Communism as a "religious" meme (renamed thread)

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Wed 07 May 2003 - 13:21:08 GMT

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    At 11:22 AM 07/05/03 +0100, Vincent wrote:
    > Hi Everyone,
    > A couple of brief comments.
    > <To point this discussion back to memes, particularly *religious
    >memes* what
    > > went on between the Soviet bloc and the rest of the world was really a
    > > religious war--against communism. I think it will eventually be
    > > recognized
    > > that communism was in competition for the religious meme receptor site in
    > > human mental "space" and that the wars were a continuation of a very long
    > > series of religious wars.>
    > >
    > > Communism and capitalism are not synonymous with religions. They are
    > > ideological yes, but they are not based on claimed divine revelation, but
    > > based on models of economics. The difference comes in terms of prediction
    > > and interpretation of economic, political and social trends. Fukuyama, is
    > > his USAnian cocoon may presume the argument between the two is over, and
    > > others may concur, but the limitations and inequities of capialism that
    > > Marxian critiques reveal all too easily just wont go away.

    Not sure who did this, I missed it.

    I don't think capitalism is in the religious class of memes where communism either is or is in a super class that includes religions as we generally think of them. (And is generally recognized as an offspring of Christianity where God is replaced by "the people.")

    While all memes compete for "running time" to some degree, being a capitalist, for example a business owner, does not (as far as I know) reduce the chances a person is a Baptist or a Methodist. Being a communist
    *does* massively decrease the chances such a person self identifies as a member of any religion.

    (And in any case, communists of the soviet stripe *were* capitalists. If you are going to have an industrial state, you must have capital equipment. Where they differed was who owned/controlled the equipment.)

    > Maybe, following that Horizon show the other night that was on about
    >religiousity in the temporal lobe (and parietal lobe, reduced blood flow to
    >this region during both christian prayer and buddhist meditation
    >apparently), we should examine devout capitalists and communists to see what
    >happens to their brains when asked to think about their ideologies?

    That's a good idea. It offers an alternative to my "competition for binding to the religious meme receptor site in human mental space" way of measuring how "religious" a meme is.

    Keith Henson

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