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.|