Christianity: The original socialism?

Universal equality – the core tenet of socialism and die neue SS – emerged in 1792 with the French Revolution.

Or so the textbook story goes.

But as ever, the only thing new in the world is the history you didn’t know yet, and so it is that we have the priviledge of being alive to witness the impotent vestiges of not one but two distinct socialist platforms sputtering through mouthfulls of blood for breath, unsure exactly where the lung-piercing shots came from. From on high, yes, but where on high ?

Starting at the end, the second platform, which emerged from the first but was never particularly well disguised about it, looking more like Inspector Clouseau pretending to be a contortionist in the Cirque than the ostensible deity it wholly imagined itself to be,i was the nation state with its attendant pretenses to representative democracy. As the franchise expanded, the inevitable degradation in the quality and meaningfulness of each individual vote was entirely disproportionate (in the negative direction) relative to the objective dilution factor. This, on account of Sewage In Wine nonlinearities.ii The result was that, over time, as always and everywhere happens with fundamentally broken software implementations, the sewage set in and demagoguery found its proper footing, leading to all kinds of dumb fun.iii

But there’s nothing new under the sun and before the nation state was your milky-titted mother and firm-handed father, it was organised religion that aimed to supplant the family unit as the pinnacle of social, political, and economic relevance. But was Christianity really the ultimate progenitor of this trend as has been elsewhere claimed ?iv To quote Peter Brown from a book you almost certainly haven’t read (but really ought to)v :

When we talk of the rise of Christianity in the city of the Mediterranean, we are speaking of the density of an exceptionally labile and structurally unstable fragment of sectarian Judaism. The mission of Saint Paul (from about A.D. 32 to about A.B. 60) and of similar apostles had consisted of gathering the Gentiles into a new Israel, made available to them at the end of time by the messiahship of Jesus. In practice, this new Israel was formed among pagans who had been attracted, with varying degrees of commitment, to the influential Jewish communities of the cities of Asia Minor and the Aegean and to the large Jewish community in Rome. In its view of itself, the new Israel was a “gathering in” : Jesus, as Messiah, had broken down previous “walls of division.” Paul in his letter recited the traditional catalogues of opposed groups of persons – Jew and Gentile, slave and freeman, Greek and barbarian, male and female – in order to declare that such categories had been eradicated within the new community. The sole initiation into the group – a single purificatory bathvi – was presented by Paul as a stripping away of the garments of all previous social and religious categories, and the putting on of Christ, by which Paul meant the gaining by each believer of a single, uncompartmented identity, as befitted “sons of God” newly adopted “in Christ.”

Sound familiar ? It should! It’s the same playbook the colonies have been semi-illiterately reading from since Roosevelt built the TSA precursor at Ft. Knox,vii viz. : Step One, unite merry band of scammers à la Robin Hood ; Step two, charm plebes with tales of nonexistent castes, which is so ridiculous it actually comes full circle and sounds plausible to their dumb ears ; Step three, convince plebes that you’ll wave away the inequity of olde with your magic wand in exchange for their financial and political support ; Step four, ???? ; Step five, PROFIT!!11!

It’s an age-old strategy for fleecing chumps, but can we really give all the credit to Paul et al. for this master plan ? Let’s continue reading and see :

It is important to note at the outset the crucial difference between the widespread morality adopted by the Christians and the codes of behaviour current among the civic elites. Much of what is claimed as distinctively “Christian” in the morality of the early churches was in reality the distinctive morality of a different segment of Roman society from those we know from the literature of the wellborn.

It was a morality of the socially vulnerable. In modestly well-to-do households the mere show of power was not available to control one’s slaves or womenfolk. As a result, concern for intimate order, for intimate restraints on behaviour, for fidelity between spouses and obedience within the household acted out “in singleness of heart, fearing God,” tended to be that much more acute. Obedience on the part of servants, fair dealings between partners, and the fidelity of spouses counted for far more among men more liable to be fatally injured by sexual infidelity, by trickery, and by the insubordination of their few household slaves than were the truly wealthy and powerful.

Because violence, like all action, is expensive – too expensive for you, in fact – so the weaker but not totally destitute men made the most of their meagre resources, as is their prerogative, and enforced order the only way available to them : like women. Sometimes this means deferring to rules from God, sometimes from the state, but always from somewhere external to the household so as to deflect blame and simultaneously create a +1 Mystical Stick of Mighty Enforcement that JUST MIGHT BE UNDER YOUR BED LIKE A MONSTER. Because what else ? Admit that you won’t beat your slaves and your women… because you can’t ? Not because reasons, but because you’re not good enough ?viii Anyways, it should be plainly obvious that middle class cuckoldry is nothing new. That you didn’t call the delivery guy from the flower shop a “fucking cunt” and ask for a full refund on the spot, but instead told him that “not to worry, mistakes happen” when he messed up your Mother’s Day order and gave you geraniums instead of lilies, actually carries on the long-standing tradition of modestly well-to-do folks like yourself being socially, and therefore physically, unable to speak your mind firmly and confidently, like a man, and instead resorting to indirect means of manipulation and control, like a woman.ix

So it is that we find – regardless of age, whether Stone or Bronze or Siliconex – that people are still people, beneath which animals are still animals,xi and so on and so forth all the way down to the dirt. We’re the same masses of organic matter that we’ve always been. The differences evident between us, then, come down to technology, how we use it, and the emergent power obtained therefrom. This once meant harnessing fire, then a blink of a cosmic eye later meant the water wheel, and now means Bitcoin.

There’s never been universal equality – not in Rome, not in France, not in the lands of the Noble Savage, and not anywhere before or since – there’s just never been less place to bury that truth than there is today.

That’s why you’re just noticing now. Late, as ever.

___ ___ ___

  1. So much for fake it ’till you make it. []
  2. Or as Taleb puts it :

    In Las Vegas at a conference, I explained fragility as nonlinearity: mix a $2,000 bottle of wine with a $10 one. The 2 bottles will be worth less than $1,005 each.

    See also der logs. []

  3. Even up to today. []
  4. MP has been the leading proponent of this theory, as seen here and here (and probably elsewhere as well – Trilema is a beast), but it’s unknown how married he is to this hypothesis. He doesn’t usually deal in shades of grey (metaphorically speaking), but I’ll still let him chime in on his own. He’s no stranger to the comments section. []
  5. A History of Private Life : From Rome to Byzantium, edited by Paul Veyne, pp 257 – 261. . []
  6. With barriers to entry knee-high to a grasshoppers, what could you hope for other than worms and mud ? Not that this prevented them from trying to press worm-flavoured mud bullets with the only organic matter on-hand. []
  7. In the sense of security theatre. []
  8. Yes, goodness comes from action, not from inaction, ya bunch of fuckin’ buddhists. []
  9. Socialism being always and everywhere a tool of the feminine, which may or may not also be the Jewish lightning rod. []
  10. Blah blah workstation CPUs blah blah… Fuck that! TITTIES UBER ALLES!!!1 []
  11. For the record, anyone and anything without independance of thought, which in turn requires independence of finances is for all intents and purposes an animal. Wage slaves aren’t sufficiently different from chickens in a coop to warrant further analysis. []

4 thoughts on “Christianity: The original socialism?

  1. flosss says:

    Christianity and the church had previously been very powerful entities among a number of different empires throughout history. Though the church doesn’t actually hold a place in Parliament or the House of Commons today, I don’t think we’re nearly as secular in North America as anyone thinks. It’s way more subversive today. Today it’s about selling Satanism to the Democrats and selling this suicidally austere style of Puritanical Christian dogma to Republicans to keep the asleep from smelling how much shit the US and other “White” countries have stepped in, then use partisan allegiance to divide and conquer. And it’s government that’s been peddling it for decades.

    Maybe it was Oscar Wylde who said it, but people get the government they deserve. Nothing could be more true today. Right now, members of the lower middle class have their backs against the wall, and are being forced to decide: Do I get stronger? or do I get weaker? Most weaken because at least then you will be in good company…

    I’ve always wondered how people don’t recognize the paradox of government. How can you not expect an entity supposedly dedicated to the “humble” task of civil service and representation, given so much power and influence not to become a corrupt rotting mass given a generation of unchecked political incest and profiteering?

    That last excerpt is basically the difference between an honor culture and a culture of dignity. But again, dignity is a paradox since you have none if you cannot justify being poor as being out of your control, and cannot defend yourself against theft and injury without resorting to socialized solutions such as the police or public shaming.

    • Most of the lower-middle class weaken for purely economic, rather than social, reasons. It requires far less resource expenditure to take it in the ass than it does to give it in the ass. This comes back to that old active vs. passive observation.

      “People,” to the extent that they even recognise a rotting tooth in their own stupid mouths, greatly prefer a powerful and corrupt political body to oversee social and economics affairs, be that body the state or the church, again because it’s cheaper for them. It’s never been otherwise and nor could we reasonably expect that to change. Biology is ruthlessly efficient, usually in ways that brutally defy the models of econophasters and their ilk.

      Not sure that I see how poverty can in any way, shape, or form be “dignified” (on the contrary, I find it really rather shameful behaviour), but I suppose that the sorts of mental illness correlated with financial imbecility may well also be highly correlated with unwarranted delusions of grandeur.

  2. […] foe – neither Russian nor Chinese nor Muslim – so it turned back the clock to find its Christian roots in order to find an enemy in Satan. It’s kinda lulzy looking back at it now, even […]

  3. […] and I’ll still go to heaven.iii Or so the theory of ostrich-with-its-head-in-the-sand “morality” […]

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