I think the problem with the onset of modernist secularism lies in the inability to define modernity. We have many times noted the way atheists try to hijack the term ‘secularism’. Religion has a perfectly good place in modernity. The attempt by the new atheist cult to make atheism a dogma enforced by science is goofy at best, totally off the mark. That said, the drama of religious transience is really about Axial Age religions.
Modernists need to study modernity very carefully and attempt to create a real ‘secularism’ based on the dialectic of multiple counterpoint cultural issues. The current new atheism resembles the ‘cult of Spinoza’ that wishes to define down the modern to a narrow spinozist scientism, atheism, behaviourism. I don’t think that is really Spinoza’s take altogether, but his appearance in the seventeenth century was an eerily well-timed clarion to the closure of the first phase of the Reformation. But his thinking seems unsuitable now as a summary of ‘secularism’. But that hidden cult still operates and is very strong in many academic circles. But it misses the later phase of the Enlightenment, with its remarkable phase of German classical philosophy.
It is essential therefore to find a proper exit path for the waning religions of the Axial Age. Science has proven to be a stubbornly muddled and second-rate source. Science has done brilliant physics, but it has confused evolutionism, the study of religion and ethics, the psychology of consciousness, and much else. It hasn’t worked as an exit strategy for religion.
I think that the world of Islam conceals some very important religious treasures that could help the transition to the future. But instead all we see is the sufi clipjoints peddled by rogue occultists, ‘cannibals’, Gurdjieff style devils, and an ‘esoteric’ bank heist of the real contribution Islam could make to the issue of spiritual growth. Ten thousand american sufis have gone nowhere, while hoodlums like the founder of the San Francisco ball walk away with the baraka. This isn’t going to last, we can be sure. The sufi gangster breaking point has arrived, a while back. And the number of sufi derelicts mashed by shady sufism is probably large. So goodbye to sufi sentimentalism. This kind of story is rife throughout these religions and is a warning to the pious. To say the least.
I have suggested shock treatment: exporting a sufi core to a leftwing context, an unlikelihood that nonetheless makes the point that the real meaning of religion can work just as well with communists, theists or atheists. This bald statement requires further comment, but the point is that the real point of the religions of monotheism have been lost to the congregations involved.
The historical materialism of the marxists is almost worse here, at least potentially, but I think the left in general can remake itself for many of the tasks of the ancient religions.
The issue of Israel is comning to a terminal point. The surge of Zionism, jewish supremacism, ‘chosen few’ elitism, and crypto-Nietzschean overman pretentions is passing quickly: after sixty years of Israel jews are starting to seem like retards in a religious Old Testatament skidrow/disneyland. We have known for a long time that Xtians are theologically hopeless cases. But the dynamic of Protestantism shows a religion that survived the rise of modernity, so its character, if radically remorphed, could provide a framework, without the theological muddle. A version of a Munzerian leftwing communist church would be a good experiment for a religion starting its final nosedive.
The question of Israel, as a hopeless case, would make a good leftist project: Israel, Palestine, Lebanon. Gaza, Jordan, as a mini union of socialist soviets could usher in a golden age of Near Eastern modernization and late phase capitalism preparing for an endstate communism, with a few reamining sufis wandering the backalleys as ‘one eyed beggars’.