The ideals of true religion are the only power capable of arresting the social cancer that is Corporatism and it achieves this a number of ways.
True religion destroys fear; more specifically, it destroys the fear of death. Furthermore, it seeks to dissolve our attachment to material things – thereby freeing us to live lives inspired by the appealing allure of noble spiritual ideals. If you are free of attachment to material things then the loss of them will leave you relatively unperturbed. Faith and trust in Karma, the assurance of divine justice [the moral equivalent of the material law of causation], instructs you that those who would dare employ violence to achieve their ends, eventually, reap as they sow. Awareness of this truth awakens you to the realisation that such individuals are not to be feared but pitied in their abject spiritual poverty and blindness and, regardless of their conduct and choices, to so live one’s life that they in witnessing it are thereby illuminated and liberated.
By awakening us to the realisation that death is relatively inconsequential, and that attachment to material things is a liability to both peace and happiness, religion destroys the two great [arguably the ONLY] weapons the corporate powers possess: if they cannot threaten your life, property, or reputation then they cannot control you, and free agents - those who cannot be pressured [using fear and intimidation] or manipulated [by advertising and propaganda] into making the choice which the corporations want you to make - are a market liability. Without these weapons they are essentially toothless. Thus we become determiners of our own fate instead of being led to our doom like mice to the tune of the Corporate Pied Piper.
This is why religion has been the subject of ceaseless attack. We see celebrity atheists wheeled out daily to debate with, and endeavour to destroy the credibility of, respected theologians. They are brought onto talk shows and given air time to propound how only fools believe in the teachings of religion. Science and neoliberal ideology are their new gods and they are jealous ones at that – their worshippers cast scorn on all who bend the knee to ‘other gods’. I will concede that once upon a time so-called atheists had an honest, noble, and noteworthy fight against the idolatry, hypocrisy, and inconsistencies that had come to infect religious institutions; but casting the baby, God, out with the bathwater of ritual, dogma, and creed has created other problems. This corruption of religious institutions had made them the enemy of freedom and therefore they became legitimate targets for critique and correction but we should learn to separate the institutions from the ideals upon which they are founded.
The spirit of truth animates all religions and guides all religionists. It is not surprising then that we find that all religions exalt selflessness and service, even while they decry selfishness and self aggrandisement. They promote familial concern for one’s fellows and denounce the abusive exploitation of them in the blind pursuit of profit. They promote respect for all life, from the birds in the Heavens to the fish in the sea, and teach that this resource should be treasured and protected not plundered and destroyed. They teach self restraint and self control; they teach the pursuit of wisdom and the promotion of peace but such things are anathema to the corporate bottom line for whom the lack of self restraint is a source of profit and who would therefore prefer to keep us subject to impulse.
Ignorance and fear are key drivers of profit, hence the motivation to control education and information and promote fear, suspicion, and paranoia.
The very essence of all true religion [and even the findings of science have concluded the truth of this] is that we are all brothers and sisters, but it serves the corporate agenda that we remain divided: white versus black, rich versus poor, atheist versus spiritual, left versus right, Us versus Them. There is money to be made when we are at war with ourselves and one another. The minds deluded by war and strife do not profit therefrom, while those that do dread the thought that the people might wake up and realise that TOGETHER, united as one family, we can have a much better world than the desiccated piece of shit they are trying to ram down our throats!
The fact that religious organisations are sources of power [through their ability to organise people] makes them ripe for infiltration, corruption, and - consequently - abuse, all of which serves to undermine its power to effect positive social change by making people cynical when it comes to the stated ideals of these organisations. There can be no denying the damning failures of the institutions of something like the Roman Tradition: human trafficking, oppression of women, slavery, murder, torture, mass graves: systematic sexual and physical abuse of children, protecting sexual predators and facilitating their movement from one area to others – vile crimes worse compounded by trying to cover them up: collusion with state powers, to say nothing of evils of sectarianism, yet in spite of this virtually unequalled litany of horror and shame the current director of this tradition is quite vocal in his condemnation of inequality, poverty, environmental degradation, the vicious, heartless, and immoral exploitation of the vulnerable by the powerful, and the shame of war. But what does the media focus on - The present evils and future threats of corporatism or the past evils and future goals of religious organisations? Hmmmm…curious.
I read an interesting quote once, the originator of the quote has been vilified by the media – perhaps for good reason – I really don’t know, but his observation is deeply instructive:
The originator was not Voltaire but was instead this guy. I don’t know much about him but I like the quote.
Because of its association with Voltaire I presumed that the quote referred to the Power Elite of the institutions of the Roman Catholic tradition or to monarchy in general. I reflected on this pithy statement and came to realise that if it did refer to the power of Rome then those days are gone – given the daily excoriation of the Roman tradition and of the undermining of religion in general. Consequently, I pondered: if Rome is no longer in control then who is – who today are we not allowed criticise? Most certainly we could find our answer from the media – who are they not allowed to criticise, their corporate sponsors of course!
Malcolm X knew a thing or two about how the media can portray things:
So, according to the mainstream media – the purveyors of religion [promoters of spiritual ideals] are the bad guys and the corporations are here to make everybody rich and happy. In fact, corporations are so unbelievably all good that you can trust that they have everyone’s best interests at heart; you needn’t doubt them, you needn’t question them. You don’t need to regulate their actions or policies because they will only act for the good of society and the environment. Do you really believe this?
Unchecked power is a dangerous thing. It was dangerous for the church in Rome and it presents an even more ominous danger for us now in the hands of the corporate elite.
The level of power currently available to international corporations has never been seen before and the disasters that are likely to follow this foolishness are equally likely to be on a previously unimaginable scale.
The way people are inclined to interpret at this statement is that God will kick your ass if you disobey Him but that wouldn’t be what Moses is getting at here. If we think of God in terms of Love and Life then to respect and honour such luminous spiritual realities is only natural to the human soul – it is not a matter of simple obedience.
The quote was taken from Deut. 11:26-28. You can choose to love life and to love Love: you can embrace it, honour it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it, share it, and you will reap the inevitable results of such conduct. Or you could choose the other way: you can forsake love and life; you can squander it, poison it, crush it, reject it, privatise it, and reap the inevitable results of such folly. “If you obey the commands of the Lord your God” for me translates into ‘if you will follow the dictates of love then you will have entered the way of blessing’: however, if you will refuse to abide by the dictates of love, then you will have entered the way of the cursed and tragedy ever attends such highways.
This admonition to be wary of ‘other gods, which you have not known’ speaks to me of how a people evolve from darkness to light, from ignorance to wisdom, poverty to power, and along the way there are made new discoveries, new insights, new understandings of life and the universe, all of which can crowd the mind and lead us to forget from whence we came and on what our existence is founded: Respect for Life and Love. And so, science emerges, unimagined riches emerge, new ambitions become realisable, new temptations, and all these things can be a distraction which lead us astray and off the path of blessing and into the way of the cursed. Consequently, people raise up new gods: wealth, power, fame, science, reason, and denounce those that will not bow down and worship with them; they forget the God that drew them out of oblivion and landed them on the path to abundant blessing and endless glory, and so they have gone off in a ‘way of their own choosing’.
And so we find ourselves, lost in a post modern age: rich in information and poverty stricken in wisdom; first world materially and third world spiritually: our minds subject to the influence of a compromised and corrupted media that, at the behest of their corporate overlords, tell us what to think, what to buy, when to buy it, from whom and where. It is they that decide who we can and can’t vote for: who we can and can’t trust; who we can speak to and who we can’t: what we should and shouldn’t read, and, most of all, who the enemy is.
We are indeed, at a parting of the ways, what are we going to do? Will we follow the dictates of love or the dictates of fear? Do we even know what we really and truly want? Have we ever taken time to sit for a moment in the stillness and see if we can’t hear that small, still voice – the humble and gentle voice of truth or have we, through the noise, distraction, and blinding glamour of post modern living, forgotten how to do this ‘needful thing’ which all the traditions teach is essential to our wellbeing and happiness? Do we really want this pre-packaged, highly processed, husk of a life (currently on offer) or do we feel that there’s a better deal out there which, if we work together, we can most assuredly get?
Remember, the secular freedoms of the post modern age were not simply handed over by the church - they were bought by the blood of martyrs. Don’t imagine that our corporate overlords of our day will be any more generous [or less violent] than the clergy in their day.
So, what’s it going to be: take what they chose to give you or fight for something far better?