PRINT January 1973

For God and Country

The critique of religion is the prerequisite of all criticism . . . . The foundation of this critique is the following: man makes religion, religion does not make man.

—Karl Marx, Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (opening lines)

THE CRITIQUE OF COMPETITIVE CAPITALISM, in Marx, is motivated by a root concern with the topic of alienation, or, rather more abstractly, with the relation between human activity and human accomplishment. Human activity creates a range of “objects” including not only trucks and trains but social systems, values, technologies. Though these “objects” are originally fabricated for the gratification of man, within the historical process, these “objects” become independent of their original function. That is, more concretely, the state or the exchange system evolves from the role of service institution for the needs of man to autonomous entities

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