On the Prime Time of Conspiracy Theories
When Walter Benjamin wrote in “Capitalism as Religion” that “a capitalism serves essentially to allay the same anxieties, torments, and disturbances to which the so-called religions offered answers” he couldn’t have known what Capitalism would come to try to answer (290). The very horizons which had once been answered by the reading of Psalms or the praying of a rosary has now become something quite different. This is perhaps most fervent and palpable example of how Capitalism has become a religion is in the salvation mythos of QAnon.
On top of the religious fervor that Capitalism has spawned in the minds of the elect as discoursed in Max Weber’s The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Qanon has become something which sits at the summit of conspiracy theories. This is because it allows for a great communion of its 1.12 million adherents (at least as USA Today claims is the total number of members in Qanon Facebook Groups). Its deeply antisemitic and racist core is made obscure by the commissioning of an elect who are privy to the gospel of salvation, Q. In this paradigm, the disciples of QAnon have reasserted the Trinity (with Donald Trump as the Messianic figure, and Q the Holy Spirit which infuses the Divine Knowledge upon the masses).
What this speaks to, however, so as to not create a realm of mere mystique around it is Capitalism trying to design and outsource God. This comes just as the messianic urges of the Evangelical Christians have become evidently show to be tied to race, as they are the most dedicated supporters of this ekklesia. Now that the righteous rebellions have begun to expose the torn seams of Capitalist Realism, the Church of QAnon is becoming most palpable in the masses of those who are most against BIPOC Liberation. The desire to pin all of this on the “Globalists”, a very, very thinly veiled slur against all Jewry, is just the efflorescence of infection in the festering abscess of Right wing thought. From E Michael Jones’ readers, to Alex Jones’s viewers, to the faithful of QAnon, there is a prime market for a cult of death. This is perhaps what shows the very essence of Capitalism, in that it always leads to death cults. QAnon supporters demand blood to appease the God who has left them – in their own estimation – bereft of the beneficence due to the pure.
The language of invasions, infiltrations, infections, swamps etc. are central to the QAnon faithful because Capitalism in the post-God age has only a biomedical vision of salvation. Long gone are the days where one could exorcise the daemons from our midst. QAnon is a fundamentally fascistic ideology precisely because it cannot survive without the insistence of the elect. The conflation of all “enemies” of QAnon as being on the side with the “Globalists” makes it clear that their ideology is wholly one of the saved and the damned. This is what ties it so easily to the ways in which Capitalism requires racial division because otherwise it would all melt into air, into thin air.
What is clear is that this new religion is perhaps the most dangerous to have ever come into existence precisely because it is wholly a product of Capitalist relations. Just as the entire system is collapsing, it creates a God to say it too has Divine Rule and can therefore never be removed. What QAnon means for us then is that Capitalism has reached an end of sorts in the way that absolutist monarchies asserted their divinity before Modernity was at last ushered in. This should also be a cause for alarm because QAnon is the gateway to the most abhorrent pathways of Fascist thought. In light of this, we should see QAnon for what it is, the violent cries of a system on the verge of collapse.