In Reply to: Re: This response meant for Yvonne posted by Yvonne on July 29, 2005 at 09:44:58:
If you ever work in a group practice with nurses or doctors with specialization in addictions medicine, you're likely to get this perspective. There's a type of alcoholism that's related to liver enzyme dysfunction, or so I've been told.
I referenced "opiate of the masses" as a concept from Marxist theory. Its popular usage may have taken on a demeaning connotation with regard to religion, but in Marxist theory, it refers to the power of religious ideology to exert social control over the minds & emotions over groups of people.
People behave differently in groups than they do as individuals. Marxist social theory tries to explain group behavior in terms of the social control mechanisms that drive economic and other social activity (such as politics & religion). In and of itself, Marxist theory is neither for or against religious belief--it simply tries to explain how religious ideology acts as a means of social control.
Marxism is often confused with communism, a form of government with economic and social control programs based on political interpretation of Marxist theory. In Leninist-Maoist interpretations of Marxism, religion was demeaned and marginalized as a way for the state to gain greater political control over the minds and emotions of people. Berg did something similar--he demeaned and marginalized System religion as a way for theocratic elites (Family leadership) to gain economic and political control over the minds & emotions the people (masses) of the Family's little kingdom.