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.