Is spirituality a capitalist phenomenon?

“If your problems are ‘spiritual’ and not economic and political, so much better for those with political and economic power, because you are more likely to be a compliant citizen and reliable consumer.”

Makes sense to me - there is the anomaly of buddhism but that is more a lifestyle than a religion in many ways and there’s Bhutan an buddhist kingdom measures it’s Gross domestic happiness.

I’m not particularly convinced that there is a causal link, either way. The cargo cults of micronesia offer an interesting perspective on how and why people structure their superstitions.

Ultimately, the purpose of many spiritual traditions is personal or communal gain, like performing a rain dance or sacrificing a virgin in order to get a bumper crop. I wouldn’t say it’s capitalist, though, unless you speak of capital in terms of ‘cargo’ and not in the traditional (non-Marxist) sense.

I guess one could argue that religions foster a sense of ‘us-and-them’, which degenerates into ‘ours and not yours’ entitlement, but I’d characterise this as correlatory, and it’s more a phenomenon borne from human nature. Even animals compete for ‘cargo’, and they’re not religious in the least.

As an aside, it would be interesting to know whether the higher primates feel numinous or spiritual awe.

Not entirely unbelievable, however…

I believe you meant to say religion…rather than spirituality? Religions, and by that word I mostly refer to the three major middle-eastern religions of origin, do often seem to go hand in hand with controll of power and economics.
Simple example - In the early middle ages during the established years of the holy roman empire (italy, germany, france ect) trading of goods would only be allowed to parties that were under christian rule. This in turn obviously forced the more business minded side of pagan societies to convert. Hence a uniform “governing” body with economy as the proverbial slegdehammer.
So it’s not entirely unjustified to tie consumerism with religion. However i think at this point in time we are somewhat past that phase. Capitolism no longer needs a religion to drive it. It drives it self foward rather nicely.

Yes religion - I was paraphrasing the article. But I think you misinterpret it rather - it’s not capitalism requiring religion to continue but vice versa. If you want gullible people to buy your non-essential products and feed the media induced insecurity I think it helps that they believe in a non-essential and non-existing deity also. Because if you can convince people of that then thay’d be putty in your capitalist hands :slight_smile:

Controll of power and economics is more characteristic of communist societies than of a free market environment. Democracy cannot flourish in a scenario where the government controls all aspects of the economy, including the news media. Secularism - and by that I mean an implied freedom of religion rather than the absence thereof - is in turn a characteristic of the modern democracy. If there is a correlation between religiosity and the free market system, it might therefore be an indirect one. By contrast communism is known to be intolerant of freedom of belief. The former USSR was a typical example. Japan is largely atheist, yet has a very free economy. My take on it is that secularism is more likely in a free market environment, but religiosity not necessarily.

Hence the reference to the middle ages as an example. Though my reference might have been slightly out of context regarding the actual point at hand.
On the matter of wether consumerism and religion goes hand in hand currently, I’d be more inclined to say no. If anything I’d believe it’s actually going the opesite route.

Richard Dawkins and pope agree

I think instead of pondering over capitalist products like notebooks, ipads, hybrid vehicles etc we should I think put our attention on the communist workers paradise.