A lot of this Marxism vs. Religion discussion seems to be approached by people trying to show off how inclusive and open-minded they are, rather than breaking down the problem into constituent elements and explaining how to tackle them.
The problem with unchecked religious organizing is real and concrete.

The case of coup-era Bolivia is a very clear example of radicalized cops on the streets chanting prayers, before they charge in to slaughter indigenous people.
ETIM in China is another example of the US funding religious radicalism as a geopolitical weapon. In this case, Wahhabism within Islam.
We cannot forget about our friend Adrian Zenz of course.
I really like this lecture by Vijay Prashad where he breaks down the origins of Wahhabism in relation to Nasserism, an emancipatory socialist project.
The US has the insane power projection capacity to both 1) fund Evangelicals in Cuba, 2) turn around and blast Cuba with propaganda about how repressive they are.

The same occurs all over the globe. See here a catholic service in Venezuela.
Basically every major religion offers modern examples of weaponization:

- Hinduism -> Hindutva, pogroms
- Islam -> Wahhabism, terrorism
- Judaism -> Zionism, apartheid
- Buddhism -> Zen Buddhism, Manchuria
- Christianity -> ...I'm too familiar with it to pick just one example
Now, does this mean Marxists are anti-religion? Of course not.

As Marx put it,

>Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
Religious Marxists certainly have achieved lots, see e.g. Liberation Theology resistance in Latin America.

In North America today religion offers non-commercial spaces to congregate, cultural life outside Marvel movies, a coherent code of ethical values and practices.
We have so much to learn from religion.

From "Marx's Philosophical Context" we learn that before political economy, Marx was grappling with religion.
Malcolm X was another incredible revolutionary figure who expressed that religion had an inarguably positive effect on him, and he used its power (as organization, as rhetoric) to chill White Supremacists to their bones.
Any talk of having to mentally purge oneself from religion to make space for Marxism... it would be chauvinistic, I'd say. In all likelihood, for any religious person, especially those who practice diligently, the two beliefs will reconcile in some important and powerful way.
As for a Marxist-Leninist state? Or any revolutionary state?

It should allow religion to thrive and develop, but it should also ensure that it is fully kept in check and monitored. Treated seriously, in short.

"Unchecked religious freedom" is nonsense.
In fact, one example of *not* treating religion seriously is that of Western Marxists (and other radlibs) calling themselves "atheist" while remaining completely culturally christian.

They understand socialism in terms of the virtuosity of poverty and suffering and penance.
They don't pray and are even hostile to religion, but then you hear the ridiculous way in which they talk about Solidarity For Palestine while attacking DPRK as an Insane Regime, and you realize something's wrong with them.
They didn't move past religion in any *material* way, they just did some abstract negation in their heads.

Like a kid who rebells against an abusive parent rhetorically, and sadly begins to repeat all of their abusive patterns in practice as an adult.
How do I not end on a soggy "both sides" note?

Well, I think in the end Marxism, born out in part of Marx's religious study, does aim to take a lot of the space religion takes in people's lives.

It offers explanations, it offers a Big Book, it even offers a moral north star.
However this doesn't necessarily mean a displacement. What we find is that a lot of benevolent and serious religious people take up revolutionary politics easily, and people with revolutionary politics do just fine interacting with religious communities.
It's a bit kumbaya perhaps, but e.g. a Marxist Muslim friend agrees that the secular state needs to keep religion in check, and I agree with them that Islam put a lot Marxist ideas poetically and beautifully before Marx was even born.

Same with other religions.
It doesn't need to be a tug of war or a fight or a displacement. Maybe we all just grow together towards each other?

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More from @RodericDay

20 Feb
"Tankie vs anarchist discourse" is another name for the question of anti-imperialism.

Maybe you won't have to deal with it in local work, but the problem still exists. In the past, it affected Muslims, now it targets Asian people.

"Both sides are bad" solves nothing.
Innumerable people have written excellently on the problem of theory over practice.

Good writing on the problem of practice without theory is less common.

Assata Shakur definitely had some good lines on it, though: Image
Hồ Chí Minh also wrote about this subject.

There was a time when discussions about "2nd vs. 3rd international" were nonsense to him.

However, rather than embrace a dismissive anti-intellectual arrogance, he studied.

Is what he achieved in question?
redsails.org/the-path-which… Image
Read 6 tweets
19 Feb
Tsk tsk, seeing some Canadians out there not buying into the Canadian propaganda blitz that baselessly projects our own crimes and atrocities onto China to feel better about ourselves.

👏 Do 👏 better!
Canada's Communists vs. Canada's Radlibs in a nutshell:
What gets me about these flatworms is that they're always going on about the "undeniable evidence" and never, ever citing it.

Meanwhile I'm here trying to see if I can cram a QRT, 4 screenshots, and a text-quote into a single tweet to support my claims.
Read 7 tweets
17 Feb
If you don't call out Saddam Hussein for his WMDs and Incubators you 👏 don't 👏 truly 👏 care!
Caring is repeating White Supremacist propaganda.

The more you repeat White Supremacist propaganda, the more you care. ImageImageImageImage
"If it's not from Bezos Post or the NYT or British State Media I 👏 don't 👏 want 👏 to 👏 hear 👏 it!"
Read 7 tweets
17 Feb
Americans are truly disturbing.

Their genocidal fascism is spilling over, and it's especially foul when served as puke-worthy liberal "analysis." ImageImageImageImage
The notion that Xi Jinping is cynically scheming environmental 5-year plans just to play second fiddle to a goo-brained rapist like Joe Biden is just... 😂 😂 😂

Humour aside, though, it's literal Nazi logic.
"The scheming, calculating <insert group here> does not ever pursue virtue for its own ends, it's all shadowy plotting and scheming. They're trying to usurp the rightful place of our dear leaders, who truly are virtuous."

Soviets, Jewish people, Chinese people... you name it.
Read 5 tweets
17 Feb
Cool new leftist account just dropped.

Starting goals? Arguing Cuba isn't socialist, and China isn't socialist either.

Why, yes, they are an American Maoist. Why do you ask? ImageImage
Here's a thread on Shining Path and "Gonzalo", the lunatic these people "uphold."

Assassinating Afro-Peruvian leaders, dynamiting the grave of the enacter of Land Reform, hanging dead dogs to lampposts with "Deng Xiaoping" written on placards.
More on "Gonzalo", the brilliant mind that inspires so many "principled Maoists" in the USA to denounce Cuba and China as their first points of order.
Read 7 tweets
16 Feb
The fact that Americans

1) keep insisting art/entertainment should be spared political treatment,

2) react with endless whining if anyone dares challenge this directive,

suggests to me that it is a domain where capitalist hegemony is fragile and vulnerable.
Contrary to what a lot of "leave media alone, all that matters is your fleshy presence in the streets" people argue, revolutionaries like Lenin and Mao have historically treated art *extremely* seriously, as propaganda.
The idea that one can *uncritically* consume a White Supremacist Capitalist fantasy like "Breaking Bad" without it having any significant impact on their politics seems incorrect to me.
Read 13 tweets

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