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The Rise of Modern Secular "Religions"
39
faith as could be found within
the walls of any Western eccle–
siastical institution.
It
was a re–
ligion for the oppressed masses
- the working man.
It
prom–
ised ultimate deliverance, its
own form of Utopia (the dicta–
torship of the proletariat); and
its mission was to convert all of
humanity.
Das Kapital
was its
Bible; the proletariat, the sav–
ior of the world; and the beastly
bourgeoisie were equivalent to
the devil. Their church was the
Communist Party; dialectical
materialism was their ideologi–
cal god; Marx, their first
prophet; and Lenin, their high
priest and messiah.
What Marxism needed in or–
der to grow and germinate was
a favorable religious climate.
Ironically, it found such fertile
soil in a country even Marx
would have least suspected
the Soviet Union.
Shifting Doctrinal Gears
The dogma of Lenin and
Marx had no trouble carving
out a large niche in Russian so–
ciety. Faith in the tenets of
Russian Christendom was eas–
ily replaced by faith in those of
Marx. ··The spirit of the people
could very readily pass from
one integrated faith to another
integrated faith, from one or–
thodoxy to another orthodoxy
which embraced the whole of
life" (Nicolas Berdyaev,
The
Origin of Russian Communism,
p. 121 ).
Spiritually speaking, the
Russia of Lenin and Stalin bore
a strong resemblance to the
Russia of the Tsars. According
to Berdyaev: "The Soviet Com–
munist realm has in its spiritual
structure a great likeness to the
Muscovite Orthodox Tsardom"
(ibid.,
p. 143).
The new communist leaders,
like their orthodox predeces–
sors, still came on as the cham–
pions of the common faith.
They felt nothing but disdain
and contempt for Western
ideals. And they maintained a
rigid intolerance for anything
that remotely smacked of con–
trary doctrine. This more than
anything else was the most seri–
ous shortcoming of the new
Russian religion.
Even today, for this very rea–
son, computers in the Soviet
Union are looked on with some
mistrust. In some quarters it is
feared that their impartial data
might upset the applecart of
some of the pet theories of com–
munistic canons. Unfortu–
nately, such Dark Age
religiously based mentality, un–
less it is changed, can only bode
evil for the rest of humanity.