This appears to be an engaging thesis but the use of the term ‘religion’ here, while entirely within the jargon semantics of ironic usage, doesn’t really work because the term ‘religion’ changes its meaning from ‘spiritual entity, defined, etc..’ to ‘non-spiritual entity, redefined, etc…’ To be sure, that is the way many now use the term religion, for any kind of cultic obsession, but the original meaning has few exemplars. So a wave of the hand is in order.
To say that capitalism is a religion seems to mean that a secular (new atheist, no doubt) finds capitalism as nauseating as ‘religion’. But the core meaning of religion, while many cults can in ordinary jargon take the term, really refers to the productions of the Axial Age, themselves with reference to their antecedents in Sumer and Egypt, and perhaps beyond that. By and large, religion is this sense refers to something with a stance on the spiritual, the soul, the human will, ethical enjoinders, divinity or non-divinity (buddhism), angelic and semi-material spiritual entities, etc…Who knows. A potshot at capitalism as a ‘religion’ seems order given the circumstances but we should consider carefully the way we take religion in its original sense and then in relation to modern ‘secularism’. We can argue that the religions of the Axial Age become corrupted in some way and that we should leave them behind, but in any case capitalism is as well seen as not being a religion in any way: it has no sense of the universe at all beyond the hypnotic dynamic of markets…
The ancient religions all failed but if capitalism seems to have taken their place it is not as a replacement but as chaotic degeneration: the secular world beckons to a new and future understanding of religion, no doubt in a postcapitalist era. We can argue that capitalism was degenerate religion, but the marxist reductionism scientism of historical materialism unwitting became a mirror image degenerate religion in parallel with capitalism.
Socialism has to address some perplexities and do something better than corrupt socialism with scientism as capitalism corrupts the sphere of religion (cf. the preposterous bible belt version of
religion rendered capitalist ideology).