The Minimal Self: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times

The Minimal Self Psychic Survival in Troubled Times Faced with an escalating arms race rising crime and terrorism environmental deterioration and long term economic decline people have retreated from commitments that presuppose a secure and orderly

  • Title: The Minimal Self: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times
  • Author: Christopher Lasch
  • ISBN: 9780393302639
  • Page: 374
  • Format: Paperback
  • Faced with an escalating arms race, rising crime and terrorism, environmental deterioration, and long term economic decline, people have retreated from commitments that presuppose a secure and orderly world In his latest book, Christopher Lasch, the renowned historian and social critic, powerfully argues that self concern, so characteristic of our time, has become a searcFaced with an escalating arms race, rising crime and terrorism, environmental deterioration, and long term economic decline, people have retreated from commitments that presuppose a secure and orderly world In his latest book, Christopher Lasch, the renowned historian and social critic, powerfully argues that self concern, so characteristic of our time, has become a search for psychic survival.

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    About “Christopher Lasch

    • Christopher Lasch

      Christopher Kit Lasch June 1, 1932 February 14, 1994 was an American historian, moralist, and social critic who was a history professor at the University of Rochester.Lasch sought to use history as a tool to awaken American society to the pervasiveness with which major institutions, public and private, were eroding the competence and independence of families and communities He strove to create a historically informed social criticism that could teach Americans how to deal with rampant consumerism, proletarianization, and what he famously labeled the culture of narcissism His books, including The New Radicalism in America 1965 , Haven in a Heartless World 1977 , The Culture of Narcissism 1979 , and The True and Only Heaven 1991 , and The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy published posthumously in 1996 were widely discussed and reviewed The Culture of Narcissism became a surprise best seller and won the National Book Award in the category Current Interest paperback.Lasch was always a critic of liberalism, and a historian of liberalism s discontents, but over time his political perspective evolved dramatically In the 1960s, he was a neo Marxist and acerbic critic of Cold War liberalism During the 1970s, he began to become a far iconoclastic figure, fusing cultural conservatism with a Marxian critique of capitalism, and drawing on Freud influenced critical theory to diagnose the ongoing deterioration that he perceived in American culture and politics His writings during this period are considered contradictory They are sometimes denounced by feminists and hailed by conservatives for his apparent defense of the traditional family But as he explained in one of his books The Minimal Self, it goes without saying that sexual equality in itself remains an eminently desirable objective Moreover, in Women and the Common Life, Lasch clarified that urging women to abandon the household and forcing them into a position of economic dependence, in the workplace, pointing out the importance of professional careers does not entail liberation, as long as these careers are governed by the requirements of corporate economy.He eventually concluded that an often unspoken but pervasive faith in Progress tended to make Americans resistant to many of his arguments In his last major works he explored this theme in depth, suggesting that Americans had much to learn from the suppressed and misunderstood Populist and artisan movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

    433 thoughts on “The Minimal Self: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times

    • I picked this up after it was mentioned in The Baffler's review of Elizabeth Lunbeck's 'The Americanization of Narcissism' (thebaffler/salvos/amer), and I'm glad I did. I'm an absolute junkie for social psych / 'what makes society tick' books, and although this was published in 1984, it's still very insightful about the current day difficulty of figuring out how to live in a world that seems like it's falling apart around us. A follow up to and clarification of Lasch's more famous book 'The Cult [...]


    • Some good stuff in this, but dated. The foundations of feminism and other progressive movements was interesting to follow. But, outdated over-reliance on Freud's ego, superego, id makes this a relic.


    • This book reads as a collection of essays across different disciplines or areas of thought. The subtitle is not very revealing. In part, the book questions, rather than endorses, the goal of "survival." Lasch says that the problem with setting personal survival as a life goal is that it is a very low standard. It ignores questions of human flourishing (including art, civilization, ethics, friendship, and so on), and it eliminates the possibility of altruistic self-sacrifice for those goals, as s [...]


    • What can one make of this book? One needs to consider the authors views first, I think before one reads the book, because the author seems all over the place, at least it seemed so when this person was reading it. One minute you think you found someone who understands you (in my case because of his rejection of progressivism in particular feminism), the next you think where has he gone off to (again, in my case, because of the seeming moderate position he takes toward Progressivism).Mr. Lasch, a [...]


    • The way forward is neither Promethean or Narcissism, both of which have been embraced by modern liberalism. The self must again find a way to cultivate creation instead of dominate it or symbiotically become a part of it. Lasch also gives a fair critique of conservative thought that seeks to turn back the clock to an authoritative view that rests on fear and respect alone. A good conservativism is one that seeks forgiveness and reconciliation. A good conservativism sees the self as always in ten [...]


    • Ψυχική επιβίωση σε καιρούς αναστάτωσης"Σε μια εποχή δυσκολιών, η καθημερινή ζωή γίνεται άσκηση στην επιβίωση. Οι άνθρωποι ζουν μόνο το σήμερα. Σπάνια κοιτάζουν πίσω για να μη παραδοθούν σε μια παραλυτική νοσταλγία. και αν κοιτάζουν μπρος, είναι για να δουν πως μπορούν να πρ [...]


    • All the Freud and reaction to Freud makes this the most dated-feeling Lasch I've read so far, but the stuff about the titular minimal self and the survival mentality is a great reimagining of what was misunderstood in The Culture of Narcissism.



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