the opium of the people

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Related to opium: laudanum

the opium of the people

or

the opium of the masses

The opium of the people or the opium of the masses is something that makes a lot of people feel happy. He saw religion as the opium of the people. I see the reality show as the new opium of the masses. Note: This phrase was used by Karl Marx to describe religion.
See also: of, people

the opium of the people (or masses)

something regarded as inducing a false and unrealistic sense of contentment among people.
This idiom is a translation of the German phrase Opium des Volks, used by Karl Marx in 1844 in reference to religion.
See also: of, people