This line of thought seems to be shared by many Leftists, which is why
they feel perfectly justified in stifling the freedom of speech of their
opponents, even by violent means. A Marxist is a person who doesn’t
believe in God, but still thinks he is God’s representative on earth. As
Eric Hoffer says: “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an
empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try
to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause
but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them
unlimited opportunities for both.” Perhaps what we are seeing in Europe is
a coalition between two religions, Socialism and Islam, united not in the
belief in the same God but in hatred towards the same Devil: The
capitalist and Judeo-Christian West. The attacks Western Leftists mount on
Christianity have little to do with “tolerance” and a lot more to do with
discrediting a troublesome rival creed that stubbornly keeps blocking the
road to Utopia.
One of the reasons why so many intellectuals in the West accept the idea
that Islam has been “misunderstood” is because this is
the same excuse they use for their own favorite: Marxism. Famed
historian Eric Hobsbawm has for instance argued that Marx was
misunderstood, and that the Communism of Eastern Europe and the Soviet
Union wasn’t “real Marxism.” It certainly was real for the tens of
millions of people whose lives it destroyed. If an ideology results in
devastating failures everywhere it is tried out then there is not
something wrong with the interpretation, there is something with the
ideology itself. What good is a “guide” that leads people to shipwreck
every single time?
Although weekly magazine “The Economist” can be plain awful when dealing
with issues related to Islam or Muslim immigration, they can still be
sensible on other subjects. In an article called “Marx
after communism,” they demonstrate how Leftism is in fact a new
It is striking that today's militant
critics of globalisation proceed in much the same way (as Marx himself).
They present no worked-out alternative to the present economic order.
Instead, they invoke a Utopia free of (…) social injustice, harking back
to a pre-industrial golden age that did not actually exist. Never is this
alternative future given clear shape or offered up for examination. And
anti-globalists have inherited more from Marx besides this. Note the
self-righteous anger, the violent rhetoric, the willing resort to actual
violence (in response to the “violence” of the other side), the
demonisation of big business, the division of the world into exploiters
and victims, the contempt for piecemeal reform, the zeal for activism, the
impatience with democracy, the disdain for liberal “rights” and
“freedoms”, the suspicion of compromise. (…) Anti-globalism has been aptly
described as a secular religion. So is Marxism: a creed complete with
prophet, sacred texts and the promise of a heaven shrouded in mystery.
Marx was not a scientist, as he claimed. He founded a faith. The economic
and political systems he inspired are dead or dying. But his religion is a
broad church, and lives on.
Claire Berlinski, author of the book "Menace
in Europe: Why the Continent’s Crisis Is America’s, Too" also notes
how many Europeans, when asked, will declare themselves more alarmed by
American imperialism than by Islamic radicalism. According to her,
Europeans have in recent memory suffered two great losses, that of their
religious faith and that of its replacements—ideologies involving the idea
of human perfectibility, leaving Europeans paralyzed by shame and
self-doubt. They have retreated into a kind of cocoon of technological and
physical comfort. Americans are much more hopeful for the future than
Europeans, partly because they are more religious in a conventional sense.
But Americans also have an idea of what it is to be American. “America’s
sense of itself doesn’t include the memories of the Somme and
Passchendaele; it doesn’t include the memories of Auschwitz and Dachau. It
is still possible for Americans to revere their own nation without irony,
to revisit its past without despair.” Berlinski connects the death of
Christianity in Europe with Europe’s anti-Americanism, which can reach
such passionate heights that it strays from anything that can be remotely
described as rational and approaches the status
What I’ve noticed is a quasi-religious
and messianic character to this anti-Americanism, particularly in the way
it seems inevitably to be linked to anti-modernism and anti-Semitism. It
is this mystical element of the anti-American movement that is both most
interesting and alarming. Anti-Americanism, particularly as it is
expressed in Europe, seems to me more than an expression of simple
inanity, nostalgic yearning for greatness past, or an external projection
of failed social programs. The critical question, I think, is what kind of
spiritual void, what kind of existential emptiness, does anti-Americanism
serve to fill?
Ali Sina is not a stupid man.
He sees this, too. In order to subdue people and impose on them your
Marxist ethos, Sina says, you have to rob them from their own identity,
their own culture, heritage, mores, government and religion. Once you rob
them from their identity and selfhood, you can shape them in any way you
like. “The society can live without religion but it can't live without
morality. We must not throw the baby with the bathwater.
Judeo-Christianity has done a lot of harm, but it has done also a lot of
good. It has given birth to the greatest civilization that mankind has
ever known. Let us not be biased. This democracy that has brought to the
world this much progress in the last couple of centuries, could not have
been born in any other culture.” Later, however, Ali Sina says that: “I
admit that Judeo-Christianity has outlived its utility.” Then he goes on
to criticize ALL ideologies, not just religious ones: “Ideology is evil.
It robs one from rational thinking and once one loses that ability, he
become like an animal. To the degree that you subscribe to an ideology,
any ideology, you become dehumanized. Man is noble because he is capable
of independent thought. You lose that through beliefs and ideologies.”
Sina’s motto is “Don’t be a follower, be your own Prophet.” But is this
feasible? I would argue that most human beings are neither willing nor
able to come up with their own set of moral values, and even if this was
possible, I’m not sure whether it would always be desirable. Don’t we then
wander into the territory of moral relativism, Multiculturalism and “to
every man his own truth,” precisely what Ali Sina himself warns against?
As somebody once put it: “When people stop believing in God, they don’t
believe in nothing, they believe in anything.” The retreat of the
traditional, Judeo-Christian religion in Europe during the 20th century
left the door open to a new set of “religions without God” that in many
ways proved at least as harmful as the “intolerance” they were supposed to
replace. Marxism killed more than 100 million people during a few
generations. The negative argument against removing the Judeo-Christian
religious base of the West could thus be that whatever flaws might exist
in the old system, what will replace it could well turn out to be worse.
There are also more positive arguments in support of it, which I will
discuss in the second part of this essay.
Go to Part 2