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The Faking of Charisma and Decadence: Cultural Decay Through the Ages

  • Jerome BraunEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The bureaucratization of society is discussed with reference to both competent and incompetent managements, starting with such examples as the rise of monarchy. The tendency of social evolution to result in cycles of governments becoming more tyrannical and priesthoods becoming more neurotic until there is backlash, and then the process repeats itself, is illustrated. There is discussion of why everyday morality is not easily enforced upon the powerful in bureaucratic organizations. Modernization of communities is also discussed. Standards for evaluating “charisma” and “celebrity” are then derived from the work of such writers as Philip Rieff and Eva Illouz with some discussion of secular versions of originally religious values. The history of “bread and circuses” to provide escapism for the masses is then discussed, including its place in inspiring modern American political ideals.

Keywords

Bureaucratization of society Charisma Monarchy Freedom Honor Philip Rieff Sigmund Freud Monotheism American revolution Baron de Montesquieu 

References

  1. Brague, R. (2007). The law of God: The philosophical history of an idea, (trans: Lydia, G.) Cochrane. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Braudy, L. (1986). The frenzy of renown: Fame and its history. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Fox, R. L. (1988). Pagans and Christians. New York: Harpercollins.Google Scholar
  4. Illouz, E. (2008). Saving the modern soul: Therapy, emotions, and the culture of self-help. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Rieff, P. (2007). Charisma: the gift of grace and how it has been taken away from us. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  6. Taylor, C. (2007). A secular age. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ChicagoUSA

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