Decline of the secular left
According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the "most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power." Vitalij Lazarʹevič Ginzburg, a Soviet physicist, wrote that the "Bolshevik communists were not merely atheists but, according to Lenin's terminology, militant atheists." See also: Atheism and politics
|“|| In the Americas, the Trump tsunami has swept across both continents and the 'pink tide' of progressivism has all but disappeared from the southern half of the hemisphere...
In this planet-wide rising tide of right-wing populism, the liberal left commands only a few disconnected islands — Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Uruguay... Worse, crafty operators with even more ambitious agendas stand ready to destroy the liberal status quo once and for all."
In September 2018, Pew Research indicated: "Due to the decline of the center-left across much of Western Europe and the comparative steadiness of the center-right, most Western European countries are led by center-right parties, as measured by the party of the prime minister or other head of government." In June 2014, Forbes reported that it is undeniable that politically right wing parties are ascendant in Europe.
As noted above, historically the largest advances of the secular left has been through utilizing the power of the state (see: State atheism and Atheism and communism). For example, secular leftists use the power of the state to promote evolutionary ideology and to censor creationist/intelligent design models of origins (See: Suppression of alternatives to evolution and Atheist indoctrination).
The historian Martin Van Crevel points out that sovereign states are losing power/influence due to technology democratizing access to information, welfare states increasingly failing, fourth-generation warfare being waged against countries and sovereign states increasingly losing their ability to maintain internal order.
|“||...the growing popularity of jibes associating outspoken atheists with fedoras, neckbeards, and virginity, led to an exodus of liberals and leftists from the “atheist” tent. Those who remained for the most part lacked in social skills and self-awareness, and the results were disastrous.||”|
- 1 Decline of state atheism in the world
- 2 Decline of the secular left's influence due to demography and religious immigration
- 3 Right wing politics ascendant in secular Europe and the United States
- 4 Emergence of the alt-right
- 5 Secular left vs. secular right
- 6 Decline of the secular left in Latin American politics
- 7 Secular left's inability to stop the rise of anti-homosexuality laws around the world
- 8 Secular left unable to shut down the Quiverfull movement
- 9 American atheists unsuccessful attempts to engage in identity politics
- 10 Atheism, leftism, social justice/progressive values and hypocrisy
- 11 Recommended books
- 12 See also
- 13 External links
- 14 References
Decline of state atheism in the world
See also: State atheism
The dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991 was a watershed event in terms of the decline of leftism and the decline of the secular left (see also: Collapse of atheism in the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe and desecularization).
On November 1, 2014, an article in The Economist entitled Cracks in the atheist edifice declared:
|“|| Officials are untroubled by the clash between the city’s famously freewheeling capitalism and the Communist Party’s ideology, yet still see religion and its symbols as affronts to the party’s atheism...
Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China’s Christian population the largest in the world. Mr. Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire.
Decline of the secular left's influence due to demography and religious immigration
On December 23, 2012, Professor Eric Kaufmann who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London wrote:
|“|| I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.
On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population. The demographic disparity between the religious, growing global South and the aging, secular global North will peak around 2050. In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British. 
Due to their higher fertility of religious conservatives and religious immigration to the Western World, the religious are expected to see a net gain in political power in the 21st century (see: Desecularization and politics).
Kaufmann told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."
|“||High evangelical fertility rates more than compensated for losses to liberal Protestant sects during the twentieth century. In recent decades, white secularism has surged, but Latino and Asian religious immigration has taken up the slack, keeping secularism at bay. Across denominations, the fertility advantage of religious fundamentalists of all colours is significant and growing. After 2020, their demographic weight will begin to tip the balance in the culture wars towards the conservative side, ramping up pressure on hot-button issues such as abortion. By the end of the century, three quarters of America may be pro-life. Their activism will leap over the borders of the 'Redeemer Nation' to evangelize the world. Already, the rise of the World Congress of Families has launched a global religious right, its arms stretching across the bloody lines of the War on Terror to embrace the entire Abrahamic family.||”|
Right wing politics ascendant in secular Europe and the United States
The website New Statesman America declared in 2019:
|“||Social democratic parties, meanwhile, are facing a mixture of electoral decline and challenge from both the greens and the left. Only Portugal, where the Socialist Party holds 37 per cent of seats and leads a coalition government with the far left, has bucked the trend. Sweden’s social democrats, down to 28 per cent of the vote in last year’s election, cling precariously to power in a caretaker government. Elsewhere, the typical fate of the classic social democrat parties, for example in Austria and Denmark, is to hover around 25 per cent. In both Germany and Italy, where strong social democracy was a lynchpin of the postwar anti-fascist settlement, support for social democrats has slumped below 20 per cent.||”|
In November 2016, the politically left Barack Obama administration and Democratic Party received a huge loss in the midterm elections by losing control of the United States Senate and losing a historic amount of state legislature elections.
The Obama administration became the first administration to met with an atheist group. It met with the Secular Coalition for America which is a coalition which represents the American Atheists, the American Humanist Association, and the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers.
According to the USA Today, the group met with the White House officials to "discuss problems that they believe are fueled by religion." Among the issues the group discussed were the issues of "military proselytizing" by evangelical Christian members of the military and faith-based initiatives
The Religion News Service reported:
|“|| For the last decade, atheists, humanists and others secularists have worked hard to organize a “secular vote” that would counter the political clout of the religious right.
President-elect Donald J. Trump’s victory dealt that movement a body blow when he garnered 81 percent of the white evangelical vote and 60 percent of the white Catholic vote. Mormons, too, voted overwhelmingly for Trump.
Despite Trump’s not being a particularly religious person, his platform was seen as anti-secular in many atheist and humanist circles. He said he would appoint religiously conservative Supreme Court justices, ban Muslim immigrants, favor Christianity and repeal the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits certain tax-exempt organizations from endorsing political candidates — issues antithetical to organized atheism and humanism.
The U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was appointed by Trump, is a judge who has ruled in favor of religious liberty in his past decisions. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was also nominated to the court by Trump, gave a favorable ruling in the Hobby Lobby case in respect to religious liberty. See also: Morale of the atheist movement
Emergence of the alt-right
See also: Alt-right
The Alt-right, or alternative right, is an emerging faction of the right-wing that opposes unrestrained multiculturalism, un-"skilled" immigration, and globalization. The alt-right has emerged as one of the central opponents of the Establishment. The alt-right movement's central theme is as follows:
|“||The alt-right is not defined by any particular school of thought, but by the neoliberal school of thought it rejects. The alt-right, in the simplest terms, is an unapologetic purging of liberal idiocy.||”|
"The origins of the alternative right can be found in thinkers as diverse as Oswald Spengler, Joseph Sobran, H.L Mencken, Julius Evola, Sam Francis, and the paleoconservative movement that rallied around the presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan. The French New Right also serve as a source of inspiration for many leaders of the alt-right.". Contemporary alt-right authors include Jared Taylor, Steve Sailor, Richard Spencer, Paul Kersey, Razib Khan, and Milo Yiannopoulos.
Leading alt-right websites include Radix Journal, Countercurrents Publishing, The Unz Review, Taki Mag, The Right Stuff, and Red Ice. More mainstream "alt-lite" websites include Breitbart and The Gateway Pundit.
Secular left vs. secular right
Decline of the secular left in Latin American politics
The Guardian reported in March 2015, "Leftwing leaders in Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela are being knocked by dissent and stagnating economies. Poor governance and opposition from media and financial elites have sapped their popularity."
In May 2018, the Washington Post published an article entitled In Brazil’s political crisis, a powerful new force: Evangelical Christians.
Secular left's inability to stop the rise of anti-homosexuality laws around the world
The conservative journalist Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth wrote: "Anyone who has researched the subject of homosexuality knows that many of the most staunch advocates of homosexuality are those who hold a decidedly secular outlook." (See also: Atheism and homosexuality).
In February 2014, Newsweek reported a rise of anti-homosexuality laws around the world. According to Newsweek, the rise of anti-homosexuality laws in the world is due to weak governments and politicians desiring to appeal to popular anti-homosexuality opinion. See also: Religious conservatism and politics
The secular leftist Simon Ssenkaayi argues that identity politics and other strategies that worked in the Western World to promote acceptance of homosexuality will not work in Africa and that developing relationships with communities would be a more effective method. Historically, atheists have not engaged in evangelism in Africa and atheists have a reputation for possessing poor social skills (see: Atheism and social intelligence and Atheism and arrogance and Atheist factions).
Secular left unable to shut down the Quiverfull movement
The Quiverfull movement is an evangelical Christian movement which eschews all forms of birth control - including natural family planning. The secular left has been unable to shut down the Quiverfull movement.
Presently, several thousand Christians worldwide belong to this movement.
American atheists unsuccessful attempts to engage in identity politics
In the United States, a significant amount of atheists are white males and the American atheist population has been criticized for its lack of racial diversity and lower amount of females in its population (Western atheism and race and Atheism and women). The Pew Research Forum reported in 2013 concerning American atheists: "About four-in-ten atheists (43%) have a college degree, compared with 29% of the general public." In 2012, the Pew Research Forum reported regarding American atheists: "And about 38% of atheists and agnostics have an annual family income of at least $75,000, compared with 29% of the general public." Also, atheists within the United States have developed a reputation of uncharitableness as they gave far less to charities, even if church donations are not counted (see: Atheism and uncharitableness). As a result of these factors, claims of being an oppressed minority by atheists are often dismissed even by fellow atheists (See: Atheist whining).
In addition, given the favorable treatment atheist activists often receive in the media and the atheistic indoctrination that occurs in public schools/universities, the notion of atheists as an oppressed minority is often rejected by Americans.
At the same time, in America as in many theistic societies, atheists are the least trusted group and many Americans have a low opinion of atheism/atheists (see: Views on atheists and Atheism and social outcasts). Many Americans disagree with the relativistic morality and immoral behavior that many atheists display (see: Atheism and morality and Atheist population and immorality).
Historically, many Christians have shown a significant amount of patience/tolerance towards atheists - even in face of persecution by atheists (see: Christian patience, forgiveness and long-suffering towards atheists).
American atheists and public relations efforts
The biggest challenge facing atheist public relations efforts in the United States is that most theists do not think about atheism and would prefer not to as they see it is an unreasonable, arrogant and unattractive worldview. As a result, many atheist campaigns, particularly one's by militant atheists, are designed to be provocative which has the effect of further lowering the public's view of atheism/atheists (see: Atheism and public relations and Views on atheists).
Progressive values according to leading progressive websites
According to leading progressive/leftists websites, progressive values include: freedom; opportunity; responsibility; cooperation/community; caring and responsibility, carried out with strength; protection/fairness; honesty and open communication.
Atheism and lack of cooperation/community
The atheist population lacks cooperation/community, is known for engaging in bitter quarrels and is deeply divided (see: Atheist factions and Atheist movement). It also has significant racial/gender issues (see: Western atheism and race and Atheism and women).
Atheism and lack of empathy
As far as the progressive values of caring/protection, the American atheist population gives less to charity per capita than Christians even when church giving is not counted (see: Atheism and uncharitableness).
In addition, the historical record shows that atheists have often been uncaring and atheists have engaged in barbarous/uncivilized behavior (see: Atheism and mass murder and Mass rape of German women by the Soviet army and Atheism and cannibalism and Atheism and bestiality).
Atheists falling short of the progressive value of freedom
Atheists and the issue of honesty
As far as honesty, atheists have a poor record in this area as well (see: Atheism and deception).
- The Decline of the Secular University by C. John Sommerville, June 29, 2006
- Dimitry Pospielovsky, (December, 1987), A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Antireligious Policies, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0312381328
- Dimitry Pospielovsky, (November, 1987), Soviet Antireligious Campaigns and Persecutions (History of Soviet Atheism in Theory and Practice and the Believers, Vol 2), Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0312009054
- Dimitry Pospielovsky, (August, 1988), Soviet Studies on the Church and the Believer's Response to Atheism: A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory and Practice and the Believers, Vol 3, Palgrave Macmillan, hardcover: ISBN 0312012918, paperback edition: ISBN 0312012926
- The Decline of the Left by Emma-Kate Symons
- The Decline of the Left in Europe - Harvard University History Department
- The decline and fall of Occupy Wall Street: the American Left has run out of steam and liberalism is in crisis by Niles Gardiner
- Michael Hesemann, Whitley Strieber (2000). The Fatima Secret. Random House Digital, Inc.. Retrieved on 9 October 2011. “Lenin's death in 1924 was followed by the rise of Joseph Stalin, "the man of steel," who founded the "Union of Militant Atheists," whose chief aim was to spread atheism and eradicate religion. In the following years it devastated hundreds of churches, destroyed old icons and relics, and persecuted the clergy with unimaginable brutality.”
- Paul D. Steeves (1989). Keeping the faiths: religion and ideology in the Soviet Union. Holmes & Meier. Retrieved on 4 July 2013. “The League of Militant Atheists was formed in 1926 and by 1930 had recruited three million members. Five years later there were 50,000 local groups affiliated to the League and the nominal membership had risen to five million. Children from 8-14 years of age were enrolled in Groups of Godless Youth, and the League of Communist Youth (Komsomol) took a vigorous anti- religious line. Several antireligious museums were opened in former churches and a number of Chairs of Atheism were established in Soviet universities. Prizes were offered for the best 'Godless hymns' and for alternative versions of the Bible from which ... the leader of the League of Militant Atheists, Yemelian Yaroslavsky, said: "When a priest is deprived of his congregation, that does not mean that he stops being a priest. He changes into an itinerant priest. He travels around with his primitive tools in the villages, performs religious rites, reads prayers, baptizes children. Such wandering priests are at times more dangerous than those who carry on their work at a designated place of residence." The intensified persecution, which was a part of the general terror inflicted upon Soviet society by Stalin's policy, ...”
- Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”
- Vitalij Lazarʹevič Ginzburg (2009). On Superconductivity and Superfluidity: A Scientific Autobiography. Springer Science+Business Media. Retrieved on 2011–03–15. “The Bolshevik communists were not merely atheists but, according to Lenin's terminology, militant atheists.”
- Combating the New Right by John Feffer, The Nation, May 13, 2019
- Swedish election highlights decline of center-left parties across Western Europe by Kyle Taylor
- Europe's Deep Right-Wing Logic By Robert D. Kaplan
- The Fate of the State by MARTIN VAN CREVELD
- Martin van Creveld interview
- Poisoning of a movement by PZ Myers
- Cracks in the atheist edifice, The Economist, November 1, 2014
- Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
- Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
- Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
- 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
- Shall the religious inherit the earth - Festival of Dangerous Ideas - Eric Kaufmann
- Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth by Eric Kaufmann
- Will the far right triumph in Europe in 2019?, New Statesman America, January 2019
- [Republicans now have historic majorities in state legislatures. That's a really big deal. Republicans now have historic majorities in state legislatures. That's a really big deal], November 6, 2014
- Atheists meet with White House officials, USA Today
- Dealt a body blow, atheists and humanists regroup by Kimberly Winston, Religion News Service, November 9, 2016
- These 6 Cases Show How Brett Kavanaugh Might Rule on Religious Freedom, Daily Signal, 2018
- Neil Gorsuch Has a Record of Protecting Religious Minorities, Time magazine, 2017
- What is the Alt-Right?, AngryWhiteDude.com, April 12, 2016
- An Establishment Conservative’s Guide To The Alt-Right, Breitbart, March 29, 2016
- Scandals, protests, weak growth: is Latin America’s left in retreat?
- In Brazil’s political crisis, a powerful new force: Evangelical Christians, Washington Post
- Is Christianity taking over the planet?
- The African apostles: How Christianity exploded in 20th-century Africa
- Atheism and homosexuality
- From Uganda to Russia, Homophobia Spreading Worldwide By Max Strasser 2/27/14 at 6:13 AM
- In Africa, human rights activists cannot work with religion, Simon Ssenkaayi 8 December 2014
- Kathryn Joyce (9 November 2006). "Arrows for the War". The Nation
- God save us from atheist whining by Natalie Rothschild
- 5 facts about atheists By Michael Lipka, Pew Research Forum, October 23, 2013
- “Nones” on the Rise - Demographics, Pew Research Forum, October 9, 2012
- What It Means To Be A Progressive: A Manifesto, Thinkprogress.org
- What are Progressive Values, Dailykos.com
- Herbert Spencer and social Darwinism
- Darwinism and World War I