A few interesting quotes from a paper I had to read for my Spirituality and Technology class. It was written by Roxanne Leslie Euben and called A Counternarrative of Shared Ambivalence: Some Muslim and Western Perspectives on Science and Reason.
In genuine communities-“communities of memory,” he calls them-individuals do not use one another in pursuit of private ends; on the contrary, the private good becomes contingent on the public good to which it contributes. The vitality of such communities militates against the slide into administrative despotism and offers rich resources for meaning. Only by restoring and nourishing communities of this sort, Bellah concludes, can we “reverse the slide toward the abyss” (284).
According to Bellah, our “permissive therapeutic culture”-which he also terms our “culture of manager and therapist,” “culture of separation,” and “culture of
radical individualism”-fulfills Tocqueville’s prophetic warning against individualism
sliding into administrative despotism and thereby diminishing democratic freedom (50, 51, 81, 277). In this condition, Bellah says, “our poverty is as absolute as that of the poorest of nations” (296). We have achieved tremendous material prosperity and technological mastery, “yet we seem to be hovering on the very brink of disaster, not only from international conflict but from the internal incoherence of our own society” (284).