Tuesday, May 10, 2011
We Are All Protestants Now, Slouching Towards the Apocalypse
Well, not exactly all of us, but with Conservatives now in the driving seat in the UK, Canada, and the US, a Protestant derived mindset is firmly in control of the Anglo-American Empire as we leave behind the gains that secular humanism brought about for the great "unwashed" masses.
When trying to name this mindset, the term Cultural Calvinism is often applied. Of all the protestant sects, it is the doctrines of the Calvinistic creed that have had the greatest impact upon the English speaking societies. Importantly, the ideas are no longer anchored to a particular faith or dogma. Instead, they have drifted to permeate large parts of socio-economic discourse, and, as a result, have become more insidious with regard to how they exercise control, framing socio-economic debates unbeknownst to the participants.
In a nutshell, Cultural Calvinism is founded on the belief that human society is essentially God's creation and that we should not interfere with God's plans for each and everyone of us. People get what they deserve, especially the rich whose wealth demonstrates their favored status in the eyes of God. The less well off must be content to toil away at their callings/jobs, and the wretched of the earth must be purged of their imperfections and be punished for their sins.
Once one understands the extent to which Cultural Calvinism permeates English-speaking cultures, a great deal of the mind boggling inequality actually makes sense from within the framework and of course looks like a bunch of self-serving bullshit on behalf of the rich and powerful from the outside.
From the perspective of the rich, there's probably no better self defense that to invoke God's name to fool people into thinking that the existing social order has been sanctified by the All Mighty and that to seek change is an invitation to invoke God's wrath.
Never underestimate the gullibility of the masses and the extent to which they'll by into the schtick. Just ask Bernie Madoff.
So, looking at the collapse of the financial markets, the onset of the Great Recession, and the austerity measures taken to slay the dragon of budgetary deficits, events are unfolding pretty much to the liking of Cultural Calvinists.
The great transfer of wealth is just God's way of rewarding his favored ones. Those who lost their jobs, homes, or both deserve what they got. Consequently, no prosecutions against those who were responsible for humanity's greatest financial swindle and little or no relief for the afflicted.
In fact, the building of more prisons to "house" the less fortunate at public expense is just what the good Lord wanted.
Moreover, catastrophic climate change is in reality the apocalypse, which according to the word of God will usher in the second coming.
By all means should we ratchet up the economy as fast as she can go so we can bring more wealth to the Elect and bring the chosen few closer to that day when they will meet their maker and enter into paradise.
If the rest of the world goes to hell in a hand basket, it's all part of the master plan, and if you don't get it, there's no special place for you.