chapter  4
Criticism: From Culture to Being
ByPhilip Wexler
Pages 16

This chapter analyzes Lasch's mode of social criticism as well as that of the Frankfurt School. It highlights Lasch's pioneering effort to move from the cultural style of Frankfurt criticism to a new critique, aimed against nihilism, from the vantage point of religious traditions. Lasch is an example of a different kind of social criticism. For him, criticism is an impassioned summons to the transformation of being by revitalizing public life. Lasch is an important precursor in indicating the nature of social criticism in a new, mystical society because he links social criticism to religion. He authorizes his criticism of society by appealing to sacred ideals and ways of being in the world rather than to secular, cultural ideals. The critique of culture is of its effects in destroying any true individuality, any capacity of autonomous reasoned thought and mature, responsible action.