By Steve Portigal at 10:02 pm, Tuesday April 13 2010
- Book Review: The Authenticity Hoax [WSJ.com] – ..the craving for authenticity among those in the West who see a market economy and consumer culture as sterile and false—inauthentic—and who defend the world's most repressive cultures, looking past their brutality to admire their resistance to modernity. It is the disillusionment with modernity that underlies the authenticity quest. When man was preoccupied with finding food and appeasing capricious gods, he didn't have the time or inclination to ask whether he had "sold out" for an easy paycheck or failed to align himself with some abstract ideal of the "authentic" life. But then science made the formerly mystical cosmos explainable, and a spread of democratic ideas, in politics and markets alike, made food and freedom more broadly shared. The result was "a new kind of society and, inevitably, a new kind of person," one more given to looking within for meaning and not liking what he found there. The individual's own self-definition filled the gap left by faith and authority.