“There is profound self-deception at work in people who luxuriate in the fruits of worldly success while disdaining the personal habits and cultural conditions that make such success possible. There is also a strangely hidden compulsion behind the need for such condemnation. The flourishing of various forms of ‘political correctness’ shows that the ‘shame culture,’ far from being dead, is alive and well, even if it has been shoved down into the realm of unconsciousness, since it can’t be acknowledged as such by those who fancy themselves to be living beyond all such atavisms.
“Yet somehow even the most incongruous social conventions can take hold for a time. And in our era, the conjunction of a dutiful otherdirectedness with a dutiful rebelliousness seems, by now, so entrenched and commonplace as to be almost natural. Its existence makes it very challenging to be truly countercultural, if one is of a mind to be.”
— Wilfred M. McClay, writing on “Over the Counterculture,” in the October issue of Touchstone