The Heretic

Who would have thought?

Until then, I had always thought of the man as a jaded and scornful cynic, through and through; a man with no illusions about human nature, skeptical of the motives of others, distrusting of human sincerity or integrity---you know, essentially, the kind of cynicism on which is founded the gospel of capitalism à la Milton Friedman, rooted in the fundamentalist belief that people can only be motivated by base or selfish concerns, and the dogma that profiteering is the only possible engine to any viable society.

Which brings us to organized religion. Because, this is what we are talking about, here, aren't we? And, like all the high priests of any organized religions, the hierophants of the invisible hand of the market do not tolerate any shade of gray; there can be no middle ground where the faith is concerned. It's either Milton (Friedman)'s paradise, or Hell (think Joseph Stalin and Chairman Mao with pitchforks). It's Paul the Apostle all over again: the original sin. Man is lazy (especially colored people, don't ya know) and selfish and no good can come of them. Only in blind obedience to the holy trinity, Profit (the father), Corporate Capitalism (the son), and the invisible hand of the market (the holy spirit), can society ever hope to be redeemed. And, of course, all must be converted to the faith—no room for dissent, here—there is no other way. Any form of deviance from the established dogma is heresy and the work of the devil. You are either with us or you are against us. Are you saved, brother? Are you a born again Venture Capitalist, yet, sister? Have you worshiped on the altar of Wall Street? Are you...a shareholder?

This once, here is hoping that Christopher is right about this (the part about human solidarity). The man is a humanist—an affirmation of some positive notion of "human nature" by contrast with the anti-humanism of people like Milton Friedman and his ilk. There's got to be more to the world than that.

Or is there?

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