Murray is right to point to the incoherent and defensive moral sensibilities of the American upper class. But is it really the case that it does not preach what it practices? He notes that, at the very least, this ruling class preaches the doctrine of non-judgmentalism. He also observes that, from time to time, the new upper class feels comfortable with using derogatory labels, particularly towards fundamentalist Christians and rural working-class whites. However, the preaching of this privileged elite is not confined to the denunciation of the backwoods redneck and the gun-loving members of the National Rifle Association. In fact, when it comes to preaching, Murray’s SuperZips are in a class of their own. They may use a self-conscious rhetoric of non-judgmentalism – words like ‘inappropriate’ and ‘challenging’, or phrases such as ‘people in need of support’ and ‘people with issues’ – but they have no inhibitions about instructing others about what food they should eat, how they should bring up their children, or what forms of behaviour are healthy. Outwardly they eschew the language of morality. Instead of sermons, they use the language of ‘raising awareness’.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
… sp!ked review of books | The divided state of America.