The Religion of the Marketplace
September 1999By Joseph Tussman
Joseph Tussman is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of Obligation and the Body Politic, Government and the Mind, The Burden of Office, and The Beleaguered College.
The "marketplace" is the central image of a new religion, rising out of the ruins of a century marked by devastating war and by a remarkable run of insane rulers and intrusive bureaucracies that have destroyed the faith in politics as capable of producing a just and happy human order. The time is ripe for the emergence of a nonpolitical, an anti-political, salvation creed and, lo! -- it has emerged. It is the Religion of the Marketplace -- universal in its appeal, easily intelligible, and militant, sending out its missionaries, in the guise of agents of the International Monetary Fund, to keep the fainthearted from straying from the new Tao.
The Faith has three basic dogmas: the primacy of desire; the creative and saving energy of competition; and the tolerant inclusiveness of "nonjudgmentalism."
You have two options:
- Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
- Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.
If you're already a subscriber log-in here.