The journey to the promise land is paved with enduring struggles that sustain trials of the human heart. Wearisome, hunger, homeless and hopeless; the people begin to doubt their God.
When Moses went up to t he mountain, the people turned and made for themselves gods of silver and gods of gold. They have carved images and idols; they have erected altars and pillars for worship. They have engaged in drunkenness and debauchery. And they have forgotten God who brought them out of Egypt and the land of slavery.
Why should anyone bother about a people whether they live in slavery and governed by the law of the jungle? But before anyone can help a people, the people themselves have to understand their lot. And this required a civil law to attempt at people realising for themselves a value and purpose for their lives.
So the first of the laws advocates; it's not ok to have other gods before God who liberated you from the hostile land of slavery.
The phrase 'images and idols' is symbolic of passionate possessions of following. 'They carved sentiments of their passion' is their devotion as sentiments are transferred to the image. And the image becomes a symbolic figure of following.
Silver and gold or money and material wealth are images of symbolic figures that are followed and worshipped. Altars and pillars are symbolic terms for high rise towers and complex building where they gather to fulfil their desires. And they have replaced God with idols and images.
The above is a common reference to materialism. But materialism also refers to the social means of achieving selfish ambitions. For example, one's image or product image is kept up to the minute of material and commercial standards to attract followers or worshippers.
Further, selfish ambitions in terms of politics are similar to populism. That is using all means necessary for attracting followers for one to become popular therefore the vote. But politics also imply coercive tactics such as the imposition of fear in the use of the race card, or shame by the use of family violence and abuse images.
These political pet projects are extended by law to establish a platform for a socialist industry. Now if anyone is coerced to submission, he/she is not free and therefore enslaved. And the gods of old are raised by modern politicians to capture the antagonists of their followers. Those are the poor souls who are made examples of issues to draw sympathies and therefore the vote.
Right now in the modern, 'it's not ok to have other gods before God' is relevant for the same development of long ago.
If such a term as 'not ok' was applied as a rule in a hostile land of long ago, nobody would listen. In here it's a modern term applied to a modern condition. The terms used in long ago were relevant at the time. In the modern, the term is aimed at the top.
Top is a top-down development and ground is ground up development. Aiming at the top therefore is targeting the mind. Thus modern slavery is not so much of heavy chains around the wrists and angles, rather it is heavy chains around the mind.
This clearly suggests that to civilise a person is to educate him/her how to think valuable of oneself and to have an objective purpose in life to redirect the journey of feelings and senses away from objects of their desires.
It is material desire now as it was in long ago; images and idols, altars and pillars, drunkenness and debauchery. The trouble is, people may not have rational education then, but now it is rational education that is paving the way for the ground source.
To make any headway to the top therefore is to lose the chains around the mind as the material elevates upward. And you can appreciate that the people camp at the foot of the mountain as they couldn't carry their heavy attachments to the top. Rational reasoning has also come to the end of the line at the bottom of the mountain and doesn't cut it anymore.
Again in My Social Relations, reality is not the linear material alone, but integration with mind and spirit. And the relationship in between is objectivism. That is quantifying and stabilising an objective reality in society. The objects of old therefore are translated into their social objectivism.
So, rational reasons are limited to the material. And at the same time, material religion remains static in the abstract. You can reasonably deduct your god to validation, but then it remains subjective unless he/she is quantified by practical deed that stabilises an objective existence.
And subjective religion therefore refers to material organisation whether personal or political.
The dynamics of the system of old works in progression. The journey of the material was marked by the Ten Commandment covenant, a suitable human development for the time. The journey extended from Mount Sinai to Mount Golgotha as human development took on new life. The new covenant is written in the heart. It is the elevation of the material into being.
It is the coming together of diversity but cannot be united by the material alone. Their social relation is bound by the objective and not by their material. It is an upward movement that requires not their material attributes but by their capacities.
Meantime, it's not ok to impose coercive submission of a people to meet the demands of the few.