Author: Julian Friedland

Regaining Culture In Post-Society America

As a French-American philosopher, I’m increasingly struck by how much the American scene has come to reify the cold Thatcheresque vision of a post-society society. Where all that actually exists is a collection of swashbuckling individuals duking it out on the open market of self-interest. As anyone who has lived in this country for any length of time will attest, Americans see themselves first and foremost as consumers. Their status as citizens is decidedly second place. Still, they share a considerable degree of nationalist sentiment. Americans love to see the stars and stripes at virtually any place and time, be it at athletic events, draped over businesses, stitched into their clothing, or flying proudly above their homes. Interestingly, these sorts of things don’t happen nearly as much in other developed countries. That’s perhaps because unlike them, many Americans see their country as a city on a hill — a nation that answers a higher call to let the human spirit achieve all that it may. Setting aside the fact that this is also pretty much …