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Is Soviet Style of Anti Religious Propaganda back in Fashion? Part 1

April 29, 2010

Is Soviet Style of Anti Religious Propaganda back in Fashion? Part 1

 

Introduction:

“Religion is Poison” Soviet Poster

You would have thought that after 2 decades since the collapse of the Soviet Block that the errors of communism should be self evident. However ideologues, being what they are, will happily argue that black is white as long as it can be rationalized as being for the cause. Logic and sentence word limits are set aside in what can best described as indoctrination. Spend a day with a hard core ideologue and you will know what being nagged truly is. They are not so much trying to convince you about the validity of their case but to induce a catharsis where you give in just get some peace from the constant nag, nag ,nag. Fanatical and oppressive cults use the same style of nagging because it is a technique that, despite being mindlessly dishonest, has proven results. For the true fanatic no one is permitted make up their own mind because they must all fall in behind the great cause or they are deemed to be part of the problem. This constant treating anyone who does not agree with their ideology as an enemy is at the core of fanaticism. Communism was not offered to the people of Russia in a fair and open debate. It was forced upon them by a narrow group of Marxist/Leninists who executed anyone who stood in their way. Lenin personally ordered the commencement of mass executions of civilians and Trotsky despite being a darling to Latte
Socialist crowd was also guilty of the same crimes.

 

It is no secret that after 70 years of chasing its ideological dreams Communism collapse in upon itself like a rotten potato. Even China ceased to act as an orthodox Marxist state when it embraced capitalism. Yet despite the obvious collapse some people still yearn for the imaginary days of ‘paradise’ through rose coloured glasses. What they forget, or have never learned, is how Communism is a jealous god that will tolerate no other points of view before it. Being a materialist ideologue Marx concluded that its number one enemy was those who believe in nonmaterial values. Love had no place in the Proletariat Paradise, nor did compassion or families. Yet he made particular note of religion as being enemy number one calling it the ‘Opiate of the Masses’ and stating in no uncertain terms that it must be actively suppressed after the revolution. For Marxists this was a key
non negotiable
element to their ideology. Lenin believed in it and so did the entire first generation of Communist rulers of the Soviet Union. As far as they were concerned they were going to wipe religion off the face of the Earth by all means at their disposal. And dispose they did with mass arrests, fake trails, confiscation of property, indoctrination and hard core propaganda to ridicule and demonize.

Religion is a burden poster. Soviet Union

All Socialism with roots in Marxism has a direct connection to this desire to destroy religion because it is a rival world view where some needs cannot be supplied materially by the state. The idiom that ‘man does not live bread alone chokes in the throat of Marxism because it is counter materialist. In Communism ‘Counter Materialist’ is equivalent to being a ‘counter revolutionary’ and in turn it was a shortcut to the Gulag or the firing squad.

Misrepresentation of Christian teachings in a Soviet Poster called “The Holy Sacraments”

One thing that Lenin was aware of when he ceased power was that wiping religion from Russia first required an intensive demonization campaign. Initially there were efforts to ferment a schism in the Orthodox Church by supporting theological descent from within using the ‘Living Church’ campaign. The second more serious blow to the Russian Orthodox Church was when the new Ministry of Education ceased control of its schools. By 1924 The Anti Religious Commission was established and following this they started publishing a paper called Bezbozhnik (The Godless). The magazine was later renamed ‘The Militant Godless. By 1929 the Communists were actively closing churches, arresting clergy and destroying any form of religious icon. Many of the property confiscations were justified as a response to a famine cause by failed Soviet farming policies. The central government response was to accuse the churches of ‘hording mountains of gold and precious stones’. Of particular attention were the church bells which were melted for their metal. Some churches were blown up with explosives or dismantled but many others were converted into warehouses and grain stores.

Bezbozhnik (The Godless) issued 1929

The propaganda generated in this time was both vicious and reliant upon numerous straw man arguments. Direct lies, falsehoods, intentional misrepresentations of religious texts were common because the motivation to rid itself of an ideological enemy justified all tactics. This was because propaganda has no sense of morality except to propagate a message. In many ways that message was designed to trick and poison the minds of people into carrying out someone else’s agenda.

 

In the next part we will be analyzing modern anti religious propaganda and Communist anti religious propaganda. Is there really any difference between the two?

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