The Spectacle Blog

Re: Feeling Guilty?

By on 5.2.06 | 10:20AM

Paul, you're dead right. One glaring index of how the West's loss of faith goes far deeper than race guilt is how far the West has gone to eliminate personal guilt as a peril of right feeling. In the absence of compelling spiritual doctrine, neurotics of identity turned to psychotherapy to destroy guilt. But guiltmaking acts continued to pile up, and psychoanalysis is an inefficient replacement for religion when neurotic feelings must be picked off one at a time.

Thus have we developed our cults of selfhood. The "Me" Generation is a passe prelude; one "me" is not enough, expecting too much and too little of us. Ours is now the "My" Generation, where all of our products are customized and we are customized right along with them. This unholy marriage of psychotherapy and capitalism has just been consummated with a feature in The New York Times.

I have a long meditation on this epochal and ugly phenom here.

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