📚 node [[20200713102406 the_enchantments_of_mammon_how_capitalism_became_the_religion_of_modernity_the_regrettable_century]]
📕 text contributed by @ryan

The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity (part 1) | The Regrettable Century

tags : [[capitalism]] [[religion]] [[capitalism as religion]] [[modernity]]

source : The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity (…

The book they are discussing can be found here.


  • Prior to capitalism there was an understood enchantment of the world, somewhat popularized by the [[Catholic Church]]. After [[Protestantism]] entered the scene, this enchantment was replaced with rationality
  • Protestantism sees the rituals of Catholicism paganistic
  • [[Weber]] said that protestantism was a mistrust of ritual and sacraments in religion
  • Protestantism is the spirit that drives America and capitalism
  • Weber said that protestants saw success in business as religious success
  • He said that attempts to re enchant the world will only be a kind of self therapy, consolation, to make
  • Sacraments pervaded every aspect of life in the [[medieval period]]
  • [[The commons]] were granted collective ownership of a certain portion of land. This idea flies in the face of modern capitalism
  • Land was constantly equitably divided in [[the commons]], frequently redistributed according to common need
  • Although the commons sound great, the past shouldn’t be romanticized. Medieval Christendom was as hypocritical as modern [[capitalist ideology]]
  • Catholicism (notably Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi) considered communism the ideal, [[private property]] a necessary concession
  • Catholic monastic orders were essentially communist: believed in common ownership, common work, etc.
  • Peasants revolts in this period occurred because nobles didn’t adequately protect peasantry. A sort of social contract was violated
  • Protestants re-invented their own rituals. May speak to a desire of belonging and purpose
  • Much of the [[Inquisition]] wasn’t as bad as people thought; their aim was to combat [[heresy]], to kill someone would have been seen as a failure.
  • The [[Spanish Inquisition]] was as bad as people thought; it was a [[colonialist]] project to reclaim land and integrate population
  • Accumulation of wealth was seen as a Protestant duty to God ([[prosperity theology]])
  • [[John Locke]] said that land had to be improved, nature has no value, and otherwise you don’t have a right to it
  • [[Milton]] suggested that having to labor was the punishment imposed by God, self-reliance is satanic
  • The [[Diggers]] were an anti-capitalist movement of sorts, who aimed to undo [[enclosure]]
    • [[Gerrard Winstanley]] wrote something like “Why is knowledge only ever used for misery and not for the enrichment of all?”
  • [[Marx]] says the antidote to religion is [[revolution]]. The essence of Christianity (i.e. communistic living) is the essence of humanity
  • Marxists should be against mechanized reason, not reason itself
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