Article: Abraham Maslow and the All-American Self

Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow

A lengthy article by Algis Valiunas in The New Atlantis describes psychologist Abraham Maslow’s life and influence. Valiunas concludes that Maslow would not have been pleased with his legacy:

It is a rare American today whose most cherished desire is loftier or purer or bolder than simply and happily to be himself, and the peculiar direction this desire has taken represents a sharp detour from the road cleared by Abraham Maslow. Maslow had a nobler humanity in mind than the one our cult of the self produces in barbaric multitudes. Were he alive today, he would likely prefer to have his name erased from the rolls of the most influential thinkers of the second half of the American Century: the influence he has had is by no means the influence he wanted. The prospect of a race of moral giants has issued in a breed of selfish twerps, with a sizeable proportion of genuine degenerates. How the highest democratic longing — to realize the best in one’s nature — has been debased into a pervasive complacency, even a widespread monstrosity, is more than an interesting question in intellectual history; it is a grave and ongoing public catastrophe.

via Abraham Maslow and the All-American Self.

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