13 Feb Daniel Boorstin

In our own time, we see some perils in the traditional verges. The self-awareness, the City upon a Hill syndrome, threatens to become mere self-consciousness, conceit, or even self-flagellation. Old cultural verges threaten to become islands of ethnic or racial or pseudoracial chauvinism. The apetite for novelty threatens to become the disease of Presentism, obsession with the recent and the present, when we displace history by social studies, classics by best-sellers, heroes by celebrities. Community consciousness, the concern of the Mayflower passengers for all their fellows, may become an obsession with the shifting currents of public opinion. The symptoms are demagoguery in politics, timid conformity in private life, and imitativeness in our businessmen, technicians, writers, artists, and architects.