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Dr. Stephen Foster (author of Melancholy Duty, Kluwer, 1997) has undertaken a critique of American decadence and moral squalor. He argues that three basic cultural phenomena have conjoined to warp and degrade the moral and cultural landscape of the country. Treated together for purposes of critique these phenomena have intertwined in the national psyche. They are the impact of personalism (via J. J. Rosseau) and the leveraged individual, the growth of the therapeutic state and the overwhelming preoccupation with entertainment. The author suggests the moral and cultural quandary these "states" have wrought and the attendant loss of artistic, moral and social integrity that the United States has suffered.
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United States; Civilization; Personalism; Amusements; Mass media; National characteristics; Bill Clinton; Karl Menninger; Medicalization of morality; Self-fulfillment; Therapeutic society
Arts and Humanities | Ethics and Political Philosophy | Philosophy
Foster , S. P. (2004). Desolation's March: The Rise of Personalism and the Reign of Amusement in 21st Century America. Palo Alto: Academica Press.