“The Opium of the People”

Amanda Zunner-Keating
3 min readNov 21, 2020

Revisiting a commonly misunderstood quote from Marx.

Photo by Tim Cooper on Unsplash

Marx once described religion as “the opium of the people” which is a commonly cited and commonly misunderstood quote. Many dictatorial regimes have, historically, misappropriated this Marxist argument to justify a violent crackdown on religion in their countries (Eagleton 128). At the time of Marx’s claim, opium was legal and was widely used to relieve pain. So, he…

Amanda Zunner-Keating

Cultural Anthropologist in Los Angeles