Malcolm Pollack writes,
Saw your post today. I really do think that modern Leftism is best understood as a religion. I realize also that understanding something as if it were a religion is different from saying it is a religion, and so I've just written a response to your post, in which I try to make the case that Progressivism is, in effect, a religion to the people who espouse it -- that it activates all the same behaviors and cognitive postures.
I'm hoping we might come to a "meeting of the minds" on this one, because I believe that seeing the Left as embodying a religion is, when it comes to having to deal with them, a helpful (and accurate) stance for the rest of us.
I will have to read Malcolm's lengthy response, but for now a couple of quick rejoinders.
1) Is leftism a religion to the people who espouse it? I rather doubt it. I don't think your average committed lefty would cop to being religious in his beliefs and practices. If you could find me a communist or other atheistic leftist who understands his stance as religious I would be very surprised. Of course there are 'progressives' who are members of Christian and other churches. They water down Christianity to bring it in line with their 'progressivism.' They are lefties first, and Christians second, if at all. But we are not talking about them.
2) Why is it "helpful" for us in our battles with destructive leftists to view them as adhering to and promoting a religion? I say it is not helpful. It is obfuscatory and inaccurate. It blurs important distinctions. And it is unnecessary.
But if people want to say that leftism functions in the psychic economy of a committed leftist in a manner closely analogous to the way religion functions in the psychic economy of a committed religionist, then I have no objection. Just don't say that leftism is a religion. Or if you insist on using the sentence 'Leftism is a religion,' make sure you make it clear that you are using it to express the above proposition.
Just as a salt substitute is not salt, a substitute for religion in the life of a leftist is not a religion.