|Lionel Sims: dragon|
Comrade Conrad emphasised how communists have no interest in fighting a Richard Dawkins-like ‘war on religion’, let alone in introducing a hellishly oppressive theocracy along the lines of Enver Hoxha’s Albania or some other Stalinist freak society. He reminded us that Marx’s famous comment about religion being the “opium of the people” has been continually misinterpreted, even though the intent should be more than clear. In the 19th century opium was routinely dispensed in order to relieve pain. Religion, therefore - or at least as Marx saw it - was a coping mechanism, or spiritual sticking plaster, sought after by those suffering from social alienation, exploitation and oppression (“the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions”). Armed with this truly humanist understanding, we can see that all religions - to one extent or another - are promising pie in the sky, or communism, when you die. Trying to ‘abolish’ religion without first abolishing the alienated material conditions that give rise to religion is actually an inhuman policy. And another Stalinist legacy.