Politics Is the New Religion

The irrationality of public affairs.

9 min readNov 12, 2023

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Politics (from Ancient Greek πολιτικά (politiká) ‘affairs of the cities’) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social science that studies politics and government is referred to as political science.

This is the opening paragraph, following a quote from Wikipedia, describing what politics is, or at least what it should be. In reality, we know it is anything but. Politics has evolved into institutionalized corruption, providing a means for the most brutal among us to ascend and dominate over the rest, and offering a platform for the cunning to achieve their objectives. And for the masses, it has become a substitute for what used to be religion. In the arena of political debates, be it on the national TV or in your living room, logical reasoning and human empathy are often forsaken, and individuals are capable of advocating for things that, in all other circumstances, would be deemed outrageous.

It was science and technology, with all the miracles they produced during the 20th century, that dethroned God from his pedestal, leaving a huge social and personal void behind. It is hard not to side with science and technology once you see what modern medicine, computers, the internet, smartphones, and all other inventions can do for us. Astronomers, biologists, physicists (among others), are finding perfectly reasonable explanations that can be used not only for explanations of past events but also for reliable predictions of future ones. It is less and less necessary to evoke God as an explanation for what’s going on.

God was never just an explanatory tool for astronomical or atmospheric events; this is where Richard Dawkins’ critique usually stops. Even the most hard-core atheists feel something transcendental from time to time when they climb a mountain, watch a sunset, do extensive breathing exercises, have a close encounter with death, or even take psychedelic drugs. These experiences, in their most extreme versions, are de facto one of the founding pillars of all religions. They offer a strong raison d’être, an inspirational push for survival when everything else in life seems…

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Marjan Krebelj

Once an architect, now a freelance photographer/filmmaker with passion for words.