If you were to read some of my blogs over the past few months you would find this quote perfectly understandable. ‘God’ in whatever guise you might find is always a personification of what people think is ‘good’ about their society. All other values or means not sanctioned as good by social leaders are considered satanic, demonic, evil.* Ernest Becker, in Escape From Evil elucidates clearly the reason why we bifurcate society in this way, a process that started millenia ago. We are so dependent on our societies for our lives, our sustenance, our culture that we naturally deify them. Those who might threaten our societies from within or without are evil and must be destroyed or at least ignored, ostracized or shunned. The closer one gets to the core of social values, the closer one feels to ‘God.’ It’s all just illusion, of course. A big lie. But comforting.
In a society characterized by the accumulation of monetary value, those who have been most successful in this venture are the high priests (think Goldman Sachs) and are virtually untouchable, even when caught doing immense damage to the ‘rest of us.’ It’s not about the ‘rest of us.’ It’s about their interests and how they coincide with the perpetuation of capital accumulation. That’s the message of this quote.
* This can be as simple as a married woman who looks the way of a handsome man as they pass on the street thus offending the husband’s notion of how a good married woman should behave (look straight ahead, acknowledge no one) and as complicated as a whole society’s condemnation of homosexuality or of the poor who are considered no better than the walking dead. It refers to a violation of expectations of ‘proper’ conduct.