BOOK REVIEW: “Macro Cultural Psychology: A Political Philosophy of Mind” / Carl Ratner

Fight Evil. Read Books.Society—especially capitalist societies, but also some earlier types such as feudalism—is divided by class, with a minority constituting a ruling class that lives by exploiting the direct producers. Thus, the majority is exploited and hence oppressed.

[…]

. . . [O]ne of capitalists’ favorite ideological ploys: individualism. We are the masters of our own fate, not society and its culture. If we fail, it is our own fault. We simply did not try hard enough or follow the right path. Individualism favors self-blame and a refusal even to look for social causes.

[…]

Enforced subordination calls forth coping reactions and leads to identities grounded in how well we manage to cope.

Examples of this kind of coping include what can be called “the good soldier” and “the sexy woman.” In the former, a person prides him or herself on the ability to demonstrate undying loyalty to a superior. In the latter, a woman prides herself on her ability to manipulate men in a world where men are dominant.

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3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: “Macro Cultural Psychology: A Political Philosophy of Mind” / Carl Ratner

  1. Pingback: Robert JR Graham » The Psychology of Culture

  2. The review here reminds me of a David Hume remark that “Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs… than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.” The observation, while applying directly to political control, applies just as well to the economic, social, and cultural spheres and certainly cultural psychology is an important tool with which the few gain and maintain control. The review mentions one Marxist thinker on this point but perhaps the most famous was Antonio Gramsci and his idea of cultural hegemony, the process by which the ruling class imposes its worldview on society and culture.

  3. Admirable subject but I cannot see how the aphorisms can apply across different cultures – but that may be my fault; I will look into it. Thanks for the heads-up.

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