Liberalism or Spirituality?

Mervyn Hartwig mh at
Wed Jan 3 16:08:31 MST 2001


>It seems to me that when posters speak positively of "spirituality"
>on this list, they simply mean an affirmation of liberalism
>(sovereign individualism of the inner consumer + "repressive
>tolerance"), nothing more.  "Spirituality" as shaped by late

How can something be shaped by capitalism which has no existence
independently of capitalism?

I take it that non-religious posters who talk about spirituality have in
mind our relatively enduring species-needs and capacities (the legacy of
a long process of natural selection, not reducible to capitalism or any
other mode of production, but certainly shaped by such) for such things
as communality, sharing, a sense of totality, going beyond the given
('transcendence'), loving, art, music, dance, play, and perhaps even the
'liberty-seeking fire' that Hunter Gray attributes to human nature.
What's wrong with that? Afer all we can hardly talk about 'materiality'
here as such - these are sui generis real emergent capacities and needs
not reducible to some physico-chemical formula. It might be more
'correct' to talk about our 'psychic' needs and capacities - but why


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