Capitalist Theurgy

This is a great music video. It was banned from television– you’ll see why.

Kanye’s an interesting dude. The Yeezus album deserves the attention of media/culture/religious scholars, I think. This isn’t just pop culture; it’s what Christopher Partridge calls “occulture” (pay attention to the end of the video).

It seems, based on interviews, lyrics, and the symbolism employed in his music videos, that Kanye’s giving expression to a sort of “theurgy”, or divinization process, whereby he– with all his wealth and fame– becomes a god, over and above those still enslaved by the white ruling class. In the track “I am a God”, he calls Jesus the most high, only to refer to himself as a “close high”.

Now he, with his own product, his own wealth, can do what he wants– as a god, he can impact culture, create his own world (he repeats, in an interview with Charlamange, that “ain’t nothing real”). It’s a sort of capitalist theurgy.

Kanye’s politics is a strange one: the path to freedom is the path to godhood. It’s by means of a capitalist sort of theurgy that Kanye is able to free himself of the white ruling class’ power over him. For him, rebellion and change are synonymous with having your own product, with being able to create your own world.


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