11 thoughts on “When Did Capitalism Become Our Religion?

  1. In our capitalist state, what sin is greater than that of failing to win the approval of our capitalist gods, the employers? Unlike mere criminals, this is the segment of the population to whom we deny the most basic human rights (UDHR) of food and shelter. We shut them out of our communities, out of the public discussion, out of our consciousness. They have been rejected by the capitalist god, and we duly shun them.

    That said, you must have noticed that Sen. Sanders and his followers promote a perverse sort of “socialism” for the Chosen alone (the currently employed). They seek to reduce the gap between themselves and the rich. Imagine that. Consideration of allowing anything to trickle down is considered blaspheme, or at least an absurdity. This is where America stands today.

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    1. I don’t think Sanders is promoting any kind of perversion for the Chosen.

      I think when Sanders says “Medicare For All” what he means is every single American is to have Medicare coverage. Homeless. Jobless. Doesn’t matter. If you are an American citizen, you get medical care of a Medicare grade level. This is what Bernie says in any case. Whether he can pull it off, I don’t know, it is the goal though.

      https://berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/

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  2. Reblogged this on The Most Revolutionary Act and commented:
    Eugene McCarraher’s new book, The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity, offers a different rendering of our modern age—one in which the mysteries and sacraments of religion were transferred to the way we perceive market forces and economic development.

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  3. Reblogged this on AuntyUta and commented:
    by Daniel Jenkins edited by O Society October 13, 2019
    Jenkins says: “I’m not the first person to point out what Sanders supports is a “green” social democracy—a large and generous welfare state and more tightly regulated capitalism, with greater attention paid than ever to ecological concerns. I certainly don’t oppose any of that, which is why I’m a Sanders supporter. But as I argued previously, we have to address the more fundamental property relations of capitalism if we’re really going to achieve justice and save the planet from further damage.”

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  4. That’s a worthy take on things. It fits my mood as of late. This goes along with the idea that the bicameral mind never really disappeared, the voices of archaic authorization never fully went silent. That old, old time religion remains with us, ever changing forms.

    It’s like the Fortean view of things. Jacques Vallee and John Keel observed that the present-day UFO experiencers tell stories that follow the same pattern as what has been recorded in folktales of fairy abductions and anthropological accounts of shamanic initiations.

    A number of books have been written about UFO cults. It has been proposed that we are seeing the early stages of the development of a new religion. But since we are in a scientific and technological age, it is in that guise we perceive the gods and the heavens. By the way, Carl Jung wrote a fascinating books on UFOs and what they mean as irruption from the collective psyche.

    Now combine capitalism and UFOs. And then we have some great material for a new faith. Think of a History Channel documentary where somehow aliens almost always come up, one way or another. That is our new form of worship.

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  5. Like fundamentalism with its theological literalism, capitalism has its own materialistic literalism. It often takes the form of scientism with either technocracy or techno-utopianism.

    One definitely could argue that libertarianism is a religion, one of those belief systems that some love to espouse even though it has never been practiced as an actual way of organizing a society. It’s more of a mythological fantasy to dream about and worship than an ideological system to be politically and economically implemented in the real world.

    I’ve come across a number of former right-wing fundies who became devout and zealous right-wing libertarians. Instead of heaven, they seek salvation from fallen nature and earthly suffering in the hope of escaping into space colonies. And instead of an eternal afterlife, they buy into the promises of cryogenic immortality where they shall be bodily resurrected.

    The substance of their beliefs changed slightly while the structure of their beliefs remained entirely the same. That maybe makes sense considering fundamentalism and capitalism are both expressions of modernity, both seeking to reduce the world to human size and for human purposes.

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  6. Indeed. This right-wing libertarianism ends up pegging the religious end of the spectrum when it becomes free market fundamentalism. See, rich people like this free market stuff because if there are no rules, then the rich people win. It’s like the game Monopoly we all played when we are kids. Guy who owns all the property can’t lose in Monopoly. That’s what someone like the Koch or Mercer family brings to libertarianism.

    The economists think they are doing science, but they aren’t. What they’ve done is pretend their pseudo-religion of free market fundamentalism is the same thing as say… physics or biology. But it isn’t. It’s just worshiping money. There is no real god or real science there in this neoliberal capitalism economic theory America runs on. They just pretend there is god and science behind the free market. It’s all a scam but it works as long as people believe it is real.

    Took me awhile to figure out how the scam works because the average American doesn’t have the vocabulary words to talk about what’s going on. Once I learned the vocabulary words to speak about all of this, such as “Mammon” and “free market fundamentalism” and “neoliberalism” and “austerity” and “supply side economics” and so on and so on, I began to speak the language of the scam, you see, then it all became clear. But it won’t be clear to folks who don’t have the words to talk about this THING we all know is wrong. This is basically why the scam is so successful. Nobody really knows what to call the THING so nobody really talks about it, at least they didn’t for the last four decades I’ve been here. Now people are beginning to talk about it in real words, but their still all confused by this Trumpenstein Russiagate propaganda mill.

    Here’s how it works. In reality it isn’t really free market so much as the religion of the libertarians would have us believe. Really it is as bending all the rules to favor the oligarchs and the corporations in such a way as people who own stocks or other forms of capital can make a killing (both literally from the forever wars and financially from the market), but everyone else who doesn’t have bags of capital (like in the game of Monopoly) is fucked by definition, because this is the rules. This is what it really is:

    https://osociety.org/2019/01/10/neoliberalism-free-market-fundamentalism-or-corporate-power

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  7. You are right about language. Without the right words and conceptual terms, we have no way of speaking about ‘capitalism’ and hence no way of genuinely understanding it. An ideology that rules the mind in this manner remains in murky unawareness.

    I was looking around at other interviews, articles, and reviews about the McCarraher. I noticed that he spoke of the importance of language, of the need to name things accurately and bluntly. For example, he stated that we should return to speaking of “wage slavery” as once was common.

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