Costco Karens: The Laschian Response (4-Video)

Our current situation demonstrates the extremes of what Christopher Lasch leaned into in his book The Culture of Narcissism. How did we get here? Lasch’s answers take us deeper than the typical observations of the day, which mainly dwell at the surface. In this video, which primarily deals with ideas from chapter 4 of Lasch’s book, we find an explanation for the loose hold many people have on the truth, the deep skepticism about facts, which leads to the childish acting out that we are seeing more and more of, as well as the more serious expression of discontent of protest and riot. Lasch’s views here are not all of even his answer, let along THE answer, as to how we got here, but they deal with one dimension of it that is often overlooked–our often meaningless and unthinking work and our highly “mediated” selves. … More Costco Karens: The Laschian Response (4-Video)

Bureaucratic Dominance: Christopher Lasch on Controlled Labor (3-Video)

This video covers chapters 2 and 3 of Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism. We explore why the strong narcissist is likely to work their way up the bureaucratic ladder in corporations and government service, and why, since bureaucracy is clearly not efficient, we insist on bureaucratic “rationality.” I also discuss Lasch’s ideas regarding detachment from a sense of time and from immediate experience, which robs people of life, and I introduce Lasch’s views on the origins of all this in the twisted turns of Protestant Christian development in the United States. … More Bureaucratic Dominance: Christopher Lasch on Controlled Labor (3-Video)

Bureaucratic Dominance: Christopher Lasch on Controlled Labor (3-Audio)

This video covers chapters 2 and 3 of Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism. We explore why the strong narcissist is likely to work their way up the bureaucratic ladder in corporations and government service, and why, since bureaucracy is clearly not efficient, we insist on bureaucratic “rationality.” I also discuss Lasch’s ideas regarding detachment from a sense of time and from immediate experience, which robs people of life, and I introduce Lasch’s views on the origins of all this in the twisted turns of Protestant Christian development in the United States. … More Bureaucratic Dominance: Christopher Lasch on Controlled Labor (3-Audio)

Narcissistic Death Cult: Christopher Lasch’s America (2-Audio)

This video reacts to the first chapter of Christopher Lasch’s 1979 book The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations–what does Lasch mean by narcissism, and what does it do to our relationships? In my view, our collective narcissism has created a culture of death, or a societal death cult. Lasch’s ideas are useful for understanding how our economy encourages and feeds off our narcissism and now our turning inwards keeps us from life: being proper spouses, parents, friends, neighbors and citizens. His take on technocracy and its twin vehicles of big government and corporate power is instructive and calls into question our typical distinction between government and business. Both engage in the project of managing us and encouraging our continued narcissism and consequent divisions. … More Narcissistic Death Cult: Christopher Lasch’s America (2-Audio)

Narcissistic Death Cult: Christopher Lasch’s America (2-Video)

This video reacts to the first chapter of Christopher Lasch’s 1979 book The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations–what does Lasch mean by narcissism, and what does it do to our relationships? In my view, our collective narcissism has created a culture of death, or a societal death cult. Lasch’s ideas are useful for understanding how our economy encourages and feeds off our narcissism and now our turning inwards keeps us from life: being proper spouses, parents, friends, neighbors and citizens. His take on technocracy and its twin vehicles of big government and corporate power is instructive and calls into question our typical distinction between government and business. Both engage in the project of managing us and encouraging our continued narcissism and consequent divisions. Warning of disturbing footage at the end that will make you wonder if anyone ever gets smarter–and I don’t mean the Alabama college students, though they’d also be a good choice. … More Narcissistic Death Cult: Christopher Lasch’s America (2-Video)

The Sins of the Scientists–Did They Fail Us? (Wark 6 Audio)

Thinking about Ch. 5 in McKenzie Wark’s Capital is Dead: Is This Something Worse?, I dwell on how the scientists and technologists might have been able to make the world truly better rather than more dangerous and polluted. We still look at them as our heroes and saviors. But they’ve done more harm than good, at least arguably. Who or what is responsible for their status as tools of corporate profit-seeking and national security? What light does this unorthodox view of scientists (not as our saviors but as a large part of the problem) have to say about if and how we can deal with our environmental problems. Is there any reason to think that the scientific and technical hacker class can rise to the occasion and use their latent imagination to create pathways to a better way of life? … More The Sins of the Scientists–Did They Fail Us? (Wark 6 Audio)

The Sins of the Scientists–Did They Fail Us? (Wark 6 Video)

Thinking about Ch. 5 in McKenzie Wark’s Capital is Dead: Is This Something Worse?, I dwell on how the scientists and technologists might have been able to make the world truly better rather than more dangerous and polluted. We still look at them as our heroes and saviors. But they’ve done more harm than good, at least arguably. Who or what is responsible for their status as tools of corporate profit-seeking and national security? What light does this unorthodox view of scientists (not as our saviors but as a large part of the problem) have to say about if and how we can deal with our environmental problems. Is there any reason to think that the scientific and technical hacker class can rise to the occasion and use their latent imagination to create pathways to a better way of life? … More The Sins of the Scientists–Did They Fail Us? (Wark 6 Video)