Dave's Review of: Bobos in Paradise; by David Brooks. 7/01

Is it true that the def the old WASP code of morality has left America in a moral vacuum. Some people set the decline of old Protestant Establishment and mourn our losses: no more chivalry, no more of that keen sense of duty and public service, no more gravitas and deference to authority, no more reticence and self-effacement, no more chastity or decorum, no more gentlemen, no more ladies, no more honor and valor. The see the codes and rules that have fallen away and too quickly assume that we have entered into a nihilistic age. In fact our morals have followed the same cycle of decay and regeneration as our manners. The old Protestant Establishment and its ethical system faded. There was a period of anarchy. But more recently the new educated establishment has imposed its one set of rules. And as we shall see in Chapter 5, it is not clear, especially at first glance, which moral framework is more restrictive, the old WASP ethos or the new Bobo one.

Taken from the book Bobos in Paradise, I have been reading. The term Bobo is from the combination of two cultures; The Bourgeois and the Bohemians.

 It is a clash between the two cultures in the fact that the anti establishments of the 60s are now in the establishment because of the wealth they have amassed and positions gained. This has led to money problems they did not have in their college years of protests. In those years money was holdable and to be used for day by day existence. Now it is liquid and they have to deal with it and the curse is now theirs and they have had to adapt to it. This book is about how they are coping with it, and the conflicts it has caused in their thinking and in their lives. We see the compromises they have made and how odd it is when they still hang onto some of their old ethics. They still drive VWs but no flowers painted on them just in vases. The difference is the new little bug costs ten times more than it used to and more than economic cars of today.

 The old Volvo is also a treat as it is now an upper class vehicle, but the name is the same and there are a lot of them in Los Altos, and Los Gatos. SUVs are just a compromise for the old Jeepster. Now they dress in three peace suits but still have their ponytails and Birkenstocks.

The thing that amazes me is the similarities of the two cultures; people conform to them not knowing why.

External ethics have no stability and change with the whims of society. That is why the Lords church and its people have stability, they are driven from within to conform to his laws.

This book is a good read and explains the society we are living in today and how it is evolving. The bottom line is money! When the have-nots become the haves, they forget the old times and merge with the haves, but there is still baggage they bring along when they move that they cannot leave behind. This book points out their baggage.

 Dave 7/01

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