Our civilization lost an imaginary benevolent omnipotent god and imagined an omnipotent benevolent state. Thus we unshackled it from the chains of liberal limits. 

But this experiment in moral and political innovation did teach us a lesson. We found that benevolence is not a defining feature of the state, regardless of intent, and cannot likely be made so.

But we also learned that squaring our fantasies with reality can provide endless intellectual gymnastics that make angel-dancing on pinheads look like the hokey-pokey, against which our ideological cavorting appears as nothing other than a vampiric tarantella, or, worse yet, a totentanz

Religions serve a function, by exaptation.

But experiments more than suggest any metaphysical fixation can provide that same function. What is needed is a somewhat ritualistic or attention-centering contemplation of an ego-transcendent object — it could be a rite or myth or metaphysical schema or puzzle, even, that allows us to transcend the narrow confines of our normal egoistic imagination. Such exercises can provide the signaling necessary to encourage cooperation. Both in ego and in alter, self and in other.

Trick is, this device, which could be a philosophy, or an ideology, or even an art form, needs to forswear the impossible imagining of an omnipotent benevolent state, for — as Nietzsche said — the state is the coldest of all cold monsters.