SRCC, Delhi University
Lastly Modified on: May 5, 2012
Before coming to the pamphlet, I wish to premise that:
• Whomever doesn't give a fig about this pamphlet and wanna watch a cartoon may conveniently watch Karl Marx Vs Captain Capitalism
• Whomever wants to read about my stance on the Occupy Wall Street movement may conveniently read my article the political character of the Occupy Wall Street Movement
• Whomever wants to gain a greater knowledge about the big problems of USSR-style Communism may conveniently read my article on Marxism-Leninism and the political problems of mainstream "Marxism"
• Whomever is interested to know more about a theory of Post-Capitalism may conveniently have a look at mine in my pamphlet on Needism (or Needist Communism)
• Whomever wants to know in specific terms about the (minor) philological/epistemological and (major) politico-economic problems of Stagism, again may conveniently read my pamphlet on the problems of Stagism and the question of Frontism
• Whomever is interested to know more about the role of Anarchism within the Occupy movement may conveniently read my pamphlet on the potential and problems of Anarchism
Dear Believers and Non-Believers,
I hope this pamphlet may help shining a light on these complex topics; whilst appearing, at the same time, very simple and concise to the reader. I will start with general notions to then introduce my general and simplistic communicative method against the concept of divine providence, which I call — to make it understandable to philosophers and economists — anti-providential reductionism.
Subsequently, I will approach the weird concept of creationism with the philosophical weapon of Dialectical Materialism, which is nothing new to well-read Marxists.
•Can religion be categorised as science?
One might argue - not without reason - that the answer is no.
• But why?
Whenever one believer says phrases like "God is love, God is merciful, God will take care of your defunct relative" and so on, s/he deals with mere "assumptions", with mere "assumed" ideas.
How can one idea in itself be "merciful" to you?
Undoubtedly, God is that idea reflecting the best qualities of human beings, for whom human beings - given the sphere of more or less restricted social belonging promoted by religion itself - are often disposed to carry out the most socially absurd and individually counterproductive acts, in terms of needs realisation.
It goes without saying that behind every Religion and its complex human framework there are determined political and logical contradictions; which I shall discuss later in this pamphlet.
Every religion, whether one likes it or not, entails a determined political economy character; which legitimises certain social structures, whilst delegitimising others.
In fact, every holy book can tell us e.g. whether one religion supports Capitalist production relations (such as pro-rent and pro-profit Islam does) or e.g. whether one religion supports production relations relative to far older social structures (such as Feudalism, in the case of the most orthodox Hinduism).
Of course, the very simple fact that one God had to allegedly spread his word through a holy book — subject to any possible weird human interpretation —creates an ambiguous character around religion and the very notion of divine almightiness of God, preached e.g. by the greatest monotheistic religions.
Similarly, as far as Messianic religions are concerned, the fact a Messiah has allegedly come on Earth during early exploitative modes of production (say, a Feudal one or a Slavery-based one) without uttering a single word on possible ways to liberate people from their economic conditions with the help of a superior economic systems is also a bit ambiguous.
Not to mention weird and philistine philological interpretations of holy books, a correct and strict interpretation of certain holy books on the part of a believer (e.g. in the case of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism) may end up legitimising exploitative production relations in terms of religious direct praxis or the mere tacit consent a religious framework creates.
As previously hinted, psychological emancipation from religion is partial political emancipation; insofar as religious consciousness carries the burden of illusions on social relationships, on scientific knowledge and on the political economy of a system as well as political passivity.
It must remembered, anyway, that in the real world people are not all narrow-minded clerical leaders, bishops and mullahs.
It goes without saying that the pure "Struggle against religion" — taken as an isolated aim, as desired by the naive (and impossible) militant atheism — is a mere bourgeois fancy, insofar as the ultimate "war against religion" is material and not "spiritual" or "intellectual".
Even a kid knows that people as a whole will be able to change their narrow-minded convictions once the material opportunities, as fostered by a better social structure, smoothly allow that.
This doesn't mean worker's education is futile; no revolution can take place without workers' education and no revolution can take without a well-financially-supported workers' education, far from from any private and pro-capitalist influence.
Similarly, this doesn't mean that a Gramscian War of Position - a war used to create an opposing civil society - should not deal with removing absurd and idealistic beliefs from the minds of religious workers. The absurd pragmatic logic of militant atheism should make us ponder upon that the ultimate goal of workers' education is to make the workers embrace Postcapitalism, because it will be up to Postcapitalism to abolish obscurantism and naive secularism, as promoted by organised and non-organised religion.
The removal of workers' religious beliefs by means of education should be implemented if and only if this abolition reduce contextual possible contradictions, affecting both human society and the religious people in question.
Or else, creating inter-conflicting religious feelings can be dangerous, especially in a situation, where opposing Capitalist parties actively exploit the religious obscurantism or secularism of workers.
To make it understandable to semi-deaf bourgeois philosophers and court economists — whatever is the degree of religious radicalisation and narrow-minded conservatism in one society — wage-labourers e.g. will adjust their beliefs and attachment to tradition according to their material scarcity (or material abundance). A wage-labouring slum dweller, surrounded by material dearth and misery, doesn't have anything else but hope; in case s/he is not conscientised by some political entity. The abolition a hope-producing bizarre idea should take place if and only if a Postcapitalist organisation has something substitute to offer him/her, that may make him/her overcome the life difficulties in a better way.
Monetary aids can do; psychological, philosophical and political economy teachings can do too.
The fact religion can be an effective "hope creator" doesn't mean religion — with its imposition against human nature and logically fallacious assumptions — is the efficient solution to that material scarcity or the absolute most effective palliative.
It is rather a further (behavioural) alienating limit, inside an alienating social structure; both of which have the tendency to maintain one person within the framework of his/her most basic needs realisation (e.g. that of belongingness, protection, self-subsistance); whilst preserving his/her highest acceptance of his/her historically inherited background. Hence, abolishing the beliefs of workers' is a contextual issue, it should take place if the living conditions of the workers are not so desperate to backfire on the workers' psychological health.
The contradictions of material scarcity and needs realisation - two antithetical poles - are stronger than ever in developing countries where religion is widely practiced.
The God idea often fosters these contradictions, in the sense that it strengthens the workers' lower needs of protection, belongingness and security by means of rigid ritualistic rules and behavioural repression, at the detriment of the highest needs of universalistic esteem, cognition, creativity and ultimate self-realisation.
Only by superseding the contradictions of material scarcity and needs realisation can the worker be liberated in biological, cognitive and artistic terms.
Needless to say, the radical overcoming of religious naivete' can only occur with the overcoming of the old mode of production and superstructure, which promotes obscurantism and fostered all the repressive behavioural practices of secular and non-secular religion.
It can only occur with a Postcapitalist revolution having the direct aim of removing the contradictions against the workers, without no economic gradualism. A revolution, which can overthrow the old social and economic relation; in our case, those of Capitalism.
In post-Capitalism, religion should initially become a private matter for the people's sake, to be kept far from any reactionary and philistine religious organisation.
Once the development of productive forces and human capital is abundant, a contradiction-less humanity — far from impoverishment and imbued with scientific education— will realise on its own whether religion is needed or not. Given the secularising power of growing productive forces and human Capital, my understanding is that religion will increasingly lose importance in one's social life; leaving space to greater human psychological emancipation. There is no need to "convert each of every believer to irreligion with individual action.
Muslims, Christian, Jewish, Hindu wage-labourers are all exploited workers, who share the same expectation: the abolition of wage-slavery as promoted by pro-Capitalist forces.
Of course, in a scenario of conservative political forces playing the "religion card" and gaining strong political strength, irreligious propaganda for believers may be socially needed, for the overcoming of the old Capitalist social structure.
(All in all, the truth is what abolishes contradictions.)
The Postcapitalist factions should bear in mind that the struggle is against religion - strategically with the power of a higher social structure and contextually with the power of praxis as judged on a case-by-case basis - and not against the religious people.
As C.de Paresh Chandra often points out, it is ultimately people that make a change; and not a political party.
Hence, it goes without saying that a harsh, loose and offhanded political — and not economico-material — action from the vanguard onto "non-emancipated" and therefore "non-dialectically-ready" people can only create dialectical (negative) contradictions.
I shall return on dialectics later, in a more detailed fashion.
Idealistically assuming e.g. that tomorrow is always a better day and that the Universe is allegedly regulated by the (assumed) "existing maker", fails to give one person world consciousness and critical spirit. In broad terms, such a line of reasoning makes one person statically remain into his/her fantastic realm of "admiration towards All Creation", whilst fostering unproductive political passivity.
Such a logic, in brief, doesn't move history.
Free will is an imbroglio; it is true that people make their own choices but these choices are selected within a pre-arranged range of options, allowed by society. Hence, these choices are not fully "free".
Good and Evil are an imbroglio as well. Believing e.g. that "theft" and "murder" a-priori internalises evil may lead to the weird assumption citizens of critically impoverished countries, with high crime rates, are "more wicked" than citizens of wealthy countries.
This kind of reasoning, of course, would logically omit the very simple fact that Capitalist Haiti is far poorer than Western industrialised country; and that therefore, people are exposed to material extremes that compel them to coexist with perpetual psychological states of emergency: natural mechanisms of defence (one would add "allegedly created by God", to be fussy with philosophical criticism).
These psychological states of emergency, in their turn, may easily urge people, as impoverished by Capitalist unemployment and crises, to steal, kill and/or impulsively react for the sake of consumers' goods procurement, such as food, clothes and primary needs in general.
Religion merely explains this whole process with the concept of Good and Evil — with the minimum understanding of political economy and philosophy of science — whilst justifying a providential God casting the "wicked" to the Hell and the lucky "Good" to the Heaven.
This idealistic process, of course, occurs only in the fantasies of a believer; while the "Good" rich and replete Capitalist prepares the stairway to the fantastic Hell of a hungry and socially "wicked" wage-labourer.
The very same believer fails to question the reason why an almighty providential God allegedly allows these material conditions to exist to then indirectly produce de-humanisation within its pre-made providence; which in its turn creates assassins, robbers and wrongdoers in general.
Instead of analysing the problematic causes and perhaps trying to find a solution for their relative humbug, only the effects are demonised and, in the end, scientifically neglected.
The private property religious supporter questions, least of all, the effects of private property of the means of production; from crises to unemployment and from pollution to low wages.
The admiration towards All Creation" and negligence of the critical material conditions that urged people to lose their mind are not "political consciousness". They are a mere tool for political passivity.
•Why does one person pray to God?
Because s/he expects behavioural favours; such as psychological stimuli in the form of need realisation (material reward, mere sense of protection, hope and so on). In brief, for one God to be universalistically preached, one believer must believe that there is a certain providence, namely, a positive divine project for all humanity: nobody excluded.
Is the perfect character of this assumed providence empirically falsifiable?**
Religious readers, at this point of the pamphlet, might have thoughts such as
"true, but it is the human being to bring on all this humbug".
In such case, I would be quite fine with these simplistic thought; but one would also feel like asking - not without reason - one specific question to the religious people, so as to come to one logical conclusion:
"Our providential God did, and yet he gave you freedom of choice, namely, Free will!"
At this point, one would then ask, to make things more complex:
•Is this be a positive caricature of a providential almighty God?
The logical answer would be, of course, "No".
While the entire imbroglio of this God caricature remains a mystery for religious criticism, another question may logically arises:
• If whatever we analysed holds, how can we providentially justify that, says, Dave (say!) a benevolent policy maker will do less social damages as compared to almighty (and vengeful) God in one determined impoverished area?
Policy maker Dave, perhaps, would call for the building of schools, hospitals and for action committees in general, whilst almighty and providential God, according e.g. to one Christian or Islam, would merely indulge to send "wicked people to Hell".
Whilst God would be wasting time with his "providence" humbug — good policy makers would promote the creation of schools, hospitals and social structures to make sure that the wicked wrongdoers — who actually never existed, as "innate ones" — could vanish under the spur of better social conditions.
At this point of the pamphlet, one believer would probably feel like saying:
"true, but whatever. The wrongdoer will definitely go to the devil/hell".
On the other hand, the "Hell" for the wrongdoer and the Heaven for the "good" (capitalist, why not) would be merely "assumed" (again another groundless assumption). This humbug wouldn't prevent the wrongdoer from, say, torturing a paradise-deserving believer.
It goes without saying that the concept of Good and Evil — present and stagnating in every religion — is one of the biggest humbug humanity could ever produce.
Does the absolute God of this dialectical universe exist?
It is important to make it clear that in our Universe there's no such thing as "creation".
Human beings e.g. are not "created" and are not even "destroyed". They are born through "transformation" of pre-existing matter and they live and die within the framework of these transformations. I will deal with this later.
It has been scientifically proved that any entity (or thetical contradiction) opposed to other entities (or antithetical contradictions) — when clashing with each other — gradually produce other synthetical entities having a different quality, within an organic or inorganic complex process leading, in the final instance, to higher quality and quantity.
I will now cite at length what all I discussed in my pamphlet on Marx's Labour Theory of Value, available on this blog:
[Davide Ferri — A personal contribution to the Marxist Theory of Truth, part III of the article "Marx's Labour Theory of Value and the Humbug of Liberal Thought — with emphasis added]
Lavoisier's law — whereby nothing is created, nothing is destroyed and everything is transformed — is definitely dialectical, a reflection of what all Engels proved.
There is actually no whatsoever creation in the universe; and at the same time no destruction, as dialectics prove. There are only sheer transformations.
What all in vulgar terms can be defined as "creation" is nothing but "transformation".
Hence, the universe, within the framework of space and time, is a set of infinite transformations.
If God has (in vulgar terms) created us, then it means He's dialectical.
If that is so, something dialectical is a necessary transformation of something else, which is dialectical in its turn. A creator, nay a transformer, implies another older transformer and so on, if it is true that our universe is dialectical.***
It goes without saying that within this dialectical framework there can be no necessary absolute God. In brief, the Universe appears as a dialectically proved set of infinite transformations — which has always existed — without finite past and finite (dialectical) future.
no pure subject and there is no pure object. In brief, there is no "grey" between black and white, there is no entity between subject and object. The grey is a mere transient appearance, mere movement. There is only subjectivity (say, our own "individuality", to
make it understandable to postmodern philosphers) steadily fighting against the objectivity of our world; and viceversa. That is to say, what all we can ascertain is a subject trying to modify the world and a world trying to modify the subject.
Take the metaphor of black and white.
Assume the exclusive existence of two antithetical entities: one is black, the other is white.
There is no "grey" entity; only a black entity and a white entity interacting with each other.
One might argue that the "conflict" between the contradictions of subject and object is "the grey entity", as it would allegedly be in the case of the interaction between a black and white entity.
It is not. This conflict is not an entity in itself, it is just the motion of pre-existing entities.
"Grey" becomes an entity only once black and white vanish.
A "grey" synthetic entity arises only once the interaction between black and white has produced their overcoming and therefore come to an end, but there's no "grey entity during the existence of the black and white entities.
One of the most famous intellectuals to be aware of the dialectical law was Marx, who attacked Interpretative/Mechanical Materialism on the matter:
The materialist doctrine that men are products of circumstances and upbringing, and that, therefore, changed men are products of other circumstances and changed upbringing, forgets that it is men who change circumstances and that it is essential to educate the educator himself.
[Karl Marx - Theses on Feuerbach, 1846]
Having made this point, a fundamental question arises:
How can one express her or his individuality at its maximum potential within material scarcity?
In brief, how can one realise the wholeness of her or his need categories within such framework?
One might argue that the lesser the contradictions in these world, the higher the material abundance and the higher your self-expression, allowed by your improved material conditions.
We can't liberate one person without first destroying the contradictions that curb his or her cognitive and artistic development.
In fact, we can't make the whole class of bourgeois self-realise without first destroying the economic base behind, say, their general crave for 6-hour shopping ritualism and/or gala parties, keeping all the rest of potential social life excluded from personal activity.
We can't liberate one slum-dweller by leaving him or her among rats, sewers and rubbish.
Human Liberation is material, not mental or spiritual. It is an historical process, aiming at destroying the contradictions of one system, in our case those of Capital and Wage-Labour.
Take the degeneration of visual arts in Capitalism, disguised as "expression of individuality"!
Once one comes to actively know about dynamic information, about her or his own material surrounding, one can't restrain from politically or at least socially talking about it, as a real social happy being. One ends up not caring once s/he alienates her or his natural essence of social being, and embrace pure, anti-human individualism, usually disguised with hypocrisy as "individuality".
Or else, the material scarcity around her or him becomes part of her or his cognitive/artistic expression.
Lyrics of, say, gansta rap artists or female glam pop (where the latter is often "disguised" as "woman's liberation" within the Capitalist media) are not too worried about the expression of a social being's wholeness of needs categories.
These artists can't generally see beyond pure expression of the lowest psychological needs (or the music industry doesn't allow them to see/write/compose in certain terms).
Does, say, Lady Gaga discuss social issues that address the real problem of a woman, who is globally exploited by a Capitalist system taking advantage of inherited odious chauvinistic social mores only because these end up putting an easy downward pressure on her wage?
Does, say, rapper 50 cent portrait a realist or rational scenario in his videos by exposing prostitutes, female sex-slaves, helicopters and race cars?
Does, say, Shakira seriously address the socioeconomic problems of Colombia?
Is it because she doesn't know? Or because the Music Industry doesn't give her stimuli and/or opportunities to do that?
For the record, among the policies of the most recent Liberal governments of Colombia figure the disastrous imports of the 1990s and 2000s, foreign (advanced-countries-enriching) privatisation, a Free trade agreement, the military subjugation to the US, the war against the Leninist FARC and ELN, the repression of Trade Unions and the export of Shakira to the United States.
Contemporary mainstream music is "bourgeois" in the sense that it is a mere produce of individualism as fostered by our economic base. At the same time, it is bourgeois because it doesn't foster progressive rebellion in the mind of proletarians. Rather, it fosters passivity against Capitalist scenarios that the bourgeoisie patiently prepared for non-proletarians and the very same de-individualised proletarians that end up listening to such de-individualising music.
[in the following video, what all the subjective spirit of one artist mixed with the objective burden of centuries of British, Indian, Trinidadian and American Capitalism could ever produce:
Onika Tanya Maraj a.k.a. Nicki Minaj!
Says Nicki: "Starships were meant to fly! Hands up and touch the sky! Let's do this one last time! Hands up! We're higher than a motherf**ker!!!" (three times, if by any chance you couldn't understand its immense socially necessary value). Go 'individuality'! Go!]
The fact mainstream rappers in the 1980s used to sing en masse about certain social issues whereas in the 1990s and 2000s they stopped doing it doesn't make them see that Capitalism gradually became more and more experienced at selling a music product for a certain profitable market. The common middle-income bourgeois sees these differences in terms of an impossible exogenous "individuality" change.
The mental liberation of humanity - namely that of the proletarian and the bourgeois - can occur only with a change in all those economic bases, which are based, almost everywhere, on a stability-producing Republicanism, e.g. on elements such as patriarchy and religious obscurantism, which in their turn produce intellectual rottenness, rapes, workplace alienation, depression and so on and so forth. One shouldn't even care too much about explaining to court philosophers that the world hasn't historically advanced of a single step after hundreds of millions of views of Nicki Minaj's or Rihanna's videos. One shouldn't even care too much about telling these queer personas that only with the overthrowing of the exploitative economic base can the human being self-realise at her or his highest needs and liberate him or herself from the mental tyranny of philistine Republicanism, as well as its long-run consequences in human society. One should care about making the workers understand all this, as a priority; as there is no revolution without workers' education as a first defensive step against Capitalist propaganda. Postcapitalism will rectify and positively transform the old false beliefs into something higher, with its economic radical change and with its strong emphasis on human capital.
Postcapitalism will not need the imbroglio of "Republicanism" for social stability, insofar as there are no societal contradictions in Postcapitalism, no Capital and Wage-Labour, unlike in Capitalism and Leninist Communism.
When the bourgeois says with rhetoric "the radical change can be economic yes, but individuality is more than that." misleads the reader from the question of individuality.
The phrase would be revolutionary if put in this way:
The radical change must be economic yes, for individuality to be more than that.
In case the bourgeois doesn't agree with the latter phrase, at least s/he is being sincere. S/he would regard herself as an individual as long as she is a non-working bourgeois.
END OF THE PAMPHLET.
Do we know what is there after death?
It must be remembered that Knowledge processing has to do with our symbolic order.
Hence, what all can be said on this peculiar issue is that what all "real" we come to know about, we come to know about it thanks to our symbolic understanding of nature.
The death of a human biological entity implies the cessation of electrical pulses within the human mind and therefore the human body, whose electrical dynamics compose the raison d'etre of a human being.
Our internal system (symbolically talking: the sovereign mind and the subordinate body) by interacting with the external system (material surroundings in symbolical terms) goes through perpetual dialectical transformations in the form of needs realisation and so on.
Once a human being dies, these dynamics stop occurring in the old form but they don't get destroyed; they get transformed into something else, perhaps inorganic.
Hence, within this framework, the answer is yes, we do know what is after death.
After death there is a dialectical transformation of our perpetually evolving internal system, dialectically interacting with the external system.