I’m reading through Caliban and the Witch, and having some thoughts about the role of hierarchical Christianity in oppression. The church has had a huge role in legitimizing colonialism (doctrine of discovery etc…), as the direct oppressive foot soldiers of colonialism (Missions in the U$, blessing of the crusades and colonizing missions), and in the direct oppression of women, minorites and the working class (witch hunts, legitimizing slavery, killing heretics who opposed social norms).

I’m not as deeply familiar with the history of Islam, but I know there are some oppressive trends as well (i.e. Wahhabism and the Islamic State’s religious rooting).

I know the ML line is to accept the people’s religious tendencies. But I have a few specific questions:

  • After the global revolution, what happens to the Pope? Does he keep institutional power? Who does the gold in the Vatican go to? Is the church allowed to continue gender oppression (i.e. no women priests)?

  • What happens to someone like Joel Osteen?

  • What happens to religious sects that are explicitly anti-equality or anti-communist (like some of the most backwards Christian sects in the U$, or hardline Wahhabism)?

  • Where does the balance fall between allowing the people to practice their sincerely held religious beliefs, and denying powerful reactionary elements entrenched institutional power?

(Disclaimer: I have not read this book and you probably shouldn’t listen to me)

After the global revolution, any remaining institutional power would surely be in the process of being eliminated, and anyone guilty of severe exploitation would receive the appropriate punishment (and rehabilitation, if it’s applicable to the individual in question). The Catholic Church in particular shouldn’t be allowed to remain, in my opinion. The Pope is part of covering up organized pedophilia and should be punished; Osteen is a scammer and should also be punished.

Organized religion can be done without force or “unnatural” power structures (in contrast to a “logical hierarchy” based on who has more experience/knowledge about <insert religious subject>, but they don’t have any significant power over others because of this). Religious organizations can’t be allowed to act however they want just because of the ideal of “freedom of religion” (e.g. how China deals with this internally) – as for where the line should be drawn, it will depend on the religion and how it’s manifested

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