The Culture of Excess

I want to tell you a story, captivating yet tragic, about a god that has been around for a long time. This deity has staked its claim, oftentimes successfully, in human hearts; through the ages its spirit has been manifested variously in peoples and their events from the Dutch tulip panic to the 2007-2008 financial crisis emanating from the US housing market. This god is not new; its inhabited forms and shapes, however, always seem to give the impression of novelty. Its liturgies and incantations allure, its high priests (mostly all male) impress, and burgeoning converts hold fast in the way. For the last one hundred years – what I call the long era – the new way of this god has promoted excess to the detriment of the common good. Specifically, for the last thirty-five years – the short era – a fundamentalist belief in the powers and ways of the market has pushed excess to new extremes. Excess is not solely the propriety of Wall Street; excess has filtered its way into numerous significant areas of American life.

Excerpt from T. Carlos “Tim” Anderson’s Just a Little Bit More: The Culture of Excess and the Fate of the Common Good, Blue Ocotillo Publishing, May 2014. All rights reserved.

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