Walter Benjamin called capitalism “a religion of deconstruction.”
Disbelief in any spiritual reality is also a belief system.
To the “rational materialist” mind, death is the end of everything; this thought feeds its rage against nature...
“Capitalism is probably the first instance of a cult that creates guilt, not atonement... the nature of the religious movement which is capitalism entails the endurance right to the end, to the point where God, too, finally takes on the entire burden of guilt, to the point where the universe has been taken over by that despair which is actually its secret hope. Capitalism is entirely without precedent, in that it is a religion which offers not the reform of existence but its complete destruction. It is the expansion of despair, until despair becomes a religious state of the world in the hope that this will lead to salvation.”
Heroin addiction, or overdose, is often a response to an inexpressible spiritual emergency. My friend R, as well as other friends who died from heroin, suffered from a spiritual crisis, a moral abyss. R turned to heroin because it was a way out, a simple, straightforward mean of escape from the labyrinth created by his wealth, his terror, and his desperation. It was a capitulation to the ideology of destruction. Like me, he had no access to any kind of faith. He had no means of expressing a transcendental impulse—except self-obliteration. Like many users of the drug, inspired by the nihilist background noise of our culture, he romanticized the agent of his doom.
Was this anything like the sixties?
“This is so much better than the sixties. So much less self-indulgent and desperate, so much more restrained.” Barlow answered. “What you have here is a large group of people trying to practice unconditional love for strangers, and, for the most part, succeeding.”