Thursday, May 16, 2013

Atheism and Communism: Is There a Link?

One common stereotype pushed forward by Christians is that all atheists are "commies." In this post, we will discuss why this stereotype exists and why it shouldn't.

In the early 20th century, two German philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, developed the political philosophy of Marxism. Karl Marx believed that there was a class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletarians. He theorized that when the bourgeoisie class overextended its power the enraged proletarians would overthrow the social system and create a classless society. 

Marxism soon inspired the economic system of socialism, which is very similar to Marxism itself, in which all industry and means of production are owned by a cooperative group of people benefiting equally from the profit earned.

The next key to this puzzle is what the economic system of socialism inspires: communism. Communism is the political system in which the government supports and controls a socialist economy.

The first communist regime was in Russia. Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik party, took power after the October revolution in 1917 and started the first communist form of government in history. Americans saw the communist government in Russia as illegitimate, and they also saw the destruction of Russia's economy which was caused by communism. 

Americans labeled the communists as evil, and the reign of Lenin's successor, Stalin, during the Cold War only helped their case. Later in the twentieth century, the rest of the world began to gain even more knowledge about the tragedies which happened in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and when the Christians found out about Stalin's and Lenin's atheism, they immediately spread the news that atheism was the cause of their evil deeds.

The Christians chose to ignore reason again, however, because Marxism was in no way inspired by Marx's irreligiosity, as it is only an economic theory, and communism is based off of Marxism.

PERSONAL NOTE: Socialism and Capitalism both have their faults; in socialism, it seems to me that there is not enough competition to inspire innovation, and in capitalism, it seems that there is always a great imbalance between the upper class and lower class. 

Share your comments below on which structure of economy you believe works best.

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