Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Goldman Sachs’s Navel-Gazing Comes Up Short"

"It’s language that “reads straight out of a Tony Robbins retreat manual, not your usual business document,” said Christine B. Whelan, a University of Pittsburgh sociologist who has studied the self-help industry.

Of course, releasing the report is a public relations stunt. Some of it was welcome, like the increased financial disclosure. Some may fall by the wayside, like most New Year’s resolutions. Some seems as disingenuous as any piece of professional flackery.

Goldman’s effort fits neatly into what the historian (and former New York councilwoman) Eva S. Moskowitz has called the therapeutic gospel, a doctrine so ingrained in American society that few of us consciously recognize it. The gospel consists of three tenets: happiness is the supreme goal, problems stem from psychological causes, and those psychological problems are treatable."

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