Monday, January 23, 2012

capitalism and religion - insufficiently nuanced.

I would like to add a small piece to the recent post I put on this blog on capitalism and religion. In this I said that organized religion was not personal it was political. I feel that this is still correct. But on thinking more about this I feel that perhaps my post was insufficiently nuanced.

Take the black churches here in the USA. Ford was infamous for using these to try and recruit non union workers for his factories in the days when the unions were openly racist. However in the 1950's and 1960's the black churches played a major role in the civil rights movement and this movement had a world wide progressive affect. It changed my own life.

Also the alienation of US society today is still so great and the racism still so present that black people still go to the black churches in large numbers for solidarity and support and to hear and create their music which is so much part of these.

Of course nothing exists in a vacuum. And the capitalist offensive of the past forty years has had a big affect on the black churches here in the US. Well especially the mega churches and especially in the major cities such as Chicago where the leaders of these churches are drawn into the circles of the ruling cliques of these cities and given various perks in return for which they are expected to keep their "flock" in order, accepting capitalism and the status quo.

All in all organized religion is political and part of the ruling classes in society, but on occasion certain churches can get pulled by their working class base into struggle and play a progressive role for a while. But in the last analysis unless capitalism is overthrown organized religion like all the major forces in society is forced to bow the knee.


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