Charles Hugh Smith, an economic and cultural thinker, recently wrote an essay that absolutely nailed how capitalism and individualism are destroying America. Here are the highlights:

This classic analysis of Western liberal capitalist society contends that capitalism—and the culture it creates—harbors the seeds of its own downfall by creating a need among successful people for personal gratification—a need that corrodes the work ethic that led to their success in the first place.

[…]

Narcissism is the result of the consumerist society’s relentless focus on the essential project of consumerism, which is “the only self that is real is the self that is purchased and projected.”

[…]

…narcissism has been on the rise for 30 years in advanced neoliberal economies.

In my analysis, this is the direct consequence of the supremacy of a consumerism that is dependent on financialization: an economy dependent on debt-fueled consumption to power its “endless growth” is one that will necessarily implode from its internal contradictions: debt and leverage eventually exceed the carrying capacity of the collateral and the national income, and the narcissism of consumerism leads to social recession, a crippling state of “suspended animation” adolescence and great personal frustration and unhappiness.

Long live America!

Source: Narcissism, Consumerism and the End of Growth