I don't want to give them the kiss of death or be in any way offensive to my allies of various creeds and backgrounds, but I, as a Christian, learn so much about "Christianity," as it should be expressed, from non-Christians and especially those who do not do things "in the name of Christ." If anyone says they are doing something in the real world, as opposed to at the church altar, "in the name of Christ," I am pretty skeptical, to say the least. Although I am Christian and socialist, I do not self-identify as "Christian socialist" (I self-identify as "democratic socialist") because I want to be in solidarity with all true socialists, not just the ones who call themselves "Christian." At this point in my life, my greatest spiritual influences other than the Psalms and the beautiful world itself are every low wage or unemployed worker, addict, and prisoner I meet and every true socialist I interact with, including those who are dead but left behind sayings or writings.
The to me "inspired" words of not only Jesus Christ (the greatest democrat) but also Rosa Luxemburg, Antonio Gramsci, and "George Orwell" are eternal fonts of revolutionary brilliance, even when I do not agree with every word. I wash myself in their creative baptism, and I am made clean and more capable of being creatively compassionate myself. The grotesque cruel failures of Stalin and Mao are with me too as the most humiliating of reminders of the unending need for true and deep democracy and never giving in to dictatorship under "socialism" deserving of the name. Jesus (and Rosa and Antonio) would never has acquiesced in the doings of Stalin and Mao, and I have the contemporaneous words of George (Eric Arthur Blair) to prove that to my satisfaction.
These days I am also inspired by the hard work and innovative thinking of my friends whom I follow at Daily Kos, whether they think of themselves as socialists or not. Through the Socratic process, true socialism is advanced in truth. We are not opposing forces, for as Rosa said, while "social democracy" is "only the advance guard of the proletariat" it is nonetheless to be respected as "the embodiment of the modern proletariat's class struggle." I believe that we are chipping away in search of a global socialism which provides a just and loving world for all of humanity: "For us there is no minimal and no maximal program; socialism is one and the same thing: this is the minimum we have to realize today." ("Our Program and the Political Situation," in the Rosa Luxemburg Internet Archive.)
So much depends on true democracy being allowed to broaden, deepen, and flourish in the economic sphere. That is one of the things that concerns me about Pope Francis, whom I admire in many ways. He shows great concern for the poor but does not link this with how laws currently pass or don’t pass, the role of the unelected judiciary that keeps constitutional interpretation in the U.S. locked in the past and doing the bidding of capital, and the lack of a democratic global institution accessible directly by the people in search of rights. I published this post earlier this week at my Galtisalie blog at Daily Kos because of these concerns, as well as emerging events in Spain threatening women’s right to control their own bodies. I hope that it is taken for the constructive criticism in the spirit of George Orwell in which it is intended. It was written not to insult Pope Francis but to hold him to the highest standard, which he should demand from himself on behalf of the one he follows. This standard is more exacting than promotion of the interests of any institution, including the so-called “Church.” If the Church is “the body of Christ” comprised of “Christians,” that body should be willing to sacrifice itself to create “earth as it is in heaven” and trust that it will be resurrected to the greater glory.I love democracy, which gives freedom even to our oppressors and their mercenaries:
Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of a party – however numerous they may be – is no freedom at all. Freedom is always the freedom of the dissenter. Not because of the fanaticism of "justice", but rather because all that is instructive, wholesome, and purifying in political freedom depends on this essential characteristic, and its effects cease to work when "freedom" becomes a privilege.But true democracy does not allow our oppressors and their mercenaries to have more speech than every other person because of their money and repression of our speech. The end result of this bought and paid for "democracy" is not democracy worthy of the name any more than "real" socialism under Stalin and Mao was "socialism" worthy of the name. Those who oppose democracy, including the five conservative Catholic male "Justices" on SCOTUS are in need of repentance, and, if they would follow the example of Jesus, would not give in to the powerful and their corporations but instead start serving the interests of the people. Repent for deep democracy is at hand. We are going to build deep democracy in the U.S. and the world whether you help us or not.
(Rosa Luxemburg, The Russian Revolution, Chapter 6, The Problem of Dictatorship.)
Galtisalie, a peaceful democratically-revolutionary socialist living in the Deep South of the U.S., forced to express himself pseudonymously because of repression.