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The Growing Collective Hate of Religion and its Threat to Freedom

Updated on January 5, 2013

The Growing Collective Hate of Religion and its Threat to Freedom

The threat to capitalism today is not only that “collectivism” is quickly replacing “individualism” as the new norm (in large part due to Internet and social website communications), it is that it is happening because the liberals and our own government are persuaded of the very opposite of its consequences. The smaller the individual personality becomes - the greater dimmed and unconscious – the greater their occupation is replaced by conventional group necessities and a need for acceptance. What logically follows then is a creation of a new “religion” comprised of individuals with no strong convictions of their own and with nothing but contempt for the individual, the old but familiar religion, or any “outsider” that does not conform to its dictates.

That is because capitalism by its very precepts is founded on individualism, and individualism finds its illumination in the “inward man.” While the current cry for secular leadership – free of the emotional judgments imposed by religious doctrine – is argued to be a threat to “liberty” and “equality,” it can also be said that the constraint of the individual imposed by a “collective” construct is a toxic threat to freedom as well – and, as history has repeated over and over again, more often than not with potentially catastrophic consequences.

But is it truly fair to equate the outlook of the religious man who, of one religious denomination or another, places value in the individual and “inward” man and is ready to defend him from the undifferentiated and unconscious herd, to the religious outlook of the secular man who, of one political party or another, values only material conditions and his own ideal ends? Surely, even the supreme atheist would be loath to deny that the political secularist is indeed practicing religion when he touts a “new way” or blissful “change” for the “good,” and commands individual conformity for the good of the “party” even at the expense of his own self and his own truth.

To be sure, hostilities are growing along material ends, with the growing material needs consuming the young and uneducated today, but increasingly, yet again, religion is to blame. But how is it, for example, that young progressives are convinced that all our woes are a result of the wealthiest in society when it is “progressives” or secularists that make up a great majority of the wealthiest in our country? Why is the wealth concentration in the liberal electorate not disdained as all, but only in the more “Christian” electorate, or “Jewish” electorate? It is here that we must direct our discussions – on the focus of “individual values” and “religion” - if we are ever to move beyond the provocative rhetoric of progressives. To do so, we must turn to history for an answer.

It was in 1944 when the first edition of The Road to Serfdom was first published by the University of Chicago Press. F.A. Hayek, its author, was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1974. He taught at the University of London, the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg (Germany). It was upon his book’s first publication in 1944 Hayek would be sneered by the intellectual elite. That is because Hayek’s ideas – and those philosophers he quotes from a variety of historical accounts - would confront secularists with a legacy of thought they dared not confront in themselves: which was that their own “collective” ideas of “equality” or “liberty” contained an outlook of “collectivist ideals” they were chagrined to admit were strikingly similar to those of the National Socialist Party.

It was shortly before the end of World War II and the revelations of Hitler’s atrocities were realized that Hayek’s ideas would shake the very foundations of one’s deeply-held beliefs, even the soul. In effect, he enlightened his readers [who at that time (and even today) who were loathe to admit that what happened in Germany was something that could happen elsewhere] to the common tendencies latent in all mankind and the “collective” ideas from which all modern societies hold a similarity of outlook to one degree or another.

In summary, that individuals in capitalistic societies could not be persuaded to believe that the economic policies of Germany could succeed in their own country left unguarded those tendencies that would potentially lay the foundation upon which a population would be persuaded to follow those same tendencies. In example, Hayek, with revelations from other political philosophers and economists, made note of the fact that the growing anti-Semitism in Germany had its roots in anti-capitalistic resentment when he wrote:

“That in Germany it was the Jew who became the enemy until his place was taken by the “plutocracies” was no less result of the anti-capitalist resentment on which the whole movement was based than the selection of the kulak in Russia. In Germany and Austria the Jew had come to be regarded as the representative of capitalism because a traditional dislike of large classes of the population for commercial pursuits had left these more readily accessible to a group that was practically excluded from the more highly esteemed occupations. It is the old story of the alien race’s being admitted only to the less respected trades and then being hated still more for practicing them. The fact that German anti-Semitism and anti-capitalism spring from the same root is of great importance for the understanding of what has happened there, but this is rarely grasped by foreign observers.”

That our governmental policies now serve a “new” religion, one so simplistic in its “collective” construct and designed only to serve a “collective” end, and that it has become increasingly apparent that it ignores completely the values extolled by the introverted man and his religion, serves only to remind us that we must all with conviction stand in defense of the individual, whether we have religion or not, if we are to preserve any remnant of a free nation.

Comments

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  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    I wish I had more time. Maybe one day. There is certainly enough material since everything is so upside down.

  • Perspycacious profile image

    Demas W Jasper 

    6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

    Three cheers for HubPages and the freedoms (though controlled?) it gives us, and gave you, to speak our pieces, and make our cases as you so admirably did in this piece of yours. Why not turn this into the book it almost is, and work at your true abilities: writing and social commentary!?

  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    I realized that my response to you did not go through because I commented in the wrong place. Thank you for your comments. I do agree with you.

  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    I am still new at this so I hope this reply gets to you (the other one I sent appears on my comment list but not in response to you). Wanted to say you are right. There will always be those for want of power will fill the vaccum.

  • Davesworld profile image

    Davesworld 

    6 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

    Collectivism fails every time it is tried. It will fail here as well. Collectivism fails to properly understand human nature and thus cannot be a long-term success without the oppressive police state to back it up.

  • tammybarnette profile image

    Tammy Barnette 

    6 years ago

    Voted up, useful and interesting. I see that in our country the poor have become the hated as the Jews in Germany, I can see how this could spring forth anti-capitalism. However, I do not see pure capitalism and individualism as a better model. I believe a mixture must be in place in order to balance the powers that be and protect us from ourselves. I also believe that our freedom is merely an illusion.

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