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June 04, 2005

Orthodox Secular Socialism

We need to view our current social conflict in a different light. It is a religious conflict. We do not need to take religion out, we need to add it in. We need enlightenment.

Except for sociopaths and psychopaths, all humans have a faith based world view. Atheism and agnosticism are, at their heart, just as faith based as Christianity or Hinduism. No self-aware human can be faithless.

Thus all political issues are religious debates. They are debates about values and relationships and how we structure our formal relationships to support or hinder our values. Government is how we define and deliver rewards and sanctions based on values.

The current debate is being presented as the religious against the non-religious. This is not correct. The debate is between Orthodox Secular Socialism and Judeo-Christian faith.

Orthodox Secular Socialism has saints, icons, temples, a catechism, holidays, celebrations. Anyone who works with Orthodox Secular Socialists can easily identify these.

Orthodox Secular Socialism is fundamentalist in its approach. It is a true faith that is seen by believers as self-evident. It is affirmed daily in our newspapers and our television commentary. We have judges and politicians who are firm believers, well grounded in the principles and values that drive their OSS faith.

Naming this conflict clarifies the issues. To say that the debate is between Christians and smart people or that secularism should not be judged by religious standards is misleading. It concedes the core of the debate to Orthodox Secular Socialists. Their apparent positioning is that the First Amendment explicitly endorses Orthodox Secular Socialism as the state religion of the United States.

So name the debate. It is the contention between Orthodox Secular Socialists and traditional libertarians and conservatives. Thus, OSS should not have primacy in the curriculum in our schools and universities. OSS curriculum should have to endure and withstand the debate just as should any other faith based and value based part of the curriculum. OSS should not have primacy in court rulings. Rulings that support and affirm OSS should explicitly be viewed as religious decisions based in the OSS catechism. Not necessarily right or wrong, but clearly not primary.

OSS has three defining characteristics that will quickly identify a true believer. These are:
1. Conspiracies
2. Anger
3. Dependency


A key faith of OSS is that there are no transcendent forces at work in our lives, neither the transcendence of the market nor the transcendence of the spirit. Thus all events can only take place by human intention. Nothing just happens, no prices move, no actions take place, except by explicit, intentional decisions. This faith in intention means that events have only two sources, known intention and hidden intention. If anything happens mysteriously, a price move, a political move, a spiritual move, the only possible answer is conspiracy. OSS does not believe in the market (transcendent human intelligence greater than any individual) nor in the spirit (transcendent action that surpasses our comprehension.) Thus, in the face of the mysterious, the only possible answer that maintains faith is conspiracy.


One of the sources of the extreme anger at our current government is the explicit violation of the OSS temple, the government. A non-adherent simply cannot be legitimate in the temple/White House/Congress/Court. To a true OSS believer, the temple is so self-evident that alternative points of view are simply not credible. And any events that take place mysteriously in the temple can only, by definition, be conspiratorial. The more mysterious the event, the more confusion surrounding it, the more alternative explanations, the greater the requirement for conspiracy. In simplest language, the requirement for intention means that the explanation for mystery has to be lies. Liars in the temple. The temple defiled. Extreme and provocative anger associated with bewilderment that others (non-OSS’ers) do not comprehend the defilement.


Since everything happens by intention, either visible or hidden, there is always present a controlling interest. Central planning and control is not an alternative, it is the only non-conspiratorial approach to managing peoples’ lives. Thus, appropriate solutions always involve moving from hidden intention, or conspiracy, to visible intention, or regulation. There is no perception of increasing dependency, just of moving dependency from exploitation to regulation. Improving all social and economic situations means increasing regulation because it is only through regulation that we can reduce conspiracy, exploitation and victimization. This view of people is identical to the nobility’s view of serfs and peasants. It is feudal, with OSS leaders assuming the role of obligated nobles protecting and managing the lives of their subjects.

These three characteristics will immediately identify the Orthodox Secular Socialist in any debate. The assumption that all opposing positions are conspiratorial, therefore anger at the lies of the conspirators with increasing regulation as the only path to reducing conspiracy. This approach is absolutist in the same way as other fundamentalist religions.

If the term "Orthodox Secular Socialism" enters the language, then it names the conflict, and thereby weakens it. The light then shines into the OSS religious tradition and moves the debate onto a more level playing field. This can have the impact on OSS as the naming of partial birth abortion had on the debate on the origins of human life and rights.

If the debate is between OSS and Judeo-Christian values, then there is clarity on the nature of the debate. The debate is debased when those who hold to OSS hide behind the facade of the secular political structure . OSS adherents proudly stand on their clarity of view (non-religious faith) while safely denigrating the "religious." When they too have to address their own values as faith based, then we can begin to have an honest debate.

Once the debate becomes enlightened, the heart of OSS, nihilism, becomes visible. Values and lives being meaningless except as they drive pleasure and pain. Neither more nor less. Like lions or sheep. Like us before we ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Copyright 2004 Creag Banta

Posted by creagb at June 4, 2005 11:41 AM