Believing in Marx is just as religious as believing in God: the same thing is going on in the brain. The object of the worship might be very different, but that’s irrelevant. Both positions have their respective ‘higher powers’ or ‘authorities’ to which / whom the worshipper turns for advice, guidance, rulings, and all the rest.
Genuine Atheism is the rejection of authorities of this type: the positive assertion that such authorities do not exist anywhere other than in the imagination of the believer or believers, and therefore the authority is illegitimate. Like the guys says in The Wolf of Wall Street, ‘It is no matter, it is not on the elemental chart..’
The Genuine Atheist, following his logic downwards, rejects the Hobbesian idea of Political Obligation. It’s this rejection that non-genuine atheists dislike. Many of these (so-called) atheists are actually religious state-worshippers, who see the state as a cross between God and big-daddy-the-protector, but just don’t realise it.
There is an obvious difference between the state’s power and its authority. The state certainly has power. The state has no authority. It does not exercise authority, it exercises power. Its power is its ability to do things to you, and to make you do things. Its authority would be its right to do these things and its right to get you to do things.
The state’s power can be seen in the military, the police, local councils and what not; it’s backed up by bailiffs, court officials and other enemies of the working man. If asked ‘where is the state’s power?’ one could answer that it is in these institutions and individuals.
But if one were asked ‘where is the states authority?’ it is harder to answer, for where IS the state’s authority? In a drawer? Under a rock?
The state could be described as evil. This is because its power is actually its desire made manifest. The state actively wants to do things to you. Through the recognition of its power, one can see the state’s desire and behind that, its true face.
It is a gargoyle.