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Old 2012-08-01, 22:36   Link #22744
Knight Errant
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 30
Whether or not political ideologies like Communism (or Fascism) are technically religions is a somewhat academic point. However, I would say that psychologically they occupy a similar place to more "normal" religions.

Political "religions" like Communism may not contain overt supernatural occurrences (except in North Korea ), but there are still articles of faith. Like Christianity or Islam, Communism has a Utopian ideal. Unlike those religions that Utopian ideal will exist on this earth, not the next (that said, building Utopia on earth is still a significant element of Christianity and Islam).

Like religion, Communism features Messianic and Godlike figures. The similarity is even more acute if you make the comparison to older religions like the Imperial cult in Rome or Pharaonic cult in Ancient Egypt. The leader is a personage of Godlike stature.

Use of this leader worship serves another purpose as it "humanises" the ideology, much like Jesus humanises Christianity, giving a human face to an otherwise abstract idea.

Another point in common is that Religions are first and foremost a "world view" a way to make sense of the world around you, to describe the reason why things are the way they are. Communism is the same thing, but instead of using god or the devil, it's class struggle.

Communism in China occupies a similiar place to the ideologies that gave rise to peasant revolts in the past, which were all heavily religious in nature. Communism was a potent mix of western ideas that gelled well with the egalitarian ethos that fuelled support for Chinese peasant revolts in the past (like the White Lotus, Taipings, Heaven and Earth Society etc.).

Many religions, in their day, started in a manner similiar to political movements. While we try to cite logic, philosophy or science to justify out movements, they cited divide revelation. The end result is ultimately that same though...

Finally, what about that whole Lenin mausoleum thing?
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