Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen On Americans, Democracy, Laws & Religion
The late Clayton Christensen (1952-2020) of Harvard Business School made this one and a half minute video in 2014. Considering the breakdowns in civility and law we are witnessing today it is well worth watching.
My personal views not withstanding, a friend once said religion “is the opium of the people.” Oh, sorry that wasn’t my friend, that was Karl Marx in his critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of the Right.
My real friend said that religion prevents anarchy and keeps the poor from slaughtering everyone else, especially the rich. Most importantly religion provides the illusion / promise (or reality if you believe) that your mundane life and daily struggles will be rewarded by God in an afterlife.
I am certain that religious belief keeps some people on the right side of the law. But definitely not all people. The conflicts and atrocities committed in the name of religion throughout history are innumerable.
Even with its faults, you can see how religion instills in some people a sense of morality and an emphasis on following a most important tenet: The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
Of course your family is supposed to provide the example of love, encouragement, charity and other lessons you need to lead a moral life. Unfortunately many people do not receive enough of these requisites.
What Clayton Christensen says about his conversation with his Marxist colleague though rings true. Answering our headline question – yes, many Americans do obey laws because of the influence of religion.
The United States though is losing its unity. And the decline of Judaeo-Christian values and institutions does not bode well for the future of this country.
When minor laws are flagrantly disobeyed, you know the violation of major laws is not far behind. Then, the collapse of Democracy is at hand.