RE: Capitalism and Christianity

From: James S. Elkins <>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 13:33:23 -0500


This is one of the most lucid descriptions of capitalism-as-pseudo-religion I've read. I've long held that capitalism *is* a (false) religion insofar as it usurps the authority of religion in the domains of ethics and morality in our modern world.

As for myself, I realized years ago that capitalism has appropriated Christian holidays such as Christmas in much the same way that Christianity appropriated many primitive pagan holidays. Though not a Christian myself, I no longer celebrate Christmas because I don't feel that the acquisition of material goods is an appropriate way to commemorate the birth of a revered Master, regardless of denomination.

I've also realized for some time that capitalism and communism are simply two "sects" of the *same* pseudo-religion, competing for mindshare in much the same way as the Sadducees and Pharisees did in ancient times. Edward Edinger, the Jungian analyst, makes the distinction thusly: "free enterprise" is *private* capitalism, whereas communism is *public* capitalism. The only real difference lies in *who* controls the capital. But, as you correctly pointed out, the government will eventually control it all in either case.

Thank you so very much for this essay. I will visit these pages often to see what others have to say about this fascinating subject.

James S. Elkins
Received on 11 September 2002

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