The path to socialism, let me be honest here, can’t be lead by christian preachers. MLK was a clever ‘hypocrite’ who saw that the avenue via religion could be effective for a civil rights movement. He was a brilliant tactician, but no theologian. To step beyond that into socialism requires a post-religious route. But is that atheism? Marx’s historical materialism for its time was a thunderclap of secular fiat but in the end as that theory falters, leftists should rethink their position. It is clear that socialists can’t compromise with religious tradition, although a christian socialism might emerge to some extent. But leftists aren’t required to compromise there. But what is the actual stance appropriate here? The question of ‘atheism’ is not more adequate than theism, for a simple reason: ‘atheism’ is a negative, it negates theism, but theism is so vague that its negation is equally a misfire and (political)atheists overcompensate and concoct a view of life and the universe hardly any better than theism. A look at the new atheist movement shows the problems. The real meaning of ‘atheism’ is the negation of traditional absurdities of traditional theism. Fair enough, but at some point atheism turns into simply another cult.
The left might study Kant and simply stay away from the whole question, including even agnosticism, another cliched cult position. Socialist christians are always going to end up reactionaries, but fanatical atheists are dangerous in their own right. Nietzsche perfectly sabotaged ‘atheism’ and the result is a strange idiocy ignorant of the core of German philosophy with Nietzsche at the asshole end.
Nietsche peddled the crypto-christian view that atheism is nihilistic, which is nonsense. Kant explicitly freed ethics from theism.
It would be better to construct socialism with a shrug as to the ‘god’ black hole. So in a way the legacy of MLK is not going to be helpful.
This is a poignant and fascinating photograph but generates the glum thought that this group of christian preachers would die of fright at the term ‘socialism’. If christian preachers c…