Being an atheist can really change your perspective on a lot of things, including politics.
I live in the US. We are a supposedly democratic republic, although the notion that a few hundred can honestly represent over a billion people is laughable at best. Still, on the whole the US is a great place to live. However, day by day, my ability to say this lessens.
We are in the midst of economic breakdown. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Worst of all, the income gap between the wealthy and poor has become so overwhelming that it can no longer be overlooked. The system is stacked against the non-wealthy and it is becoming increasingly apparent that our government is no longer a democracy of any type but is instead an oligarchy where the wealthy rule as tyrants over the rest of us. The people have been overshadowed by corporations with lobbyists in all corners seeking to get a slice of the wealth.
This is what our nation has become and it isn't the fault of either Republicans or Democrats, but rather of a system which has failed our society.
A logical train of thought
As I have come to embrace atheism and have worked ever more toward a logical perspective on the human experience, I've found myself looking back on many ideas I'd long held with much more acute scrutiny. I've found myself pondering over things such as homophobia and racism and nationalism. And the more I look at these things the more I see no logical reason to accept them in the least.
This is no different when it comes to politics either. As I investigate all the possible governmental ideologies, I see no real logical consistency inherent in them. They all posses some favorable qualities, yet there are always built in novelties which ultimately lead to disparity and inequality. All, that is, except democratic socialism.
Within the idea of democratic socialism I see a true chance for equality. I see the ideals of humanism and secularism put into action. Most of all I see a genuinely logical proposal of a very real solution to the mess capitalism has made of nearly the entire world.
Welcome to Imaginationland
Imagine a world without nations, without borders or flags. What might that world be like? Well for starters, the laws would be exactly the same no matter what geographical location you're in. If you've ever traveled abroad you can probably see the practical upshot of this.
There would be no wars between nations because there would be no nations to speak of. There would simply be humans living on the planet earth.
There would be no disparity of wealth from one geographic location to the next. No first, second, or third world nations.
Imagine what it would be like if a man need only work at any job he is capable of doing and in return he has a home to live in, food in his pantry, clothes to wear, electricity and running water, even his television, phone, and internet service would be provided. The only requirement being that he rose from bed and went to work. Can you imagine a life without the burden of having to choose between paying rent and having food? Many of us have become so accustomed to having to do just that, that we can scarcely imagine anything else.
Many of you will call this a pipe dream. Just another utopian fantasy that lacks substance. You'll say it isn't possible and that it can't be done. And to those people I will say “Poppycock.” This is entirely doable and entirely possible. You may say there just isn't enough to go around and I say “Balderdash,” because there is plenty to go around if certain folks didn't want it all for themselves.
The concepts of greed and wealth are illogical from the perspective of a true humanist. We may want a better quality of life for ourselves and our families, but we cannot be willing to let others do without simply to have it. We cannot call ourselves humanists if we are not willing to accept that we must put all humanity before the notion of wealth for ourselves. We can do better than this and we all well know it. As atheists and humanists we must lead the charge in saying that the current system fails when it comes to equality and we must state without reservation that it only serves to promote disparity.
A note from the author
I thought once that coming out as an atheist would be one of the most difficult things to do in my life. I thought I would have to defend myself in my position. For the most part however my friends and family just shook this off. They believed it was a phase and I'd eventually grow out of it. Ten years later they've mostly just come to accept it, which I'm rather grateful for.
They've not accepted my stance as a socialist however and it's the source of some of our most heated debates. They, no matter how ardently I try to explain the falseness of the notion, still equate socialism with communism. I can't really blame them either. As a nation we've been indoctrinated with that notion for well over a decade. But some of them are starting to come around. The more I explain that socialism is simply every man doing their part and in return having the things they need, the more they have begun to see the logic of it.
If we want a better world then we must be willing to compromise. We must be willing to let go of the notion of wealth and simply say that we would rather all people have an equal base than to live in luxury while others suffer.