Wednesday, September 24, 2014

David Bosworth: The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America: The Moral Origins of the Great Recession (2014)

David Bosworth, the author of The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America: The Moral Origins of the Great Recession (2014) spoke yesterday at the Boisi Center, Boston College, on "The Demise of Virtue in Virtual America -- the Moral Origins of the Great Recession".  Below, Marash Girl has attempted to summarize Prof. Bosworth's presentation as often as possible in his words.

The American story is an "inside story", seductive rather than coercive, David Bosworth ascertained.  Consumer capitalism produces the goods, but not "the good".  Rather it creates addictive consumption.  Virtual America is designed to grow profits as it entertains.  Look at Disneyland created in 1955, says Bosworth; Disney defines our core philosophy. (Marash Girl can't remember the Disney song that Bosworth sang at this point, with Alan Wolfe joining in.) Our civic centers have become enclosed malls.  The volunteers who used to go door to door to save the whales now take 30% of the proceeds!  It is, as Bosworth sees it, the demise of virtue.  Virtuous America has become virtual America.  We are surrounded in our virtual world by all that we "must have". Bosworth posits that we have become (at our places of work) Dr. Jekyl, and (at our homes) Mr. Hyde.  Submissiveness to whatever is required of us in the workplace  allows for us to self-indulge when we return home.  Humility and honesty get edited out of the workplace, Bosworth stated.  "Our faith has become a prosperity theology.  We are experiencing 'evangelical Mammonism' -- a belief that products will save us and solve all of our personal problems.  The 'soft duplicity', the monetizing of arts and culture, has led to the cultural contradictions of philanthro-capitalism. . . The unbridled pursuit of 'stuff' is not a ruling purpose worthy of society; our society cannot survive this."

At the Boston College's Boisi Center, Prof. David Bosworth considers the questions asked of him by his esteemed audience of professors and students.
And as if to confirm all that Prof. Bosworth said yesterday, today's Wall Street Journal announces, "The SEC is investigating whether bond giant Pacific Investment Management Co. artificially boosted the returns of a popular fund aimed at small investors, the latest challenge for the firm run by investor Bill Gross."

1 comment:

  1. Professor Bosworth's sad tale sadly misses the point of origin of our cultural vacuity. What he describes is elementary to a casual observer, and in fact, underscores the nature of the problem. Alas, professor Bosworth seems to be a casualty, nay, even worse, a victim, of this PC culture, because he seems to assign a higher value to materialism, then to the generations of Lady Macbeths that R.v.Wade has spawned, concomitant with the recrudescence of generations of irresponsible Adams, fashioned after the first who looked on as Eve was seduced into a lifeless void of self indulgence. Out, out, damn spot, a spot that can never be cleansed as the murder mill continues from the hands of men and women who worship themselves on the altar of self, and arrogate unto themselves the power of life and death. Biblical Christianity, the spiritual reality upon which this country was founded can no longer be referenced, as the faith of our founders has been consigned to the ash heap of history, and so with it the mangled, tortured 60million infants whose cries were muffled in the womb of their mother and the mute testimonies of their fathers.