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A point to ponder indeed! The fate of our culture is solidly immersed in those almost-rational beliefs. I say almost because in this, as in so many matters of mental (illness?), the subscribers are perfectly rational if you accept the original delusions that motivate them. This is well known to any psychologist, any dreamweaver or seductress, anyone who earns their livelihood in a trade where the raw material is people. What is not given much voice is the very powerful idea that the sane need not accept those illusions and delusions as the ultimate motive for the reality observed. With nothing but the faith of a heretic for support I'll assert this to you: the irrational motive does not breed true, if what appears irrational has endured for many generations then the irrational is not the motive, the irrational is the socially approved and acceptable icon of an ongoing motive to painful or conflicted to be acknowledged in daily life.
The marriage of Materialism and Puritanism is an old marriage, they've been together for a long time. I say materialism rather than capitalism to a purpose, they are not the same thing. Materialism was Puritanism's first mate, capitalism as such really did not exist when that union was joined. I will equally assert to you that Capitalism as it is known today, the concept of the corporation, public ownership by way of the markets, is in fact the child of that union, conceived in an attempt to further mitigate the original and still active motive for the marriage.
Capitalism was the great hope of its' parents, and in many ways it has lived up to that hope, but the structure of contemporary Capitalism includes a hidden flaw so lethal that I am convinced it even destroyed Ayn Rand when she perceived it, she who is/was Capitalism's greatest advocate. This flaw is the motive for the current (and indeed often just as incestuous as it appears) affair between Puritanism and Capitalism, the threat driving the ill-fated and desperate mobilization of their resources in the alliance of the conservative religious right. To illuminate a reason for these observed facts requires the use of a comparison to set the stage, please, hear me out.
Ultimately a society lives or dies on the degree of ethics in the morality practiced within that society. I give you that from that perspective these two events are identical: the year is 1795 and a man goes to Savannah to buy himself a slave to work his farm; and, the year is 2005 when his direct descendent goes to his stock broker to buy 1/10,000th of a ten thousand man corporation. What both men have purchased is the surplus productivity of another human, the ultimately unethical ownership of another man's accomplishments, and both men have imbibed exactly the same poison. The mechanism of the poison they imbibed is the covert evil of slavery, the evil that has laid low every slave holding society known to history.
Note Well From History: it is not the slave who becomes weaker, degenerate and debauched, it is the masters who suffer those reductions generation after generation until the society collapses.
In essence, Capitalism has run home to Momma Puritan, hoping her discipline and restraints can reverse the effects of that poison, hoping her influence will allow them to endure and survive where no others afflicted by that covert evil of slavery ever have. The overt evil of slavery has been greatly diminished, eliminated from many cultures and yet the covert evil persists and is even today the driving cause for a great deal of what is seen. There is a way to save Capitalism, to keep all of the good things it has done and eliminate the toxicity, but it doesn't involve God or the church, it involves some changes to the laws of inheritance. But that's a different rant entirely, and not one I'd bring up in a conservative caucus unless I was feeling suicidal and didn't want to pull the trigger myself.