Neo-marxism on religion

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Louis Althusser (1971) believed in the ideological state apparatus. By this he means that religion and religious institutions are an arm of the state used to maintain power on behalf of the ruling class. Althusser argues that religious ceremonies are constructed in such a way that benefits and legitimates the power of the bourgeoisie (ruling class). Classic examples of Althusser's theory are things such as royal weddings and funerals. Althusser argues that the mass media saturation of such events perpetuates the power of the bourgeoisie. Such ceremonies legitimize hierarchies and underscore social inequalities.

Antonio Gramsci (1891-1935) developed the concept of hegemony which claims that the proletariat learn to 'consent' to the oppression of the ruling class. This is particularly obvious in things such as the public who see pictures of starving children, whilst eating their MacDonald's, but never think to do anything about it. This is an example of the extreme oppression that the proletariat face.

Herbert Marcuse (1964) agreed with the mainstream ideas of Marxists,


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