Society: The Fall of Communism,
Fascism, and the Hippie Dream
The collapse of atheism did not occur only in astrophysics,
biology, psychology, and medicine; it also happened in politics
and social morality.
The collapse of communism may be considered one of
the most important examples of this. Communism may be considered
the most important political result of nineteenth-century atheism.
The founders of this ideology, Marx, Engels, Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924),
Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), or Mao Zedong (1893-1976), all adopted
atheism as a basic principle. A primary goal of all communist regimes
was to produce atheistic societies and destroy religious belief.
Stalin's Soviet Union, Mao's Communist China, Kampuchea (Cambodia),
Albania, and some Eastern bloc countries applied immense pressure
on Muslims and other religious people, sometimes to the point of
committing mass murder.
Yet, amazingly, at the end of the 1980s, this bloody
atheist system collapsed. When we examine the reasons for this dramatic
fall, we see that what collapsed was actually atheism. Patrick Glynn
Mihail Gorbachev (1931- ), former
president of the Soviet Union.
To be sure, secular historians
would say that the greatest mistake of Communism was to attempt
to defy the laws of economics. But other laws, too, came into
play … Moreover, as historians penetrate the circumstances of
the Communist collapse, it is becoming clearer that the Soviet
elite was itself in the throes of an atheistic "crisis of faith."
Having lived under an atheistic ideology-one that consisted of
lies and that was based on a "Big Lie"- the Soviet system suffered
a radical demoralization, in every sense of that term. People,
including the ruling elite, lost all sense of morality and all
sense of hope.33
An interesting indication of the Soviet system's great
"crisis of faith" was President Mikhail Gorbachev's (1931- ) attempted
reforms. Ever since he became general secretary of the communist
party (1985-91) and assumed the Soviet presidency in 1990, Gorbachev
was interested in moral problems as well as economic reforms. For
example, one of the first things he did was to initiate a campaign
against alcoholism. In order to raise Soviet society's morale, for
a long time he used Marxist-Leninist terminology. But seeing that
this was of no use, he even began to mention God in some of his
speeches, although he was an atheist. Naturally, these insincere
words of faith were of no use, and the crisis of faith in Soviet
society continued to worsen. Finally, the gigantic Soviet empire
collapsed in 1991.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is
regarded as the father of fascism
The twentieth century documented not only the fall
of communism, but also that of fascism, another fruit of nineteenth-century
anti-religious philosophy. Fascism is the outcome of a philosophy
that may be called a mixture of atheism and paganism, and is intensely
hostile to theist religions. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), who
may be called the father of fascism, extolled the morality of barbarous
idolatrous societies, attacked Christianity and other monotheistic
religions, and even called himself the "Anti-Christ." His disciple,
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), was an avid Nazi supporter, and the
ideas of these two atheist thinkers gave impetus to the terrifying
savagery of Nazi Germany. The Second World War, which caused the
death of 55 million people, is another example of the calamity that
such atheist ideologies as fascism and communism have brought upon
At this point, we must recall Social
Darwinism, another atheist ideology that helped cause both world
wars. In his Europe Since 1870, Harvard history professor
James Joll states that behind each of the two world wars lay the
philosophical views of Social Darwinist European leaders who believed
in the myth that war was a biological necessity and that nations
developed through conflict.34
James Joll, Europe Since 1870.
Another social consequence of atheism appeared in Western
democracies. In the present day, there is a tendency to regard the
West as the "Christian world." However, since the nineteenth century,
a quickly growing atheist culture has held sway with Christian culture,
and today there is a conflict between them in what we call Western
civilization. And this atheist element was the true cause of Western
imperialism, moral degeneration, despotism, and other negative manifestations.
In his God: The Evidence, American writer
Patrick Glynn draws attention to this matter and, in order to compare
the God-fearing and atheist elements in the West, takes the examples
of the American and the French revolutions. The American revolution
was realized by people who believed in God. The American Declaration
of Independence states that all men "are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable rights." Since the French revolution was
the work of atheists, the French Declaration of Human Rights was
different, with no reference to God and full of atheist and neo-pagan
The actual results of the two revolutions
were quite different: In the American model, a relatively more peaceful,
tolerant environment was created, one that respected religion and
religious belief; in France, the fierce hostility to religion drowned
the country in blood and unleashed a savagery that had no equal
in French history up until that time. As Glynn says, "there is an
interesting historical correlation between atheism, on the one hand,
and moral and political catastrophe, on the other hand."35
Glynn notes that attempts to turn
America into an atheist country also have harmed society. The fact
that the sexual revolution, for example, that spread during the
1960s and 1970s caused immense social damage in terms of traditional
moral values is accepted even by secular historians.36
The hippie movement was a demonstration of this social
damage. Hippies believed that they could find spiritual emancipation
through secular humanist philosophy, eastern philosophies, and by
such things as unlimited drugs and sex. These young people who poured
into the streets with romantic songs-like John Lennon's Imagine,
released in 1971 and in which he spoke of a world "with no countries,
and no religion too"-were actually undergoing a mass deception.
Above: The original copy of the American
Declaration of Independence and the meeting at which it was
decided to proclaim it.
In fact, a world without religion actually brought
them to an unhappy end. The hippy leaders of the 1960s either killed
themselves or died from drug-induced comas in the early 1970s. Many
other young hippies shared a similar fate.
Members of the same generation who turned to violence
found themselves on the receiving end of violence. The 1968 generation,
which turned its back on God and religion and imagined they could
find salvation in such concepts as revolution or selfish Epicureanism,
ruined both themselves and their own societies.
On of the most striking examples of
the destruction wreaked on social life by atheist ideology
is the spiritual collapse suffered by the so-called "generation
34. James Joll, Europe since 1870: An International
History (Middlesex, UK: Penguin Books, 1990), 102-3.
35. Glynn, God: The Evidence, 161.
36. Ibid., 163.