Socialism, the Marxist disposition, is absolutely a religion. It is a faith system. It has its saints and sacraments. It is a worldview which offers answers. (If typically the wrong ones.) We have touched on this issue in the past but today Martin Kettle at The Guardian discusses his experience with the faith having been raised as a “red diaper baby” in the UK.
He warns of the reemergence of the materialist opium eaters in his country. (We have a few here too.)
There is nothing wrong with religion per se. But one should know when one’s belief system is a religion and many socialists do not understand that that is what Marxism is.
Socialism/Marxism, by the way is inherently crony. A large state breeds cronyism. It always has and likely always will.
But Aaronovitch’s song of love and pain for the lost family of British communism has made me think again. True, we don’t have a communist movement any more. But we do without doubt have a revived left in Britain, which has dusted off some of the same ambitions, some of the same political ideas, some of the same historic dreams and some of the same deep flaws, foolishness and even intellectual turpitude that made British communism unsustainable.
This left of today looks to me suspiciously as if it is developing into another church. This left too is marked by a reluctance to ask necessary but difficult questions about its plans for the world beyond the church walls. This left too seems happiest as a fellowship of true believers, squabbling among itself, dismissive of all those who remain sceptics or whose beliefs the elders find unacceptable. Just as the communists knew things deep down that they should have faced up to, so too does this left.