The Religion of Capital
In his splendid 1882 satirical critique of political economy, The Religion of Capital, Paul Lafargue put the following words in the mouth of a fictional English statistician:
Now, then, the only religion that answers the needs of the moment is the religion of Capital. … Capital is the true, only and omnipotent God. He manifests Himself in all forms and guises. He is found in glittering gold and in stinking guano; in a herd of cattle and in a cargo of coffee; in brilliant stores that offer sacred literature for sale and bundles of pornographic etchings; in gigantic machines, made of hardest steel, and in elegant rubber goods. Capital is the God whom the whole world knows, sees, smells, tastes. He exists for all our senses. He is the only God that has yet to run into an atheist.
As political-economic atheism becomes ever more attractive, and our senses more skeptical, it seems that in Detroit, elaborate liturgies have been aimed at trying to resurrect Fordism.