It was inevitable, a ‘new atheist’ political party. But I think that the new atheism is going to be stuck here: have you noticed how silent this group has been as to the OWS? They don’t want to appear leftist. I am suspicious of a crypto-conservative slant to the ‘new atheists’, at the least consisting of a desire to create a broad social movement, a disguised economic stance on capitalism (via silence on Darwinian economic propaganda). They want to court the power gangs, with a conservative ideology. Fair?
Besides we see the clear evidence, the anti-left mindshift of Hitchens, the curiously odd ‘anti’ statements of Sam Harris on Islam, and, yes, the crypto-ideological innuendoes of the ‘selfish gene’ racket of Dawkins in the age of Thatcher. a perspective never spelled out much in the way of liberal stances, despite the clear intent of figures such as Pharyngula on this score. That Dawkins’ clever ‘selfish gene’ meme was an economic ideology in disguise was pointed out at once by Mary Midgely, but somehow Dawkins slithered out of the charge, accusing her of misunderstanding him. She understood him all too well. The same old racket of debunking altruism in the age of capitalism.
Meanwhile the new atheism is too narrow, even as atheism, to be a serious political force, or so I suspect. The OWS should find a way to get past the traditionalist hyprocrisy of mainstream ‘Xtian’ politicians without getting into a repeat of the atheist humanism of old old left. One way to do that is to see the roots of atheist humanism (leftist brand) in the age of Feuerbach and the left Hegelians. An immense philosophic movement was abandoned for the sake of bad materialism, positivism, rancid atheism, and anti-Hegelian rants that tried to appropriate his dialectic. One escape from this muddle lies in embracing it, but in its totality, from Rousseau and Kant onward, as a closure to the Protestant Reformation. This is not a brief for theism, which subtly passed into Hegelian dialectic as the negation of the theism/atheism duality in the ‘movement of spirit’, higher Hegelian hogwash, no doubt. But Hegel’s basic insight was right, that the dialectic of theism and atheism was itself the problem, requiring a dialectical motion beyond….
Well, this won’t wash in American politics, but it could be the background for a new left, and it suggests that the rigid atheism of the old left is the prophesy of the non-future of the new atheists, who are closet reactionaries in the making. If that is unfair, let them say so.