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Revolution, non-violence, and religion

October 28th, 2014 · No Comments

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One of the stumbling blocks for a proposal for a global communism lies in the issue of religion, violence/non-violence, and the correct stance for such a movement on activist methods and strategies.

Actually the problem has no solution: the Gandhian strategies now current have crippled the left (they have no simple alternatives, however) and are neither enjoined as sanctity nor worthy of a higher moral grade. However, the challenge to violence in politics as a modern innovation arriving from Jainism and Tolstoy in a figure like Gandhi have proposed a valid objection to classic revolutionary tactics. But I fear that the Gandhian theme has derailed. It is useful as a means to tear up one’s notes and reevaluate what the left is doing, or should be doing. But the left has used Gandhi in a way that has played into the hands of the newly emerging police state.

Again, there is no easy solution to the problem. But to propose a communist idea in the context of a religious line of thought is courting the borderline to great confusion. But here’s the simple resolution: doing nothing is far worse, and that’s that.

The left is rapidly being consigned to the catacomb option: an underground of people confronting a civilization turning into a train wreck. Over time a core belief system can overwhelm such a system. But that would rapidly be infiltrated by the covert agencies. And that is not the only option. I think the egregious violence of the Russian revolution prejudiced the case against revolutionaries. Let us recall the Reformation: there was no nonsense about a Gandhian position. And the Reformation succeeded.

The problem skirts the ‘tragic view of life’. We should not necessarily but probably will use religious means to rationalize strategies, and we can keep the two in logical proximity without suffering the illusion of an superideology that recreates religion according to politics.
I think the simple answer is to begin to mediate the world religions such as buddhism, Christianity and Islam, but to seed a means to political revolutionary consciousness that is aware of but won’t corrupt the core religions for political closure as ideology.

We can enter a political track with the questions of religion carried as a gift to those who will live in the revolution’s conclusion. But in the transit the mindset of religion should remain in a kind of dialectical tension, and to one side. But the culture of historical materialism went too far in its rejection of religion. We can at least demand revolutionaries study the reality of religion in history.

If modern man were more advanced in his thinking he could create a sangha of revolutionaries who could use their sacrifice to find a future life in the greater Commune. Islam attempted this with the promises of paradise for the jihadist. But that’s a bit dicey, no? An exploitation of simple men in a military ideology whose origin meaning is no doubt forgotten. This can’t be sentimental nonsense. The path of the revolutionary warrior remains ambiguous and should remain that way as a tonic to not losing a sense of reality. But the Gandhians have also fumbled the ball here.

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