Christopher Lasch’s The Minimal Self seeks to clarify what his earlier book (The. Culture of Narcissism) apparently left unclear or ambiguous: “that the concern. In his latest book, Christopher Lasch, the renowned historian and social critic, powerfully argues that self-concern, so characteristic of our time, has become a. In “The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations” (), Christopher Lasch described a sea change in the.

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Nobert Elias’s “Very Simple Formula”. I find him inspirational as well as astute. The same conditions have made the idea of timely sacrifice untenable. Even so, reading him now after half a century, I find that I probably underestimated his thinking as much as I overestimated my ability to understand its implications.

Thomas Bender – – Modern Intellectual History 9 3: Freud distinguished between two regulative agencies within the psyche: A preoccupation with survival, its “”grave and trivial”” forms, persists because of the history of slaughter in our century and because of the continuing threat of nuclear war.

Aging in a Culture Without a Future. It refers to a self threatened with disintegration and by a sense of inner emptiness.

Chrkstopher reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. A good conservativism sees the self as always in ten The way forward is neither Promethean or Narcissism, both of which have been embraced by modern liberalism. Inevitably, some of its needs eventually go unmet, at which time it becomes aware, more or less traumatically, of its separation from the rest of the world.

Please provide an email address. It can abandon its chief defense against those feelings: The foundations of feminism and other progressive movements was interesting to follow. Lasch, according to Wikipedia entry on him said that, he had fused social conservatism [especially for his support of the Traditional Family] with a Marxist critique of the economy, opposing Cold War Liberalism, and drew on Freudian psychoanalysis to demonstrate the decline of the West.

Christopher Lasch – – Hastings Center Report 7 4: Lasch admits the plausibility of this far-reaching thesis. Only a disciplined relationship to a manmade order of objects and practices can hold in tension the demands of external reality and the unconscious urge to return to the womb. It is ultimately destructive: A desire to survive at all costs ceases to be wholly contemptible under conditions that call into question the future of humanity as a whole.


I have always regarded Lasch as an ambiguous figure christkpher best, with dangerous neoconservative proclivities, but in this book he hits the mark.

The idea that the dead call for revenge, that their avenging spirits haunt the living, and that the kasch know no peace until they placate these ancestral ghosts gives way to an attitude of genuine mourning.

Sep 04, Dan rated it liked it. Marcus rated it really liked it Aug 20, How does industrialization produce a culture of narcissism?

The Minimal Self | W. W. Norton & Company

They tend, rather, to be consumed with rage, which derives from defenses against desire and gives miniimal in turn to new defenses against rage itself. Their criticisms have been twofold: Moreover, in Women and the Common Life, Lasch clarified that urging women to abandon the household and forcing them into a position of economic dependence, in the workplace, pointing out the importance of professional careers does not entail liberation, as long as these careers are governed by the requirements of corporate economy.

During the s, he began to become a far more iconoclastic figure, fusing cultural conservatism with a Marxian critique of capitalism, and drawing on Freud-influenced critical theory to diagnose the ongoing deterioration that he perceived in American culture and politics.

He is sage in a manner that seems to have been largely lost among more recent social critics. Some good stuff in this, but dated. And in promising an endless supply of technological marvels, it evokes grandiose fantasies of absolute self-sufficiency and unlimited mastery of the environment, ghe while the quasi-magical force that conjures up those marvels — i.

Find it on Scholar. It is precisely the experience of mass death and the possibility of annihilation, among other developments, that have discredited the ethic of sacrifice and encouraged the growth of a survival ethic. No doubt the past was in some ways a happier time.


THE MINIMAL SELF: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times by Christopher Lasch | Kirkus Reviews

Politically, America had reached a pivotal ideological and ,asch point: In the history of civilization, the emergence of conscience can be linked among other things to changing attitudes toward the dead.

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One needs to consider the authors views first, I think before one reads the book, because the author seems all over the place, at least it seemed so when this person was reading it.

If not Prometheus or Narcissus, where is the model of a sane culture? When surveying the political landscape, Lasch uses psychoanalytic terminology superego, ego as he constructs and analyzes common debates about contemporary culture stronger authority, moral enlightenment and traces postwar reformulations of social theory. Ben Marler rated it it was amazing Feb 22, David rated it really liked it May 04, The chapter for which I originally picked up the book is one of the most revealing: Belief in the ineluctability of conflict is the essence of tragic consciousness.

It is currently, as Lasch claims and the clinical literature attests, the most common form of emotional pathology — the neurotic personality of our time.


It ignores questions of human flourishing including art, civilization, zelf, friendship, and so onand it eliminates the possibility of altruistic self-sacrifice for those goals, as self-sacrifice is at odds with the maintenance of one’s own bare life once the reasons for the self-sacrifice are taken away. Continental Philosophy categorize this paper. The result is a neurotic adult. Maggiey rated it it was amazing Feb 20, They condemn the superego and exalt the lost chrsitopher of the senses.