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Communism vs Religion and Culture

my dear friend is a Communist. a ‘marxist idealist’ she calls herself. we often have debates going on the matter; she was telling me that one of the policies of the Communist system is to discourage and get rid of all cultural and religious differences. this is done with the intent that it will create a higher level of peace between the many different peoples of the world if they have no such differences between them; wars over religion, culture and race will cease to be. i argue that although this may be true to a certain extent, religion and culture are too great a price to sacrifice. she asks me what kind of a hippie i am, that i would not consent to this for the sake of world peace? but i could not give this up, even for the sake of more peace. what would this world be without its differences?

thanks a lot for the time!

This is a good involved question. In theory, the communist utopia envisioned by Karl Marx was a vast improvement over the impoverished conditions prevelant in the industrialized world in the early 1900’s. Indeed in Russia and China, the systems that existed prior to communism were very exploitive of the people.

The problem lies in the practice of communism because failable humans must setup the system and enforce it. The one thing that communism neglects to address is some of the most basic human traits including GREED (Capitalism certainly takes it into account). What happens is those who attain power within the system get corrupted – this is the truism; power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. In all the communists systems that have appeared on the planet, each has had an all powerful dictator to run it. So that means one person, and one person alone gets to decide what is best for the millions of people living in the system. And since that one person is corrupted absolutely, everyone has to bow to that person’s vision, whether they like it or not! And the usual penalty for opposition is either exile or death.

To make the communist system work, they must eliminate cultural, ethnic and religious differences. We see how it’s done today in Kosovo (Milosovich learned well as a communist). It’s been done in similar fashion in Russia and China. Not a very good system, in my opinion.

Hippies rejoice in our differences. We respect and celebrate diversity, it’s what makes life interesting. Imagine if you went traveling, and everywhere it was the same. The same dreary buildings, the same slogans on banners, the same language, the same mentality, the same laws, the same music for god’s sake! This is life under communism (yes I know capitalism puts McDonalds everywhere, but at least in France it’s not a big mac, its a Royale). Is this what we want our lives to be? If this is the price of peace, I agree, it’s far too high.

Once upon a time, the communist system in it’s idealized form was an improvement. But now that we’ve seen it’s limitations, we can bid it farewell. What we need is a new, better system, one that takes into account human nature, especially the need for self-actualization. This system should encourage individuals to expand their minds and talents. We have yet to do better than the ancient Greeks who gave us the radical form of government called democracy.

Now that technology has enabled us to all communicate efficiently, to be well informed, and to easily express ourselves we have available the means to achieve something far greater than ever before. We need only to organize this into a self-governing system, one that will totally replace the existing one. It’s already beginning, our only obstacle is removing from power those who place such a high value on it (power). I hope it will be an evolution, not a revolution, that will accomplish these goals.

In the meantime, wars over political, racial, ethnic, and religious differences will occur, perhaps even more frequently! It’s totally natural to remove competing genetic material, whether you’re human or bacteria (sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference). That’s the bottom line. Each person protects his own DNA, first starting with himself, his family, his extended family, the group he identifies with, his ethnic, or religious group, then his nation. It’s completely instinctual.

What we need to do then, on an individual basis, one person at a time, is come to an understanding that our entire race is facing a mass extinction if we don’t change our attitudes. Isms and differences between people only keep us apart if we let them. We must get beyond our FEARS or genetic bias, and realize that we are all the same. We need to recognize our common inheritance, this planet, as being a sacred place and start showing it some respect (Communists seem unable to do this).

I believe it is possible for people to get beyond their differences and to display a higher morality that respects all life. All it takes is a good example for people to see how easy it is to live in peace and harmony. All it takes is a hippy.

-The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 24558

Spirituality vs. Society & Religion

Dear Old Hippy
That’s a very interesting thing you wrote about spiritual growth, but I was surprised by your first line: People do what they are taught. Is it not that, whatever you teach a person, someday he will find himself wondering if he’s going the right path? You see, I was taught to believe in God and Christ, do what society expects and go to church every week. But during my teenage years (which only ended two years ago) I found out that that was not what I should do, because of something inside myself. I started to develop a way of living and spirituality based on what I saw and heard around me, checking everytime if that corresponded with my inner-feelings.

You see, I think that we all have a feeling inside ourselves that there is a Bigger Whole, a God or Intergallactic Vibe, whatever you wanna call it. And I think that we act from that feeling more often than we realize. Behaviourism is a very powerful thing, but I think that little feeling inside, that sparkle of love that can make us feel connected with anything, is much more powerful and just waiting to get out and kiss the sky.

I see something really interesting going on with the people around me. I’d expect that they would turn away from any form of spirituality or religion, because kicking against Christianity and the pope is very much the cool thing to do now in society in The Netherlands, where I live. So a lot of people do that.

But while they are doing that, a lot of them also is trying to find a new way of spirituality, as if they need a replacement. They get into new age things, like myself. It’s not a coincidence that The Celestine Prophecy was such a huge hype (well, in The Netherlands it was). So what I see, is that a lot of people who are taught by their environment to despise Christianity and to believe in God, are also looking for a new way of spirituality.

I have the feeling that they do that, because of that inner-consciousness, they want to experience that spirituality, but the Christian church is not filling that in good enough anymore, like the growth of the human consciousness has passed it’s thought on how to live your life.

That process makes me smile.

What do you think about that, or am I just rambling too much now?


No you’ve only just begun….

It’s not just what people are taught in school or by parents. You are taught everyday by society, advertising (greed), friends (conformity), negative experiences (intolerance, anger, hate), etc. So our daily social programming reinforces the existing belief system. It teaches us how to survive by adopting these prevailing attitudes. Yes we can rise above it, given proper role models. Since you are from Holland, you have these role models since your society is far more tolerant than 95% on the planet, so it’s easier for you to question authority.

Your particular culture is different from others. Your country was abused by Catholicism (the Spanish & French), then the Nazis. So your attitude towards religion and authoritarism is skeptical at best, and usually downright disrespectful (I ADMIRE that!).

We are naturally spiritual beings. It is our society that supresses this because society seeks control. When people discover their TRUE TRANSCENDANT NATURE, they become more difficult to control and manipulate.

Long ago there were many struggles in Europe between the Church and States resulting in many wars. The result was the church lost power, the states won power. So now the states (soon the E.U.) have the power over the people. So respect for the church and its teachings has diminished and is now unimportant to the average European. In other words it’s more of a social phenomenon than a spiritual one.

So now there is a huge gap in people’s lives. There is no spirituality. I notice this when I visit Europe, and even in the U.S. It’s young people like you who can rediscover their connection to LIFE, LOVE and THE PLANET and UNIVERSE, because older folk are too disillusioned and set in their ways. That’s why I believe our hope for the future lies in your generation.

Once upon a time a large portion of my generation looked beyond ourselves and into the future (and got scared to death!). Then came another generation that was so self-centered and greedy because they adopted Capitalism as their religion. So it’s up to you and your generation to once again remember who you REALLY are, look towards the future, and help shape society with a vision of Peace, Love, Understanding and Respect, PLUR.

-The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 17650

Are We Stuck In A Spiritual Quagmire?

Got a question about hippies, drugs, love, or whatever?

The Old Hippy will try to answer.

Click here to ask a question, or write to oldhippy@hipplanet.com/hip.

Thanks for the great response to Ask the Old Hippy.
The Old Hippy regrets he can’t answer everyone’s questions.

Old hippies don’t die, they just lie low until the laughter stops and their time comes round again. – Joseph Gallivan

Hello, Mr. Hippy. Just wanted to say how much I like your page; It’s great. I was wondering what you think about the spiritual growth of human beings, both individually and society in general. It seems to me, according to the popular scientific theories accepted today, that the human race is on a path where spiritual growth is intrinsic to the whole thing. We started as individual bands hunting and gathering and doing our thing. Then along comes agriculture and along with it slavery, population growth, and spare time. Bands would conquer other bands to become tribes, tribes conquer tribes to become nations. On and on until the United Nations and the world bank.

My point is, transcendence and inclusion seem to be the mode of the human race. Do you think that people are stuck in a spiritual quagmire of filth and decay or that people will one day, inevitably, be a peaceful and accepting community worldwide? Let me know; I’m interested. Thanks.

People behave according to what they’ve been taught. Until we teach everyone Peace & Love, we will still have hatred and war. Some individuals can rise above the quagmire, but usually because they’ve learned to think for themselves.

Buddhists believe that we incarnate on earth to experience the full range of life’s pleasures and treasures as well as it’s selfishness, greed, hatreds etc., and to rise above these base desires. We continue to reincarnate over and over until we get it right.

If that is the case, then we shall probably never find that paradise on this planet, for there is another place for us to go to experience that. This is also the Judeo/Christian/Islamic belief. That is why no one bothers to try to make this place a paradise, since it lies elsewhere.

I suppose it would require all these dead saints (Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, etc.) to reappear in person and perform amazing miracles before people will start changing their belief system to allow for us all to be saved while still alive on this planet.

I do believe that we have it within our power to bring about paradise, wherever we are. We just need to realize it. But since there will always be those who are jealous and don’t understand, people will be crucified one way or another for believing in the power of the human spirit.

Raising consciousness is an ongoing process for everyone on the planet. Fortunately we now have the power to do great deeds, unlike ever before. Thanks to our constantly improving communications system, we can learn about and aid others in their time of need. Instead of just helping our neighbor next door, we can now help our neighbors wherever they may be on this ever shrinking planet. We all live on the same block now, and what one does affects everyone else.

So there is definitely a growing potential for humanity to evolve beyond our limited self-imposed boundaries, and embrace our divine potential and save our race and planet from the destruction that is looming. That should be our first great task in the New Enlightenment. Then we can focus on obliterating hunger, disease, and war from our daily lives. Then we can remove intolerance, racism, fascism, pollution, poverty and inequality from our midst. And then, and only then can we aspire to be something greater than the caretakers of this fragile ball in space, and look to the stars to find our truly awesome potential….

May we one day have peace,
The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 18346