Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Heaven Is A Place On Earth

In this world we're just beginning
To understand the miracle of living
Baby I was afraid before
But I'm not afraid anymore

Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth?
Ooh heaven is a place on earth
They say in heaven love comes first
We'll make heaven a place on earth
~from "Heaven Is A Place On Earth"~

If you read a description of socialism penned by conservatives -- particularly conservative Christians -- you quickly get the idea that it would represent the kind of society few would want to live in. They characterize it as life where the many take from the few and this is all accomplished through the brutality of the state.

I've always found this critique to be both laughable and ironic. The irony is that the socialist society envisioned by Karl Marx closely resembles the fundamentalist view of the Christian heaven. It is a place where all basic needs are met, everyone lives in harmony -- no war or crime -- and people are afforded the opportunity to develop their love for beauty and poetry.

In other words, it's a world view based on cooperation and community which is in direct opposition to our current society which focuses on competition and individualism.

Since both the Christian heaven and socialist ideology appear to embrace the same concepts, why are today's conservatives so dead set against the latter?

The answer is tied up in the neurotic nature of competition.

Competition is predicated on the idea of winners and losers. If one person or group is to be victorious, then another person or group must be vanquished. The embracers of competition don't want all boats to be raised at the same time, only the "worthy" ones and, of course, they have a very narrow definition of what is or is not worthy.

So, while heaven and socialistic society seem to share common themes, there is one crucial difference: in socialism, the utopian paradise applies across the board, while, in heaven, it ONLY applies to the chosen few -- the true believers.

Consequently, the truth of the matter is that conservatives are terrified of a socialistic society precisely because it applies to each and every person equally. If it could be attained in human society, it might well turn throngs of people away from religion as we would each be able to see that heaven could be a place on earth.

1 comment:

  1. Heaven is in the heart, if we but see it there.

    And if they were true believers, they would know that.



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