Theocracy vs. Democracy
This lecture is a no holds barred critical look at religion. Michael Parenti begins with recounting a personal experience at a yoga retreat in the Caribbean. The swami in charge of the ashram, Parenti says “was full of ego” and a materialist. No criticism was allowed. “This swami was a perfect theocrat. What we had at the ashram was a theocracy. In theocracy there is no democracy.” Parenti then turns his attention to Martin Luther who he says, “was up to his neck in homicidal bloodletting” He blasts
pre-Chinese invasion Tibet, as “a feudal theocracy.” It was run by a priestly caste, i.e. lamas, “who had enormous wealth.” Strides have been made away from superstition and toward secularism. Nevertheless large numbers of people are believers, particularly in the U.S. where, Parenti declares, “There’s been a resurgence of religion which “preaches obedience to the status quo and capitalism”
Recorded at the American Atheists Convention.
Michael Parenti is a leading independent political analyst and scholar. Cornel West calls him, “a towering prophetic voice.” He has taught at major colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. He is the author of numerous books including Democracy for the Few, Power and the Powerless, Superpatriotism, Against Empire, and The Assassination of Julius Caesar.