Paul Hollander

American sociologist

Paul Hollander (born 1932) is an American political sociologist, communist-studies scholar, and non-fiction author. He is known for his criticisms of communism and left-wing politics in general. Born in 1932 in Hungary, he fled to the West after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was bloodily put down by Soviet forces.

Quotes edit

[P]olitics takes on religious overtones when religion proper withers...

The Survival of the Adversary Culture (1991) edit

The Survival of the Adversary Culture (1991), Transaction Publishers
  • In the final analysis alienation is, among other things a response to the frustration created by the lack of meaning in modern society. It has been pointed out often enough that politics takes on religious overtones when religion proper withers, at any rate among intellectuals. Along these lines Doris Lessing observed: "There are certain types of people who are political out of a kind of religious reason...I think it's fairly common among socialists: They are in fact God-seekers, looking for the kingdom of God on earth...trying to abolish the present in favor of some better future -- always taking it for granted that there is a better future. If you don't believe in heaven you believe in socialism."
    • pp. 157–158
  • There is a close and obvious connection between the embrace of Marxist socialism and the social critical impulse. Marxism is a philosophy of intense moral indignation -- a worldview that helps to organize and systematize moral passion and which provides a seemingly scientific foundation for protesting social injustice. Marxism performs additional religious functions by pointing towards a better future which will arrive as a combined result of both the inexorable forces of history and the freely chosen effort of individuals who achieved the proper understanding of social forces. Leszek Kolakowski concluded his monumental study of Marxism as follows:
    • pp. 157–158
  • The influence Marxism has achieved, far from being the result or proof of its scientific character, is almost entirely due to its prophetic, fantastic and irrational elements...Almost all the prophecies of Marx and his followers have already proved to be false, but this does not disturb the spiritual certainty of the faithful... for it is a certainty not based on any empirical premises or supposed 'historical laws', but simply on the psychological need for certainty. In this sense Marxism performs the function of religion...
    • pp. 157–158

External links edit