INFINITE SECULAR THEORIES OF MATERIAL GROWTH AND PROSPERITY IN A FINITE WORLD: FUNNY HOW AN IDEOLOGY WHICH DENIES THE EXISTENCE OF AN INFINITE GOD SEEKS TO SUPPLANT IT WITH ITSELF AS THE ‘INFINITE GOD’ OF A FINITE TEMPORAL WORLD?
I’m cooped up indoors today, with the tail end of Hurricane Irene blowing its way through Québec city as it exhausts its energies after wrecking havoc all the way up the east coast of the USA.
This just goes to prove to me how fragile and finite of a world we live in. Yet you wouldn’t know it if you switched on the television or went online and looked at the forecasts for the global economy. It’s all about ‘how can we kick start growth again?’ It’s as if we’re not consuming enough as it is and we’re being asked to get going and consume even more so as to do our patriotic duty for our country and our planet.
Aren’t people grossly obese already? Aren’t they eating too much of the wrong food, and driving too many cars? Funny, all I see on TV when I watch it are commercials for cars and junk food! (Not to mention antacids for those who ate too much so they can calm their heartburn, so that they can eat some more, or stool softeners so that they can have a proper bowl movement from not eating right and being constipated, or foot powder or orthopaedic insoles for people whose feet are hurting or swollen, probably because they’re overweight!).
Shouldn’t we be actually consuming less raw materials and food products and conserving resources so that those in the rest of the world can have more? This makes me wonder: Who’s in charge here? How did it come to pass that we keep on talking about conservation and preserving the planet’s resources, yet we still haven’t backed away from our ideology of ‘unlimited growth’, which our corporate ideologues seem to be plugging even harder these days, and our politicians, who are aiding and abetting them, seem to have swallowed, hook, line and sinker.
This secular materialistic ideology, which, by the way, purports to be ‘non-ideological’ in it’s stance, when in fact it’s the most ideologically-charged ‘non-ideology’ ever known to humanity, has put forth the idea that material prosperity is the ultimate end which we should aspire to as a species, to the exclusion of any faith-based solution or notion of dwelling in the presence of a Supreme Being.
This therefore sets us up as humans to commit the ultimate sin, in the sense that we break the First Commandment, in that we not only put ourselves in the mind of God, but that we make ourselves into our own god, placing ourselves in the position as the purveyor of all things infinite, yet nevertheless dwelling in a finite world.
This is in stark contrast to the faith of our ancestors, which has taught us that God is the one true Supreme and Infinite Power, and that anything temporal which we create here on earth, including capitalism, with it’s notions of growth, abundance, gain, profits, sales, prosperity, maximizing production and consumption, are all finite notions which exist in a finite temporal world of limitations, and as such must be treated with reservation and caution as to the preservation and conservation of our world for posterity.
There was a book written in 1972 by the Club of Rome called ‘The Limits to Growth’. In it, they talk about how an ideology of infinitely expanding production and consumption, as well as population, collides with the inevitability of our finite world. Only by acknowledging the one true source of infinite power and humbling ourselves before it, can we hope to put such things as technology to proper use so as to solve our ongoing dilemmas of seemingly infinite wants being contained within a finite realm.
This is one of the fundamental principles of economics that we learned in high school: The notion of scarcity. That economics, as it is construed today, is the study of the development of land, labour and capital, which are finite, to satisfy what are construed by the purveyors of capitalist economics, to be infinite wants and desires. So from the get-go, we’re operating with a very dysfunctional ideology, which is self-centred, self-motivated, self-seeking in a bad way, and ultimately un-Godly, yet it purports to supplant God as the dominant hegemonic discourse of our planet. No wonder our world is in such a sorry state.
Meanwhile, Irene continues to blow outside and Hank Williams continues to sing those ‘Honky Tonk Blues’ here inside. So far I’m safe, and the effects of the global system have been beneficial to me and to my country. However, it’s the other 80% of the world I’m worried about. I’m afraid something worse than Irene will come and strike us all down, and then we’ll all be singing much worse than the ‘Honky Tonk Blues’.
Have a good one folks, and hope you all had a good summer. Something to think about as we head into fall…