anarchism and religion

msbrown at msbrown at
Tue Oct 9 21:36:07 BST 2001

Interesting message posted recently on the Anarchy_Africa e-mail list (as an aside to the actual substance of what the below message is talking about, on another level, I'm sure Winstanley would have discounted the relevance of religion in alleviating the dominance of the ruling class however) :

Re: [anarchy_africa] anarchism and religion

You said:
> If religion predates ruling classes is it not possible that it played a
part in their establishment?

Possibly, but there is no evidence of that.  Religion was around tens of
thousands of years before ruling classes.  Ruling classes have only been around for about 5 or 6 thousand years.  It is possible to have religion without ruling classes or the state.  There have been many anarchist societies which were religious.

> I don't disagree that people can unite irrespective of religions but it
> seems a bit reformist, maybe we can smash capitalism but so long as
religion exists will there not be basis for prejudice and division?

Any philosophy, religious or otherwise, can be the basis for prejudice and division.  Anarchy means we can all get along even though we have differences and don't have to slaughter each other just because we don't all agree.

> The consensus on an anarchist society, anarchy, is that we desire to live freely without any authority and as far as I'm concerned admitting that there is an all-powerful being immediately makes you inferior and
therefore enslaves your mind. God being superior means hierarchy and that is authoritarian in principle.

There are religions that equate god(dess) with nature or the universe, as well as polytheistic religions which don't have that authoritarian concept of God.  There are also religions which don't have gods at all.  If someone wants to believe in a magical diety in the sky or some other figmant of their imagination it doesn't really matter to me.  So long as they don't try to force it on me or anyone else then they can believe whatever they want, no matter how rediculous it may appear to me.

Anarchist FAQ -

"War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and
multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses." --Thomas Jefferson

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list