I believe that we are all, openly or secretly, struggling against one or another kind of nihilism.
As with fascism, the rise of Islamic totalitarianism has partly to do with its populist appeal to the class resentments of an economically oppressed population and to anger at political subordination and humiliation.
The struggle of democratic secularism, religious tolerance, individual freedom and feminism against authoritarian patriarchal religion, culture and morality is going on all over the world - including the Islamic world, where dissidents are regularly jailed, killed, exiled or merely intimidated and silenced.
By continually pushing the message that we have the right to gratification now, consumerism at its most expansive encouraged a demand for fulfillment that could not so easily be contained by products.
Give people the power to shape their lives to their liking, and their souls will take care of themselves.
My education was dominated by modernist thinkers and artists who taught me that the supreme imperative was courage to face the awful truth, to scorn the soft-minded optimism of religious and secular romantics as well as the corrupt optimism of governments, advertisers, and mechanistic or manipulative revolutionaries.