Marxists In Heaven

By Moe Lane


or, "Long live the Glorious Revolution against the Infernal Feudal-Imperialist Fascist Deluded Running Dog Lackeys of Lucifer!"

Yes, there are Marxists Up There, and there will be as long as the achievement of one's Destiny/Fate remains even slightly independent of one's religious beliefs. Of course, not all Marxists are atheists, but quite a few were ... and the Lord knows enough of them were selflessly getting themselves killed for various causes in the 20th Century anyway. Apparently, God doesn't really care too much if you believe in Him, Her, It or They: do the Right Thing, and you get your reward.

This has caused some problems for his loyal servants, naturally.

Now, Heaven is very good at keeping the Pax Dei (and keeping various ethnic, religious, cultural and social groups from each others' throats until everybody learns to behave), due to long, long experience. However, classical Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyite-(insert political thinker here) have always been a ... unique ... problem. First off, many of them weren't really consciously expecting an afterlife. Second, most of them find the political structure of Heaven to be archaic, imperialist and (worst of all) annoying feudal. Third, just about all of them are big on revolutionary movements.

And let's not even bring up Marc.

However, there are some mitigating factors. First of all, there's the Pax Dei. This (coupled with the lack of explosives, firearms and/or other weaponry among the general population) has made armed revolution somewhat ... tricky. Then there's the fact that you can't actually tell a lie in Heaven, which keeps down the ideology a tad, or possibly a tad and a half. Also, a Truly dispassionate observer - good thing that there's a lot of them among the Host - will readily affirm that the core aims of most communist and/or socialist movements are worthy. It would be a good thing if everybody worked together for the common good and ignored external differences while doing so, and most angels will cheerfully admit that - even if they aren't Servitors of Stone. As a result, there are several Heavenly socialist/communist groups engaged in helping to fight the War.

Much to everyone's bemusement.

The Red Guards

Actually, these guys found it really, really easy to acculturate themselves: Michael and David have that effect on people, especially soldiers secretly worried that they'll have to spend the rest of eternity playing on some bourgeois harp while wearing a ridiculous, archaic halo and wings. Being told that they can instead get to play with in the mud with large armored vehicles and larger artillery pieces is usually deeply reassuring. The lack of political officers isn't anything to sneeze at, either: there's more than one former Soviet tank general blessed soul who can't believe his luck. The head of the Red Guards (Marshall Zhukov) feels this way, only more so: it's almost as if this part of Heaven was designed this way especially for him.

The Red Guards have thus found themselves comfortably ensconced in the Heavenly Host. Like the rest of the blessed souls who have volunteered for Armageddon, they spend most of their time in gloriously difficult maneuvers in the Glades (which have the most interesting microclimates, by the way), honing their already impressive skills and engaging in comradely solidarity on their generous leave times. The highlight of the Red Guards' training cycles are the 'annual' war games against the Eagle Brigades (their main rivals): both Zhukov and his opposite number (General George Patton, not-so-oddly enough) pull out all the stops for this one. So far, they're pretty much running dead even on points.

The Committee for Social Justice

It's an innocuous enough name, but the individuals are anything but.

You see, socialism in Meso and South America has always had an odd sort of love-hate relationship with organized religious groups. There's been a lot of anticlerical, Marxist movements, but a lot of times they were spearheaded (or at least figureheaded) by actual clerics who were able to reconcile the teachings of Marx and the teachings of Christ. As the next logical step was to insist that their higher-ups on the greasy pole of rank do the same, well, let's just say that there's been a steady stream of radical priests suddenly arriving in Heaven.

This makes them Laurence's headache ... excuse me, 'responsibility'. It isn't so much the interesting interpretations of Scripture, or the odd doctrinal positions. That's old hat to the Archangel of the Sword: indeed, theological and ethical arguments are one of his favorite pastimes. It isn't the fact that they keep a rigorous watch on corruption in the Church-in-Heaven. They won't find any, but they're welcome to keep themselves amused by continuing to look. It isn't even that they universally and continuously argue for Heaven to take a more active role in running the Church-on-Earth. Laurence would love to be able to intervene more openly.

No, the major problem is that, once someone explains to them about the concept of Saints, every single one of them invariably volunteers for the honor, usually in triplicate, with a neatly-typed list of possible missions attached (complete with the estimated firepower needed to accomplish each). Experience has shown that agreeing to this can end ... awkwardly.

Laurence is trying to work around this problem by allowing the most energetic of these special martyrs to form a Committee for Social Justice. Their task is to analyze various regions where the Church is powerful, determine where a bit of pressure or influence will do the most good and pass their analyses along to the Archangel of the Sword. It's had mixed results: while the data is very useful, the Committee is notoriously leaky. For some reason, more than one Committee analysis (complete with especially-egregious violators of the social compact, and the aforementioned ordinance estimates) have unaccountably made their way into the hands of grinning Servitors of War and/or Divine Fire...

The People's Glorious Revolutionary Celestial Collective

And, well, these are the odd ones. Technically, they're in open revolution against the bourgeois, capitalist, imperialist and feudal authority of Heaven. They've got barricades, guard posts, posters, pamphlets, newspapers, a radio station and a lot of slogans.

What they do not have is an actual Revolution, so much as a perpetual piece of performance art. When it comes down to it, every blessed soul in the Collective knows that the wicked entities that are oppressing them are neither wicked nor oppressive - in fact, they all know that Heaven has absolutely no intention of acting against the group unless they start bothering people. Furthermore, the alternative to angelic rule is worse. Much, much worse. The Revolution isn't going to happen any time soon.

However, there's something to be said about arguing about the Revolution, debating it, drawing and sculpting it, writing songs about it - all fueled by extremely strong triple expresso (Marc may be a running dog lackey of the capitalist warmongers, but his coffee connection is excellent). It's something to do - and, after all, it's Heaven. People here are entitled to do what pleases them, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else. Besides, there's always the chance that actually living the classless society up here will provide insights that could be useful down on Earth. In Heaven, you can experiment with theory until you get it right. And, of course, there's the fact that being a revolutionary is often a good way to meet members of the opposite and/or desired sex.

Like the Committee, the Collective doesn't have a leader - that would be elitist. Oh, there are some blessed souls that people will listen to (or at least not call names), but no real leaders. Indeed, getting the entire Collective to agree on anything beyond the most general concepts is usually an exercise in futility. Usually: one thing that the Collective agrees about is that a symbolic act is necessary to show that the revolutionary movement is still strong. Plans have been hatched: a silent cabal plots and schemes. This one will prove the might of the Collective: they will stealthily infiltrate and claim a Superior's Cathedral for the Revolution! That will show the Seraphim Council that they will not be trifled with and marginalized!

Needless to say, it would be irrelevant to note that the Cathedral in question is Eli's. Or that it's got plenty of space, art supplies and good lighting which nobody's using. Or that its few, lonely caretakers have been begging someone - anyone - to drop in and keep them company for about five decades now. Or that the Archangel of Creation is undoubtedly going to bear with profound equanimity the embarrassment of having a horde of fanatical artists 'capturing' his Cathedral. Or even that Genetrice, Kyriotate director of the Passion Play, is rumored to have offered to pay all shipping costs, just so long as she gets some reliable performers out of the deal...


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