Crediting God: Sovereignty and Religion in the Age of Global Capitalism

By Miguel Vatter | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
All Nightmares Back: Dependency
and Independency Theories, Religion,
Capitalism, and Global Society

Hauke Brunkhorst

Modern capitalism in the 1960s and 1970s was called late capitalism, and this index of time—the word “late”—implied that modern capitalism, with free markets of labor, real estate, and money, had come to an end. Its final decay was supposed to be only a question of time, political power, and successful regime change. During the 1960s and 1970s, the leftist alternative seemed to be clear and present. The variety of socialist alternatives was overwhelming: Grassroots democracy, democratization of the economy, a strong social welfare state, state or market socialism, but socialism (or social democracy) in any case. This was an illusion. Today it seems that there is nothing left from socialist experiments. Social democratic leaders have become neoliberal defenders of the so-called Washington consensus. Socialism and great parts of the former Left, old and new, have disappeared, and what is left is liberal capitalism—ironically, with the highest growth rates in China, which still is governed by an efficient and authoritarian communist party—and once again we can make the striking observation that the capitalist economy fits very well to every political regime that is efficient, even to a communist dictatorship.1

In the 1960s and 1970s, not only the end of capitalism was predicted. At that time, there existed also a well-established social theory that predicted and explained the necessary decay of religion: the so-called theory

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