Religion and the left

Kevin Quinn kquinn at
Wed Jun 3 08:57:59 PDT 1998

On Wed, 3 Jun 1998, James Farmelant wrote:

> As Harrington
> suggested people who think that they have only one life to live will
> probably (other things being equal) be more likely to fight for national
> health
> care than people who look forward to an afterlife. I think that the
> 'young'
> Marx's assertion that the criticism of religion is the beginning of all
> criticism still holds true today.

I'm new to the list today, so I apologize if I repeat what's already been said inadvertently.

An interesting twist on Marx here can be found in Hannah Arendt's work, *The Human Condition* in particular. She argues that Christianity and capitalism together destroyed the public realm and with it the possibility of a politics whose focus is the world we have in common, as opposed to a politics that amounts to the clash of self-interested maximizing atoms. She claims that the public realm, prior to Christianity, was the place where mortals sought immortality through action and speech that would be remembered. Christianity's message of eternal life made such a quest for immortality in the public world moot.

Kevin Quinn kquinn at

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