Yuppies, Technocrats & Neoliberals: Chilly Thoughts on the National Future

Yuppies, Technocrats & Neoliberals: Chilly Thoughts on the National Future

Walk north on a balmy evening from Lincoln Center in Manhattan along Columbus Avenue for fifteen or twenty blocks and treat yourself to a vision of youth ala mode. No costume is outré when clothes are expected to make statements comprehensible to peers, if not to touring cultural anthropologists and marveling senior citizens. Boutiques, sidewalk cafes, and sanctuaries of gelati, tofutti, and premium ice cream jostle each other. Lines form in front of particularly popular “in” establishments like Ruelles, where the sounds of soft rock entice customers into a Gay Nineties interior whose walls feature buxom female nudes. Overheard conversations conduct themselves in the educated tones of the college credentialed. Loud along the boulevard resonates the psychobabble of relationships, getting in touch with one’s feelings, personal growth, transference and countertransference, how to get through the summer while the analyst is away, and other oral evidences of the vulgarization of austere Freudian doctrine. If a classical Freudian survives and keeps the faith, he or she will in moments of carefully rationed utterance tell a patient yearning for happiness that the best psychoanalysis offers is enhanced capacity to cope with ordinary, human misery. Not at all a palatable message for the optimistic youth.

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Lima