolution, I expect my views to be supported by the majority of the working class...obviously.
If I'm wrong, I will do my best to persuade the majority of the class that I'm right.
If I succeed, then down they come!
I think I've learnt more about humans and civilized society in less than half your years...
Goodie for you!
You thus don't have the right to bind the future to your will. You don't have the right to refuse the future to have the opportunity to have these buildings, and make their own decisions.
No, you are confusing two different lines of argument here.
1. As a practical matter, we cannot "bind" the wills of future generations. If we demolish all religious architecture in our own time, we still cannot stop future generations from erecting replicas if that is what they wish to do. Once we're dead, the living can do as they please.
2. But we certainly have the "right" to smash the evils of our own time while we are still alive. We can melt down the statues of Adolph Hitler and put up statues of Karl Marx; if future generations decide that our perceptions were wrong, then they can melt down the statues of Karl Marx and put up new statues of Adolph Hitler. I would be most unhappy with that outcome; but, being dead, I probably won't notice.
You want to "nanny" people into what to think.
So do you. So does everyone who has reasonably firm convictions about anything.
You want to "nanny" people into tolerating a reactionary social institution and I want to "nanny" them into smashing it.
Instead of "nanny", why not use the correct word? convince.
So we must destroy everything that is not what you want. I see. Should parents be shot who teach their children "unhelpful" things? Or do you just hope to brainwash them enough so that their parents have no effect?
What is this babble actually about? Why don't you ask serious questions if you want a serious response?
If you simply want to indulge yourself in mindless anti-communist rhetoric, why not take it to "protestwarrior" or "stormfront"?
Given the chance, they will persecute the non-believer even unto death?
History has demonstrated that this is what religions do??
The religion doesn't do this - individuals do it.
Yeah, agents of the "devil", no doubt.
This is a tired and lame excuse. Whenever Christians do something really nasty and a plausible cover story becomes impossible to maintain, the "fall-back" position is "well, they were not real Christians".
They sure as hell thought they were real Christians. And if you had dared to question their faith to their faces, you'd get a little taste of "holy inquisition" yourself!
Now, of course, you will bring up Stalin, right? Stalin shows what "communists" are "really like".
Well, I'm not a "Stalinist" nor are most of the people on this board; there are different kinds of communists, not to mention anarchists of several kinds.
You are certainly free to conclude that communist ideas "always" lead to "Stalinist tyranny"...just as I have concluded that all religion leads to "holy tyranny".
We are on opposite sides of the barricades, and that's that.
Given the brief history of communism thus far, I argue that we can "do it better" in the future.
Given the long history of religion, I conclude that there is no conceivable way that you "can do it better".
I "could" be wrong...you definitely are wrong.
This makes you simple minded redstar...It's sad.
Get over it!
First posted at Che-Lives on January 3, 2004
Since you like "Matthew", how about this little gem...
10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
That's "Jesus" himself speaking...and his disciples, in this respect at least, have certainly carried out his instructions for the last 2,000 years!
True, we don't have total freedom of expression, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah; but that doesn't mean we should just say "fuck it - let's just censor the whole lot."
I quite agree; the question is always really what is to be censored?
You wish to exclude religion from consideration; I wish it to be "way up" towards the top of the list, along with capitalism itself, fascism, etc.
They [feudal castles] represent class. They represent what you think religion to be all about. They represent what you suppose religion came from.
Frankly, I think you are imagining things.
Yeah, like Quakers?
Need I remind you that the Quakers produced one of the most infamous war criminals in American history...Richard M. Nixon?
He "made peace" in Vietnam in 1973 on exactly the same terms as he rejected in 1969...after murdering perhaps a million or more Vietnamese in the vain attempt to maintain American imperial power.
Some "sword", eh?
...but what would happen if you were told to not talk about communism, out of your own home?
It is, even now, dangerous to talk about communism in public.
A public building openly labeled "communist" would almost certainly be a target for violent reactionaries, probably including Christians.
Look at the behavior of "militant Christians" with regards to women's health clinics where abortions are performed?
The underlying assumption of your remarks is that "we" are "free" now...whereas "I" am some kind of "dictator-wannabe" that wants to take away the "freedom" of others--especially believers.
I am not "free" in your system; and you will not be "free" in mine.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 3, 2004
Quakers reject violence.
Some do, some don't...as the example of Nixon shows.
Do you wish to say that he was not a "real" Quaker?
Or even a "real" Christian?
Is he "burning in Hell" now?
You are trying to use the actions of a minority, as a rule, over the many acts of the vast majority, over a large amount of time.
Yes, that is true. My argument is that religion inevitably produces "Nixons" and worse...just as you argue that communism "inevitably" produces "Stalins" and worse.
The readers of this discussion--and, ultimately, the revolutionary working class--will decide who has the better argument...which description of reality actually comes closest to depicting reality.
You are far more free to talk about communism now in this society, than any one would be in "your society" who wished to talk about a number of things; one of which is religion. You stated for example that you would shut down, and "get" those who published Christian, etc., websites.
At least one American--Sherman Austin--is presently serving a year's sentence in federal prison for having an anarchist website.
Your idea of capitalist "freedom" is based, I suspect, on simple ignorance of capitalist reality.
You are more free now, than those would be in "your society".
That may or may not be true...so what?
The point is simply that when a revolution occurs, "those who were last become first; and those who were first become last".
That's why you are opposed to communist revolution; you're one of the "first" or think you are or hope to be--within the context of the existing order. Should that order be overthrown in your lifetime, you're in the shit.
Where you belong.
First posted at Che-Lives on January 4, 2004
There are few things as "sweet" as confirmation of one's views from a completely unexpected source.
Look what I found!
The architecture critic of London's Observer and the author of several books on the "art" has some very interesting things to say in his latest book.
On religious architecture
(Excerpts from Chapter 10 of The Edifice Complex by Deyan Sudjic, ISBN #1-59420-068-8)
Religious architecture is a question of continuity, interspersed with brief periods of rapid change. The purpose of a religious building is to send signals that are intended to tie worshipers together over long periods of history and across huge distances. When a new religion, or a new sect of an old one, seeks to establish itself or reinvigorate itself, it develops a new architectural language. (pp.296-7)
The orientation of religious buildings and their interaction with natural phenomena -- especially daylight, but also the stars -- reflect the earliest attempts of sacred architecture to frame the heavens. It's done to produce recognizable building types that in their fabric carry the implanted message of the sacred. (p.297)
Religion has continually used architecture as a propaganda vehicle and to create a shared sense of identity. A religious building is devised to make the individual worshiper feel a sense of belonging to the larger body of the faithful -- and in some sense to play a part in revealing sacred truths....Certain architectural languages have become associated with certain religious movements. (p.297)
But there is also a level on which architecture is used to define a mood: to create a sense of space and expectation, of reverence, that serves to make individuals feel that they have been transported out of the everyday world, and are for a moment open to the sacred. (p.298)
When faith is invoked by what can be seen as artificial or manipulative means, it is counterproductive....For an architect to consciously set out to create the atmosphere of sanctity is to reveal the underpinnings of the process. Hence the importance of tradition over innovation in church architecture. (p.298)
Religious architecture must follow a careful path if it is not to become a form of stagecraft and to reveal the mechanism by which the atmosphere is created. Religious faith cannot be seen to be reduced to a conjuring trick. (p.298)
All architecture has its origins in sacred building. Its techniques, intellectual as well as material, have shaped architecture's contemporary role and given us our understanding of an architectural language with a temporal as well as a spiritual content....But they are also both using architecture in the same way, as a means to create an aura around their churches, to demonstrate their continuing vigor and relevance. (pp.315-6)
I hasten to add that this fellow is not any kind of "lefty". When he criticizes the ruling class, it's for "bad taste", not exploitation or oppression. Undoubtedly it was his publisher (The Penguin Press) that added the subtitle -- "how the rich and powerful shape the world" -- to make the book sound "hotter" than it really is. He has a little fun with some famous architects who at one time or another groveled to the Nazis or to Stalin in order to gain some commissions.
But his tone is quite matter-of-fact; here's how the public landscape came to look like it does. Here are the "important names" and "this" is what they did.
In the chapter I quoted from above, he is mainly concerned with describing -- critically -- two new churches in the Los Angeles area.
Which is why I was impressed by his reflections on religious architecture...they tie rather neatly into my own proposition that all those buildings must be demolished.
They really are "propaganda in stone"...just as I said they were without knowing squat about architecture.
First posted at RevLeft on January 22, 2006
· 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
|As to merely closing religious buildings or converting them into museums or other uses, the Russians tried that and it didnt work. As soon as the heat was off, the god-suckers came crawling out from under their rocks, and within weeks of the end of the USSR there were parades carrying icons of "St. Nicholas the Martyr"--the last czar of the old Russian Empire.
Duplicate entry '1152057443' for key 1|