Self-loathing in America and beyond

In: Uncategorized

17 Aug 2008

Dick Meyer, a veteran American journalist, has written an interesting-sounding book on self-loathing in America with the brilliant title of Why We Hate Us (Crown 2008). To quote the blurb from his publisher:

“Meyer argues—with biting wit and observations that make you want to shout, “Yes! I hate that too!”—that when the social, spiritual, and political turmoil that followed the sixties collided with the technological and media revolution at the turn of the century, something inside us hit overload. American culture no longer reflects our own values. As a result, we are now morally and existentially tired, disoriented, anchorless, and defensive. We hate us and we wonder why.”

No doubt there is much that is wrong with Meyer’s analysis but he raises some important questions. There certainly is a strong element of self-loathing in America and Western culture more generally. This is apparent in many areas including environmentalism, identity politics and the hostility towards Chinese economic development. It is a topic that is worth examining in more detail.

An extract from the book and interview with the author are available here.

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