Socialism and anarchism as spiritualiy and religion

 
 
The below named article was written by Ed ( I do not know his last name) who publishes the Yoda is I’s blog. It link is http://yodaami.wordpress.com
I think that the author makes several excellent points. First he argues I think correctly that ideologies such as socialism and anarchism are simply other forms that the human religious impulse can take. I also believe that his take on the religious type of fanaticism that in general has dominated Marxist Leninism is completely sound. Finally to the degree that one believes that the world is a battle ground between the forces of good vs. evil, I think that his analysis of how evil subverts good intentions is in fact how it is often done.
 
Glenn
 

Socialism and anarchism as spirituality and religion

Wednesday, December 30, 2009, 2:41:10 AM | EdGo to full article

Many people think of socialism and anarchism as being opposed to spirituality and religion. But if you look carefully, you can see that they are just other forms of spirituality and religion. The ideals of the French Revolution, “Liberty, Equality, Cooperation”, are a holy mantra. They are utopian in the sense that they strive to create heaven on earth. They are powerful ideas, but they can be used to mobilize people for good or evil, just like other religions.

Socialists may believe in science, dialectics, economics, the working class, the inevitability of socialism as part of their faith. They have hymns, like “The International”. They have saints, like Marx, Engels, Kroptokin, and so on. They have scriptures that explain the beliefs of their religion. Some sects fight holy wars against their opponents. There are frequent splits and accusations of heresy. And, in general, they are sincerely inspired by a spiritual calling to ease the suffering of others, by their compassion for their fellow humans. And, ironically, just like religions, some of them end up killing and torturing people, and justify it as necessary to defend the faith and to establish God’s kingdom on earth. I’m going to name names here, and call them “Leninists”. These are the Crusaders, the Jesuits, the Inquisitors of the socialist movement, whose Machiavellianism and fanaticism have given socialism a bad name. The blood of millions is on their hands, some of it direct and intentional, some of it the result of their bungled attempts at micro-managing society.

Why does this always happen? My theory is that God or some force of goodness inspires people to do good, and they proceed with good intentions, but the forces of evil subvert these good intentions with fanaticism, which turns them into something horrible and evil. Or else it’s because mentally unbalanced people are attracted to these ideas for the wrong reasons (a thirst for power, a desire to play God, delusions of grandeur, egomania) and their maniacal zeal earns them positions of leadership.

But in general, socialism and anarchism are motivated by the same desire to do good and save humanity from suffering that religions are based on.

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SDUSA links

As stated in my last posting. there has been a schism within the Social Democrats USA and has a result  the leadership of the party lost control of the party web site to the fired executive director. Unfortunately the party’s “Social Democracy in the 21th Century” web site is still not ready for public presentation yet. That will hopefully change within the next couple of weeks. However persons who are interested in knowing more about the Social Democrats USA can still learn more about the party via its “Socialist Currents” blog and the corresponding “Socialist Currents” e-group.
 
The link to the newly established blog which contains the organization’s statements of principle, heritage, mission, and a list of its officers is http://socialistcurrents.wordpress.com/
The e-group link for those who which join in dialogue with members of the Social Democrats USA is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Socialist_Currents/
 
Glenn

Taking over the Democratic Party

 
The Social Democrats USA has recently made national news or at least into the Glenn Beck show which is almost as good. On his April 22 program right  tea party leader Glenn Beck attempted to further build his  case that President Obama is a socialist  by attempting to tie Obama to the now defunct radical reform organization ACORN and its executive director Bertha Lewis. Mrs. Lewis who evidently is a democratic socialist spoke at gathering of the Young Democratic Socialists the youth arm  of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) in March. At the gathering Bertha Lewis called for DSA members to build the organization and recruit new members. Since Barack Obama as have many other Democratic leaders has  had a  positive relationship to ACORN prior a series of  scandals within the organization during the last few years, Mr. Beck easily scored several propaganda points. As propaganda the argument of guilt by association normally works for those who wish to believe the main story line. Next to top it off Beck showed  a citation from the web site of the old Social Democrats USA, which calls for the Social Democrats USA to be a “party within a party” ie a caucus within the Democratic Party. The implications for Beck of this were obvious. The Democratic Party  is infiltrated by and ultimately controlled by dangerous socialist elements of the Social Democrats USA. Use link http://video.foxnews.com/v/4162511/the-one-thing-422
for the full Beck ACORN presentation and use  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek7_oUUtzqc
for a very short version.
 
Would that this were true! However some unfortunate facts need to be stated. The first of which is that in December of 2009 a schism occurred within the Social Democrats USA and Gabe Ross the executive director of the SD USA was fired from his position by the organization’s  full National Executive Committee. The division that occurred between the NEC and its executive director was due to an increasing tendency by Mr Ross to use methods  of slander and the demonization of   board members who disagreed with him over often minor political issues. That behavior when combined with Mr. Ross’s often deliberate refusals to implement NEC decisions and his unilateral expulsions of NEC members made his continuation in his post of Executive Director an impossibility. Unfortunately since Gabe Ross controlled the SD USA web site, the NEC leadership  had to develop an alternative web site called “Social Democracy for the 21th Century.” Unfortunately this new web site due at least partially from legal harrasment from Mr. Ross  is still not up and running. Hopefully that will change soon. This does not  mean that most of the statements on social democratic political strategy, tactics and writings on the old Gabe Ross controlled site do not represent much of the thinking of the legitimate SD USA. On the contrary much on the old site was written and developed by such notable Social Democratic NEC members as David Hacker the party’s historian.
 
Now that this is clarified, a few more points regarding the SD,USA’s supposed control of the Democratic Party must be made. Unfortunately  while the Social Democrats USA is the direct lineal descendent of the old historical Socialist Party of America of such leading members  as Eugene Debs, Norman Thompson and Helen Keller, history has not been kind to the organization.  Since the party changed its name in 1972 and its loss of members to two secession movements the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee – latter to become  DSA, and another movement which became the Socialist Party USA;  the SD USA has lost membership. Thus the Gabe Ross schism of the Social Democrats USA which so impresses Glen Beck probably has less than 20 paid members. Its activist core is evidently much lower. Glenn Beck would have been advised to have done his homework more thoroughly.
Thus it is  ironic even funny that it is the old Social Democrats USA web site that Glen Beck used to show the supposed infiltration and control of the Democratic Party by dangerous social democratic elements. However on the optimistic side Glenn Beck has done a great job of getting the Social Democrats USA  in the news even if for now the schismatic group has gotten the balk of attention. That scarcely matters in the long run the party as a whole will  benefit.
 

On Cooperative Socialist Perspectives

While I started this blog as a place in which to discuss both religion and politics, it has undergone several metamorphosis. It is now under going another. I joined the very small Social Democrats USA in January 2009. A lot has happened within that party since that time certainly not all positive. However in spite of this, I feel that the Social Democrats USA, which is the one Socialist party  of this nation that  is the direct descendent of the old Socialist Party of America of Eugene Debs, Norman Thomas and others, is my political home. Therefore since I am the representative affiliate member for Ohio within the SD, USA I am volunteering this blog to be the representative voice  of the party within this state. As such the messages posted within “Cooperative Socialist Perspectives” will be reflective of the views of the Ohio Affiliate but not necessarily of the official views of the Social Democrats USA national organization. I will attempt on a regular basis to let readers know if and when the views taken here represent national Social Democrats USA policy.
 
A few words about the new name of the blog. In spite of the fact that the future of this blog will be tied to the fortunes of the Social Democratic cause, as its editor  I have decided to delete very little of its old content. Most of that material in my own humble view is excellent and is still worth reading. This is so even if some may find it unusual for example that articles be posted to defend Islam from the charge of authorizing the abuse of women on a socialist site. I also do not believe that it hurts for readers to know some of the interests and background of this blog’s owner.
 
Some may question why the decision was made to call this blog “Cooperative Socialist Perspectives” as opposed to Ohio Social Democracy, Ohio Democratic Socialism,  or some more social democratic sounding name. The answer is fairly straight forward. Long before I became a member of the Social Democrats USA I believed in the views of the non establishment socialist traditions which advocated a socialism not of state ownership and control but instead of a “Cooperative Commonwealth”  in which the dominant  forms of ownership in  society would be  that of worker owned cooperatives and businesses. Yes privately owned businesses, family farms, and some state forms of regulation and ownership  would play important economic roles in society, however most economic institutions in society would be cooperatively owned and managed by worker owners. This vision is quite compatible with the political economic vision of social democracy. It is true that Social Democracy historically has tended to stress primarily the importance of struggling for reforms in side the system of capitalism to benefit working people ( a good thing). Never the less ideological room also exists within the context of Social Democracy for a vigorous vision of a dynamic socialist future. The importance of a vision of the Cooperative Commonwealth or of Cooperative Socialism thus will be  a recurring theme of many of the posts within this blog.