Sunday, November 25, 2012
Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.
For several centuries, Americans have been living under the regime of common sense - hard-headed empiricism, Yankee ingenuity, and so on—with respect to practical affairs. Yet at the same time this “nation with the soul of a church” has produced a plethora of emotionally charged creeds, most of them claiming exclusive access to the deity while denouncing their rivals and predecessors as cold, false, and dead. This now is the case of Islam that is rearing its religious head, starting from the Middle East and spreading all over other Islamic states. Truth games of the spiritual type, if they are not to sink into anodyne church/mosque/temple conversation, cannot and must not be confined within the frames of an epistemological establishment or within institutions of a politics of knowledge that's given once and for all. Religion sees “third world” humanism as a kind of "taming of men" that saves them from "barbarism, infidels and heretics. For cultural historians - social struggles, war, pain, the arts, politics, accidents, poverty, culture, science and technologies, are more important than trying organizing and domesticating the social life of people through the creation of organized religious institutions. Over the years the religious framework faded and accumulation became more acceptable, the Protestant, Catholic and Islamic ethic will be transmuted into the spirit of capitalism—a set of moral and psychological sanctions for systematic moneymaking. For much of world history, the marriage of religion and capitalism was the only one fitfully consummated. Mammon is the ultimate God.