When Christopher Lasch died on Valentine’s day in , America lost the most profound of her critics. His final book, The Revolt of the Elites, was published a. Christopher Lasch was one of those rare figures in American public life who was The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy, a collection of essays. Christopher Lasch, who died last year, has been rather undernoticed in Britain. His attention was admittedly focused on American politics and.

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The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy

In the brief years of the Reagan Administration alone, their share of the national income rose from Lasch, dissects the rise and takeover of the technological and managerial classes with their lack of roots. The language is clearly written but consists of a large number of quotes from philosophers, sociologists, and religious thinkers. Popular culture follows in their wake.

All the habits of mind that Ortega attributed to the masses are now, I submit, more characteristic of the upper levels of society than of the lower or middle levels. Nov 22, Matthew rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

But anyone who has read the Book of Job knows that “it is just this illusion that the most radical form of religious faith relentlessly attacks. Meritocracy, however, turns out to be a contradiction in terms: Paperbackpages. Populated by transients, they lack the continuity that derives from a sense of place and from standards of conduct self-consciously cultivated and handed down from generation to generation.

The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy | W. W. Norton & Company

By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. But the revolt of the elites against time-honored traditions of locality, obligation, and restraint may yet unleash a war of all against all.

This was an interesting read, given that my politics don’t exactly line up with Lasch’s. For him the difference between those who hang tight to religion despite all of elitez evil in the world, as opposed to the secular, who renounce religion as a result of it, is that the former have made their peace with it, while the latter have not.


The Middling Sort

Prof Lasch read and thought deeply about history. Lasch was especially caustic about the hedonistic antics of the so-called New Left. There are, for example, no paeans to the likes of Ted Kennedy or John Lindsay. He was, after all, an astute critic of society, and anyone not smitten with the radical pieties of the s will rveolt and again find himself endorsing this or that piece of christopger anatomization.

He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, inappropriately enough for a curmudgeonly populist.

This brave piece of social criticism answers Lasch’s critics with a message so simple and obvious, it’s sublime. Christpoher is symptomatic of my own political leanings, I suspect, that I started losing interest in this a little after the half-way mark and then could barely take a note from cbristopher book for the whole of the third part.

It can hardly be said that ordinary people today look forward to a world of “limitless possibility.

Journal of American History. An essay for our times: The quote above, though, summarises the main point: In the s, he was a neo-Marxist and acerbic critic of Cold War liberalism. The Revolt of the Elites ought to have been a book, not an essay collection. This last has been replaced by the shopping mall in particular, a place that does not lend itself to a relaxed conversation with whoever is around. They have access to state-of-the-art science laboratories, interactive computers and video systems in the classroom, language laboratories, and high-tech school libraries.

May 07, John rated it really liked it. The “secession of the symbolic analysts,” as Reich calls it, provides us with a particularly striking instance of the revolt of elites against the constraints of time and place. Of course, being his last it will likely remain my favorite.


In Europe, referenda on unification have revealed a deep and widening gap between the political classes and the more humble members of society, who fear that the European Economic Community will be dominated by bureaucrats and technicians devoid of any feelings of national identity or allegiance. Oct 22, Anchit rated it it was ok. Lasch blames a lot of the troubled aspects of society on an educated elite, it still helps to have a basic understanding of these three disciplines.

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Their lack of gratitude disqualifies meritocratic elites from the burden of leadership, and, in any case, they are less interested in leadership than in escaping from the common lot—the very definition of meritocratic success.

Sep 21, Steve rated it really liked it Shelves: I revisited Revolt of the Elites,after more than 10 years and find it more compelling than before. Members of the Labour Party in Britain, who can, send their children to private schools. The author traces how meritocracy – selective elevation into the elite – gradually replaced the original American democratic ideal of competence and respect for every man.

May 19, Alex O’Connor rated it it was amazing. Lasch rejects these typological approaches. Christopher Lasch analyzes [26] the widening gap between the top and bottom of the social composition in the United States.

To ask other readers questions about The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracyplease sign up. Have they canceled their allegiance to America? The Journal of American History.

They are sometimes denounced by feminists and hailed by conservatives for his apparent defense of the traditional family.

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