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Arthur Kroker: BORN AGAIN IDEOLOGY Religion, Technology, and Terrorism

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6 Nov , 2016  

…Covenant technology? That’s the fusion of covenant theology and the will to technology as the essence of the American Republic, from its religious origins to its technocratic future. Here we are in the presence of a momentous alliance of two great historical forces – evangelical theology and technological experimentalism – which, putting aside their traditional differences, fuse the fierce ontological vision of covenant theology with the equally dynamic epistemological drive towards technological mastery of nature – human, post-human, and physical. Sworn on the bible at the time of the Mayflower Compact, emboldened by the successful political rebellion represented by the War of Independence, sanctified in sacrificial blood by the Civil War, hardened by the territorial conquests of the Indian Wars, brutalized by a long succession of colonial conquests, strategically confirmed by the extraordinary economic domination of the American empire of advanced capitalism, the American covenant was never a narrowly religious or even ideological affair, but emphatically techno- religious. Animating faith in the moral rightness of the American Republic powered by the spirit of technological innovation is the essence of what might justifiably be described as American-ness. While covenant theology is the ontological condition necessary to kick-start the “American dream,”
brilliant technological innovation is the epistemological condition required to translate the terms of the covenant into the imaginary of the American Republic. Fear of the wrath of a righteous god mingles with inspiring visions of redemptive empire from the very inception of the American mind…
…But it’s quite something else, when taking off the blinkers of conventional modernism, to realize that with regard to the question of American being , something genuinely unique is happening here, that this is one culture which is structured by a very singular social history, namely that the only national constant in American history – economic, political, social and cultural – is the capitalist equivalent of Maoist “permanent revolution.” Call it what you will – Schumpeter’s principle of “creative destruction, “ Reagan’s “New Morning for America,” Microsoft’s competitive software scorched earth policy symbolized by its “Windows on the World,” the tabloids’ daily spectacle of the dramatic burnout and eventual redemption of celebrity icons, or small business entrepreneurs who get up everyday with gritty dreams and mission statements to deconstruct, derail, and devolve what has gone before in order to reconstruct, realign and repurpose enterprise economy into something absolutely new, absolutely profitable…
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