Jews and christians need a radical new flank to prepare for the collapse of the whole legacy which shows every sign of being doomed. A form of this already exists as secular humanism, but somehow that option seems too limited, crippled by a version of scientism that can’t deal with the complexities that science seems unable to deal with.
Something ominous lurks in the secularization of judaism, a problem christians don’t have: tribal/organismic substrate taken as a definition of religious membership, a disastrous state of affairs that threatens to make jewish identity something it can never be and which will drive history to reckon with. To me the question is ridiculous: who cares, let this factor simply fade in the inexorable assimilation underway. But it is not up to me,and some have adopted a less sanguine perspective.
A radical new flank might resolve to a far superior brand of secularization: a general philosophy of values, the human will and soul, open to all and able to assimilate christians and jews et al and yet speak to a universal community beyond religious or cultural identities.
Such an identity cannot replicate the confusions of ‘faith’ or impose itself beyond a heuristic enthusiasm, while at the same time adopting a robust ethical and aesthetic set of flexible perspectives. Remarkably the culture of science is incapable of even this limited project. By definition of its value-free orientation.
The issues emerged very clearly in the era of Kant as the limits of newtonian science were exposed to critique. This kind of broader secularism should have informed the marxist movement which instead became fixated by a brittle materialist scientism and finally darwinian ideology. The time has passed for such formulations. It was always unnecessary and the parallel world of the ‘Kantian ethical socialists’ of the Marburg school already exists as historical to show a way beyond the club-footed historical materialism which stubbornly persists and imposes itself on successive generations.
The passage beyond religion is not clear cut, therefore. In fact the whole realm of culture in the politics of capitalism is producing a rapid degeneration of cultural values and mentalities. The politicians have been overtaken by psychopaths and these in turn are corrupting the general public which is being driven into a form of idiocy in the orgy of capitalist obsessions. The prospect for secular culture is not therefore clear. Certainly no religious revival of ancient religions is going to suffice. Nor will some novel concoction from the field of gurus or the zoo of self-proclaimed prophets be able to produce a new first in the ratpack of last men. Nietzsche was a clever fellow but he fails badly as the new prophet, although a huge flock of his true believers lurk behind the bluff of good fellow social ideology. They make good fodder for the covert agencies which require psychopaths beyond ‘good and evil’. As in the putinesque gray zone of a culture run by covert agencies, the legacy of bolshevism, we may end up pawns of the cia, at last.
For my money, born again commmie/marxists, despite a frequent doltish manner, molting from their cult of the prophet Marx already have some of the elements of social integrity need for the successor to axial age religion. The ominous phase of stalinism shows that this too can derail but that outcome shows only the limits of marxism and that is eminently repairable. The point is clear: a post- neo- socialism has a chance to carry the field despite a first strike in the leninist/stalinist aborted movement.
But the classic socialist vision is by probability destined to a too limited outcome. Thus our sermon to a new flank of post religious xtians/jews to reconstruct a robust neo-secularism and humanism that can enrich the secular, having shed its addiction to god gibberish in a survey of values in the realm of acts. Socialism there is a rich field of possibilities. Three strikes and you are out, strike one saith the ump.