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Sport As The “Opiate Of The Masses”: College Football In The American South, Eric Bain-Selbo
Philosophy & Religion Faculty Publications
Karl Marx famously describes religion as the “opiate of the masses.” Marx argues that religion is an ideological tool that legitimates and defends the interests of the dominant, wealthy classes in the population. It does so in part by placating the poor and exploited classes. Faced with an arduous and seemingly unjust life in this world, the poor and exploited at least can look forward to a more perfect existence in the afterlife. To reach that afterlife, however, one must peacefully and quietly persevere through life’s tribulation—respecting the life, liberty, and (especially) private property of others. In this ...