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TitleDemocratic Culture and Moral Character: A Study in Culture and Personality
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Table of Contents
                            Foreword
Contents
1 Introduction to Democratic Culture and Moral Character: A Study in Culture and Personality
	1.1…The Argument so Far: What We Can Learn About Social EvolutionSocial Evolution and Personal CharacterPersonal Character
	1.2…The Overall Argument of This Book
	References
Part I Democracy and Character
2 Understanding Democracy as a Prerequisite for Spreading Democracy
	References
3 The Faking of Charisma and Decadence: Cultural Decay Through the Ages
	References
4 Modernity and Intimacy
	References
5 How Nationalism is Similar to Juvenile Delinquency
	References
Part II Pragmatism and Character
6 Pragmatism as the Basis of American Culture in an Individualistic Society
	6.1…Some AmericanAmerican and EuropeanEuropean Versions of PragmatismPragmatism
	References
7 Formal and Informal Uses of Law for Ensuring Political Freedom: A Short Cross-Cultural Comparison
	7.1…When Law Ceases to be Pragmatic
	References
Part III The Evolution of Democratic Character and Culture
8 Limited Alternatives and Personal Identity: The Relation Between Freedom and Personal Responsibility
	8.1…Comparing Pre-Feudalpre-feudal and Post-Feudalpost-feudal Societies
	8.2…FeudalFeudal Societies
	8.3…Forced Choice Situations
	References
9 America as a Post-Feudal Society, or How to Relate to the Islamic World
10 Personal Versus Impersonal Forms of Exploitation
	References
Part IV Conclusion
11 Politics from the Bottom Up, Rather Than the Top Down
	References
12 Means and Ends in Personal Relationships
	References
13 The Sense of Self in Democratic Societies
	13.1…Social RelationshipsSocial Relationships and the Formation of Societies
	13.2…AuthoritarianismAuthoritarianism and NarcissismNarcissism as Sources of Social IdentitySocial Identity
	13.3…The Political Influence of IntellectualsIntellectuals
	References
14 A Basic Summary on Social Evolution and Character
	14.1…The Functions of FantasyFantasy
	14.2…Social EvolutionSocial Evolution and Personal CharacterPersonal Character (and Personal RelationshipsPersonal Relationships)
	14.3…AlienationAlienation and Vulnerability to AnxietyAnxiety in PostmodernPostmodern Society
	14.4…Perversions of CharacterPerversions of Character
	14.5…Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Democratic Culture
and Moral Character
A Study in Culture and Personality

Jerome Braun

Page 2

Democratic Culture and Moral Character

Page 130

characteristic of borderline personality disorders for those who fail to attain the
tokens of narcissistic achievement that are so important to gain social prestige
here, used to fill up the emptiness of one’s life in societies that increasingly offer
few other sources for achieving happiness.

Unfortunately, these narcissistic societies often learn from and copy the bad
points of American society, the rootlessness, the consumerism, the anomie, and not
the good points, the relative lack of snobbishness and the ability to learn from
acquaintances, as well as the emphasis on personal initiative and personal morality
because it is so hard to rely on the personal concern of leaders for those people that
they lead but they do not know to any great degree. All these are so because it so hard
to rely on the concern of these same acquaintances except in a very limited way, and
because of the succumbing to the temptations of simplistic escapism that are so
accentuated by commercial interests and commercially driven culture in America.

Modern societies sometimes mistake patriotism, nationalism, and the ‘‘high’’ of
being entertained with character-building and ultimate concern for each other and
for the nature which is under our care. Primitive societies when they began to lose
touch with the concrete realities around them sometimes jumped to absurd con-
clusions, human sacrifice, ritual orgies, and perpetual warfare being among them.
For all our checks and balances among our truth-seeking endeavors in government,
religion, and scholarship, the incentives for self-serving behavior are increased in
some ways because the bureaucratization of society is greater.

Once the mass of people in small-scale societies faced a small leadership class,
yet even this leadership class often kept out of their way. Nowadays, our spe-
cialists in our mass societies for all their specialized knowledge that surpasses that
of their predecessors nevertheless have little incentive to show concern for society
as a whole outside their little spheres of influence. Yet society is very dependent on
all these various specialists taken together, despite the fact they often coordinate so
poorly.

To get back to issues of psychology, paranoia is a danger in unraveling
authoritarian societies, especially those that are based on hereditary loyalties,
where order is searched for because it is being lost and scapegoating is one
solution to this problem. But scapegoating is also a problem in narcissistic soci-
eties where order was never really present, and so mutual distrust has a basis in
reality. Paranoia as a process of projection, blaming others for what one fears is a
weakness in oneself, is obviously a serious matter when there is a predisposition to
this, and is a serious danger, partly because of environmental factors that stimulate
it. This is true in both modernizing authoritarian societies and failing (particularly
in terms of economic growth) narcissistic societies where individuals do not
successfully repress their desires but are left awash in a sea of confusion and
unfulfilled desire, and as a result blaming.

Authoritarian societies often have ready-made scapegoats; individualistic,
narcissistic societies must fulfill this function in a haphazard fashion, individuals
being just as likely to blame themselves, or perhaps more so, than to blame others.
Thus, both authoritarian and narcissistic societies can produce unconscious anger
and blaming, and possibly resulting paranoia as these feelings reach the surface of

128 8 Limited Alternatives and Personal Identity

Page 131

the personality and remain there when there are socially approved scapegoats as in
authoritarian societies, or when these tensions, including paranoid ones, are more
easily dissipated even though in a sense mass produced in narcissistic societies.
Perhaps, the latter example is an illustration of the constant need in America to use
humor to diffuse social tension.

Narcissistic societies go even further than authoritarian societies in producing
individuals who ‘‘live in their own worlds’’ and though blaming exists here, even
more common is manic-depression of a rather severe sort (which in many ways is
what borderline personality disorder is when society produces few sources of self-
esteem other than narcissistic accomplishment). That is an inability to stabilize
mood and the need, beyond rather mild tendencies toward paranoia for the most
part, often resorting to addictions to produce such mood stability. However, as
society stabilizes in terms of a lack of social mobility, paranoia as blaming others,
in addition to depression as blaming oneself, will be likely to increase.

If authoritarian societies (truly traditional societies, not modernizing traditional
societies) are societies without change, then such societies produce among their
members moderate narcissism (among the happy ones) and unipolar depression
(among the unhappy ones) for options are limited, and social roles are strict,
though roles tend to reflect a need for social solidarity in communal rather than
bureaucratic function. Obviously from the point of view of the individual, the fit
between individual and society may not be perfect and the return of the emo-
tionally repressed in terms of hysteria is fairly common here, outbreaks of hysteria
that are more easily handled by their looser social structures than is the case in our
modern, bureaucratized societies where much is allowed in the privacy of life off
the job, and much is ignored which is itself a problem in terms of loneliness, but
except for the rich, little is forgiven in the competitive world of the workplace.

True, traditional societies had their own fears, and perhaps their own schizo-
phrenias, usually involving fear of nature and of the spirit world, and not success at
business. If they needed to be more narcissistic, to be more at home with them-
selves and not think of themselves as mere extensions of nature, a nature which
they often feared more than understood, we need to be less narcissistic, less falling
back on our fragile selves because we feel the world of nature is mechanical, like
our machines, and thus dead and lifeless. Modern societies produce manic-
depression and fear because social change is so prevalent, and with it social
disappointments, and the order that is there is so often cold, impersonal, and
inhumane, not inhumane the way human sacrifice among hysterical tribal people
so often was, but inhumane nonetheless.

Modern societies produce pathologies of ambivalence, obsessions with feelings
of wholeness, of fitting in or not, of being controlled or doing the controlling,
which though present in traditional societies often have a whole new intensity in
modern societies because the intensity of competition has been ratcheted up, an
impersonal competition within bureaucracies and not the face-to-face personal
competitions moderated by etiquette of traditional societies. Obviously, modern
American society is not totally different from traditional societies, but the pro-
portions of various kinds of problems have changed. Authoritarians define

8.3 Forced Choice Situations 129

Page 259

Sin, 17, 18, 26, 34, 35, 53, 60, 64, 75, 91, 92,
93, 125, 127, 164–166, 196

Sincere, 187, 222
Sincerity, 60, 182, 222
Sinners, 5
Sins, 35, 164, 196
Slave, 141, 142, 144, 147, 148, 210
Slavery, 141, 147, 148, 210
Soccer hooliganism, 39
Soccer hooligans, 39
Social, 211
Social alliances, 115, 116, 135, 145, 148–150
Social anarchy, 219
Social and cultural evolution, 161
Social and economic equality, 21
Social and political evolution, 9
Social conformity, 6
Social Darwinism, 110, 202
Social democracy, 114, 115, 125, 133, 136,

139, 148, 150, 211
Social equality, 216, 221
Social evolution, 6, 10, 20, 21, 24–27, 35, 40,

57, 95, 110, 113, 116, 118, 125, 131, 132,
139, 161, 176, 179, 182, 212, 215, 216,
223, 228

Social hierarchy, 1, 2, 25, 124, 166, 184
Social Identity, 187, 222
Social inequality, 21, 116, 149, 216
Social institutions, 6, 19, 25, 26, 58, 117, 118,

142, 145, 169, 191, 195
Social isolation, 1
Social justice, 115, 146, 149
Social loyalties, 224
Social order, 26, 37
Social relationships, 4, 45, 58, 71, 73, 74, 118,

124, 161, 163, 168, 169, 171, 176, 184,
191, 203, 206, 216, 217, 219, 220, 228

Social rituals, 223
Social solidarity, 1, 8, 9, 12, 26, 69, 82, 107,

109, 123, 129, 142, 144, 153, 185, 194,
208, 215, 218, 220, 225

Social values, 26
Society, 14, 25, 48, 75, 103, 108, 119, 123,

128, 130, 132, 168, 181, 187, 199, 215, 225
Sociopath, 3, 8, 24, 131, 132, 222
Solidarity, 75, 82, 104, 184, 196, 219
Soviet Union, 38
Spain, 65, 141, 195, 210
Spanish, 64
Spruyt, H., 10
St. Augustine, 98
Stoic, 65

Stress, 6, 7, 16, 20, 108, 109, 117, 122, 131,
153, 161, 163, 164, 173, 176, 186, 203,
209, 218, 228

Stressful, 115, 131
Subjective, 56
Sublimation, 218
Substantive rules, 8, 77
Substantively, 108
Superego, 51, 130, 131, 170, 179, 182, 222
Sweden, 197

T
Taylor, C., 50
The evolution of religion, 116
Thom, G., 167
Thompson, M. Guy., 130
Tocqueville, 20
Tolerance, 91
Totalitarian governments, 71
Totalitarian leaders, 4
Totalitarian, 190
Totalitarianism, 164
Traditional, 1, 133, 136, 143, 148, 150, 152,

181, 183, 187, 191, 194, 197, 199, 204,
215, 224, 225

Traditional and modernizing traditional socie-
ties, 188

Traditional authority, 107
Traditional communities and even whole

societies, 146
Traditional communities, 44, 55
Traditional moral virtues, 136
Traditional morality, 180
Traditional peasantries, 187
Traditional social relationships, 184
Traditional society, 9, 15, 57, 63, 76, 91,

103–105, 107, 110, 115, 129, 130, 133,
136, 137, 147–149, 181, 187–189, 191,
192, 194, 198, 199, 202, 219, 223, 225, 229

Traditional, even more primitive, societies, 6
Traditionalism, 143
Traditionalists, 145, 147
Traditionally, 151
Traditions, 9, 152, 183
Tragedy, 109, 125, 127, 147
Tragic, 60, 125, 127, 168
Triandis, 74
Tribal, 44, 115, 127, 129, 144, 148, 151, 152,

211
Tribal democracy, 80, 133
Tribal loyalties, 104

Index 263

Page 260

Tribal society, 9, 18, 103, 113–116, 119, 125,
133, 148–150, 176, 181, 185, 191, 192,
211, 216, 217, 222

Tribally, 133
Trickle-down economics, 138
Trust, 6, 7, 9, 14, 18, 62, 67, 118, 119, 122,

167, 185, 188, 192, 202, 203, 205, 216, 224
Tyrannical governments, 198
Tyrannical, 45, 55, 91, 126
Tyranny, 2, 4, 5, 19, 20, 46, 47, 83, 91, 145,

147, 189, 195, 211
Tyrants, 46, 71, 145

U
Undemocratic society, 26
Unsatisfactory relationships, 67
Upper class, 40, 48, 58, 159, 170, 200
Upper-middle-class, 40
Utopianism, 201

V
Values, 20, 21
Virtue, 1, 3, 13, 15, 21, 48, 52, 53, 58, 59, 75,

78, 79, 99, 105, 107, 108, 114, 125–127,
137, 138, 144, 151, 164, 167, 191, 202

Virtuous, 1, 2, 13, 17, 19, 26, 78, 99, 100, 125
Volkan, V., 207, 208

W
Wallace, Anthony F.C., 164
Weber, 17
Weberian, 107
Western, 38, 70
Western Europe, 36, 81, 103, 104
Wheatcroft, A., 140
Wilkinson, R., 23
William, J., 97
Wills, G., 14
Winnicott, D. W., 182
Wittgenstein, 97
Working class, 10, 21, 46, 59, 61, 67, 80, 81,

93, 108, 137, 138, 147, 157, 159, 170, 200,
201, 210

Working-class culture, 200

Z
Zeldin, 60, 61

264 Index

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