D. C. Corrie

The Forum

Shall We Combat Religion?

A Reply to Baldwin

Source: The Communist Review, June 1924, Vol. 5, No. 2.
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Although it may be interesting, it is very pitiful to see that there are yet Communists like Comrade Baldwin, who, perhaps through no fault of their own, utterly fail to understand, that, according to Marxism, the “Idea” of God is all there is about it, and to try and sentimentally believe otherwise is to misunderstand the roots of Communism. The apathetic impartiality prevailing on this matter is really appalling.

Like all ideas, the idea of God originated at a certain stage of historical development. Behind it is nothing but ignorance, stupidity and misunderstanding. It is an abstraction, and if not curtailed and relegated to its proper place, that is, as material for historical study, will continue to warp the minds of future generations. No matter in what form it is clothed it will always be dangerous to progress, for progress depends on man’s understanding and control of social phenomena, not on social phenomena holding man down to a state of mock worship. Its effect of deadening the mind, of man is much more dangerous than some people imagine. All good Communists understand every kind of religion to be the “Opium of the People.”

The savage in his primitive state could not do otherwise but misunderstand natural phenomena, but when the Church came along with its priests and parsons to organise his ignorance for him, his chains became much tighter.

For modern civilised people who follow Lenin, and try to understand “supernatural” (whatever that may be), and to think there are “new facts coming to light on it,” is beyond the comprehension of all intelligent people, except Communists!

Comrade Baldwin has evidently yet to learn that Communism represents a complete outlook on life, an outlook based on the scientific understanding and control of social phenomena, and, consequently, it will be the highest form of society we know. It will be a religion in which man will stand up and realise himself and his fellows, untrammelled by the neurotic ravings, pity and piety of Churches and States. It will be the only true religion and the only good religion. It will not be foisted on man by burning him at the stake, or keeping him alive to pray to the holy ghost. It will come only by man himself building it up with his labour in proportion to the increase of knowledge and the decrease of all other religions.

All Gods will then be relegated to their proper places for man to turn them up as an interested subject to study, as one might turn up a good book to spend a pleasurable hour. Jesus and Buddha will be known the same as Plato, Voltaire and Marx, that is, they will be known according to their relative importance to the accumulation of knowledge.

It must be the strict duty of all Communists to fight against all religions, until the advent of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, when the children will be liberated from the opium in the schools.

I don’t think it is necessary for me to ask the E.C. to pass an amendment dealing with Comrade Baldwin’s resolution.

Late Paddington Group