Monday, October 22, 2007

Catching on to Affluenza

This new book by Oliver James, titled Affluenza, was reviewed in the TLS recently. Here is a review of it from the Guardian last winter. The book argues apparently that selfish capitalism is ruining us. It's so bad that it behaves like a virus that kills us from within. James seems to have condensed much of what Naomi Klein and other leftist thinkers have been saying, only in a more socially and psychologically informed way. The one negaitive reaction to this book I see comes from a reviewer whose claim to fame is a book titled Rich is Beautiful. No moral ambiguity there.

Pity though - on the basis of three reviews quickly scanned, no substantive religious or theological diagnosis of what's happened since the sixteenth century is forthcoming (which James apparently describes as western societies' increasing level of unhappiness since that century specifically!). Guess that work will have to be carried by others...