Wax and Alexander on Bourgeois Values

quotes culture normative behavior

26 May 2019

Amy Wax and Larry Alexander on bourgeois values:

Those adults with influence over the culture, for a variety of reasons, abandoned their role as advocates for respectability, civility, and adult values. As a consequence, the counterculture made great headway, particularly among the chattering classes — academics, writers, artists, actors, and journalists — who relished liberation from conventional constraints and turned condemning America and reviewing its crimes into a class marker of virtue and sophistication.

If the bourgeois cultural script — which the upper-middle class still largely observes but now hesitates to preach — cannot be widely reinstated, things are likely to get worse for us all.

But restoring the hegemony of the bourgeois culture will require the arbiters of culture — the academics, media, and Hollywood — to relinquish multicultural grievance polemics and the preening pretense of defending the downtrodden. Instead of bashing the bourgeois culture, they should return to the 1950s posture of celebrating it.

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