When humanity creates a system it may be for the purpose of gratifying one’s instinctual desires or for controlling one’s rather barbaric tendencies. The occurrence of events beyond an individual’s control is often determined by a higher supernatural power. In “The Babylon Lottery” by Jorge Luis Borges, the narrator introduces us to a capricious lottery that dictates the life chances of those living in Babylon. This lottery transitions in its rules and punishments because of the demands and desires from those that seek its amusement. The lottery is said to be an institution that is imperfect and done in secret. This world that the Babylonians live in is therefore, governed by contingency. Sigmund Freud’s The Future of an Illusion reveals the origins of religion and its construction which is seen to have beneficial effects for people in society. Religion seems to be the answer to the destructive tendencies of human nature. The development of religion helps in satisfying one’s instinctual drives and rewards are promised as requital for good behavior. This is needed because individuals are perceived to be an enemy to civilization. Both writings are seen to have universality in creating a system that governs the fate of people; Freud entertains the idea of religion and Borges illustrates the reality of “The Company.” Hence, The Future of an Illusion and “The Babylon Lottery” both contain ideas of destiny, desire, and God that lead to the construction of specific structures namely, religion and the Company.
The creation of religion and the Company are initially established to help control man’s desire for wealth. In The Future of an Illusion since civilization inevitably introduces ...
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...religion and the Company have that invisible God-like essence that humanity might not believe in as being real and that is why both systems are challenged.
The creation of religion can be juxtaposed to the creation of the Company as they both operate to bring order and satisfy the wants of man. Religion is adopted by man in order to save one from their feeling of helplessness that has stemmed from their childhood dependence and protection received from the father; this is then displaced onto a more heavenly father, God. Civilization by itself can’t maintain that order that is why we need religion. Similarly, the Company achieves a form of absolute power when the people of Babylon seek reform feeling that riches should not be associated with one’s freedom. In order to appease man and reallocate wealth the formation of a proper system was needed.
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