Kayce Basques

Idolatry

Politics

Idolatry is alive and well in modern society. We created our economies and our governments, but now we worship them as forces greater than humanity. If we want to change society, we can begin by challenging any thoughts that treat it as a force greater than us.

I'm reading a fascinating critique on capitalism by the psychologist Erich Fromm. I first discovered Fromm via his other book, The Art Of Loving. It's an enlightening perspective on what it means exactly to "love", and I highly recommend it. I feel much more capable of creating fulfilling relationships because of that book.

In The Sane Society, Fromm argues that idolatry is alive and well. Yes, we're talking about biblical idolatry. You probably know the story about the Israelites who created the golden calf during Moses's absence, and started worshipping it. I never paid much mind to that story, up until now. I'd just say to myself "silly Israelites" and shrug it off. I also had a tendency to only narrowly apply the concept to religious matters.

But Fromm argues that idolatry permeates modern society. Humanity built capitalism, yet now we worship capitalism as a force greater than humanity. If we're ever going to effect change, destroying the culture of idolatry, of treating society as a force out of our control, is a good place to start.