God Transformed: A Word from Giorgio Agamben

Here is a link and a quotation from a superb interview with the Italian political philosopher, Giorgio Agamben. The interview was entitled, “God did not die; he was transformed into money;” and Agamben’s words powerfully communicate this notion:

Today, “crisis” means, “you must obey!” I think it is very obvious to everyone that the so-called “crisis” has been going on for decades and that it is actually nothing but the normal functioning of capitalism in our time. And there is nothing rational about the way capitalism is now functioning.

In order to understand what is taking place, we have to interpret Walter Benjamin’s idea that capitalism is really a religion literally, the most fierce, implacable and irrational religion that has ever existed because it recognizes neither truces nor redemption. A permanent worship is celebrated in its name, a worship whose liturgy is labor and its object, money. God did not die; he was transformed into money. The Bank—with its faceless drones and its experts—has taken the place of the church with its priests, and by its command over credit (even loans to the state, which has so blithely abdicated its sovereignty), manipulates and manages the faith—the scarce and uncertain faith—that still remains to it in our time.

Agamben, as far as I understand, is at the forefront of writing about, elucidating, and analysing the connections between contemporary and historic religious, political, and economic life. I have tried to work out some of these connections for myself in a recent post, in concert with thinkers evoking similar connections; and in this, Agamben’s thoughts definitely bring an additional level of clarity to what I have been trying to work out. (Please forgive this piece of shameless self promotion and self-aggrandizement – I did just make a connection between shit I have written and world famous philosopher.)

The interview is extraordinary and worth reading in its entirety.