Where Atheism Became Religion

One of Karl Marx's most famous quotes is that religion is ”the opium of the people”. According to Marxist doctrine, religion is a mechanism that the ruling classes create to facilitate the oppression of the masses. The lower classes feel comfort in the idea that their present suffering will be transformed to happiness in the hereafter, and thus they lose focus on the necessary class struggle. Religion is seen as an obstacle in the way of socialist revolution, which will be built on the discontent of the masses turning into rebellion against capitalist injustice. The fight against religion is also considered to have an intrinsic value, or as Marx himself put it: ”The abolition of religion as people’s imagined happiness is to demand their real happiness.”

The criticism of religion as expressed in Marxism itself is not unique, but it is the perspective on religion that comes after the shift to socialism. Once the revolution h...

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Nima Sanandaji

Teknologie doktor och vd för tankesmedjan ECEPR.

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