Christianity and Leftism

Where does leftist thought come from? Mainstream conservatives say it comes from atheist philosophy. White nationalists say it is the product of Jews. This isn’t entirely wrong, but since few people in the West are either atheists or Jews, it doesn’t explain why it would have such a strong hold on people’s imaginations.

What most people in the West are, or have been until fairly recently, Christians of one kind or another, at least nominally. An idea using Christian themes is going to be difficult for people to analyze dispassionately or reject. I can’t argue theology particularly, only the social and political history of the last few hundred years, in which various types of Christianity and its offshoots- some explicitly atheist, but Christian in origin nonetheless- have dominated most of the discourse.

As I have said before, the main trend has been the replacement of aristocratic elites by new commercial elites. This happened first in England, then elsewhere as the English commercial elite waged war on competitors elsewhere. The first iteration of this was the Puritans, who waged war on the aristocratic military elite of England on the basis that they were morally lax and corrupt. Their authoritarian oligarchy under Oliver Cromwell didn’t last long in formal terms, but they broke the power of the old system with the Glorious Revolution of 1690. They were more effective at maintaining power in North America, where there has been little effective challenge to their rule.

The demise of the mounted knight as the source of military power was inevitable with the invention of gunpowder, although disciplined infantry with pikes was already a counter. What made the commercial elite really powerful was the improvement of maritime technology and thus ocean trade. Before the invention of the railroad, the only way to move goods of any weight was a ship. You can’t carry more than a ton or so on a wagon, which is highly limited in speed and utility by roads. Sea trade had made fortunes in the Mediterranean for millenia, in the Baltic for centuries, but in the 1500’s world trade became possible. Control of the sea became critical, and the Royal Navy became the most important part of English power, an organization staffed more by the middle-class than aristocrats.

Puritanism though was an elite religion, something for merchants, bankers, and other affluent urban professionals; Jean Calvin was a lawyer. English society as a whole remained indifferently churched. Sects rose up promoting the idea of universal brotherhood, the Quakers, Methodists and similar sects I will call Universalists in shorthand.

Usually when we think good cop/bad cop, the good cop is senior; but not in this case. The Puritans are the older and more powerful group, and they are the bad cops. The Univeralists are the newer and less powerful group, and they are the good cops.

All pre-industrial societies had a rigid hierarchy, roughly ranked as elite warriors, priests, farmers, merchants and tradesmen, laborers, and beggars. Having money impressed no one; a poor knight or samurai got far more respect than rich merchant. Everybody knew what their rank was and who was above and below them. The new system upended this in two ways; it created a new elite, Puritan businessmen, and made everybody outside of that elite equal.

Communism did the same thing, only in reverse. After wiping out the old elite, it made everybody equal, and then created a new elite. “Animal Farm” lays out this process.

How does this relate to Christian ideas? The Universalists teach us a number of things. Everybody is equal in God’s eyes. Everybody is inherently good and this goodness can be brought out if only the person will be humble and submit to their ministrations. The poor are to be loved especially, as are widows and orphans, and women. Men are inclined to violence, lust, egotism, and drunkenness, and these characteristics must be restrained. God forgives all sins and thus no one should be punished too much for breaking the law. Rich people are to be regarded with great suspicion; they are not necessarily evil but are at high risk.

Churches have different names- Methodist, Baptist, Adventist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, etc.- but they all teach more or less this Universalist creed. The Catholic Church is different and separate, but in modern times in English-speaking countries especially is much the same. The Congregational Church is what the Puritans are called now, but is the same thing. The Anglican or Episcopalian churches are of more elite origin, but have been coopted as well.

So when people hear that we must do something to help the poor, or that we must tax and regulate businesses to be fair and because rich businessmen might do bad things, or that everyone is equal so we must ensure blacks get an equal share of jobs, or that if people are stupid it’s because not enough money has been spent on education, or that punishing criminals rather than teaching them moral behavior is cruel and wrong, they have trouble resisting these ideas. As Foseti says, complaining about Puritanism and progressivism as un-American is ridiculous, because America is a Puritan and progressive country. Or more precisely that it’s a progressive Universalist country ruled by Puritans.

That most of this stuff is obviously wrong and easily shown to be so will not help your argument. The morality behind this has to be broken. Is this belief system true Christian theology? It’s obviously not in some aspects, and ambiguous in others. The specifically Quaker and generally Universalist idea that everyone is inherently good and has some part of God in them is clearly a heresy. Far from it, Christianity holds that all are inherently evil by virtue of original sin. God also obviously does not value all people the same, otherwise there would be no heaven and hell. Jesus clearly didn’t like rich people, but you can’t say he loved all poor people either. Christianity says all believers are equally valuable, but their gifts are not the same.

But what the true Christian beliefs are doesn’t really matter. There is a version of Christian belief that most people who are Christians believe is correct, and most non-Christians believe as well, although they think what they believe is humanism.

Serious social change occurs when societies are reordered around new values and beliefs. The system we have now has been in motion for 500 years, but has only been at its highest development in the last 50. It looks like it’s in big trouble, but will the stress be strong enough to force serious adaptation? I don’t know.

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About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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21 Responses to Christianity and Leftism

  1. Jake says:

    Puritan don’t make good soldiers. They’re like the Athenians: Rich beyond belief, powerful, smart, and totally unable to fight effectively on land. They use propaganda recruit and influence the good fighters they need to maintain the regime. This model only works as long as people continue being non Athenian. Once they run out of dupes to enforce their rule they will collapse like a house of cards or more likely in a full re-run of the french revolution terror on a much grander scale.

    They may have been creating the criminal class to recruit as slave warriors to replace the nationalist classes who won all their wars. A 100% slave army would also be the doom of their rule.

  2. mindweapon says:

    Very interesting commentary Jake! The criminal class as mercenary slave warriors. And yes, I agree that it would be the doom of their rule, which is, by the way, the definition of Ragnarok. Ragne or regnum, and rok which is Russian and Old Norse for “fate.” Ragnarok — rulers’ fate.

    You see the glorification of the slave class in pop culture — the “rappers” and “R and B” — cheap mindweapon hate darts aimed at White children. It is the practice of witchcraft, which at its fundamental level is psychological. Hollywood — the holly tree is what is needed to make a magic wand for black magic

    So now we fight back with memewar. Here is a meme that I created that is popular with my commenters:

    Progressivism is Christianity infected with AIDS.

    • Columnist says:

      Good comment on a good article. Cultural “Marxism” is now so powerful that the original Feminism and Gay Rights is now the Right, think of Pim Fortuyn and Jihad Watch, while the Left is known for Anti-Racism over Feminism and Gay Rights.
      Note that it is always possible to use a ideological system against itself, not just Christianity.

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  4. You forgot the part about how they are and have always been a bunch of untrustworthy liars.

  5. idealart says:

    In your zeal, you are putting the cart before the horse concerning the idea that all people are created without sin. That idea was introduced by certain heresies starting with Pelagianism at the founding of the Christian church and continued throughout its history, including the Adamites in the late Gothic period. All were and are considered heresy.

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau began the infection of Pelagianism in the current epoch with the idea of the noble savage. His ideas were taken up by atheists, anti-Christians and decadent nobility. From there it was a short jump to Marx and all the rest. Protestants, in particular, are now firmly Pelagian, but this influence does not come from traditional Christian dogma and was rejected by the church fathers centuries ago.

    I’m afraid its you people who are irrational. Progressivism doesn’t merely contradict the idea of original sin but also free will. Free will allows you as an individual to be either good or bad, without exception. Progressivism of course is atheism in which the idea of a personal god is totally alien to begin with. Progressives believe in nothing but their own careers and play mind-bending games to confuse the naive.

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  7. Victor says:

    Your argument is weak. Lumping varying denominations together and generalizing obscures the differences between them. What’s more, you contradict yourself; in one paragraph you write “The Universalists teach us a number of things…Everybody is inherently good and this goodness can be brought out if only the person will be humble and submit to their ministrations.” Yet in the same paragraph you write “Men are inclined to violence, lust, egotism, and drunkenness, and these characteristics must be restrained.” Which one is it?

    The doctrine that all men are depraved is a central tenet of Calvinism. I do not see how this can support utopian designs. Incidentally, if you believe leftism is the offspring of protestanism, perhaps
    this will prove enlightening.

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  9. If you think his argument is weak, google “exeter hall”

  10. idealart says:

    If you think his argument is strong, ixquick “in hoc signo vinces,” “Battle of Tours – 732,” “Kenneth Clark, Civilization,” “Lepanto,” “Joan of Arc,” “Knights Templar,” “Arnold of Rugby,” “Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success” by Rodney Stark, for starters.

    • Columnist says:

      Christian violence was mainly directed towards Pagans in Europe, America and Africa. Also, these Christians obviously had different ideas about how the Ten Commandments apply to non-Christians, than mainstream Christianity nowadays does. To take an extreme, Dual Seedline Christian Identity cannot be accused of Liberalism, but it isn’t mainstream Christianity, not of now, and not of the past.

      • idealart says:

        Christianity isn’t a suicide pact. Good grief, man. Read good books about your culture and stay away from outliers and cranks.

      • It’s not? Plenty of respectable Christians- Amish, Mennonites, Quakers, most Catholics, most liberal mainline Protestants- think it is. If you read the Sermon on the Mount literally, as these people do, it’s more or less a suicide pact. I grew up in a leftist Catholic family but quit, because I didn’t want to die. I hope these people are wrong, but they have a huge influence on society.

      • Columnist says:

        The Sermon on the Mount should be seen as taqiyya, or dissimulation, on the part of Jesus. Jesus had himself crucified to fool his enemies into thinking he was harmless. Anyway, it is very hard to deny that, traditionally, Christians were far more violent and nasty towards Pagans, heretics, witches, and Atheists, than towards Jews and Muslims.

  11. idealart says:

    I feel bad for people like Derbyshire (and others) because I like John (I donated) but I think he developed a hatred of Christianity (or at least a repulsion) when young for whatever reason and this imprinted on his brain and left deep scars. Its a pity because human beings seem to have an inate need to believe in something, even if its their own ego. But those of you who wish to maintain your freedoms would be well-advised to learn more about your civilization. I’d also like to recommend, for you scholars, Erich Auerbach’s, Mimesis. This book is a great way to begin to learn about the two pillars of the West, ancient Greek realsim and Christian concepts concerning a personal god.

  12. idealart says:

    To thras:

    As I tried to explain earlier, Christianity was corrupted by Liberalism, not the other way round. If Christianity was suicidal how could it (along with Greek realsim) have survived centuries to create such wealth and freedom? Something changed it.

    If someone wants to reinterpret Christian dogma they are more than welcome. But, shouldn’t we build on past strength rather than continue to subvert it? If you reject liberal christianity why throw out the very thing it subverts? I see a lot of this at conservative web sites. Contradictions that are based more on childhood experiences and egotism (what should be called pride, the worst sin of all because it leads to all the rest) instead of common sense and humility.

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  15. les washington says:

    Leftists, or Leftism are attempting to redefine the values put forth in the Bible and long practiced by the Christian Church.

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