Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spiritual prosperity programming

The last 2 posts on faux spiritual values remind me of how religion in general, including Christianity, has undergone a drastic transformation in the US under the socio-economic system of capitalism. We see the likes of this in the integral movement explored in these IPS threads: "LOHAS and the indigo dollar" and  "Integral global capitalism." It has also come to more mainstream religions like Christianity as well in the form of prosperity programming. Hence we have such premises and lines of rationalization like this: We create our own realities. Therefore if your life sucks it's your own damned fault and the fault lies only with you. If you're poor you deserve it. Same for if you're rich. God rewards those that help themselves and punishes those that slack off. Which is of course exactly the kind of 'reasoning' (rationalization) behind regressives in the US Congress. This article goes into how this happened in Christianity. And this one on religion and the market. See all the above articles for detailed analysis of how these greedy, selfish, hateful and 'spiritual' rationalizations are unconsciously grounded in the capitalist way of life.

PS: Also recall this IPS thread on positive thinking in the military. A few excerpts from the thread:

I know some of you also appreciate Chris Hedges quoted in the article. Regarding positive psychology he feels that "the practice has thrived in the corporate world where the refusal to consider negative outcomes resulted in the current economic crisis." He says:

"Positive psychology, which claims to be able to engineer happiness and provides the psychological tools for enforcing corporate conformity, is to the corporate state what eugenics was to the Nazis. Positive psychology is a quack science that throws a smoke screen over corporate domination, abuse and greed. Those who fail to exhibit positive attitudes, no matter the external reality, are seen as maladjusted and in need of assistance. Their attitudes need correction. Academics who preach [the benefits of positive psychology] are awash in corporate grants."

I finally saw Casino Jack last weekend, the story of Jack Abramoff. The movie starts with him brushing his teeth in front of the mirror, giving himself a positive thinking speech, justifying his behavior because he's a good man with good motives doing good things in the world. He does this before meeting with the Congressional committee charging him with fraud etc. This is a fine example of the kind of "positive" rationalizations used for propping up a corrupt system, and quite reminiscent of the kennilinguist excuses to prop us capitalism. Our positive, beneficial, world-changing, second tier consciousness can of itself transform a corrupt, heinously inequitable and no longer useful economic system. Yes, still useful to the rich, capitalist class of course, which it seems kennillinguists have aspirations of joining.

In one scene one of Abramoff's cronies says to a reporter that without capitalism there is no democracy. Again, utter nonsense, as the two are even antithetical, capitalism being rather a hold-over from feudalism. Democratic business is consistent with democracy, not capitalism. And no, per above democratic business is not some pluralistic equalizer of qualitative distinctions where every point of view is valid or every worker gets the same wage independent of skill level or relative responsibility.

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