RELIGION AND COMMUNISM:
FROM THE ALIENATION TO THE EMANCIPATION OF ALL MANKIND
«The social principles of Christianity have now had eighteen hundred years to be developed, and need no further development by Prussian Consistorial Counsellors. The social principles of Christianity justified the slavery of antiquity, glorifies the serfdom of the Middle Ages and are capable, in case of need, of defending the oppression of the proletariat, with somewhat doleful grimaces. The social principles of Christianity preach the necessity of a ruling and an oppressed class, and for the latter all they have to offer is the pious wish that the former may be charitable. The social principles of Christianity place the Consistorial Counsellor’s compensation for all infamies in heaven, and thereby justify the continuation of these infamies on earth. The social principles of Christianity declare all the vile acts of the oppressors against the oppressed to be either a just punishment for original sin and other sins, or trials which the Lord, in his infinite wisdom, ordains for the redeemed. The social principles of Christianity preach cowardice, self-contempt, abasement, submissiveness and humbleness, in short, all the qualities of the rabble, and the proletariat, which will not permit itself to be treated as rabble, needs its courage, its self-confidence, its pride and its sense of independence even more than its bread. The social principles of Christianity are sneaking and hypocritical, and the proletariat is revolutionary ».
[K. Marx, «The communism of Rheinischer Beobachter» ]
During the “G-
It was an evident attempt of the Catholic Church to fill spaces for itself in the middle of the capitalistic economic crisis. The criticism to the “exclusive objective of the profit” and to the “unacceptable differences of wealth” was developed, in fact, to warn the bourgeoisie from the risk of vast workers and popular insurrections, and to solicit some keynesian measures. At the same time Catholic hierarchies reaffirm their necessary support to the system of exploitation.
Sustaining a reformed bourgeois power “as a crutch sustains an invalid” (Gramsci), the Church tries to restore its position, to get recognitions and to achieve political and economic objectives.
Without any doubt, the
This world power, even though historically in defensive and subordinate position, shaken by scandals, crises and internal divisions, more and more distant from the social reality, nevertheless continues to develop a remarkable function, thanks to its ideological apparatus, to the capillary international organization, to the millennial experience, in order: a) to justify and to support the system based on the private ownership of the means of production; b) to weaken and to divide the mass resistance against the capitalistic offensive. Therefore financial oligarchy needs its services.
The relationships among
Today the crisis of hegemony
of USA and the deep economic crisis give breath to the Vatican politics, that
point to a “new evangelization” of the world, on the base of intransigent
positions about "ethically considerable topics" (family, abortion,
sexuality, bio-ethic). To overcome the obstacles that
inevitably meets, pope Ratzinger is trying a
convergence with the reactionary Muslim leaders (see the Islamo-Catholic
Forum developed last year in
The influence that the Catholic Church maintains on the masses is founded on ideological factors, that constitute in their block the "faith that overcomes the reason".
Therefore, in this article we will first deal with the criticism to the religion as ideology; we intend to give concreteness to this criticism specifically analyzing the lines that distinguish the Christianity, a religion that present itself as the only tool of salvation for the man and for the humanity: “Without God - has written Benedict XVI - man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is. In the face of the enormous problems surrounding the development of peoples, which almost make us yield to discouragement, we find solace in the sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, who teaches us: «Apart from me you can do nothing».”
will analyze some aspects of the recent encyclical of pope Ratzinger,
and finally we will delineate some matter of political struggle for the
resolution of the "
Religion as form of spiritual alienation
Alienation is conditio sine qua non for religions existing and constituting itself: if this aspect fault, god and religions didn't exist; according to religion, in fact, in order to give a moral legitimation to himself as person, the man has to place his own moral root in some Absolut (god) supposed existing out of him and to start a relation with him as his creature.
According to religion the alienated relationship man-god is the ground for society and interhuman relationships constituing; all the social duties and rights ruling human relations are deduced from the alienated relationship man-god.
Some consequences follow from this:
god is a concept hypostasis, that is, a concept substantivized as an absolute reality, so the question of god ontological existence is theoretically out of sense, illegitimate;
2) as religion is alienation, it's a form of negative humanism; man, the human world considered in their autonomy are ontologically negatives, they are the not-being and have to be related to an Absolute Being in order to have a moral value. The religious person, as alienated person, is abstract, meta-historical and pre-social.
Marx in his essay On the Jewish Question clearly saw this aspect and pointed out as a condition of emancipation (positive humanism): “All emancipation is a reduction of the human world and relationships to man himself”.
According to Marxian positive humanism, man becomes a person, a human individual, living his time and by his own work. The social-historical dimension neither is the result of a natural evolution, nor has its foundation in a vertical relationship man-god, but it is the result of the work as act of socialization, because by creating human relations in the nature, at the same time it creates the distinction between man and nature: the link between the men is not just biological but social- historical and the former is inscribed in the latter.
In a consistent way Marx in his Theses on Feuerbach wrote: “the essence of man is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In reality, it is the ensemble of the social relations.”. According to Marx, a metaphysical or meta-historical human nature doesn't exist. Human being is what he makes of himself in the history; thus he builds himself as person and as universal value just by creating society.
Person and society are the polarities of human activity in the making.
According to religion the whole issue of the moral concepts system depends on its alienated nature; thus, for example, Christian equality means alienated equality; the concept of political power (political alienation) is legitimized by Christ in the Gospels and by St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans (theocratical conception of sovereignty), and by using god St. Paul legitimized the idea of class society.
3) Every religion claims to be universal, to set in historical reality as the only true religion. As far as Christianity is concerned, this happened in two different ways: Either by interlacing religious and political alienation both in the Ancient Age (Roman Empire) and in the XX Century (nazi-fascism); or by becoming Christianity itself a political alienation, by creating temporal power of the Pope, from the Middle Age to the italian “Risorgimento”, a power also defended by wars, excommunications, persecutions and physical elimination of heretics.Herein follows the doctrinal justification of the practice of violence for the universalisation of historic Christianity. 4) Religion, as alienation, can't lead a historical process of liberation from all alienations (socio-economic, political and spiritual), indeed it consecrates and legitimates them.
Religious equality is an alienated equality
The primitive Christianity affirms moral equality among human beings: "You are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus".”.
Moral-religious equality among human beings, as grounded in god, that is, outside the men, is an alienated equality, abstract and with no universal value, because it's not for all the men, but it's particular, restricted among the members of a sect, in the case of Christianity the baptized people.
According to religious consciousness: a) the moral principle of alienated (as religious) and abstracted (as meta-historical) equality does not fall in contradiction with historical inequalities, that are neither declared unfair nor delegitimated on moral bases; b) social inequality seems to be marginal and belonging to the accidental human existence, which finds indeed its true dimension and freedom in the organized religious life of the Church.
In this interlacement takes place what Marx called “the change of speculation into the empirical”, , a process of “surrection”, namely the introduction of the absoluteness of the holy religious hypostasis (god) in the alienated society; this means that concrete slave society is christianized and its inequality strengthened.
This work of surrection is quite clear in St. Paul when, about christian family, he exhorts the slaves to be submissive to their masters: “Slaves are to be under the control of their masters in all respects, giving them satisfaction, not talking back to them or stealing from them, but exhibiting complete good faith, so as to adorn the doctrine of God our savior in every way.”.
St.Paul's precepts make social slavery and social deprivation sacred in the name of Christ: “Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, willingly serving the Lord and not human beings, knowing that each will be requited from the Lord for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free”.
The same was reiterated in the Letter to Colosseses, where St. Paul wrote: “Slaves, obey your human masters in everything, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but in simplicity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will receive recompense for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality”.
It's clear that St. Paul is using a real form of religious terrorism in order to keep the social status and wrote to the masters: : “treat your slaves justly and fairly, realizing that you too have a Master in heaven”.
This process of absolutization in the name of Christ drives family and slave society to an ideal mystification: a) in fact, a slave family converted to Christianity according to the teachings of St. Paul, remains, in its historical concreteness, a slave family; b) the work of surrection has important consequences for the slave. His religious consciousness obscures in him the consciousness of his status of alienated subject, and neutralizes the will to perform a concrete activity in order to solve the social contradictions and to further social equality, as a concrete form of life, in the historical world where the oppressed people live; at the same time, it instills a hope of liberation in a life-to-come, where everyone will be judged on his/her religious merits. Marx grasped well this aspect when he defined religion as: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.”; it's precisely this aspect of religion that pushed him to define religion the opium of the people, because religion prevents the alienated subject from adquire a consciousness of his social being.
Furthermore, religion as opium of the people is the conceptual premise of the concept of a philosophy that turns the criticism of heaven into a criticism of earth, thus making the two concepts inseparable.
In conclusion Marx, by defining religion opium of the people, grasped the social function of religious alienation in its true essence.
The moral and religious legitimacy of the rich
Christian conception of the rich people and private wealth hold an extremely important role.
Christ made a metaphysical devaluation of eartly wealth , , invited his disciples not to worry about the wealth of the earth, warned them about the danger that richness represents. This devaluation didn't lead Christ neither to condemn eartly wealth as a sin and the rich man as a sinner, nor to declare the moral and religious incompatibility between the status of rich man and the status of christian man, but Christ showed the rich the moral path for himself, like the poor, enjoing the metaphysical reward in the hereafter.
The rich man, in his own metaphysical interest, must live his richness with humility. It is emblematic a passage of St. Luke's Gospel: “An official asked him this question, «Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?» […] Jesus said to him «There is still one thing left for you: sell all that you have and distribute it to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.»”
Christ is the creator of an alienated conception of life and, at the same time, he's a conservative of social alienation of his time; he considers the human reality as having its deepest meaning in the recognition of accidentality of earthly life and postpones to a principle transcending historical reality (god, the kingdom of heaven, or what Marx called “the other-world of truth”); Christ, limited to an alienated conception of life, holds social alienation, legitimizes the rich people, doesn't understand the rich man as the historical root of both rich-poor dichotomy and social alienation, he declares "blessed" the victims of social alienation and casts the need for justice in the hereafter, the kingdom of heaven; religious is, as Marx observed, “the illusory Sun which revolves around man”, “the halo” of the “vale of tears”, the “spiritual aroma” of an alienated world, creator of a happiness “illusory” and so, by not linking phenomenally inhuman reality to the complex structure of social and political alienation, it is “per se” the “self-estrangement in its unholy forms”.
The limit of religion - that doesn't pose the issue of historical liberation of the poors but promises the inner emancipation of the soul after the death - points out the abysmal distance between Marx and Christ.
Marx considered social alienation the moral evil; this very observation leads him to regard the history of of mankind up to the age of the capitalist bourgeoisie as prehistory, because the history of historical forms of alienation and to consider the communism (abolishing social alienation) as the beginning of human history.
The inferiority of woman, "auxiliary" of man
Since the discourse on the origin of man and woman, the subordinate role of women relative to men is established. In fact the woman has no value for herself “in se”), because the value of being a woman is never independent from what women must do for the others..
Woman, for christian thought, is wife, mother, sister, virgin, her place is home, because home is the place where she unrolls her role for the family sake; her exploitation takes place within a framework (the family), within a hierarchy of values that continually say she's is subordinate and make her an alienated subject.
The Genesis states explicitly that God created the woman to give the man “an auxiliary that is convenient for him”; in the Scriptures the woman is blamed as responsible of all sins and she's subjected to the rule of the man; even the fee for the assessment of individuals, fixed by God, confirms the inequality between man and woman and her inferiority: “The LORD said to Moses: «Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When anyone fulfills a vow of offering one or more persons to the LORD, who are to be ransomed at a fixed sum of money, for persons between the ages of twenty and sixty, the fixed sum, in sanctuary shekels, shall be fifty silver shekels for a man, and thirty shekels for a woman; […] for persons between the ages of five and twenty, the fixed sum shall be twenty shekels for a youth, and ten for a maiden; for persons between the ages of one month and five years, the fixed sum shall be five silver shekels for a boy, and three for a girl; for persons of sixty or more, the fixed sum shall be fifteen shekels for a man, and ten for a woman. However, if the one who took the vow is too poor to meet the fixed sum, the person must be set before the priest, who shall determine the sum for his ransom in keeping with the means of the one who made the vow. »”.
Also the matter of virginity of woman is inserted in a hierarchy of values emphasizing women subordination; according to the Bible, virginity is a precious treasure that must be guarded by the vigilant and jealouse care of men, of the family group, especially father and brothers; if the husband charged the wife not to be virgin, wife's father (not woman) was entitled to address to the elders of the city in order to proof his daughter's virginity before marriage. In the Bible rape is faced with a genuine negotiation between the males of the families involved, putting aside the woman, victim of the violence, as she was a thing. Infertility implies a woman-man inequality, too; in fact the sterile woman, unable to fulfill the role of wife-mother, can be repudiated by her husband, this proves woman, according to the precepts of the Bible, has got no value for herself.
Inferiority of women is held after the advent of Christianity, despite the Christ's proclamation of woman-man equality (moral, religious, metaphysical, abstract before god).
St. Paul gave the women, inside the family, a subaltern role, featured by submission to the husband and declared the man the chief of the woman.
So St. Paul wrote in the First letter to the Corinthians: “But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his
wife, […].For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head”(the veil). Whereas, according to the dictates of the Church, the husbands have the duty to love their wives, the latters are “subjected” to their husbands.
And St. Paul wrote about christian family: “Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church […]. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives”. He insisted in his works estabilish christian conception or woman-man relationship; in Letter to the Colosseses: “Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them.”
The immorality of the Bible
Abraham who is the initiator, according to the Gospel of St. Luke, of Jesus's genealogical tree, distinguished himself for his reitereted immorality, as he consolidated the habit of granting his wife's favor in order to get advantages of various kind.
Abram “When he was about to
God didn't blame the patriarch Abraham's immorality, indeed he punished the innocent victims of the deception perpetrated by the pimp.. And it's god, in the Psalms, that inspires the prayer which proclaims the blessedness of those who commit infanticide: “How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones [regard Babele's daughter] against the rock!”
The Scriptures condemn to death the homosexuals and women who maintain sexual relations during menstruations. In Biblical teachings, stonings and incinerations.follow one upon the other. Killers warrented by god are exented from punishment, on the contrary they can always count on divine protection; and indeed, who beats his slave: “If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.”; also, the god of the Bible is extremely generous with those who provoke the abort of a woman; in this case “the guilty one shall be fined as much as the woman's husband demands of him”.
Bible gives a moral and religious value at the religious holocaust and racism
God's love, Ratzinger wrote in
the encyclical Deus caritas est, is an universal love: “God loves man [...] His love,
moreover, is an elective love: among all the nations he chooses
But god's love is a real universal love? Mithological tale of the Bible shows god's love as a particular one, a love just for his people (Israel); god requires his people the religious duty to practice the slaughter of their enemy (herem), followers of religions different from worship of Jahvé, that is, against religious freedom.
The ferocious crime and the use of genocide ordered by god are a constant of the Old Testament. In this regard we would like to quote two emblematic cases: in Numbers, god requires “sons of Israel” the duty to exterminate the Midianites: “The LORD said to Moses: «Avenge the Israelites on the Midianites, and then you shall be taken to your people». […] They waged war against the Midianites, as the LORD had commanded Moses, and killed every male among them. [...] But the Israelites kept the women of the Midianites with their little ones as captives, and all their herds and flocks and wealth as spoil, while they set on fire all the towns where they had settled and all their encampments. Then they took all the booty, with the people and beasts they had captured, and brought the captives, together with the spoils and booty, to Moses [...]. «So you have spared all the women! [Moses] exclaimed. Slay, therefore, every male child and every woman who has had intercourse with a man. But you may spare and keep for yourselves all girls who had no intercourse with a man»”; in another passage of the Scriptures, god orders Joshua to slaughter enemy populations: “Joshua conquered the entire country; the mountain regions, the Negeb, the foothills, and the mountain slopes, with all their kings. He left no survivors, but fulfilled the doom on all who lived there, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded. .”
The god of the Bible admits racist and religious slavery and clearly declares the religious legitimacy of slavery grounded on the race, with the only exception of Israel's sons.
In fact god says in Leviticus: “Since those whom I brought out of the land of Egypt are servants of mine, they shall not be sold as slaves to any man. [...] Slaves, male and female, you may indeed possess, provided you buy them from among the neighboring nations. You may also buy them from among the aliens who reside with you and from their children who are born and reared in your land. Such slaves you may own as chattels, and leave to your sons as their hereditary property, making them perpetual slaves”.
Christianity of Christ and historical Christianity preserve political alienation.
between Christianity of Christ and historical Christianity for decades has been
underpinned by Catholics to avoid falling on Christ the moral and ideological
roots of crimes made by historical Christianity held in the Church. The
historically occurred atrocities, it is argued, are due not to the teaching of
Christ but to the fact that Church has become Constantinian,
from the late
Christ prevented the formation of a consciousness of the state of oppression, he stifled any possibility of building a path of political emancipation, he supported subjectively and objectively political alienation: “«Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?» Knowing their malice, Jesus said, «Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax.» Then they handed him the Roman coin. He said to them, «Whose image is this and whose inscription?» They replied, «Caesar's.» At that he said to them, «Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.»”
Also St. Paul, referring to Christ's teaching that we must “Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's”, legitimates ethical-religious political authority (Caesar) and the Roman Empire, the ideal and practical conservation of politics alienation and its reinforcement emerge in S. Paul in total continuity with what enunciated by Christ.
“Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil. Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it, for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer. Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience. This is why you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due”.
The dogmatic-fideistic illusion of the relationship divine world - natural and historical world.
The problem of the metaphysics of transcendence is the problem of the relationship between the absolute reality (God, the world of ideas) and the historical and natural world, that is the demonstration of the derivation of the latter from the former.
Christianity has not been able to provide this demonstration in two millennia of philosophical and theological reflection, and this is not because of a lapsus but because of an intrinsic theoretical limit;
Hypostatization, substantification of God implies the formation of two disparate worlds, the metaphysical and the historical, between which there can be no theoretical bridge.
In the encyclical Spe Salvi, Benedict XVI identifies this bridge in faith, that is the individual will, bureaucratically administered by the Church as the privileged place of immediate mixing between the two realities: “the present - wrote the pope - is touched by the future reality, and thus the things of the future spill over into those of the present and those of the present into those of the future”.
This immediately mixing of the two realities, this reversal of speculation in the empirical and the latter in the former, characterizes Christianity as intimistic-religious and socially conservative revolution.
The religious world, the civitas dei, can not withdraw into itself as a "pure" world otherwise would loose credits and turn into an utopian, mythical, abstract world; this metaphysical world must necessarily socialize itself, if not it will be a sterile opposition to the present world, it must necessarily realize itself inot in an unhistorical present, but a historically structured one.
This metaphysical world, then, must become history, getting inside historical structures.
And he teaches to Timothy that: “Those who are under the yoke of slavery must regard their masters as worthy of full respect, so that the name of God and our teaching may not suffer abuse. Those whose masters are believers must not take advantage of them because they are brothers but must give better service because those who will profit from their work are believers and are beloved”.
“The universal view
of Christian Paul” is an intimistic-moralistic
universality and its moralistic superposition on historical structures of
submission (slavery) introduces in human being a split between the subjective
and objective sphere. Indeed, in the subjective sphere - that is the moral side
- slave and master are brothers in Christ and it’s for this reason, Paul says,
that they are all descendants of Abraham.
The community of brothers and sisters in Christ - where all, being of Christ, are “Abraham's descendant, heirs according to the promise,” and “all children of God in Christ Jesus” - consists objectively, in the ethos, of historical structures of enslavement (slavery); in them the members of the community differenciate themselves for being “slave” brother and “master” brother, and the first is objectively used by the latter like an object, a mean of production; for his part, the “slave” brother, aware of this brotherhood in Christ, must serve, the “master” brother with “sincerity of heart”, as he served Christ, rather better “He must give better service because those who will profit from his work are believers and are beloved”.
Fideistic intimism, in which masters and slaves are brothers in Christ, has a social conservative function because it imposes to the slave a duty of obedience to the master, that is a moral duty not to solve the real contradictions of slave society.
Benedict XVI recognized this limit of Christianity and in the Enciclycal Spe Salvi excused Christ because “he was not engaged in a fight for political liberation” instead of Spartacus who brought, according to him, “a message of social revolution whose struggle led to so much bloodshed”.
This representation has a merely polemical value, it is an ideological representation, it is an abstract representation because Christ and Spartacus are considered out of the concrete historical situation in which they lived by Benedict XVI, they are not historical but polemical symbols: the historical Spartacus had not as his target the revolutionary resolution of slave society contradictions, so he was not the bearer of a “revolutionary social message”, but he was the symbol of a human initiative of freedom from oppressive domination of the imperialistic Roman Empire.
On the contrary Christ is the messenger of a religious utopia of escape from problems and responsibilities of real life that makes him to dissolve, to simplify, to distort the concrete issues of historical reality in a metaphysical-religious cosmos, rather than to face them in their historicity and to arrange for their historical solution. 
Christ has no awareness of the problematic and dialectical sense of historical reality and, therefore, he lacks the ethically constructive energy of the world of men and he is condemned to act the moralist with the “beautiful soul” that lives in the world not for the world but just to prove in it his purity as a child of God, who provided him, for this reason, with magic powers, to become finally the saviour of, according to Christian mythology, a “sinner” humanity (and in this consist “the opium of the people”).
The crass dogmatism of Benedict XVI leads him to not understand the partial nature of a intimistic revolution that is closed in the religious perspective of the relationship man-god as in the Middle Age at the empirical level, and in the doctrine of the New Testament on the philosophical level.
The modern vision of conservative moralism: the Benedict XVI thought
The moral principle of caritas/agape stated by Benedict XVI in Deus Caritas est, namely love tied to evangelization, has also a social conservative function, in particular conservative of capitalistic system: “With regard to the personnel who carry out the Church's charitable activity on the practical level[...]they must not be inspired by ideologies aimed at improving the world, but should rather be guided by the faith which works through love”; and still: “Christian charitable activity [...] is not a means of changing the world ideologically, and it is not at the service of worldly stratagems, but it is a way of making present here and now the love which man always needs”.
The social conservatism of the Church is further emphasized in the next encyclical, Caritas in veritate: “Through the systemic increase of social inequality, both within a single country and between the populations of different countries (i.e. the massive increase in relative poverty), not only does social cohesion suffer, thereby placing democracy at risk, but so too does the economy, through the progressive erosion of “social capital”: the network of relationships of trust, dependability, and respect for rules, all of which are indispensable for any form of civil coexistence..”
Face the danger of rupture of social capitalist cohesion and its political structure, Benedict XVI proposes to direct: “Man's earthly activity, [because] when inspired and sustained by charity, contributes to the building of the universal city of God, which is the goal of the history of the human family”.
“Charity in truth“ isn't just the “the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity” but a real straitjacket for the historical reality, that replaces the actual development of social relationships, reconstructs it arbitrarily, anticipates it fancifully.
Obviously Benedict XVI could not help but attack Marxism, depicted as a caricature and reduced to a “theory of impoverishment”: “Part of Marxist strategy is the theory of impoverishment: in a situation of unjust power, it is claimed, anyone who engages in charitable initiatives is actually serving that unjust system, making it appear at least to some extent tolerable. This in turn slows down a potential revolution and thus blocks the struggle for a better world. Seen in this way, charity is rejected and attacked as a means of preserving the status quo.”.
Really, historical experience displays the irrelevance of charity for the scope of revolution: the deep social changes featurinng the history of the twentieth century (and also the nineteenth century) happened without being influenced by any alms.
Furthermore, irrelevance of charity is absolute, not just for the overall conditions of life of the poor and oppressed people, but for the single have-not too, who sees no substantial change into his life and the network of social and family relations involving him. Certainly charity has an inhuman and obscurantist nature, but this nature concerns the moral sphere, not the practice. The morally inhuman nature of christian agape/caritas doesn't stand in making more bearable an unjust system, but making universal the capitalistic system. In fact, it obscures the consciousness of the loss of the universal function of the bourgeoisie and obscures the awareness, by the proletariat, of its historical universal function.
In fact, after the rise and development of industrial society, the bourgeoisie, by realizing itself as particular class transformed the originally proclaimed universal rights - freedom, equality and brotherhood - in class privileges and created the antiithesis of proletariat, who, by conflicting against bourgeoisie, set itself as human universality.
The ethical and theoretical superiority of marxism on Christianity is that the marxism, besides being a philosophy of crisis, is above all a philosophy of overcoming the crisis, of historical, not mythical, humanizing of human civilization.
Marxism neither conserves nor christianizes the bourgeois values in crisis but refuses them in their universality for their particular content of class, and inherits, innovates and makes concrete them in a radically new, truly revolutionary content.
Dogmatic knowledge and historical materialism
“The comparison between Jesus and the mythological figure of Prometheus which recalls a characteristic aspect of modern man. […]the human being seems today to assert himself as a god and to wish to transform the world excluding, setting aside or even rejecting the Creator of the universe. Man no longer wants to be an image of God but of himself; he declares himself autonomous, free and adult”.
There's a conceptual mistake in this statement of the Pope: giving an indipendent value to the man doesn't mean that man claims to be like a god; on the contrary he want to be unperfect, to regain his humanity. But that's not all. Ratzinger expresses his concern for a man spiritually alive, who wants to broaden his horizons, criticizes his mistakes, refuses to escape into transcendence, but plunges, on the contrary, into what is historical, empirical, real, knowable. A man who refuses to turn nostalgically to a supersensible world, who refuses every metaphysical reduction of the uproarious and contradictory world of human existence to a world which gains value by god's virtue, is unreservedly condemned by the Pope.
Here is the clash between dogmatic-metaphysical knowledge, whose ensign is the current Pope, and critical and dialectical knowledge, whose historical materialism is the most consistent and full expression. Historical materialism, refusing to move in a inexistent sphere of extra-temporal and extra-historical truths, moves through history to free human kind of every form of historical slavery, to switch from the man forced by need, by its being part of a class and by class struggle, to a society of free people, who develop their personality in a open way, without any limits of economic or class nature. This transition from the extranged man to the free man, enabled to expand his personality and reconciled in the world, is assured by the triumph of human rationality. This is what creates the planned order in society and finds the most appropriates tools to translate it into reality.
No conciliation can exist, then, with those who still propose an antiquated thought still thinking in eternal and absolute rather than relative and historical terms, that love living a reality without problems where peremptory certainties replace problems, which semplify historical reality, restraining it inside infantile schemes good/evil, true/false, as Pope Benedict XVI usually does.
A revolutionary politics against Vatican
As the Italian communists, we are well aware of facing a bulwark of world reaction, a formidable anti-communist political and ideological force. It's obvious, in Italy the issue of religion has a different emphasis in comparison of other countries. It can't be forgotten the double sovereignty on the same area of the state realized with Concordates - respected religiously by revisionists - involving the systematic use of Italy for the interests of Vatican power, a lot of fundings for activities of the Catholic Church and not-state-schools, of grants to parishes, religious scools and cultural goods, the tax exemption of the enormous wealth of Vatican and priests, the teaching of religion in state-schools. Neither we can understimate the fact that the Catholic Church in Italy will use all means (fascism, terrorism, calls for outside military intervention) to avoid the triumph of social revolution of proletariat.
After Ratzinger rose the papacy, aggression of Catholic Church on the terrain of values and cultures and so-called “sensible topics” became harsher. Violent reactionary offensive is being waged against the legal recognition of unions of unmarried couples and homosexuals ones, against the law 194 which has sanctioned the free choice of women in matters of abortion, against free scientific experimentation in the field of assisted reproduction, and many other issues. The Italian Bishops' Conference has taken - de facto and increasingly - the role of a third branch of the Italian parliament. In practice, the Vatican "dictates the Italian political agenda" on all issues where the Catholic hierarchy wants to impose its backward and unscientific views, by exploiting the alliance with the right and the remissive attitude of the left wing, secular, democratic and social-democratic, and the istitutions of the bourgeoisie themselves. .
In our country the political interference of Catholic caste increases to the extent that the economic decline continues and the bourgeoisie yelds steadily the terrain to the Vatican hierarchy. In return the bourgeoisie obtains the support of the Church to control the masses and keep power. On the level of political demands we call all the workers to the fight on some indispensable targets: the abolition of the Lateran Pacts, no financing the Church and strong taxation of all the goods of the religious institutions with restitution of the arrears, the complete separation of Church and state, a science and a school free from every conditioning and from all religious confessions, the claim that the “multinational Vatican” must pay the crisis like the masters and the rich!
In the field of immediate fight we give great importance to political denunciation of Vatican and Church's responsibility in supporting all anti-worker measures adopted by the bourgeoisie, in promoting fascist society and plans of imperialist war.
In our general program we state that just socialism can destroy the heavy heritage of reactionary and clerical ideology.
Socialist state we're fighting for, will rule relations with Catholic and others Churchs, on the ground of a more severe separations.
When working class and its allies will seize the power, the Concodates and the various agreements Italian state concluded with other religious confessions, will be nullify. The area of City of Vatican will be included in Italian state.
All the properties belonging to religious istitutions will be expropriated without compensation. Economic, social and tax privileges of the clergy will be deleted.
All citizens will have the right to profess freely their religion and to worship, and the freedom of atheistic propaganda will be ensured. Religious propaganda for political purposes won't be admitted and any influence of religion in schools of all levels will be banned.
The Catholic Church launched the challenge, and just the communists can pick it, with the elements of the politically and ideologically advanced proletariat, by denouncing and fighting the reactionary role of the Church hierarchy and defending till the end the values and contents of modern science, that find their fulfillment, their concrete and constructive realization, in marxist humanism, for the construction of truly free a civilization.
(published on Unity & Struggle, n. 19)
 Benedict XVI, Caritas in veritate, par. 78.
 K. Marx, On the jewish question
 K. Marx, Theses on Feuerbach.
 St. Paul, Letter to the Galatians 3, 26-28.
 K. Marx, Critique of the Hegel’s Philosophy of right.
 St. Paul, Letter to Titus, 2, 9-10.
 Ibidem, 4, 1.
 K. Marx, Contribution to the critique of the Hegel’s Philosophy of right.
 Gospel according to St Matthew: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, «Amen, I
say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of
heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier
for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to
Analogously, Christ metaphysically emphasizes the alms and its ultramundane suitability: "Jesus speaks: «But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. »” (Gospel according to S. Matthew, 6, 3-4).
 K. Marx, Contribution to the critique of the Hegel’s Philosophy of right.
 Cfr. Discussion of the montain, Gospel according to St. Luke, 6, 21-25
In Genesis is recorded “The LORD God said: «It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him. ». […] So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man.” (Genesis, 2, 18-22).
 “To the man he said: «Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat, Cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you, as you eat of the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.»” (Genesis, 3, 17-19). “To the woman he said: «I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing; in pain shall you bring forth children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall be your master.»” (Genesis, 3, 16).
 Leviticus 27, 1-8.
 See the Deteuronomy 22, 13-19.
 See the case of Jacob's daughter Dinah, raped by Shechem, Hamor's son (Genesis, 34, 1).
 So in Genesis, 16.1, when Sarah, the barren wife of Abraham, gives to her husband the woman-servant Agar in order to get a son whom she regards as her own, comes out all the contempt of the servant for her lady in consequence of the sterility of the latter. “Abram’s wife Sarai had borne him no children. She had, however, an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar. Sarai said to Abram: «The LORD has kept me from bearing children. Have intercourse, then, with my maid; perhaps I shall have sons through her»”. Il caso di Sarai si ripete con Rachele e Lea (Genesis, 30). The same conception is reproduced in the First Book of Samuel. (1, 1-20) e nel Gospel according to S. Luke (1, 36-37).
 Abstract because it does not change the concrete historical reality of the hierarchical structure within the Christian family.
 St. Paul, Letter to the Ephesians, 5, 21-25.
 Genesis 12, 10-19.
 Abraham was a recidivist and insisted in forcing his wife to prostitute herself; as before god persecuted the innocent victims of his vile deception.
“Abraham […] stayed in Gerar, he said of his wife Sarah, «She is my sister.» So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, «You are about to die because of the woman you have taken, for she has a husband.» Abimelech, who had not approached her, said: «O Lord, would you slay a man even though he is innocent? He himself told me, - She is my sister - and she herself also stated - He is my bbrother. - I did it in good faith and with clean hands.» God answered him in the dream: «Yes, I know you did it in good faith. In fact, it was I who kept you from sinning against me; that is why I did not let you touch her. Therefore, return the man's wife - as a spokesman he will intercede for you - that your life may be saved. If you do not return her, you can be sure that you and all who are yours will certainly die.» Early the next morning Abimelech called all his court officials and informed them of everything that had happened, and the men were horrified. Then Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him: «How could you do this to us! What wrong did I do to you that you should have brought such monstrous guilt on me and my kingdom? You have treated me in an intolerable way.» «What were you afraid of - he asked him - that you should have done such a thing?» «I was afraid - answered Abraham - because I thought there would surely be no fear of God in this place, and so they would kill me on account of my wife. Besides, she is in truth my sister, but only my father's daughter, not my mother's; and so she became my wife. When God sent me wandering from my father's house, I asked her: - Would you do me this favor? In whatever place we come to, say that I am your brother ” - ». Then Abimelech took flocks and herds and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham (Genesis, 20, 1-14).
 Psalms, 137, 9.
 Leviticus, 20, 13.
 Leviticus, 20, 18,.
 See Exodus and Leviticus in the Old Testament.
 Cfr. Exodus 21, 12.
 Esodus, 21, 21.
 Esodus, 21, 22.
 Benedict XVI, Deus caritas est, par. 9.
Cfr.: Numbers 31, 1-4; Joshua, 6, 17 and 10, 40.
Numbers, 31, 1-18.
Joshua, 10, 40.
Leviticus, 25, 42-46.
 That is compromised with the political power.
 Gospel according to St. Matthew, 22, 17-22 Christ's thought is proposed again in the Gospel according St. Mark.: “They came and said to him: «Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone's opinion. You do not regard a person's status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?» Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them, «Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at.» They brought one to him and he said to them, «Whose image and inscription is this?» They replied to him, «Caesar's.» So Jesus said to them, «Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.» (12, 14-17).
 Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi par. 7.
 Ibid., 3, 26.
 St. Paul, First Letter to Timothy, 6,2.
 Benedict XVI, Spe salvi, par. 4.
 This is the translation in theoretical terms of “sigh of the oppressed creature”. Marx speaks about in the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right.
 Benedict XVI, Deus caritas est, par. 33.
 Ibidem, par. 31.
 Benedict XVI, Caritas in veritate, par. 32
Ibidem, par. 7.
 Ibid. par. 1.
 Benedict XVI, Deus caritas est, par. 31.
 “Business management - On this subject the present pontiff writes- cannot concern itself only with the interests of the proprietors, but must also assume responsibility for all the other stakeholders who contribute to the life of the business: the workers, the clients, the suppliers of various elements of production, the community of reference.”(Caritas in veritate, par. 40)
 The terrain of concrete action is the dialectic of class and therefore the criterion of morality, that is the universal effectiveness of the action.
 Benedict XVI, Homelie on 31th May 2009.
 Cfr. Benedict XVI, Caritas in veritate, par. 9.