A few recent articles have made the point that political positions can function as religion: a totalizing story of sin and sacrifice which gives some sort of meaning to existence. First, there Ta Nehisi Coates with a theory of original sin:
What does the philosopher teach? His philosophy can be summed up in a passing phrase from “Between the World and Me”: “I… felt that the galaxy was playing with loaded dice.”
It’s a passing phrase, but a concept that suffuses his work. At a cosmic level, existence itself is slanted against the flourishing of black people. Chance is not really chance. We already know how history will unfold before it happens: black people will suffer because of white people. That’s what being black means. That’s what being white means.
It posits a classic orthodoxy through which all…
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