MARXISM 

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  • MARXISM
    • Force for conservatism-prevents/inhibits social change (forceful conservatism)
    • KARL MARX
      • "Religion is the opium of the people"
      • "Religious is the sigh of the oppressed beast"
      • Stated that if we lived in a communist society, religion leads the proletariat into a false state of consciousness, distorts reality and legitimises the inequality which exists in society
    • ENGLES
      • Argued that religion could be a useful tool for bringing about because;
        • Few rulers have tried to prevent mass participation in religion
        • Religious readers are more likely to notice and act upon exploration, oppression and inequality because of their religious education
        • Religious leaders are not easily oppressed- they may hold a sacred place in their societies and are not easily targeted for assassination or imprisonment
    • LENIN
      • "Religion is a kind of spiritual gin in which the slaves of the capital drown their human shape and their claims to any decent life"
    • HALEVY
      • Methodist religion played a key role in preventing working-class revolution in 19th century Britain
    • LEAVEL
      • Critical of the Church of England because it recruits from an upper-class base (80% of bishops were educated at public school/Oxbridge
      • The Church is also extremely wealthy, as a result, the Church has lost contact with ordinary people
    • CRITICISMS
      • Fails to consider secularisation
      • MARX fails  to explain the existence of religion where it does not appear to contribute to the oppression of a particular class
      • There have been examples of religious movements that have been brought about radical social change and helped remove ruling elites. They demonstrate that religion can legitimise radical revolutionary ideas as well as ideologically conservative ones- Marx fails to recognise this
    • FUNCTIONS
      • Socialises us into shared norms and values (values that support the ruling class)
      • Prevents us questioning our position (stops a revolt)
      • Gives the lower class something to 'look forward to'
      • Legitimising social inequality
    • NEO-MARXISM
      • MARX
        • Religion had a psychological function "the heart of a heartless world"
      • GRAMSCI
        • Untitled

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