Monday, October 31, 2011

Letter to Allen (Wanderers List)

Hi Allen ---

"Religion" might be a misnomer, so we could say "ethnicity" and imagine one like the Jungian Society, which actively taps psychological resources through rituals involving symbols, dreams, incantations of various kinds.

I've been to some
of these Society's lectures with Wanderer Nancy. The venue is a church building, but the content is not specifically Xtian in any way.

It's not that you can practice all the rituals within the format of a lecture (any more than in the format of a toast). No, the meeting hall is more for comparing notes and discussing the various dharmas (teachings) one picked up along the way, in whatever vision quest.

At least one speaker had met with Jung personally, had stories to tell.

I would say television successfully spread a world religion of consumerism / shopping that had been hitherto unknown. Many societies tend towards frugality, ship shape, no excess, minimal -- as an aesthetic, not as a sign of "poverty" (the few assets may be of high net worth). This notion [of] filling your garage and basement with cruft as a counter to depression and in reward for "working hard" would impress many a wise ass Cro-Magnon as stupid / psychotic to the bone.

I would not identify this phenomenon exclusively with "capitalism" however as giving individuals more power as routers, when it comes to spreading assets to nooks and crannies, with guidance from shared screens, might be the basis of a systems science with no special allegiance to the capitalist heroes when it comes to demonizing all competing "isms" (a sign of weakness).

For example, I regard the standing military as essentially a socialist institution (shared public property, institutional wealth over individual wealth) and the above description matches various soldiering philosophies regarding increased unit autonomy and self-direction within the ranks.

On the other hand, the shared focus on "capitals" in the sense of cities, state capitals, might merit the use of this word for some other ideology as well, supranational in focus, urbane and metropolitan.

So for the sake of debate let's call the new religion "capitalism" while reminding ourselves it's a rather different "invisible hand" this time, as the investors think more like Jung & Swedenborg than like Smith & Maynard or Marx & Engels.

Adorno and the Frankfurt School remain influential I would suppose, but I gamble more heavily on Vienna Circle influences, know those horses better (gambling is not verboten in this namespace, or call it "church bingo"). Yes, I'll offer myself as an example capitalist in this namespace (aka "designer religion"). In my case, it's another fork within Quakerism (we're dime a dozen on those). In other tellings, the Unitarians played a pretty big role. Depends on the historian, as always.

CSN / Cult of Athena