mary douglas quotes

Real equality is immensely difficult to achieve, it needs continual revision and monitoring of distributions. And it does not provide buffers between members, so they are continually colliding or frustrating each other.

Religion can make it worse. Are you supposing that if people were encouraged to believe in a transcendent reality, and to be encouraged by grand rituals and music and preaching, to love their neighbors, then they would put jealousy and frustration aside?

Yes, disappointment over perceived unfairness, injustice, promises not kept, tends to go hand in hand with increasing prosperity. Expectations are dashed. What can I say!

Mormons... are so strong, they can handle wealth, they are confident. I think it is because they are not bogged down by rules for equality, but have a firmly defined system of relative status and responsible command.

Inside a religious body you get sects and hierarchies, inside an information network you get bazaars and cathedrals, it is the same, call them what you like. They survive by pointing the finger of blame at each other.

I am sure it must be true that people opt out of the mainstream society because they feel that there are going to be no rewards for them, if they stay.

Behind a leader there must be followers, but they should always be on the lookout for the main chance and ready to change sides if the current leader doesn't deliver.

Just in our lifetime our society has become looser and more private, it becomes extremely difficult to hold to any permanent commitment whatever, least of all to organized religion.

The natural response of the old-timers is to build a strong moral wall against the outside. This is where the world starts to be painted in black and white, saints inside, and sinners outside the wall.

The theory of cultural bias... is the idea that a culture is based on a particular form of organization. It can't be transplanted except to another variant of that organization.

Our technological infrastructure alienates us from each other. No need to form a workplace community, everybody there will be out in a year or two, and so will you, looking for a better place.

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