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Atheism

Atheism, Religion and Socialism

ECONOMICS AND ATHEISM

Mr. Chapman Cohen, the Editor of the Freethinker, is an 'advanced' thinker who described Communism as the religion of Russia. He builds up his argument on the insistence on certain kinds of teaching in Russia, to the exclusion of any other ideas whatever.

Mr. Chapman Cohen, however, has no ground for calling this Communism, and uses this term as loosely as any Christian could do.

The limited point of view of Freethought was indicated by him in the Freethinker (November 1st, 1931).

He says that Conservatism, Liberalism, and Capitalism are equally atheistic with Socialism.

Socialism, Atheism or Religion?

Socialists are hostile to all religions. Yet there is a difference between the socialist attitude towards religion and that of the secularist or atheist. The secularist tends to treat religion simply as a set of beliefs which he seeks to demolish by rational and logical criticism. To the socialist this seems a pointless exercise (as pointless as religion itself). Like the atheist we think that religion is irrational and unscientific, but we also think that the important thing is not simply to subject it to abstract criticism but to attempt to show why it arose and what its role in society is. To do this we apply the materialist conception of history.

Book Reviews: 'Bleakonomics', 'Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That's OK', 'Shelley at Oxford' & 'The Lovely Horrible Stuff'

Capitalisms diminishing returns

'Bleakonomics', by Rob Larson. (Pluto Press. 2012)

Larson has written an engaging polemic against free-market capitalism and its proponents, focusing on the role of ‘externalities’such as environmental destruction and the inadequate consideration of these by conventional economics.

Book Reviews: 'Marx’s Das Kapital for Beginners', 'The Atheist’s Guide to Reality'

Marx

Marx’s Das Kapital for Beginners by Michael Wayne; Illustrations by Sungyoon Choi. www.forbeginnersbooks.com. US $16.99. 138pp.

This little book is on the whole an excellent and handy introduction to the ideas of Karl Marx. Most of it is quite readable and fairly easy to follow, and pretty accurate in its summary of Marx’s Das Kapital. It also touches on a number of his other books in passing. Its main virtue is that it succeeds in showing some of the ways in which Marx’s ideas are in fact as relevant as ever today, despite the widespread myth that he was discredited by the events of the twentieth century.

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