Many Christians I know who are left-wing support a utopian type of Socialism. This is more akin to the ‘Second International’ and steers clear of Marxism or Marxist-Leninism. It relies on reforming capitalism and not really over-throwing it. This is the thinking behind the Labour Party. It existed before Trotskyism and is really distinct from it – but the two tend to overlap in places. Being ‘indifferent’ to Marxist-Leninism becomes ‘hostility’ toward the Soviet System. In this type of Socialism, the Church retains its dominant position in society and its presence in the schools. Many Christians are drawn to this model if they feel like they cannot support the centre or right-wing.
For Catholics this matter is decided for them by generations of Vatican support for the political far-right and right-wing – despite much of this fascism expressing clearly ‘Unchristian’ attitudes. Protestantism is generally ‘Conservative’ as it does not want to lose its position of State Religion – at least in the UK. On the face of it, I cannot logically see how you can support Communism and be a Christian – as for many this is tantamount to supporting the demise of your own religion. With religion removed from the schools and the political arena – many believe it will ‘die-out’ as an effective ideology.
This does not bother me, as I take the position that such a process would return religion in the West to its intended function of ‘emancipating’ the individual from all worldly bonds. What would be lost through this process is the centuries of accrued material corruption which would be stripped away by removing the conditions which encourage and sustain this process. Lenin follows Marx in stating that religion is a ‘myth’, and ‘mistake’ of perception and a ‘misunderstanding’ of reality. Lenin does not advocate the abolition of religion – as he believes that once it is moved into the private sector – it will quite naturally die away.
This is because as Socialist society develops in the environment – this new material reality will generate an entirely new psychological interior for humanity – one of emotional stability and intellectual development. As the inward instability, doubt and fear which was once created by internalised capitalism is gone – the new reality will have no foundation from which the ‘literalism’ of religion can take root and sprout forward. Marx and Lenin believed this would be a very slow and gradual process and certainly not ‘forced’ or ‘enforced’. Within China, for example, all religions have to support Socialism to legally exist – just as religions in the West support capitalism without question. Food for thought.