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NerdyKeith's avatar

Do you regard communism and fascism as state religions?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5489points) March 7th, 2016

Don’t they follow the same basic principal as spiritual religions? Organised religion has a strong focus on believing in a higher power and accepting a specific philosophy of morality.

Communism and fascism are generally governed by a political leader or party. Communism and fascism have their own flavour of morality and philosophy. Citizens who live in nations where these state religions are in power follow their leaders that enforce these political ideologies. Sometimes they follow out of a sense of loyalty and sometimes fear.

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10 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

Not only communism and fascism, but some other kinds of government also work that way. Some ancient Asian countries, like China, enforced similar ideology and philosophy. The first virture a citizen must have was the loyalty to the king, and there was only one king in the world, as the king was the “son” of God, ect…

The people generally have to be loyal to the government because that’s how the government keeps its people in line in the first place. That and religion share the same feature: people have to believe in one “leader”. So I don’t consider what you said to be a religion, but rather, they and religion are all based on “leader and follower” rule.

elbanditoroso's avatar

No, I don’t consider them religions; I consider them belief systems.

Religion traditionally pulls in the idea of a supernatural being. Communism and fascism have very strong leaders (usually) but not the same supernatural aura that a religion does.

All of that said, however, the lines are blurry. Irrational belief systems, particularly personality cults, are dangerous, both for the adherents and everyone else.

I’ll be curious what @Mimishu1995 has to say because of her experiences

NerdyKeith's avatar

@elbanditoroso I get what you are saying, but there are many exceptions to religions consisting of the belief in a supernatural being. Buddhism and Scientology are two examples of religions that don’t have a compulsion to believe in a deity.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@NerdyKeith Obviously you haven’t read the more “advanced” Scientology literature. They have the god Xenu, possibly the most ridiculous god and creation story ever invented. For obvious reasons, this aspect of the religion is kept hidden from the members of the congregation until they’ve earned level Operating Thetan III (OT III), which is Scientology Speak for “thoroughly brainwashed.”

JLeslie's avatar

I think there is all sorts of crossover. I think religion in a way is like a government providing rules or “God’s law” as a guideline for how to live within a society.

Communism and fascism substitute their leader as someone to worship or to replace God.

They all are trying to control people to supposedly better society. Sometimes you get a really bad leader whether it be in government or a religion who is simply selfish, criminal by anyone’s definition, and is only out for his own power, popularity, and to feed a sickness he has.

Even in democracies like the US you can see that some people worship their political leaders of choice like they can do no wrong. I think people like that are probably predisposed to wanting, or being accustomed to, being obedient and having rules to follow without question. These same people might be very religious, having a strong faith in God, and also having an almost blind faith in their chosen political leaders.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Religion would be a stretch. Ideology is the word common to both organized religion and systems of government. To me, the glaring traits defining all 3 of them would be the marked necessity for coercion and the pronounced intolerance of dissent.

kritiper's avatar

No. I have never seen or heard of an instance where they were one and the same.

marinelife's avatar

No. They are political systems.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@JLeslie “Even in democracies like the US you can see that some people worship their political leaders of choice like they can do no wrong.”

I think it goes a bit beyond “some people”. As a nation/culture we’re basically deified certain past presidents. Hell, the rotunda dome in the U.S. Capitol building features a painting titled The Apotheosis of Washington (apotheosis being the term in Greek mythology when a mortal man achieved godhood).

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