There Will Be Blood: Big Business and Religion

I wanted to repost this as this movie constantly comes to mind while examining our current political situation. I’ve been thinking lately that this movie is one of the great films of our time, precisely because it so greatly describes, in a way that nonfiction cannot, how big business will use anything it can to obtain power, only to destroy it once it no longer becomes useful. This film shows why the alliance of big business and organized religion is so dangerous, in a way that has the kind of emotional truth that only fiction can provide. We are made to not only understand, in a kind of removed intellectual way, why this relationship is such a plague on our society, but also to intuitively and emotionally grasp what is going on in the corridors of power.

Windup Wire

Spoiler Alert:  Do not read if you don’t want the end of There Will Be Blood to be ruined.

The movie There Will Be Blood, probably intentionally, makes me think about the current relationship between religion and big business.  In the movie oil magnet Daniel Plainview, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, and preacher Eli Sunday, played by Paul Dano use each other to get what they want.  Plainview wants to get to the oil that is below the ground that Sunday owns and Sunday wants to get money to fund his church.

Ever since at least the Reagan revolution there seems to be an unholy alliance between big business and religion in this country.  Look at how Koch Industries, with the help of the religious right, not only try to get anti-climate science put into classrooms, but also try to get anti-evolutionary science put in as well.  Koch tries to…

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