Extolling the virtues, and rightness of our now old hat, the Secular materialistic state of affairs that rule the world, it is praised with self-righteousness, like a sort of doctrine that like the famous phrase in our bill of rights allude:
“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence and considered by some as part of one of the most well crafted, influential sentences in the history of the English language.These three aspects are listed among the “unalienable rights” or sovereign rights of man.
A noble idea no doubt, however the angle attached to it is the word Property!
The first and second article of the Virginia Declaration of Rights adopted unanimously by the Virginia Convention of Delegates on June 12, 1776 and written by George Mason, is:
That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
Which means that a man dispossessed of the right to acquire property it is not free, this may be so, however the property attachment it is bothersome from an Ontological point of view because it makes liberty or freedom dependent on property, and how freedom can be so, if it requires such attachment?
The seventeenth-century cleric and philosopher Richard Cumberland wrote in 1672 that promoting the well-being of our fellow humans is essential to the “pursuit of our own happiness.” This was the original idea, but John Locke, in his 1689 “A Letter Concerning Toleration,” wrote that “Civil interest I call life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things…” Locke wrote in his 1693 Essay Concerning Human Understanding that “the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness.” Locke never associated natural right with happiness, but in 1693 Locke’s philosophical opponent Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz made such an association in the introduction to his Codex Iuris Gentium. William Wollaston’s 1722 book The Religion of Nature Delineated.
As we can see this aggregate of: “Indolence of body; and the possession of outward things” is bothersome because delineate a course of materialistic satisfaction, in order to be happy, when we know this not to be true since happiness it is an inner state of the Soul, that doesn’t require such aggregates!
Benjamin Franklin was in agreement with Thomas Jefferson in downplaying protection of “property” as a goal of government. It is noted that Franklin found property to be a “creature of society” and thus, he believed that it should be taxed as a way to finance civil society.The United States Declaration of Independence, which was primarily drafted by Jefferson, was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The text of the second section of the Declaration of Independence reads:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
This of course doesn’t mean go shopping and live for ever after on the pursuit of goods, and property!
A state of affairs, we presume to make Universal law, with our embrace of Globalism, and the exporting worldwide of secularism, in the form of commerce, and consumerism, despite the clear signs of profound inequality, environmental decay, and Spiritual bankruptcy of such Nihilistic philosophy!
A BRIEF DEFINITION OF NIHILISM
Nihilism from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological, metaphysical, or ontological forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that contrary to popular belief, some aspect of reality does not exist as such.
The term nihilism is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realizing there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws.
Nihilism is also a characteristic that has been ascribed to time periods: for example, Jean Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch,and some Christian theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity and many aspects of modernity represent a rejection of theism, and that rejection of their theistic doctrine entails nihilism.
Well it will be futile, not to see the marriage between the secular state, modernity, postmodernity, and the current state of affairs regarding Capitalism, Commerce, Globalization, and the exportation of pragmatic ideas, and idealized models of business growth associated with a dismissal of Spiritual values, and the enthroning of Mammon as the sole arbitrary for our political policies!
Please do not believe that I advocate a return to a Religious state, or at the abolition of a secular state, in favor of a Religious one!
But I do not see why we need to believe Capitalism and his many maladies to be the Religion of the State!
Our Governments are now married to Capitalism, and instead of supporting the majority, and helping the needy, and act democratically, they are all for the infamous one percent!
Here it is what one of the few voices in the left Slavoj Zizek has to say about it:
“We can see that for a long time we allowed our political engagement also to be outsourced,” he said. “We want it back. We are not communists. If communism means the system which collapsed in 1990, remember that today those communists are the most efficient ruthless capitalists. In China today we have capitalism which is even more dynamic than your American capitalism but doesn’t need democracy.
“Which means when you criticize capitalism, don’t allow yourselves to be blackmailed that you are against democracy. The marriage between democracy and capitalism is over.”
The relationship of Capitalism and our political realities have been obvious, and redundant, this doesn’t mean that mainstream Religion it is not wedded to this as well, however there is some that dissent with the view that Capitalism is God send!
A new poll released on Thursday found that more Americans (44%) believe that capitalism is incompatible with Christianity than those who don’t (36%).
White evangelicals (44%) are more inclined than a majority of Americans (61%), Catholics (36%), white mainline Christians (33%), and minority Christians (34%) to think that unregulated businesses would still act ethically, and they place a higher priority on the clergy being vocal about social issues over economic concerns.
Minority Christians, on the other hand, think that religious leaders should speak out about both areas, especially on the economic issue of home foreclosures, which 76% considered important in comparison to 46% of the general population.
“Minority Christians have a deep theological tradition of connecting faith and economic justice, and we see that link in the survey,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. “Because minorities in the US generally continue to have lower incomes than whites, economic issues are also more salient in these congregations.”
In the poll’s other findings:
50% of women see a clash between capitalism and Christianity in comparison with 37% of men.
Most Democrats (53%) see a clash between capitalism and Christianity in comparison to 37% of GOPers and 41% of independents. Most of the Tea Party members (56%) say that capitalism is compatible with Christianity.
Almost half (46%) of Americans with household incomes of $100,000 a year or more think that capitalism is compatible with Christian values in comparison with merely 23% of those with household incomes of $30,000 a year or less.
“The most idolatrous claim of the Christian right is that the invisible hand of the free market…is none other than the hand of God,” said Andrew Walsh, author of Religion, Economics and Public Policy and a religion professor at Culver-Stockton College, “and any attempt to regulate the free market, according to this theology, belies a lack of faith in God.”
It is time to look for better alternatives to our form of Government, maybe a secular Government that is not committed to a Capitalistic ideology, but neither to a Religious one. Maybe as is fashionable now days to hear:
Spiritual but not Religious, or Secular but not Capitalist, perhaps a true Democracy? Above all we need real political participation of the individual in general versus the usual machinery of our traditional political parties who protect the status quo, and they are guilty of the present state of affairs, the creation of a movement outside the only two choices who pretend to be the only alternative, and the legitimate voice of Democracy, and the will of the people, they are not! It is time to change it. As how this change should take effect? Well that is for the people to decide, not for the two parties in power.
There will be a lack of honesty to blame totally the two political parties in power, and a few bankers, America since even before the Revolution, in 1690 the Massachusetts government bay colony was the first government in the Western World to use paper to pay it’s debts, although the paper was worthless! Not only the British colonies, but the thirteen States, and the Continental Congress after the Revolution all printed paper money to pay their bills, no other place in the World there was so much paper money circulating than America, at the time of the Civil War, there were more than ten thousands paper notes issued by different banks and governments!
One of the aims of the Revolutionary leaders including James Madison through the Constitution, (Article I section 10 prohibited the States to print money) was to eliminate the excessive printing of money the States outrageously issued created repeated inflationary bouts, the States went around the Constitution chartering banks that issued the notes by the millions, same that the banks couldn’t back up with gold or silver, there was a particular bank that possessing $86.45 in gold, emitted $600,000.00!
The American economy rose, and fell, like the tides depending on the confidence or lack of it by the people, in a country thirsty for cash, banks just made money to fuel the dream of people who always lived beyond their means, no different from today Wall Street fiasco of 2008, easy access to credit in a bubble economy fueled by spending, were the religious mantra was spend on what you can’t afford to pay, combined with a government that urged it’s citizens now days surnamed consumers to go and spend freely for the economy to recover, akin to drink more to recover from the hang over! All this together with the tremendous insatiable greed of finance speculators, corporate tycoons, complicit government officials, who instead of punishing, and make heads roll imparting justice, rewards financial institutions, who went defiantly against common sense, and ethical behavior, and your average citizen who decided to borrow well beyond their means to buy houses, luxury cars, high Tech gadgets, traveling, Etc. With total lack of regard for saving something for a rainy day, was not just a case of economical bankruptcy, but a reflection of a society bankrupt of Spiritual values as well.
If I were to think of the personal qualities of someone who seems to be spiritually bankrupt, what comes to mind is despair. The spiritually bankrupt person cannot envision a future different from the present. The spiritually bankrupt person has lost his/her moral compass and makes poor choices. The spiritually bankrupt person is self-absorbed and often oblivious of the effects of his/her actions on others.
The need for Spiritual values against the high tide of Materialism, combined with the common misunderstanding of freedom as an abandoning of Moral and Ethical restrictions in exchange for an everything goes attitude, fueled by the illusion of the idea that the possession, acquisition, of material goods, it is the only aspiration worthwhile to fulfill creates a ground fertile for deception, and confusion, were the individual pursues whatever is offered to him through media and expect an ultimate satisfaction in the object of desire, rather than understanding that the fulfillment of desire through objectification, it is to ignore the subjective nature of joy, happiness, love, bliss, and peace, who has little to do with the owning material goods, but on the subjective experience of Being.