Ed Simon at The Baffler:
The carnivalesque has always been at its core a theological construct, a method of religious critique. Knowing which faiths deserve our opprobrium makes all the difference in how effective such a rebellion shall be. When Medieval society crowned an Abbot of Unreason, that daring act of blasphemy paradoxically depended on an acknowledgment of the sacred; heresy and the divine mutually reinforcing and always dependent on one another. To similarly mock Christianity today is toothless because even with the dangerous rise of fascistic Christian Nationalism, we must take stock of who the real gods of this world are. Adam Kotsko in Neoliberalism’s Demons: On the Political Theology of Late Capital writes that our contemporary normative economic thinking “Aspires to be a complete way of life and a holistic worldview . . . [a] combination of policy agenda and moral ethos.” Just as the Roman Catholic Church was the overreaching and dominant ideology of Western Christendom in the era when the Lord of Misrule poked at the pieties of both pope and prince, now our hegemonic faith is deregulated, privatized, free-market absolutist capitalism. If secularism means anything at all it’s not the demise of religion, but rather the replacement of that previous total system with a new one in the form of neoliberal capitalism.