Sunday, March 08, 2009

The last fucking straw

First Kasama, then Lenin's Tomb and now Alderson Warm-Fork.

Apparently, we militant atheists are inescapably and ineluctably the enemies of communism.

Fine. If I'm not wanted, I'll go. I'm no longer a communist... or I'm at least not your kind of communist.

Truth is more important to me than communism.

4 comments:

  1. I'm a little confused. Are you implying that there are leaders in communist circles who are asserting that atheism is inconsistent with communism? Or are the asserting that communism must embrace religion? Or whut??

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  2. Ok, it's a real shame that this has blown up like this. I do hope you won't give up the label 'communist' or stop reading my blog, so I'll try to lay out how things look from my end.

    Some of the difficulty of the issue may be gauged from the fact that I went to a talk by a religious person, got into an argument by being too atheist, came home, wrote a post about it, and the post ended up offending atheists. Within about 5 hours, a religious communist (I think) accused me of accusing her of not being a proper communist because she was religious, and an atheist communist accused me of accusing him of not being a proper communist because he's too atheist.

    The difficulty I think comes from the fact that there are both murderous religious movements, and also a certain style of secularism which is in practice murderous, because it justifies using invasion, occupation, torture, and dictatorship to suppress islamist organisations. Secularism has been abused by governments in the 'war on terror' just as feminism and gay rights and all sorts of other stuff has.

    The result is that I'm trying to get a balance between multiple things to avoid, where the lines are easily blurred.

    An example is the term 'militant atheist'. When I wrote it I had in mind the invocation of "universal secular values" to defend, e.g., Israel by presenting it as the lesser of two evils against Hamas, or to defend the idea of military action against Iran, or to justify laws used to arrest various random muslims and hold them indefinitely because their fanaticism is a threat to our culture.

    But clearly you read it and felt included in it. That's sloppiness on my part. In trying to clarify the sorts of things I was for and against, I exaggerated, and that can obviously come across as caricature.

    And I was probably a bit unfair to Dawkins. I don't know all that much about his politics, and it might have made more sense to specifically mention left-ish-ist New Atheists like Johan Hari and Christopher Hitchens who both supported the Iraq war out of a desire to 'defend civilisation'.

    What I was against was a certain set of priorities and emphases that make a big deal out of religous issues so as to downplay others. Since a set of priorities is often harder to express in the abstract than in concrete cases, I tried to indicate it quite crudely and symbolically, as a 'tendency'.

    You've never shown any sign of following that way of prioritising things, but obviously the ways I tried to indicate it weren't drawn in the right way. I'll amend my post to try to be more specific.

    I think we've miscommunicated in a fraught area, but hopefully it can be repaired.

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  3. Are you implying that there are leaders in communist circles who are asserting that atheism is inconsistent with communism?

    It's a little more subtle than that. The position that I take umbrage at is that the New Atheist condemnation of religion is fundamentally incompatible with communism.

    This is not just a few isolated individuals: It's a common theme in several important communist/socialist organizations, including Kasama and the CPUSA. I'm aware only of the RCP as an exception, and I have other issues with them.

    I'm simply fed up.

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  4. Alderson Warm-Fork, I do not believe you are an honest seeker after the truth. I have nothing to say to you.

    ReplyDelete

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