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Joseph W.H. Lough

Weberian and neo-Weberian social scientists ascribe the rise in state sanctioned mass death since the fourteenth century to forces such as intellectualization, rationalization and the disenchantment of the world. In this study, I suggest that the obscene rise in state sanctioned mass death is better explained by exploring a uniquely modern social form, the value form of the commodity, which reproduces itself precisely by retreating behind and then annihilating its material form of appearance. What makes this social form particularly dangerous, however, is that it has become the model for and embodiment of what most social actors understand by contemporary spirituality.