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The Opiam of the people

kasmic
Posts: 1,302
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6/10/2015 2:25:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
People often quote Marx as saying "religion is the opiate of the masses." This is not really what he said. Here is the full quote....

"Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions." Karl Marx

I am curious what peoples thoughts are with the context of the sentence rather then the sound bite? Does it change it?
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Saint_of_Me
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6/10/2015 3:33:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The quote as people are used to seeing it and the actual one which you presented in full context are so very similar as to have no discernible effect on their respective meanings.

That is, to me at least, they are for all intents and purposes synonymous.

The point that Marx was trying to get across remains the same: that religion is like a narcotic drug which dulls the senses and denigrates true knowledge, logic, and, most ironically of all, true happiness. It is a placebo for the truth and comfort the afflicted seek.

But, as opposed to a real medical placebo, this one does indeed posses drug-like qualities and is not merely a harmless sugar pill!
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
celestialtorahteacher
Posts: 1,369
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6/10/2015 11:24:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
And the author of the criticism was so impressively filled with wisdom he started a new secular religion with himself as God in it. This religion swept the world with its truth and now all nations bow to the Wisdom of Marxism..
celestialtorahteacher
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6/10/2015 11:35:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The Marxists wanted to do away with "decadent Capitalism" and decadent religion and their wondrous wisdom prevailed to overthrow all nations and institute atheist government everywhere so all of us now bow our heads to the Marxist gods who were so true that it amazes us now that it took so long for all the nations and populations to hear the Master's words of social, economic and political wisdom.

Oh, did I miss something? What? Communism isn't the world's most popular form of government now? You don't say..

Well, Ok, then there's the religious Commie wannabes now, the Muhammadans, who also say they want to clean up decadent society, and like the Commies Muhammadans are quite willing to kill anyone who disagrees. Now what do you suppose will be the fate of Muhammadans copying Communist ideas for taking control of the world? I think Muhammadans will become the next world ideology to fall to pieces because people want freedom, not repression, not oppression. And God wants that too so bye bye fascist totalitarian ideologies and hello Democracy and Human Rights protection. The backward primitives will be still looking for their Dictators as they don't know Democracy movement yet but it will come to every nation, even Syria when Syrians get serious about human life protection and human rights for all citizens.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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6/10/2015 11:57:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Haha, I'm going to expand it even more, because I like the flower/chain analogy.

"Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun"

I think that Marx's delusion lies in our capability to rid ourselves of such chains and tears. Those are an insurmountable condition of human life, hence the inability of communism to destroy them. It's much more merciful to leave the flowers intact than to tear them out and then demand that men struggle for an impossible dream in disillusioned misery.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
wsmunit7
Posts: 1,318
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6/11/2015 1:36:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
WOW !!! Some really deep thinkers. Unfortunately I don't have a clue what their point is, and I don't think they do EITHER !!! lol lol lol
kasmic
Posts: 1,302
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6/11/2015 10:15:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 1:37:22 AM, wsmunit7 wrote:
"Opium", not "Opiam"

Yeah.... I noticed haha.
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