Christopher Lasch

(Christopher "Kit" Lasch)

Christopher Lasch
Christopher Lasch
  • Born: June 1, 1932
  • Died: February 14, 1994
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Professor History Best-selling Author/social Critic/historian.









Christopher "Kit" Lasch 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".

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
Technologies are political; what technologies finally appear as is not something decided in a laboratory. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The attraction of black culture for disaffected whites suggests that black culture now speaks to a general condition. Minorities & Women
The job of the press is to encourage debate, not to supply the public with information. Media, Journalism & The Press
A child's appetite for new toys appeal to the desire for ownership and appropriation: the appeal of toys comes to lie not in their use but in their status as possessions.
A growing awareness of the depth of popular attachment to the family has led some liberals to concede that family is not just a buzzword for reaction. Families, Children & Parenting
A society that has made 'nostalgia' a marketable commodity on the cultural exchange quickly repudiates the suggestion that life in the past was in any important way better than life today. Society ;Life
Adherents of the new religious right reject the separation of politics and religion, but they bring no spiritual insights to politics. Religion & God ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Because it equates tradition with prejudice, the left finds itself increasingly unable to converse with ordinary people in their common language.
Because politics rests on an irreducible measure of coercion, it can never become a perfect realm of perfect love and justice. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Conservatives have no understanding of modern capitalism. They have a distorted understanding of the traditional values they claim to defend.
Conservatives sense a link between television and drugs, but they do not grasp the nature of this connection. Nature
Conservatives unwittingly side with the social forces that contribute to the destruction of traditional values.
Environmentalism opposes reckless innovation and makes conservation the central order of business. Business, Commerce & Finance
Every age develops its own peculiar forms of pathology, which express in exaggerated form its underlying character structure.
George Orwell's contention was that it is a sure sign of trouble when things can no longer be called by their right names and described in plain, forthright speech.
Ideologies, however appealing, cannot shape the whole structure of perceptions and conduct unless they are embedded in daily experiences that confirm them.
In an individualistic culture, the narcissist is God's gift to the world. In a collectivist society, the narcissist is God's gift to the collective. Society ;Religion & God
In our society, daily experience teaches the individual to want and need a never-ending supply of new toys and drugs. Society
Information, usually seen as the precondition of debate, is better understood as its by-product.
Instead of taking environmentalism away from the left, conservatives condemn it as a counsel of doom.
It is advertising and the logic of consumerism that governs the depiction of reality in the mass media.
It is no longer an unwritten law of American capitalism that industry will attempt to maintain wages at a level that allows a single wage to support a family. Families, Children & Parenting
It is the logic of consumerism that undermines the values of loyalty and permanence and promotes a different set of values that is destructive of family life. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
Knowledge is what we get when an observer, preferably a scientifically trained observer, provides us with a copy of reality that we can all recognize. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Liberals subscribe to the new flexible, pluralistic definition of the family; their defense of families carries no conviction. Families, Children & Parenting
Make it new is the message not just of modern art but of modern consumerism, of which modern art is largely a mirror image. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Most of these alternative arrangements, so-called, arise out of the ruins of marriages, not as an improvement of old fashioned marriage. Families, Children & Parenting
Most people no longer live in nuclear families at all.
Most women are pragmatists who have allowed extremists on the left and right to manipulate the family issue for their own purposes. Women ;Families, Children & Parenting
Neoclassical economics insists that advertising cannot force consumers to buy anything they don't already want to buy.
News represents another form of advertising, not liberal propaganda.
Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. Success
Ostensibly rigorous and realistic, contemporary conservatism is an ideology of denial. Its symbol is a smile button.
Personal disintegration remains always an imminent danger.
Progressive rhetoric has the effect of concealing social crisis and moral breakdown by presenting them as the birth pangs of a new order.
Propaganda in the ordinary sense of the term plays a less important part in a consumer society, where people greet all official pronouncements with suspicion. Society
Relentless improvement of the product and upgrading of consumer tastes are the heart of mass merchandising.
The attempt to redefine the family as a purely voluntary arrangement grows out of the modern delusion that people can keep all their options open all the time. Time ;Families, Children & Parenting
The conservative revival cannot be dismissed.
The effect of the mass media is not to elicit belief but to maintain the apparatus of addiction.
The family wage has been eroded by the same developments that have promoted consumerism as a way of life. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
The hope of a new politics does not lie in formulating a left-wing reply to the right-it lies in rejecting conventional political categories. Hope ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The intellectual debility of contemporary conservatism is indicated by its silence on all important matters.
The last three decades have seen the collapse of the family wage system. Families, Children & Parenting
The left ask people to believe that there is no conflict between feminism and the family. Families, Children & Parenting
The left dismisses talk about the collapse of family life and talks instead about the emergence of the growing new diversity of family types. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
The left has come to regard common sense - the traditional wisdom and folkways of the community - as an obstacle to progress and enlightenment.
The left has lost the common touch.
The left has lost touch with popular opinion, thereby making it possible for the right to present itself as the party of common sense.
The left no longer stands for common sense, as it did in the days of Tom Paine.
The left sees nothing but bigotry and superstition in the popular defense of the family or in popular attitudes regarding abortion, crime, busing, and the school curriculum. Families, Children & Parenting
The model of ownership, in a society organized round mass consumption, is addiction. Society
The news appeals to the same jaded appetite that makes a child tire of a toy as soon as it becomes familiar and demand a new one in its place.
The proper reply to right wing religiosity is not to insist that politics and religion don't mix. This is the stock response of the left. Religion & God ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The question of the family now divides our society so deeply that the opposing sides cannot even agree on a definition of the institution they are arguing about. Society ;Families, Children & Parenting
The reporting of news has to be understood as propaganda for commodities, and events by images.
The same historical development that turned the citizen into a client transformed the worker from a producer into a consumer.
Today Americans are overcome not by the sense of endless possibility but by the banality of the social order they have erected against it.
Traditionalists will have to master techniques of sustained activism formerly monopolized by the left.
We are all revolutionaries now, addicts of change.
When liberals finally grasped the strength of popular feeling about the family, they cried to appropriate the rhetoric and symbolism of family values for their own purposes. Families, Children & Parenting