The ego boom

Baudrillard said it first and, perhaps, best, in The System of Objects

Listening to a CBC interview with Steve Maich and Lianne George, authors of the new book The Ego Boom: Why the World Really Does Revolve Around You (Quill & Quire, Amazon), I can’t help but point out that people have been talking about this for forty years–at least since Jean Baudrillard’s The System of Objects.

The book presents an interesting and compelling thesis, but I still think that too often this “culture of narcissism” stuff is used as a lens for simplifying complex cultural phenomena. In a way, the thesis itself could be seen to be merely the obverse of the “ego boom,” as it owes its nature as a compelling idea to the fact that it appeals to the identity of those who see themselves at odds with this “narcissistic culture,” who want to define themselves as good, altruistic, mature individuals capable of resisting the pull of consumer culture.

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