Socialism and the Pope
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the Nazarene bayoneting a German. "Oh," he exclaimed, "Jesus Christ would not have had to do that. He would have been an officer on the General Staff."
This same minister endorsed the Pope's objection to Socialism on the ground that it involves Atheism. Many divines have sat in the House of Commons and in the House of Lords as politicians and defenders of Capitalism. We are forced from this fact to conclude that the profession of Christianity is consistent with the unfledged support of Capitalism, Militarism, exploitation, and parliamentarism. For our part, we should have thought it impossible for a man or woman to have upheld the parliamentary and other institutions of Capitalism and have remained a Christian. Jesus was a Socialist in thought, and the first Christians were Communists in practice. The two bitterest opponents of Socialism possessed of intelligence were Atheists, although one styled himself an Agnostic, namely Charles Bradlaugh and Professor T. H. Huxley. Their disciple, J. M. Robertson, was also an Anti-Socialist. If Socialism implies Atheism, it would seem that Anti-Socialism is Atheism also. So that, whatever side be taken, there is no escape from Atheism, since Atheism is everywhere. Actually, a very sound and a very logical conclusion.
Capitalism is a Mammon-Prison, and it maintains itself through the medium of State and Church. The State is not merely the Crown and Privy Council, not merely Lords and Commons, but also the Town and County Councils and P.A.C.s. The Church organization includes the Episcopacy of St. Paul's and extends to the dissenters of the veriest little Bethel. It is ramified, although so-called Protestant, by the Vatican. The Law is modeled, of course, on the "Codex Romanorum." Christian Europe has copied the institutions of Pagan Rome, which crucified Jesus, the enemy of "Property," and burned the Christians for refusing allegiance to Caesarism. The parsons look back on Rome with horror, and perpetuate its iniquities in the name of Christianity. Church and State continue, as in the time of Caesar, the twin children of Mammon, and maintain the one true religion, the sanctity and divinity and omnipotence of Property!
The Churches have landed interests, and also hundreds of thousands of pounds invested in stocks and shares, in railways, cotton mills, and all forms of industrial exploitation. Hence its opposition to Socialism. Industry may not be able to pay wages to the real laborers, but the Gospel Limited- and very much limited- like Patriotism Limited, can "afford" about six pounds a week minimum wage or "salary" plus a free house, etc., to its labourers in the Lord's Vineyard, whether they possess talents or not. One qualification they must have: no scruple, no great penchant for veracity. This permits them to uphold property, and to denounce the workers when they strike against low wages. When wheat is destroyed by the bushel, and coffee burned by the ton, "to get it off the