If anyone wants to know what economics is really about or why we in the West find ourselves where we do can go here.
“Is meaningful resistance to the Cult of the Self even possible? Can a final, irrevocable descent into McHell be averted? Or are we condemned to a series of futile last stands – a long rearguard action inevitably culminating in catastrophe? Frankly, the State cannot save us and there is no political solution to the metaphysical problems posed by the Cult of the Self. In the words of Claes Ryn:
‘Traditional civilization is threatened with extinction because pleasing but destructive illusions have become part of the way in which most people view the world and their own lives. The hold on society of those who created and fed these illusions cannot be broken mainly through practical politics … What is most needed is a reorientation of mind and imagination. The great illusions of our age must be exposed for what they are so that they will start to lose their appeal …’
Religion can reorient mind and imagination. It, figuratively speaking, gives sight to the blind. And so, the antidote to the toxic value system of the Cult of the Self is in the end theological – and the solution is faith.”
In other words, it can tell another story, another narrative, one that de-thrones self.
What is captured in this essay is what happens if we reduce value to, “what I personally feel” or to, “what works for me” without any sense of communal purpose or a purpose that transcends self. And clearly how could one even have that sense if such is what he reduces “value” to? The irony of what we might call the secular Left in the West is that it is controlled by an ideology that actually creates the breeding ground for the libertarian ethos for both the Left and the Right. The only difference is that one looks to humanist/ecological values, which have been shorn of any meaning due to the fact/value distinction, while the other looks to economic theories based on a purported universal logic or reason regarding exchange and some mythic ideal of “liberty”. Either direction makes it absolutely certain that the only people left standing are centralized states beholden to even more powerful private corporations. As long as the Cult of Self is our modern religion the market will always rule—and that includes governments. This will continue the plunder of the earth, climate change or any other change be damned, and it will continue to create a super-wealthy class and a super-poor class as the middle slowly disappears across the West. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. Our idol is a big mirror that simply reflects back our image.
Here are a couple of good world-view/narrative/faith questions for each of us: Does my world-view/narrative/faith- help or hinder the ideas and practices that lead to a Cult of Self? And, if it helps or contributes to it, will I reconsider my world-view?
These are important questions–maybe the questions of our times.