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Thread: The Baha'i Faith and Marxism

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    Mr RonPrice Ron Price's Avatar
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    The Baha'i Faith and Marxism

    THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF THE FINAL STAGE OF HISTORY

    Both the Baha段 Faith and Marxism are radical movements which arose in the nineteenth century in response to the corruption and injustice in the world. Marxism has already exploded on the world in the last century. The Baha段 Faith has the potential to explode. The fatal flaw of Marxism is its lack of a spiritual centre, although the concept of the oneness of life lies at the centre of all political messianisms. The urge to replace Christianity was also at the centre of Marxism. In time, the Baha段 world Order will replace all these systems, old and new. -Ron Price with thanks to J.L. Salmon, Political Messianism: The Romantic Phase-The History of Totalitarian Democracy, Vol.2, London, Secker and Warburg, 1960, p.25.

    Why I remember the New left striking out
    across my path back in the mid-sixties, trying
    to lay claim to my mind through its infinite
    complexity and especially in One Dimensional
    Man1 which I finally read by 1972 with the old
    Marxism long dead. I had, by then, found another
    transcendental cause that was not belabouring
    hierarchy, coercive institutions and an apparent
    servitude to technology and its labyrinthine state
    apparatus. This Cause espoused a gradualist
    revolution with a continual sense of urgency,
    always urgency, always the drive to spread the
    revolution which was essentially inner預nd mystical,
    but rooted in an Order and a System which was then,
    in that decade of the sixties and early seventies, in the
    first decade of the final stage, the tenth, of history.

    The Kingdom of God was being estabished by
    earthly activity and an unearthly Force, a millennial
    Saviour, and a global proletariat from every walk of
    life, involving global transformation and a liberation
    associated with His law, His plan, His way, His day.
    There was, too, an historical inevitability to peace,
    to order and to a far-off golden age, achieved by
    the work of a small force of foot-soldiers who were
    then only beginning to accummulate in any significant
    numerical force in those young and halcyon days.2

    Ron Price
    20 September 1997

    2 There was a significant numerical increase in the size of the Baha段 community in the decade 1963 to 1973: from 400,000 to well over a million. It was also my first decade as a pioneer.

    1 The most important theoretical book of the New left in the late 1960s and written by Herbert Marcuse.
    Ron Price is a Canadian who has been living in Australia for 42 years(in 2013). He is married to a Tasmanian and has been for 37 years after 8 years in a first marriage. At the age of 69 he now spends most of his time as an author and writer, poet and publisher. editor and researcher, online blogger, essayist, journalist and engaging in independent scholarship. He has been associated with the Baha'i Faith for 60 years and a member for 53 years.cool:

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    Mr RonPrice Ron Price's Avatar
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    8 Months Later: More on Marx and Baha'u'llah

    Since there has been no response after 8 months to that first posting, I will add a prose-poem that takes as its theme the earliest days of the Baha'i Faith and Marxism.


    BURSTING THE WALLS

    In June 1852 Karl Marx obtained an admission card to the reading room of the British Museum. There he would sit from 10:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. every day, pouring over Blue Books of factory inspectors and perusing the immense documentation about the inequities of the operation of the capitalist system that was to become an important part of Das Kapital published in 1867. Here also, filling notebook after notebook, he deepened his knowledge of the British political economists whom he had begun to study during the Paris days. -Ron Price with thanks to Lewis A.. Coser, Masters of Sociological Thought: Ideas in Historical and Social Context, 2nd ed., Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., Fort Worth, 1977, pp. 63-65.

    In that same June 1852 Baha置値lah began His last two months before His imprisonment in the Siyah Chal on August 16th 1852. He stayed at the summer residence of the brother of the Grand Visier in Lavasan outside Tihran. During this summer He was kept informed of the rising and ultimately engulfing tide of anger and hatred against Him, especially from the Shah痴 mother. We are informed by Balyuzi that 釘aha置値lah remained calm and composed.1 Baha置値lah痴 enemies wanted to arrest Him and while they were looking for Him Baha置値lah rode out toward them without fear or panic.-Ron Price with thanks to H. Balyuzi, Baha置値lah The King of Glory, George Ronald, Oxford, 1980, p.77.

    So much had got going back in 44,
    manuscripts produced in that spring
    and summer, a fertile partnership,1
    one in Paris and one in Shiraz,
    would transform the world.

    Much more got going in 52
    when a Revelation flowed out
    from His travailing soul,
    piercing the gloom of that
    pestilential pit and bursting
    its walls to propagate itself
    to the far ends of the earth.

    And from that museum, too,
    something would infuse the
    entire body of humankind
    with its potentialities shaping
    the course of human society.

    1 Marx痴 first writings The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts date from the summer of 1844; the Bab痴 manuscript, the Qayyum置値-Asma, written in May of 1844 was read later in the summer by a scholar named Qujjat and 1000s of Qujjat痴 fellow townspeople in Zanjan became Babis.

    Ron Price
    July 15th 2006
    Ron Price is a Canadian who has been living in Australia for 42 years(in 2013). He is married to a Tasmanian and has been for 37 years after 8 years in a first marriage. At the age of 69 he now spends most of his time as an author and writer, poet and publisher. editor and researcher, online blogger, essayist, journalist and engaging in independent scholarship. He has been associated with the Baha'i Faith for 60 years and a member for 53 years.cool:

  3. #3
    Mr RonPrice Ron Price's Avatar
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    And finally.....
    THE MAGIC SUMMER OF '44

    In August 1844 Karl Marx published his first major writings The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts. They were fully translated into English the year I became a Baha'i, 1959.1 While Marx was writing these Manuscripts in May 1844, the Bab, Who styled Himself the Primal Point from which have been generated all created things, wrote verses of His Qayyumu'l-Asma thus initiating the "most spectacular...most tragic...most eventful period of the first Baha'i century."2 The first book of His writings in English was available in 1976. -Ron Price with thanks to Christopher Phelps, "Commemorating 1844--Why Marx Still Matters," New Politics, Vol.5 No.2, Winter 1995; and Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, 1957, pp.3-6.

    It was magic that summer of '44,
    an irradiation of incandescent light
    that will never fade,
    a splendour
    that will never be obscured,
    the dawn of an Age had broken,
    elders clothed in white raiment
    and crowned in gold,
    a company of angels
    scattered far and wide.

    Ridiculed and pilloried,
    both men were:
    impractical, unrealistic,
    unattainable, dangerous,
    barbarous, totalitarian,
    heretical, evil whispers.

    No anniversary exists now
    for Marx and his works,
    no special issues of journals,
    no conferences. Who visits
    his gravesite in this postmodern
    world of Homer Simpson,
    Walt Disney and the fast-flowing
    river of torrential history?

    As we all draw nearer
    to the glorious spirit
    of Him Who was the Herald
    of our Faith and the Bearer
    of an independent Revelation
    and the vastness of His writings
    which we celebrate, especially
    His Qayyumu'l-Asma, every year
    less than 100 days before
    Marx's first Manuscripts
    first saw the light of day,
    generated by that Primal Point.

    .......Ron Price 27 October 2001
    Ron Price is a Canadian who has been living in Australia for 42 years(in 2013). He is married to a Tasmanian and has been for 37 years after 8 years in a first marriage. At the age of 69 he now spends most of his time as an author and writer, poet and publisher. editor and researcher, online blogger, essayist, journalist and engaging in independent scholarship. He has been associated with the Baha'i Faith for 60 years and a member for 53 years.cool:

  4. #4
    lunatic zen philosopher Triskele's Avatar
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    i hesitate to admit, and yet am forced to, but i know little of the Baha'i faith could you enlighten me? as far as marxism, i would be careful about voicing its demise, i still see it alive and operational in the world around us. remember, Marx believed in the Dialectic, the creation in process, and much of his economic theories have come true, communism remains a potential, but we are still in the process, communism is the end result of the dialectic. and as far as Marxism lacking a spiritual center, i disagree, marxism has a heavy spiritual center but its inspiration is more easter than wester, religion as a lifestyle rather than as a creedo, and as such, his concept of the realization of god is that all life acts in some way to get closer to god, communism is god in a way, the pinnacle of human achievement, and as such, is heaven in a very convoluted way. Marx preached that "I preach no gospel". this is not because he was an atheist, but rather that he didn't believe in a god as a deity, but rather that mankind had a potential for something in self realization and in humanity... well worded poems, but i fear i disagree with their content.

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    I know several people of this belief. They are decent gentle folk but rather ineffectual. To me their beliefs are harmless but rather airy-fairy. The theocracy in Iran feels they are dangerous and has persecuted them without mercy. Their beliefs are nothing like Marxism. I can no more foresee a world made wicked by their beliefs than I can foresee the King of the Fairies ruling Europe.
    Last edited by ennison; 02-17-2007 at 05:48 AM.

  6. #6
    The Baha'i Faith is one that follows the teachings of Baha'u'llah, a Persian prophet living in the 19th century. We believe Baha'u'llah be to the most recent in a long line of prophets including the founders of all the major religions of the world; Abraham, Moses, Zoroastor, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad. We believe that all the religions of the world agree, are one, just like their creator, God. We upshold the standard of the oneness of humanity and our goal is to unite the world into a global society.

    I am not an expert in Marx but I have studied enough to know it on a basic level. Marx believes that the socio-economic, political structure of the day was unjust and will continue to get worse until the Proletariat finally uprises to take power for themselves.

    The Baha'i Faith also believes that the lower classes will rise up to 田hange this world into a different world, and cause all humankind to adopt the ways of righteousness and a new manner of life.- Abdul-baha, the son of Baha'u'llah. Like Marx, the Bahai's want the world to come together and rid society of great disparities of wealth, injustice, and exploitation.

  7. #7
    lunatic zen philosopher Triskele's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustagrimes206 View Post
    Baha'u'llah be to the most recent in a long line of prophets including the founders of all the major religions of the world; Abraham, Moses, Zoroastor, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad. We believe that all the religions of the world agree, are one, just like their creator, God.
    that makes little sense to me, most, and in fact nearly all religions have a number of concepts that do not translate, examples of such would include the christion notion of transcendance. also, you have basic theologies of various religions that contradict each other. one such example would be the greco-roman concept of a soul, as compared to the Mu and Wu of Eastern theology, also the answer to the question of theodicy being answered in the east by our delusion of individuality, and in the west by the choice do do evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by bustagrimes206 View Post
    I am not an expert in Marx but I have studied enough to know it on a basic level. Marx believes that the socio-economic, political structure of the day was unjust and will continue to get worse until the Proletariat finally uprises to take power for themselves.
    that or the powers that be change society, but either way the capitalist society must change until it is socialist, then eventually to communism.

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    Mr RonPrice Ron Price's Avatar
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    Still Working My Way Around This Site

    Belated apologies for not getting back to the above respondents to my original posts. But with the help I got from a moderator today I am now more familiar with the map of this site and I should, therefore, should be able to get back to people, at least within a week or so--instead of 2 or 3 months.-Ron Price, Australia.
    _______________________

    There have been many points raised in relation to my original posts and I would like to focus especially on Marxism and the Baha'i Faith. But I don't want to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. So I will cut and paste 2 or 3 paragraphs from the procedings of a conference entitled THE BAHA'I FAITH AND MARXISM held over twenty years ago in 1986. The procedings were published by the Association for Bahá'í Studies Bahá'í Studies Publications, Ottawa, Canada in 1987 by the Association for Bahá'í Studies.

    I will then wait for further responses in the foreseeable future. But thanks for the above comments. Even if the Movement I have been associated with for over 50 years is seen as one associated with "the fairies," I am still pleased to get a reaction. It beats indifference and no reaction at all.-Ron Price, Tasmania
    _______________________
    In examining the Marxist conceptual framework, Bahá'ís need to separate in their minds the part that corresponds to the criticism of "bourgeois' or "liberal" thought and the actual assertions of Marxism about topics such as
    human nature, the purpose of life, and the meaning of history--parts that Marxists often mix in their introductory presentations. Separating these two sets of ideas, Bahá'ís would easily agree with much of the criticism, the utter rejection of a view of the human being as a bundle of appetites needing satisfaction, or a possessor of things (including capacities, talents, and the ability to work) that are to be sold in the market place. Bahá'ís would also agree wholeheartedly with the criticism of a concept of liberty that considers the individual as supreme, defines the limits of freedom as the points of contact of the sphere of liberty of one supreme individual with those of others, and leads human beings to see in others not the fulfilment but the limitation of their own freedom. The validity of the Marxist belief in the potentials of the human being for their own sake, in the fact that man is a social being, or in a society in which the full and free development of each individual is the ruling principle, would not be denied either. But it must be remembered that at the basis of these convictions lies the fundamental principle of Marxism, that of historical materialism.

    Taken in its strictest form or even with modifications, historical materialism finally sees both the human being and society as a product of the interaction of man with nature, and all social institutions, including the family, as mainly (if not solely) determined by the mode of production. Although collective human action is regarded as the most essential factor of historical progress, the underlying force of the liberation of man from bondage is technological progress, which allows the necessary changes in the relations of production. The point, of course, is not that the mode of production affects human behaviour or social structures (which is after all a trivial statement) but that it is the main determining factor explaining historical development. Here the differences with the Bahá'í view of the spiritual nature of the soul (not simply in terms of the production of art and beauty, but in terms of its connection with the Creator and the spiritual worlds He has created) as well as the co ncepts of Manifestation and Revelation are of an irreconcilable nature.

    Unfortunately, the difference is not simply in words, it does affect both the proposed solutions to the human predicament and the methods and means chosen for the implementation of those solutions.
    To say that the conceptual frameworks are irreconcilable does not imply that the two systems of thought cannot see certain problems in the same way, cannot agree on a number of immediate (as opposed to basic) causes, or have some elements of their vision of the future world in common. That the problems faced by humanity should not be analyzed in isolation from the deep-rooted causes of social crisis; that there is an urgent need for change in the structure of human society; that worker alienation is a social evil, rooted in present-day structures, which must be eliminated; or that the causes of war are a set of complex and interrelated factors, which include exploitation and social injustice, are a few examples of common views that can be shared and used to further mutual understanding and respect. But other issues related to the course of history and the position individuals and groups must adopt as they work for the transformation of human society must be examined far more carefully, and the reader will not find the corresponding discussions in the present publication.
    ______________
    Enough for now1-Ron Price, Tasmania
    Last edited by Ron Price; 09-02-2007 at 01:51 AM. Reason: to add a few words
    Ron Price is a Canadian who has been living in Australia for 42 years(in 2013). He is married to a Tasmanian and has been for 37 years after 8 years in a first marriage. At the age of 69 he now spends most of his time as an author and writer, poet and publisher. editor and researcher, online blogger, essayist, journalist and engaging in independent scholarship. He has been associated with the Baha'i Faith for 60 years and a member for 53 years.cool:

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    Bahai and Marxism

    Hi Ron, You seem to have forgotten the essential Marxist stand on all religions, faiths, spiritualities...that they are false consciousness. Effectively your juxtaposing of materialism (and I accept that to some Marxism can seem to be a 'faith') with religion, Baha'i, New Age spiritualities, goes nowhere. Chalk and cheese. Any such coupling shares merely the social outrage and critique of injustice, both may be Utopian, but apart from these surface similarities there is no workable fusion,or even meaningful choice. As an atheist I feel no attraction to the Baha'i faith. As a Marxist I would share Marx's critique of petty bourgeois distractions from the goal of struggle implicit in what religion does. Religion messes with your head and is parasitic to the degree that the infection destroys the host.

    Somewhere along the road of your life you were 'from the true path cut off', in the dark forest of your Baha'i illusions.

  10. #10
    Mr RonPrice Ron Price's Avatar
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    A very belated thanks, Tayside. I can hardly believe it's four years since I was last on this thread! There is a link to the topic "The Bah' Faith and Marxism: Proceedings of a Canadian Conference held January 1986." The conference was held in Ottawa, Ontario, and a publication resulted from Baha'i Studies Publications, 1987. The book begins: "The nineteenth century saw the origins of both Marxism and the Bah' Faith with: their central figures, basic writings and documents, vision of the future, and their plans to achieve world unity. The ideas of Karl Marx, either in their original form or in one of their many variations, have influenced political, social, and economic thought and action in a large part of the world. They are based on a materialistic view of mankind and of reality, and they have appealed to intellectuals, reformers, revolutionaries, and common people alike.

    The ideas of Bah'u'll疉, in the tradition of the world's great religions, are based upon a spiritual view of mankind and of reality, and appeal to an equally wide range of people. These two views of reality--the material and the spiritual--each claiming to be the right view, the truth, the way things really are, compete in the world arena for the allegiance of mankind, each with its particular analysis and diagnosis of the human predicament, each with its remedy based on its distinctive view of the real world. Over the last century, both Marxism and the Bah' Faith have grown and expanded, have attracted followers and critics, champions and opponents. Though based on different premises and principles, each has a program for social reform and reconstruction, a plan for improving the human condition. If you want to read more of this book go to this link: http://bahai-library.com/bahai_faith_marxism
    Ron Price is a Canadian who has been living in Australia for 42 years(in 2013). He is married to a Tasmanian and has been for 37 years after 8 years in a first marriage. At the age of 69 he now spends most of his time as an author and writer, poet and publisher. editor and researcher, online blogger, essayist, journalist and engaging in independent scholarship. He has been associated with the Baha'i Faith for 60 years and a member for 53 years.cool:

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