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COMMUNISM AND CHRISTIANISM

* * * * * *

TO THE PURCHASER:

Lying Supernaturalism is going; robbing Capitalism is falling; saving
Laborism is rising, and leveling Unionism is coming.

This booklet, Communism and Christianism, is a contribution by Bishop
and Mrs. Wm. M. Brown, of Galion, Ohio, towards the furtherance of these
downward, upward and forward movements, the most fortunate events in the
whole history of mankind. We hope that you will read, mark, learn and
inwardly digest its extremely revolutionary, comprehensive and salutary
teachings concerning both religion and politics with the happy result of
becoming an apostle of its illuminating and inspiring interpretation of
the scientific gospel of Marx and Engels to wage slaves, the only gospel
which points the way to redemption from their body and soul destroying
slavery.

You may become a missionary of this gospel in your neighborhood, and as
such do more good than all its orthodox preachers, teachers, editors and
politicians together at no financial cost to yourself by ordering
booklets at our special rates: six copies, $1.00; twenty-five copies,
$3.00, prepaid, and selling them to workers at our retail price, 25
cents for one copy. As we make no profit and do no bookkeeping, cash
should accompany all orders.

To organizations working for bail, defense, liberation or unemployment
funds, Bishop and Mrs. Brown donate twenty-five copies for each
twenty-five ordered with remittance.

The Bradford-Brown Educational Company, Inc. Publishers - Galion, Ohio



Editions and Their Dates.

First Edition, 10,000 copies, October 11th, 1920.

Second Edition, 10,000 copies, revised and enlarged from 184 to 204
pages, February 15th, 1921.

Third Edition, 10,000 copies, March 2nd, 1921.

Fourth Edition, 10,000 copies (2,000 in cloth binding), revised and
enlarged from 204 to 224 pages, April 9, 1921.

[Illustration: Rt. Rev. William Montgomery Brown, D. D.

Fifth Bishop of Arkansas, Resigned; Member House of Bishops Protestant
Episcopal Church; Sometime Archdeacon of Ohio and Special Lecturer at
Bexley Hall, the Theological Seminary of Kenyon College. Now Episcopos
in partibus Bolshevikium et Infidelium.]

* * * * * *


COMMUNISM AND CHRISTIANISM

Analyzed and Contrasted from the Marxian and Darwinian Points of View

by

WILLIAM MONTGOMERY BROWN

Banish the Gods from the Skies and Capitalists from the Earth and make
the world safe for Industrial Communism.







The Bradford-Brown Educational Company, Inc. Publishers ... Galion, Ohio

Fortieth Thousand




DEDICATION


This booklet is gratefully dedicated to the Proletariat from whom Bishop
and Mrs. Brown are sprung, and to whose unrequited labors (not to the
good providence of a divinity) they owe their wealth, leisure and
opportunities.




PROLEGOMENA[A]

Religion is the opium of the people. The suppression of religion as
the happiness of the people is the revindication of its real
happiness. The invitation to abandon illusions regarding its
situation is an invitation to abandon a situation which has need of
illusions. Criticism of religion is therefore the germ of a
criticism of the vale of tears, of which religion is the holy
aspect.

- Marx.


Not only, indeed, is the struggle against religion intellectually
useful, but it cannot conscientiously be avoided, for religion is used
against the Socialist movement by the possessing class in every country.

But to abolish religion is not to abolish exploitation, because only one
of the enemy's guns will have been silenced. The workers have, above
all, to dislodge the capitalist class from power. The religious
question, and indeed all else, is secondary to this.

The test of admission to a Socialist Party must be neither more nor less
than acceptance of the following seven working principles and the policy
of Socialism as a class movement:

1. Society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of
the means of living (i. e., land, factories, railways, etc.) by the
capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the
working class, by whose labor alone wealth is produced.

2. In society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests,
manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess
but do not produce and those who produce but do not possess.

3. This antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the
working class from the domination of the master class by the
conversion into the common property of society of the means of
production and distribution, and their democratic control by the
whole people.

4. As in the order of social evolution the working class is the
last to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class
will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of
race or sex.

5. This emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.

6. As the machinery of capitalist government, including the armed
forces of the nation, conserves the monopoly by the capitalist
class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must
organize consciously and politically for acquiring the powers of
government, national and local, in order that this machinery,
including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of
oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of
privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.[B]

7. As all political parties are but the expression of class
interests, and as the interest of the working class is
diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the
master-class, the party seeking working-class emancipation must be
hostile to every other party.

If a man supports the church, or in any respect allows religious ideas
to stand in the way of the foregoing seven essential principles of
socialism or the activity of a Party, he proves thereby that he does not
accept Socialism as fundamentally true and of the first importance, and
his place is outside.

No man can be consistently both a Socialist and a Christian. It must be
either the socialist or the religious principle that is supreme, for the
attempt to couple them equally betrays charlatanism or lack of thought.
There is, therefore, no need for a specifically anti-religious test.

So surely does the acceptance of Socialism lead to the exclusion of the
supernatural, that the Socialist has little need for such terms as
Atheist, Free-thinker, or even Materialist; for the word Socialist,
rightly understood, implies one who, on all such questions, takes his
stand on positive science, explaining all things by purely natural
causation, Socialism being not merely a politico-economic creed, but
also an integral part of a consistent world philosophy.

So long as the anarchy of modern competitive society exists, the
accompanying obscurity and confusion in social life will continue to
shelter superstition. This point is illustrated in the following
reference by Marx to the United States:

When we see in the very country of complete political emancipation
not only that religion exists, but retains its vigour, there is no
need, I hope, for other proofs in order to show that the existence
of religion is not incompatible with the full political maturity of
the State. But if religion exists it is because of a defective
social organization, of which it is necessary to seek the cause in
the very essence of the State.

Class domination is the essence of the modern State. It is based on
competitive anarchy and parasitism - the evidences of a defective social
organization. It still leaves room for religion, because it maintains
ignorance and confusion by its structure and contradictions, and because
religion is fostered as a handmaiden of class rule.

Nevertheless, the growth of the social forces of production within
modern society, and the better knowledge the workers obtain of their
true relations to each other and to Nature, loosen the chains of ghost
worship and mysticism from their limbs and lessen the power of religion
as a political weapon in the hands of the ruling class, while they form,
at the same time, the material and intellectual preparation for an
intelligently organized society. The matter has been put in a nutshell
by Marx in the chapter on "Commodities" in "Capital," volume I.

The religious reflex of the real world can, in any case, only then
finally vanish, when the practical relations of every-day life
offer to man none but perfectly intelligible and reasonable
relations with regard to his fellow men and to nature.

The life process of society, which is based on the process of
material production, does not strip off its mystical veil until it
is treated as production by freely associated men, and is
consciously regulated by them in accordance with a settled plan.

This, however, demands for society a certain material groundwork or
set of conditions of existence which in their turn are the
spontaneous product of a long and painful process of development.

It is, therefore, a profound truth that Socialism is the natural enemy
of religion. Through Socialism alone will the relations between men in
society, and their relations to Nature, become reasonable, orderly, and
completely intelligible, leaving no nook or cranny for superstition. The
entry of Socialism is, consequently, the exodus of religion.

FOOTNOTES:

[A] From the Official Manifesto by the Socialist Party of Great Britain,
showing the Antagonism between Socialism and Religion.

[B] This section has been slightly changed to make sure of guarding
against the advocacy of armed insurrection. Socialists throughout the
world want a peaceful evolution from capitalism into socialism; but
whether or not it will be so in the case of any country is, as Lenin
prophesies, to be determined by the dealings of its capitalists with its
laborers. In reply to an inquiry on this vexed subject by an English
author, Lenin said, in effect, that in England, as elsewhere, the
tactics of the capitalist class will determine the program of the labor
class.




THE INTERNATIONAL PARTY.


Arise, ye prisoners of starvation!
Arise, ye wretched of the earth,
For justice thunders condemnation,
A better world's in birth.
No more tradition's chains shall bind us,
Arise, ye slaves! no more in thrall!
The earth shall rise on new foundations,
We have been naught, we shall be all.

We want no condescending saviors.
To rule us from a judgment hall.
We workers ask not for their favors,
Let us consult for all.
To make the thief disgorge his booty,
To free the spirit from its cell,
We must ourselves decide our duty,
We must decide and do it well.

The law oppresses us and tricks us,
Taxation drains the victim's blood;
The rich are free from obligations,
The laws the poor delude.
Too long we've languished in subjection,
Equality has other laws:
"No rights," says she, "without their duties.
No claims on equals without cause."

Toilers from shops and fields united,
The party we of all who work;
The earth belongs to us, the people,
No room here for the shirk.
How many on our flesh have fattened!
But if the noisome birds of prey
Shall vanish from the sky some morning,
The blessed sunlight still will stay.




CONTENTS


Page
PROLEGOMENA 5

PART I.

COMMUNISM: THE NATURALISTIC THIS-WORLDLY
GOSPEL FOR THE COMING AGE OF CLASSLESS EQUALITY
AND ECONOMIC FREEDOM 13


PART II.

CHRISTIANISM: A SUPERNATURALISTIC OTHER-WORLDLY
GOSPEL FOR THE PASSING AGE OF CLASS INEQUALITY
AND ECONOMIC SLAVERY 85

APPENDIX 157




Hitherto, every form of society has been based on the antagonism of
oppressing and oppressed classes. But in order to oppress a class,
certain conditions must be assured to it under which it can, at
least, continue its slavish existence. The serf, in the period of
serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just as the
petty bourgeois, under the yoke of feudal absolutism, managed to
develop into a bourgeois. The modern laborer, on the contrary,
instead of rising with the progress of industry, sinks deeper and
deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He
becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than
population and wealth. And here it becomes evident that the
bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society,
and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an
over-riding law. It is unfit to rule, because it is incompetent to
assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it
cannot help letting him sink into such a state that it has to feed
him, instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under
this bourgeoisie, in other words, its existence is no longer
compatible with society. - Marx and Engels.




COMMUNISM AND CHRISTIANISM

ANALYZED AND CONTRASTED FROM THE MARXIAN AND DARWINIAN POINTS OF VIEW




PART I.


Communism: The Naturalistic This-worldly Gospel for the Coming Age of
Classless Equality and Economic Freedom - An Open Letter to a Brother
Bishop and a Christian Socialist Comrade.

Come over and help us. Abandon Christian Socialism for Marxian
Communism.




FOREWORD[C]


The concept of God, as an explanation of the Universe, is becoming
entirely untenable in this age of scientific inquiry. The laws of the
persistence of force and the indestructibility of matter, and the
unending interplay of cause and effect, make the attempt to trace the
origin of things to an anthropomorphic God who had no cause, as futile
as is the Oriental cosmology which holds that the world rests on an
elephant, and, as an afterthought, that the elephant stands on a
tortoise.

The inflexible laws of the known universe cannot logically be held to
cease where our immediate experience ends, to make way for an
unscientific concept of an uncaused and creating being. The Creation
idea is unsupported by evidence, and is in conflict with every
scientific law.

Socialism is consistent only with that monistic view which regards all
phenomena as expressions of the underlying matter-force reality and as
parts of the unity of Nature which interact according to inviolable
laws.

Socialism is the application of science, the archenemy of religion, to
human social relationships; and just as the basic principle of the
philosophy of Socialism finds itself in conflict with religion, so does
it, as a propagandist movement, find religion acting against it.

FOOTNOTES:

[C] From the Official Manifesto by the Socialist Party of Great Britain,
showing the Antagonism between Socialism and Religion.




COMMUNISM: THE NATURALISTIC THIS-WORLDLY GOSPEL FOR THE COMING AGE OF
CLASSLESS EQUALITY AND ECONOMIC FREEDOM.

Make the World safe for Industrialism by turning it upside down
with Workers above and Owners below.


My dear Brother and Comrade:

Your letter of June 13th[D] relative to the meeting called for the 27th,
in the interest of a more radical socialist movement in our church, came
duly to hand, and its invitation to attend, or at least write, was
highly appreciated.

My days for attending things are, I fear, past. I did not feel able to
go to the Annual Convention of the Socialist Party of Ohio, which met
much nearer here on the same date, June 27th, and ended on the 29th with
a great picnic - a communion, as real and holy, as was ever celebrated. I
cannot even be sure of being with you in the House of Bishops during the
meeting of the General Convention in October.

However, I intended you to have a letter and set the 26th aside for the
writing of it, but I work slowly now and its hours slipped away while I
was making notes until only one was left. It was spent in trying to
condense all I wanted to say in the letter into a telegram. What I
regard as the best of these efforts was taken to the office at seven
p. m. on that day:

Make world safe for democracy by banishing Gods from sky, and
capitalists from earth.

Here are four of the many other efforts: (1) Come over and help us.
Abandon Christian Socialism for Marxian Communism; (2) Make world safe
for democracy by turning it upside down with workers above and owners
below; (3) Revolutionize capitalism out of state and orthodoxy out of
church; (4) Come over and help us. Abandon reformatory for revolutionary
socialism.

What I wanted you to understand is that, in my judgment, there can be no
deliverance for the world from the troubles by which it is overwhelmed
so long as theism holds the religious field and capitalism the political
field.


I.

Religion and politics are the two halves of the sphere in which humanity
lives, moves and has its social being. Religion is the ideal and
politics the practical half of this sphere. Both halves naturally exist
as the result of the same natural law of necessity: the matter-force law
which makes it necessary for a man to feed, clothe and shelter his body
in order to preserve it and its life.

Marxian socialism is at once this religion and politics, all there is of
both of them which is for the good of the world as a whole.

Marxian socialism is a revolutionary movement towards doing away with
the existing competitive system for producing and distributing the basic
necessities of life (foods, clothes and houses) for the profit of a few
parasites, and substituting a system for making and distributing them
for the use of all workers.

So far some competing, lying, robbing, enslaving system for the
production and distribution of these necessities has been the basis of
every religion and politics - of none more than the Christian and
American, and they with the rest have been tried in the balance of
experience and found utterly wanting. Indeed, they are making a hell,
not a heaven, of the earth in general and of our country in particular.

Christianism as a religion has collapsed. It promised to secure to the
world peace and good will, but it has never had more of strife and hate.
The tremendous English-German (or if you prefer German-English) war was
a conflict at arms between the most outstanding among Christian nations
and it was solemnly alleged to have been fought for the high purpose of
ending such conflicts; but in reality it scattered the hot coals of war
throughout the world, several of which were fanned into blazing by its
so-called peace conference and others are ominously smouldering.

Americanism as a politics has collapsed. It promised a classless
government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people, but
has instead given a government of a class, by a class, for a class. This
class, comprising not more than one out of every ten of the population,
is the capitalist class, which owns the means and machines for the
production of the necessities of life and for their distribution, a
class which, as such, though bearing no necessary relationship to either
one of the branches of this business, yet realizes enormous profits from
both, profits which are wholly at the expense of the large class, at
least nine out of every ten, which does all the work connected with the
making of the machines and the operating of them.

This government was to make the country safe for democracy by securing
to it the privilege of free speech and free assemblage, the existence of
an independent press and the right of appeal for the redress of
grievances; but our fathers did not have any too much of these
liberties, we have had less and, if the competitive system for the
production and distribution of commodities for the profit of the small
owning class is to continue, our children are to have none.

Indeed, this is already true of the overwhelming majority, the working
class. Its representatives have little if any real part in the
government. They are completely subjected to the rule of the owning
class. There never has been a body, mind and soul destroying slavery
which equaled theirs, either as to the number of men, women and children
involved in it, or as to the degrees of misery to which it doomed its
victims.

Nor is the end yet. The world war certainly has taken American slavery
out of the frying pan into the fire rather than into the water.

American slaves appeal to their government as Jewish slaves appealed to
one of their kings for relief and receive the same answer, not in words
but in deeds which speak louder:

Thy father made our yoke grievous; now therefore make thou the
grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put
upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. And he said unto them,
Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people
departed. So all the people came the third day as the king had
appointed and the king answered them roughly, saying: My father
made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: My father also
chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
So when all Israel saw that the king harkened not unto them, the
people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David?

As to details history does not exactly repeat itself and, therefore, I
do not believe that the other planets of the universe, of which no doubt
there are many billions, are inhabited by human beings of the same type
as those of the earth, nor that its men, women and children are to have
their bodies reconstructed and resurrected, after they have been
disintegrated by death. Such beings on other planets and such
reconstructions on this planet would in every case involve a detailed
repetition of infinitely numerous processes of evolution which had
extended through an eternal past.

Yet in every part of the universe and throughout all eternity, like
causes ever have produced and ever shall produce like effect. If,
therefore, the course of the Judean masters towards their slaves led to
a successful revolt of ten out of twelve tribes, there is every reason
for believing that the parallel course which the American masters are
pursuing against their slaves will sooner or later issue in a
revolution - a revolution which shall do away with both masters and
slaves, leaving us with a classless America and a government concerned
with the making of provisions for enabling all the people who are able
and willing to work to supply themselves in abundance with the
necessities of life and with the most desirable among the luxuries,
rather than a government which provides that they who produce nothing
shall have the cream and top milk of every necessity and the whole
bottle of every luxury, leaving of the necessities only the blue milk
for the producers of them and of the luxuries, not even the dregs.

Under this government those who can but will not work will be allowed to
starve themselves into a better mind and out of their laziness. The
young and the old, the sick and crippled will have their rightful
maintenance from the state and out of the best of everything.

The deliverance of the world from commercial imperialism and the making
of it safe for industrial democracy would prevent most of its
unnecessary suffering and this great salvation is above all else
dependent upon a knowledge of the truth. "Ye shall know the truth and
the truth shall make you free" - free from all the avoidable ills of
life, among them the diabolical trinity of evils, war, poverty and
slavery.

The happiness of the world will be promoted in extent and degree in


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Online LibraryWilliam Montgomery BrownCommunism and Christianism → online text (page 1 of 15)