Volume > Issue > The Religion of the Marketplace

The Religion of the Marketplace

NONJUDGMENTALISM, COMPETITION & THE PRIMACY OF DESIRE

By Joseph Tussman | September 1999
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.”

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