TED Conversations

James Walker

Managing Director, MOFILM


This conversation is closed.

Is Socialism a religion?

It would appear that Socialism has many of the characteristics of a Religion - Prophet based, sacred texts, denial of the primacy of the individual, intolerance of other belief systems, importance of belief over actions, etc.
Is Socialism a religion?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jun 13 2011: James, pretty much any belief can become "religious" if the believer wants to. Any belief has a famous author, a famous work, and intolerance can come from anywhere. There are, obviously, "religious" socialists, those who ignore any discussions of politics, who won't darre to question Marx, and keep quoting Gramsci as arguments. The argumentative fallacies are the same of the Christians talking about christianism, Jesus and the Bible.
    However, socialism isn't, by principle, somewhat like a religion. If you look carefully, you can find tons of modern socialists who treat it simply as a political tendency, as a concept of society. Of course, there are still a great number of ortodox marxist, for example, but they're not a majority.
    In addition, I believe that some of the arguments you presented, like "socialism denies the primacy of the individual", are mere interpretations. Socialism itself is simply the political conception that the means of production should be property of the whole population. Anything beyond that is an interpretation, an extension. We can't judge an ideal based on an interpretation.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.