Sacred Games

What can be inferred from the last blog post and what logically follows from the last blog post is a focus on what is perhaps the final debate of Western philosophy, namely, the ‘Weber-Marx Debate.’ This debate centers on the question of whether beliefs or class serve as the main determinant of social reality. From a Weberian standpoint, certain beliefs and values such as Protestantism and Judaism prompt class and social mobility, whereas others such as Catholicism and Islam are not as helpful in prompting class and social mobility. Thus, from a Weberian standpoint, there is something inherent about the various belief sets and religions which make certain religious groups richer and more powerful than others.

            Marx, on the other hand, believed that everything revolved around class, and that the elites maintained their elite status over the popular class as a result of abuse, exploitation, and extraction. World history, according to Marx, is defined by the abuse, exploitation, and extraction on the part of the elites in virtually every society. Thus, from a Marxist standpoint, the elites are in a zero-sum game with the people, and ultimately the people will prevail because of the factors and reasons which were mentioned in the previous blog post. Ideally, there should be a non-zero-sum dynamic and a positive-sum relationship between the elites and the people. But according to Marx, the abusive, exploitative, and extractive nature of the elites is what precludes a non-zero-sum and positive-sum relationship between the elite and popular classes.

            Thus, rather than viewing Protestantism and Judaism as having something inherently special about their belief sets and values which in turn make Protestants and Jews richer and more powerful than Catholics and Muslims, one should instead take into account the history of “gunboat diplomacy,” opium wars, and usury as the reasons for why Protestants and Jews have wielded money and power over the course of the last few centuries. As a result, the difference maker is not necessarily belief sets and values. Rather, the difference maker is abuse, exploitation, and extraction. Also, if we look at who constitutes the “elite,” they are primarily White-Protestant males. Approximately 98 percent of board and leadership positions in multinational corporations comprise of White-Protestant males. Certain groups are thus less “God-conscious” than others, and are more prone to abuse, exploitation, and extraction than other groups.

            Perhaps one can view the Weberian standpoint as a mask for “Social Darwinism,” which is a theory that suggests white people are inherently better than other races. Thus, at the heart of our social reality for the last few centuries are white supremacy and white hegemony. What follows from “Social Darwinism” is the notion that there is something inherently special about whites which distinguish whites from other races. But rather than viewing world history as a process by which people of color adjust to the beliefs and norms of whites, one should perhaps view world history as a process by which whites become cognizant and open to the beliefs and norms of racial and religious groups which they have been marginalizing for a number of centuries.

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