Religion vs atheism and socialism vs capitalism: two conflicts becoming one?

Vastet's picture

I was reading the interesting discussion between Luminon and Old Seer in his 'Corner' when it hit me that the ongoing and upcoming religious and financial wars are linked, perhaps inseparably. I'd drifted off for a few minutes, so I can't point to what exactly they were saying, but a quote I'd heard popped into my head and just started bouncing around: "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful".

It got me thinking about where the money is, and what it's being used for. It got me thinking about how religious institutions are desperately seeking new members. It got me thinking about control and power, who has it and how much. About how, regardless of logic, after WW2 socialism has been linked heavily with atheism (which I'm sure is a constant annoyance to our right leaning members), while capitalism has been linked to theism.

Strangely, there is actually a logic to it which escaped me before.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

Religion is effectively the

Religion is effectively the last remnant of the 'old world', and socialism is a 'new' concept. Worse, socialism has within its very structure the removal of any remaining practical benefit to believe or have dependence on those who do.

Century after century, religion has lost its power. It no longer makes law and enforces it. It is no longer the refuge of the weak or the sick. All it has left is the poor. It has lost so much power that its only hope of regaining power is to enlist the masses. The only way to enlist the masses is to make them poor, dependant on religions charity, it's final standing leg of respectability.

A good number of the richest people happen to also be christian, and willingly or unintentionally are contributing to the financial problems in the developed world. Atheist rich are as well, but they also seem more aware of the problems with the structure of the market, as they are the ones generally talking about being willing to pay more taxes and such.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

All the die-hard Antoinette

All the die-hard Antoinette types I can think of are theists and proud.

Now there is no actual link between capitalism and religion beyond that created by the cold war (and the fact that both are monarchistic), but a link was created. And judging by the frequency with which theists, particularly Republican christians, link socialism to atheism, it may be an inescapable link that ties the two revolutionary goals into one movement.

Or maybe this is just some really good weed and I should start killing some zombies. Discuss or ignore at your discretion.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Cpt_pineapple's picture

Vastet wrote:. A good

Vastet wrote:
. A good number of the richest people happen to also be christian, and willingly or unintentionally are contributing to the financial problems in the developed world. Atheist rich are as well, but they also seem more aware of the problems with the structure of the market, as they are the ones generally talking about being willing to pay more taxes and such.

 

I don't see how being atheist would magically make you realize the problems of the market and I don't think I've hear of a lot of rich people, christian or atheist, who wants to pay more taxes.

 

 

 

Vastet's picture

I didn't say anything about

I didn't say anything about magic. It's actually about critical thinking. You know, that thing that theists fail at.

You also might want to actually pay attention to what people say. Warren Buffet comes immediately to mind as a rich guy who would support paying more taxes.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Beyond Saving's picture

 I think the seeming tie

 

I think the seeming tie between capitalists and religion is simply a result of political necessity and that socialism and religion are not entirely compatible. In order for people to accept socialism, they have to accept that the government has a lot of power and view the government as the source of solutions for their problems. Since traditionally, church has been viewed by the religious as the solution to their problems, most of the fundies reject the idea of government taking over that role. However, the so called "right" in the US hardly supports laissez-faire capitalism. GW Bush for example was economically far more leftist the Bill Clinton for example. Other than the tax issue, he supported more regulations, less free trade agreements and more government subsidies. Yet the republican party continues to use capitalist rhetoric simply to attract voters away from the class warfare rhetoric promoted by the democrats.

The reality is that neither party supports laissez-faire economics, the right wing christians just simply use the rhetoric but if you talk to them in detail on actual policy, they are rather left wing. The few people who really support capitalism tend to be less religious but also tend to continue to vote republican simply because democrat rhetoric has become so extreme and Obama is a communist/marxist. IME, people who are truly economically right wing to the point they can intelligently discuss economic issues are either atheist or at least not fundamentalist and they usually view voting republican as the "lesser of two evils". 

  

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

ex-minister's picture

 Isn't the true marriage of

 Isn't the true marriage of religion and politics feudalism? 

Ever since the enlightenment the relationship has become a love/hate relationship. Any political group could claim god is on their side. I was born in the 50s and saw in the 60/earliest 70s the social gospel when Jesus cared about the poor directly and now Jesus would prefer to trickle down on them instead.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/

Beyond Saving's picture

ex-minister wrote: Isn't

ex-minister wrote:

 Isn't the true marriage of religion and politics feudalism? 

Not necessarily. Feudalism is a social structure where the main ruler/government (usually a monarch or emperor) owns all land, then gives land away (called a fief) to underlings (lords, counts, dukes, shoguns) in exchange for them governing the land, collecting taxes and promising to send military aid when it is needed. In Europe, churches did thrive in many feudal systems and became powerful political players because of the ability of religion to work as a tool of communication and an opiate to the masses.  

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Brian37's picture

CAPITALISM IS NOT A FORM OF

CAPITALISM IS NOT A FORM OF GOVERNMENT! I am so sick of both sides twisting that word.

China capitalizes off the sale of cheap crap and slave wages to bring money into their country. Saudi Arabia capitalizes off the sale of oil. The Chinese communist party would not have power if it did not get funded by its capitalizim. Saudi Araibia' Royal Family which controls most of the weath of that country would not have power if it didn't sell anything to maintain that power. Gadaffi was a billionaire who owned stock in GE.

The term people should be using instead is "open market" vs "controled market". But all governments capitalize of the sale of something to others.

The difference between the markets in the west and the ones I mention above, is that there are less monopolies of power and governments that should, not that they do all the time, prevent monopolis of power. I see our trend here in America as alarming in that it is going down that same monpoly road, Citizens united  could potentially lead us into a future where the monopoly is not one of a dictatorship or a political party, but one of class. But the same thing would be happening, a monopoly  of power.

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

Beyond Saving's picture

Brian37 wrote:CAPITALISM IS

Brian37 wrote:

CAPITALISM IS NOT A FORM OF GOVERNMENT! I am so sick of both sides twisting that word.

It is an economic system.

Websters wrote:

An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit.

dictionary.com wrote:

an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

 

Brian37 wrote:

China capitalizes off the sale of cheap crap and slave wages to bring money into their country. Saudi Arabia capitalizes off the sale of oil. The Chinese communist party would not have power if it did not get funded by its capitalizim. Saudi Araibia' Royal Family which controls most of the weath of that country would not have power if it didn't sell anything to maintain that power. Gadaffi was a billionaire who owned stock in GE.

You are right about the term "capitalize" but there is a large difference between the word "capitalize" which is often used to describe any form of profit or any investment. It is perfectly possible (for some) to "capitalize" in a socialist economy, that does not make it capitalism. There is however a lot of capitalizing by private individuals in capitalism- hence why the system started being described as capitalism because it is driven by people capitalizing on capital investments. 

 

Brian37 wrote:

The term people should be using instead is "open market" vs "controled market". But all governments capitalize of the sale of something to others.

And that makes what distinction exactly? There can be many markets that are heavily controlled and an economy remain capitalist. Even in straight up socialist countries there is not complete control of all markets. The only current economic theory that even suggests having 100% control of every market is RBE

 

Capitalism vs. socialism is simply a distinction between who the primary owners of capital are. Capitalism the owners are primarily private individuals, socialism the owner is primarily the government, communism the owners are theoretically the laborers (I will grant that communism has never really been tried on any large scale, although many governments have improperly claimed the label). Capitalizing, open markets, regulated markets and profiting occur in all of them. The terms capitalism and socialism have become less distinctive because most modern Western governments are hybrids where the government owns and/or heavily subsidizes certain economic sectors while private individuals own others.  

 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Jeffrick's picture

The good old days..

ex-minister wrote:

 Isn't the true marriage of religion and politics feudalism? 

Ever since the enlightenment the relationship has become a love/hate relationship. Any political group could claim god is on their side. I was born in the 50s and saw in the 60/earliest 70s the social gospel when Jesus cared about the poor directly and now Jesus would prefer to trickle down on them instead.

 

 

                    I remember those times (b.'55) even the hippies  were often called 'Jesus freaks' &  "long haired friends of Jesus" while the conservatives got fed up with their life style and continuous bible quotes and told them to "get real".  Ahhhh how times have changed.

 

 

 

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?

EXC's picture

To me it's obvious that God

To me it's obvious that God and government(religion and socialism) compete against each other. The vast majority of people in the world still possess the psychological makeup of a frightened child in a big scary incoprehensable world. So they are looking for a rich powerful daddy to protect and provide for them. The rulers of religion and socialism both exploit this to gain power and wealth. The more Socialist push their ideals, the more they end up looking like a religious cult.

But then, capitalist businesses also take advantage of this psychosis in marketing their products. So in capitalism we end up will all this material stuff that doesn't really make us happy or content. One reason capitalism is broken is that too many people with low incomes are buying and demanding too much shit they can't afford. There needs to be a rational alternative.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca