Marxist–Leninist atheism


Marxist–Leninist atheism

Communism, as originally laid out by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, required the abolition of all religion in order to reach its ideal end-state. It was interpreted in this fashion by Vladimir Lenin and the Governments of the Soviet Union until the country's dissolution. Other communist states adopted similar doctrines and combativeness towards religion.

Many non-Soviet Marxists deferred from the traditional antireligious stance adopted by Marx, Engels or Lenin, and in important forms of Marxist thinking, such as in Liberation theology movements in Latin America, the antireligious doctrine was rejected entirely.

Contents

Influence of Feuerbach and Left Hegelians

Marx, from the earliest times in his career, had been heavily involved in debates surrounding the philosophy of religion in early-19th century Germany. Bitter controversies surrounding the proper interpretation of the Hegelian philosophical legacy greatly formed Marx’s thinking about religion. The Hegelians considered philosophy as an enterprise meant to serve the insights of religious comprehension, and Hegel had rationalized the fundamentals of the Christian faith in his elaborate philosophy of Spirit. Hegel, while being critical of contemporary dogmatic religion, retained deep intellectual interest in the ontological and epistemological beliefs of Christianity.[1] His philosophy was compatible with theological views, and religious explanations of the deepest questions of Being were considered unquestionably valuable by him, but needing additional clarification, systematization and argumentative justification.[2] His philosophy worked as a conceptual enterprise based upon the truths of his faith. His legacy was debated after his death in 1831 between the ‘Young Hegelians’ and materialist atheists, including especially the German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach. Marx sided with the materialist atheists in his rejection of all forms of religious philosophy, including the most liberal forms of such, and Feuerbach greatly influenced him. Feuerbach wanted to separate philosophy from religion and to give philosophers intellectual autonomy from religion in their interpretation of reality. Feuerbach objected to Hegel’s philosophical notions that he believed were based on his religious views.

Feuerbach attacked the conceptual foundations of theology and wanted to undermine religion by introducing a new religion of humanity (see: God-Building) by redirecting fundamental human concerns of dignity, the meaning of life, morality and purpose of existence within an invented atheistic religion that did not hold belief in anything supernatural, but which would serve as an answer to these concerns. Feuerbach considered that the antithesis of human and divine was based on an antithesis between human nature generally and individual humans [3], and came to the conclusion that humanity as a species (but just not as individuals) possessed within itself all the attributes that merited worship and that people had created God as a reflection of these attributes.[4] He wrote

But the idea of deity coincides with the idea of humanity. All divine attributes, all the attributes which make God God, are attributes of the species – attributes which in the individual are limited, but the limits of which are abolished in the essence of the species, and even in its existence, in so far as it has its complete existence only in all men taken together.[5]

Feuerbach wanted to destroy all religious commitments and to encourage an intensive hatred towards the old God. All religious institutions needed to be eradicated from the earth and from the memory of coming generations, so that they would never again find power over people’s minds through their deception and promotion of fear from the mystical forces of God. It was this thinking that the young Karl Marx was deeply attracted by, and Marx adopted much of Feuerbach’s thought into his own philosophical worldview. Marx considered that the higher goals of humanity would justify any radicalism, both intellectual as well as social/political radicalism in order to achieve its ends.

Marx

In his rejection of all religious thought, Marx considered the contributions of religion over the centuries to be unimportant and irrelevant to the future of humanity. The autonomy of humanity from the realm of supernatural forces was considered by Marx as an axiomatic ontological truth that had been developed since ancient times, and he considered it to have an even more respectable tradition than Christianity. Atheistic philosophy had, in his view, liberated human beings from suppressing their natural potential and allowed for people to realize that they, rather than any supernatural force that required obedience, were the masters of reality. Marx’s hatred for religion was based especially upon this view in that he believed religion alienated humans from reality and held them back from their true potential. He therefore considered that religion needed to be absolutely eliminated from society.

Of course, in periods when the political state as such is born violently out of civil society, when political liberation is the form in which men strive to achieve their liberation, the state can and must go as far as the abolition of religion, the destruction of religion. But it can do so only in the same way that it proceeds to the abolition of private property, to the maximum, to confiscation, to progressive taxation, just as it goes as far as the abolition of life, the guillotine.[6]

Marx came to see that religion was determined by the economic superstructure and therefore he believed that liberating the working class would lead to an end to religion. He wrote much about these things before he had much developed his ideas concerning the abolition of private property and communism. Hostility towards religion was in fact the beginning of Marx’s philosophical career and it preceded dialectic materialism. It became critically fused with his economic and social ideas in his claim that religion, along with all other forms of thought, was the product of material conditions and the distribution of property. When the economic structures that created religion were destroyed, religion assumedly would disappear with it. He therefore believed that religion needed to be combated through a pragmatic approach of attacking the economic base of religion and to attack the causes of religion. He considered that religion was an opiate that people needed in order to support themselves in harsh conditions of life, and he furthermore held the view that these harsh conditions were kept in place with the support of religion. In order to eliminate religion, he therefore held that he needed to eliminate the harsh conditions that caused people to hold illusory superstitions that comforted them, and in order to eliminate these conditions he concluded that religion, since it supported the existence of such conditions, therefore needed to be eliminated.

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.[7]

In this way he transformed Feuerbach’s attack on religion from a mainly philosophical critique into a call for physical action. He therefore held that atheism was the philosophical foundation stone of his ideology, but in itself was insufficient.

Communism begins from the outset (Owen) with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction.[8]

The intellectual atheism held by Feuerbach ad others of his time, was transformed by Marx into a more sophisticated consideration and critique of material conditions responsible for religion.

Feuerbach starts out from the fact of religious self-alienation, of the duplication of the world into a religious world and a secular one. His work consists in resolving the religious world into its secular basis. But that the secular basis detaches itself from itself and establishes itself as an independent realm in the clouds can only be explained by the cleavages and self-contradictions within this secular basis. The latter must, therefore, in itself be both understood in its contradiction and revolutionized in practice. Thus, for instance, after the earthly family is discovered to be the secret of the holy family, the former must then itself be destroyed in theory and in practice. Feuerbach, consequently, does not see that the “religious sentiment” is itself a social product, and that the abstract individual whom he analyses belongs to a particular form of society.[9]

Dialectical materialism had the task of offering itself as an alternative to religious views of creation. Human beings were the natural products of the interplay of material forces and there was no room for supernatural interference in human destiny. Religion had originally come about, according to Marx, as a kind of escape of the exploited classes from the harsh realities of existence and an illusion that comforted one in the hope of a future reward. Although this was its origin with the oppressed classes, the ruling classes had taken control of religion and used it as a tool of emotional and intellectual control of the masses. Marx considered Christianity to have been like this, in its origin as a religion for slaves hoping for a reward after their harsh existence, but in later becoming a kind of deceptive ideology that the ruling classes used to maintain the status quo.

It is self-evident, moreover, that “spectres,” “bonds,” “the higher being,” “concept,” “scruple,” are merely the idealistic, spiritual expression, the conception apparently of the isolated individual, the image of very empirical fetters and limitations, within which the mode of production of life and the form of intercourse coupled with it move.[10]

The Christian religion had begun as spiritual protests against the conditions of life wherein lower classes believed that they were supernaturally favoured over the richer ruling classes, and had deteriorated from its original goals into a kind of false consolation for people who accepted their subjection. This degeneration was viewed negatively in Marxist-Leninist tradition, as a kind of perversion, of the original noble goals of the movement, by the social and cultural elite. This perversion partly justified the extremes of revolutionary action in order to dismember Christianity and replace it with atheism.

Marx’s hostility towards religion lessened in his later career when he wrote less about the subject and had less enthusiasm about combating religious belief through atheistic propaganda. He would come to consider later in his life that religion would disappear naturally through the richness of ideas that would emerge from a rationalized order of communistic social life.This idea, however, would later be attacked by Lenin and the succeeding Soviet establishment even to the point of violence and purges directed at proponents of this ‘rightist’ or ‘mechanicist’ idea of religion disappearing on its own.[11]

In his later life he wrote only about a need to separate religion from the state, but he still found himself deeply hostile to religious belief. He believed that belief in God was deeply immoral and anti-human. Marx adopted the views of a unscholarly diatribe later in life that claimed Christians offered human sacrifices, and cannibalistically consumed human blood and flesh.[12] He believed that Christianity had been dealt a deathblow by the diatribe. The fact that he continued to write this way (i.e., attacking Christianity with propaganda) in his later life may have demonstrated a lack of confidence that Christianity would disappear on its own through economic changes.

The atheistic element of Communism would be intensified in later Marxist movements after his death.

Engels

Engels wrote, independently of Marx, on contemporary issues, including religious controversies. In his works ‘Anti-Düring’ and ‘Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Ideology, he engaged in criticism on the idealistic world-view in general, including religious outlooks on reality. He considered that religion was a fantastic reflection in the mind of the powers which caused miserable conditions in earlier stages of history. He believed that increasing humanity’s control over its existence, would eliminate these fantasies that were produced as a result of humanity’s desperation with the world it lived in. Since belief in God came about as a result of a need in people for there to be some control over their existence, he therefore reasoned that by eliminating this need, religion (the reflection of this need) would gradually disappear.

And when this act has been accomplished, when society, by taking possession of all means of production and using them on a planned basis, has freed itself and all its members from the bondage in which they are now held by these means of production which they themselves have produced but which confront them as an irresistible alien force, when therefore man no longer merely proposes, but also disposes — only then will the last alien force which is still reflected in religion vanish; and with it will also vanish the religious reflection itself, for the simple reason that then there will be nothing left to reflect.[13]

Engels considered religion as a false consciousness, and utterly incompatible with communism. Engels, in his lifelong contacts with leaders of Social Democratic and Communist parties in Europe as well as the founders of the First International (the 19th century political union of communist movements), urged them to disseminate and cultivate atheism as the only admissible worldview.[14] He also called for scientific education on a massive scale in order to overcome the fears and illusions of people who required a religious explanation for the world around them. He believed that science would provide an explanation for things that people had formerly required religious concepts to fulfill, and by providing this explanation, people would no longer feel a need to have religion for this purpose. He wrote much about contemporary great scientific discoveries and used them to support the principles of dialectical materialism in all his popular works intended for the ordinary masses in the Communist movements. These included discoveries in biology, physics, chemistry, anthropology and psychology, all of which Engels used to argue against a need for religious explanations of the world.[15] He believed that science would make humanity confident of its own self and to embrace its proper lordship over reality. It would give humanity the ability to control the world he lived in and therefore to overcome the harsh conditions that produced a need in people to believe in a God that controlled the universe. In his view scientific advancement in his time was justifying the materialist and atheistic outlook on the world that dialectical materialism held. Speculative philosophy and rational theology became obsolete in light of scientific advancement.

The real unity of the world consists in its materiality, and this is proved not by a few juggled phrases, but by a long and wearisome development of philosophy and natural science.[16]

He also believed that scientific advancement required atheistic materialism to be changed as well and to become scientific rather than being a philosophy apart from the sciences.

This modern materialism, the negation of the negation, is not the mere re-establishment of the old, but adds to the permanent foundations of this old materialism the whole thought-content of two thousand years of development of philosophy and natural science, as well as of the history of these two thousand years. It is no longer a philosophy at all, but simply a world outlook which has to establish its validity and be applied not in a science of sciences standing apart, but in the real sciences. Philosophy is therefore "sublated" here, that is, "both overcome and preserved" {D. K. G. 503}; overcome as regards its form, and preserved as regards its real content.[17]

Engels’ views on the need for scientific education and the need for materialistic atheism to rely on science, spread widely among Communists and it would later become a fundamental position of Soviet education, which had an atheistic hostility to all forms of religious belief.

Lenin

Vladimir Lenin followed this tradition, and considered religion as an opiate that must be always combated by true socialists.[18] He adapted the ideological ideas of Marx and Engels to the particular context of Russia and his interpretation of Marxism and its antireligious doctrine was influenced by the intellectual tradition of his own country. Lenin considered that religion in Russia was the chief ideological tool of the ruling classes to exploit the masses in that it taught subjects to be submissive to their exploiters and it assisted the conscience of the exploiters to believe that acts of charity would merit eternal life.

Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people, over burdened by their perpetual work for others, by want and isolation. Impotence of the exploited classes in their struggle against the exploiters just as inevitably gives rise to the belief in a better life after death as impotence of the savage in his battle with nature gives rise to belief in gods, devils, miracles, and the like. Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven. Religion is opium for the people. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze, in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man.[19]

Since religion was the ideological tool that kept the system in place, Lenin believed atheistic propaganda to be of critical necessity. To this effect, before the revolution Lenin’s faction devoted a significant portion of their meagre resources to antireligious propaganda, and even during the civil war, Lenin devoted much of his personal energy towards the anti-religious campaign. The influence of the Orthodox church especially needed to be weakened in order to undermine the Tsarist regime. The populace also needed to be prepared in order to make a transition from religious beliefs to atheism, as Communism would require of them.[20] Lenin considered atheism and theoretical ideas, not as important in themselves, but as weapons to use in the class struggle in order to overthrow the ruling classes that supported themselves with religion. For this reason he considered it important to maintain an intellectually enlightened Party that did not hold religious superstitions, and he considered that a true socialist must be an atheist. Theoretical debates and abstract philosophical or theological ideas could not be understood in isolation from the material conditions of society. Lenin did not believe in the existence of objective and neutral academic research, because he considered, in the tradition of historical materialism, that all intellectual activity was perpetrated and maintained by class interests. He believed that philosophical debates were always partisan, and his 1909 work ‘Materialism and Empirio-criticism’ was written from this perspective and he also kept extensive notes from the works of Aristotle, Descartes, Kant and Hegel, in which he believed questions concerning the ideological class struggle could be answered.[21] Lenin had no tolerance for any trace of idealism in the views of either his opponents or his collaborators, and considered that anything short of a fully atheistic materialist outlook was a concession to the ideological dominance of the ruling classes and their religious beliefs. He considered religion to be political by nature and the primary target of ideological attacks. Lenin considered militant atheism to be so critical to his faction that he went beyond the Russian atheist tradition of Belinsky, Herzen and Pisarev and organized a systematic, aggressive and uncompromising movement of antireligious agitation. He founded a whole institution of professional atheist propagandists in the USSR who spread all over the country after 1917 and who were the ‘foot-soldiers’ of the antireligious campaigns meant to eliminate religion so as to make the populace atheists. Lenin’s unequivocal hostile intolerance towards religious belief became a distinctive feature of Ideological Soviet Atheism, which was contrasted with milder antireligious views of Marxists outside the USSR. His hostility to religion allowed no compromises, such that it even alienated leftist religious believers who sympathised with the Bolsheviks. It even alienated some leftist atheists who were willing to accommodate religious beliefs.[22] Attacking religion became far more important for Lenin than it had been for Marx. A prominent Bolshevik leader and later USSR Commissar for Enlightenment, Anatoli Lunacharsky, was attacked by Lenin for attempting to accommodate pseudo-religious sentiments in the world-view of Communism. Lunacharsky had carried ideas similar to Feuerbach’s notion of replacing religion with a new atheistic religion that had a place for the sentiments, ceremonies and meanings of religion, but which was compatible with science and possessed no supernatural beliefs (see: God-Building) . Lunacharsky considered that while religion was false and was used as a tool of exploitation, it still cultivated emotion, moral values and desires among masses of people, which the Bolsheviks should take over and manipulate rather than abolish. These products of religion should have been transformed into humanistic values of a communist morality rather than abolished, when they formed the basis of the psychological and moral integrity of masses of people. By replacing traditional religion with a new atheistic religion wherein humanity was worshipped rather than God, socialism would achieve much better success, according to Lunacharsky. He believed this would have less confrontation and abuse of the culture and historical tradition of European civilization.[23] Lenin was enraged with this idea of Lunacharsky, however, because he considered it a concession to religious belief, and therefore harmful in the extreme. He claimed it ignored the fact that religion was an ideological tool of suppression of the masses, and he claimed that Lunacharsky’s ideas were a dangerous and unnecessary compromise with the reactionary forces of the Russian empire. Militant atheism became the testing principle of sincerity of Marxist commitment to Lenin, and it was a violation of the principles of socialism to compromise even in this way, wherein no supernatural beliefs were invoked, with religious ideas.[24] Marx had earlier rejected Feuerbach’s proposal for an atheistic religion, and Lenin looked to it as his example. He believed that even the slightest compromise with religious belief would degenerate under intense political pressure into a betrayal of the cause of Communism altogether.[25] A true communist had to be an atheist according to Lenin.

USSR

The policy that began with Lenin and continued for the course of Soviet history was that religion was to be tolerated, but the state was to do whatever it deemed necessary in order to eliminate it[26] Lenin did not see the replacement of religion with atheism as an end to itself, but wrote that it needed to be accompanied by a materialist weltanschauung.

Marxism is materialism. As such, it is as relentlessly hostile to religion as was the materialism of the eighteenth-century Encyclopaedists or the materialism of Feuerbach. This is beyond doubt. But the dialectical materialism of Marx and Engels goes further than the Encyclopaedists and Feuerbach, for it applies the materialist philosophy to the domain of history, to the domain of the social sciences. We must combat religion—that is the ABC of all materialism, and consequently of Marxism. But Marxism is not a materialism which has stopped at the ABC. Marxism goes further. It says: We must know how to combat religion, and in order to do so we must explain the source of faith and religion among the masses in a materialist way. The combating of religion cannot be confined to abstract ideological preaching, and it must not be reduced to such preaching. It must be linked up with the concrete practice of the class movement, which aims at eliminating the social roots of religion.[27]

Marxism as interpreted by Lenin and his successors, required changes in social consciousness and the redirection of people’s beliefs. Soviet Marxism was considered incompatible with belief in the Supernatural. Communism required a conscious rejection of religion or else it could not be established. This was not a secondary priority of the system, nor was it a hostility developed towards religion as a competing or rival system of thought, but it was a core and fundamental teaching of the philosophical doctrine of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.[28] Marxist philosophy traditionally involved a thorough scientific critique of religion and an attempt to ‘demystify’ and destroy religious belief. According to Marxist theory, religion was a product of material conditions and the organization of private property. Working with this premise, the militant atheism of the Soviet leadership initially considered that religion would disappear on its own through the coming of the socialist system. Therefore after the revolution, initially the Bolsheviks gave tolerance to religion with the exception of Orthodoxy which was subject to massive persecutions. When it became clear after the USSR was established that religion was not dying away on its own, the USSR began general antireligious campaigns[29]. Combating religious beliefs was considered an absolute duty by Lenin.[30] The campaigns involved massive amounts of antireligious propaganda, antireligious legislation, atheistic education, antireligious discrimination, harassment, arrests and also campaigns of violent terror. Soviet leaders, propagandists and other militant atheists debated for years over the question of what approach was most pragmatic in order to eliminate religion. The state recruited millions of people, spent billions of roubles, and made incredible efforts towards this end, although it ultimately failed to achieve their goal. The pragmatic nature of the militant atheism of the USSR, meant that some cooperation and tolerance could exist between the regime and religion when it was deemed to be in the best interests of the state or it was found that certain antireligious tactics would deal more harm than good towards the goal of eliminating religion (eg. hardening believers’ religious feelings). These forms of cooperation and tolerance by no means meant that religion did not need to be eliminated ultimately.[31] Militant atheism was a profound and fundamental philosophical commitment of the ideology, and not simply the personal convictions of those who ran the regime[32] As many years passed and religion simply failed to die away, the old Marxist assumptions that religion would disappear with the coming of Communism were revised and reinterpreted. The leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had to admit that religion was a much more enduring form of consciousness than they had earlier assumed. They refused to accept the conclusion that they were responsible for any social malaise that produced a need for religious opiates according to the traditional marxist assumptions for the causes of religion. Instead, they claimed that religion was simply a tenacious relic of the pre-revolutionary world. They readapted old thinking about religion as an opiate to a harsh existence, and claimed the religion was not just the symptom, but the cause of contemporary social problems in the USSR. Religion became a kind of scapegoat for the failures of Soviet ideology under the belief its continued practice by masses of Soviet citizens was holding Soviet society back from achieving the ideal communist state, and therefore responsible for the problems of the USSR.


See also

External links

References

  1. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 9
  2. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 9–10
  3. ^ L. Feuerbach, Essence of Christianity (New York: Harper Torch Books, 1957) pp. 13–14.
  4. ^ L. Feuerbach, Essence of Christianity (New York: Harper Torch Books, 1957) pp. 152.
  5. ^ Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, chapter 16 found at: http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/feuerbach/works/essence/index.htm
  6. ^ Karl Marx, On the Jewish Question, http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/jewish-question/
  7. ^ Karl Marx. A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: Introduction, December 1843 – January 1844, Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, 7 & 10 February 1844, found at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/critique-hpr/intro.htm
  8. ^ Karl Marx. Private Property and Communism, found at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/comm.htm
  9. ^ Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, http://marx.eserver.org/1845-feuerbach.theses.txt
  10. ^ Marx, The German Ideology, http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm
  11. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 24
  12. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 25
  13. ^ Anti-Dühring, Friedrich Engels, http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch27.htm
  14. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 16
  15. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 17
  16. ^ Friedrich Engels, Anti-Dühring, http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/index.htm
  17. ^ Friedrich Engels, Anti-Dühring, 1,13, Negation of a Negation, http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/index.htm
  18. ^ Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, The Attitude of the Workers' Party to Religion. Proletary, No. 45, May 13 (26), 1909. Found at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1909/may/13.htm
  19. ^ Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Socialism and Religion Found at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/dec/03.htm
  20. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 18
  21. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 18–19
  22. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 18–19
  23. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 20
  24. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 20
  25. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 21
  26. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 34
  27. ^ Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, The Attitude of the Workers' Party to Religion. Proletary, No. 45, May 13 (26), 1909. Found at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1909/may/13.htm
  28. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 8
  29. ^ Sabrina Petra Ramet, Ed., Religious Policy in the Soviet Union. Cambridge University Press (1993). P 4
  30. ^ Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, On the Significance of Militant Materialism, March 12, 1922. Found at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1922/mar/12.htm
  31. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 8
  32. ^ Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, St Martin's Press, New York (1987) pg 8–9

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