the opium of the people


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the opium of the people

That which creates a feeling of false happiness, contentment, or numbness to reality. Adapted from Karl Marx's description of organized religion. But all of this superstition is of course just the opium of the people, designed to make you feel better about the chaos of the world and the fear of death, while remaining in service to an organization that directly benefits from your financial contributions. All of these pieces of technology, these video games, these television shows, they are all just the opium of the people, keeping us blind and numb to the machinations of the corporations and politicians that control everything.
See also: of, opium, people

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, opium, 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, opium, people
References in periodicals archive ?
In their younger years, they read Karl Marx, who believed religion is the opium of the people.
So often, even in "good" academic communication or media departments, Marx's comment that religion is the opium of the people is taken to heart and there is an antipathy to consideration of the media/religion encounter.
Karl Marx concluded that religion is "the opium of the people." But Marx never knew committed Christians like Camilo Torres of Colombia, Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador, Frank Pais of Cuba, Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua, Dietrich Bonhoeffer of Germany or Martin Luther King Jr.
Previous to the Conference, an influential party official, Pan Yue, had called for the party to abandon its Marxist view of religion as 'The opium of the people.' He recommended that religion should be outside tight party control.
Schantz gives centrality to the complex formation and decisive influence of religious culture in the process of class formation, though he does not wrestle with the classic argument centering on Marx's 1843 view that "religion is the opium of the people." Phrasing it more directly, whether the language and symbols of evangelical Christianity diffused and coopted plebian consciousness, whether it was a force making for quiescence, a tool of control and repression, as Marx would have it or as, say, in late nineteenth-century Oklahoma and North Carolina, a force energizing working class militancy.
Karl Marx in one of his more poignant comments described religion as 'the opium of the people'.
Aron's title is an inversion of Marx's contemptuous remark that religion is "the opium of the people." He quotes Simone Weil's sly reversal as an epigraph: "Marxism is undoubtedly a religion, in the lowest sense of the word....
Ironically, today many modern conservatives fervently agree with Karl Marx that religion is "the opium of the people"; they add a heartfelt, "Thank God!"
And that Waugh's evangelicalism and Bright's Quakerism dominated their particular "social imaginaries" perhaps only shows the powerful "reality effects" of that form of ideology that Marx famously called "the opium of the people." Joyce's avoidance of the question of ideology may be poststructuralism a la Foucault, who also, in Discipline and Punish and elsewhere, avoided worrying about ideology by taking the givenness of discourse as his focus (if you don't look beneath surfaces, you won't find anything).