It’s your group(s), nations, economic systems, cultures etc., that promise you prosperity and the defeat of evil. In our case, evil is poverty, the inability to drown yourself in commodities, material things, the very currency of capitalism. Be good, support your corporations, your banks and your governments that do so by proxy for you and you’ll live the good life. Fail to do that and your life will be a living hell. Just ask the poor, the homeless and the sick. By the way, the second to last paragraph in this post, the one that starts “Unlike Freud”, the next name should read Rank and not Rand.
Escape 15: If your adversary wins the argument about truth, you die.
Half way through this exercise. Becker is in my blood, it seems, not because of him as a person. He is not my Christ. What he does do for me is summarize and synthesize ideas that I slowly came to accept over 40 years of scholarship. Actually by 1975 only a year after Becker’s death I was already ‘predisposed’ to accept his arguments having spent many hours reading the ethologists, Emile Durkheim, the Bible (2 versions), as many ethnographies as I could get my hands on, Thorstein Veblen, Karl Marx, Nietzsche, Will Durant and scores of others. The idea of an immortality-project that became the centre of people’s lives and embodied all of their hopes for eternal life, I had already intuited but not articulated as such. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, as I read…
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