"Lasch’s attempt to explain how we got here, how it came to be that we enshrined a churning vortex of limitless change as the animating logic of our culture, takes him back to the eighteenth century. For it was then that people began to argue in favor of indefinitely expanding productive capacities in order to fulfill the bottomless pit of human desires. It even began to be said by thinkers such as Adam Smith and Bernard Mandeville that the actual cultivation of insatiable desire was an unalloyed moral and social good. Lasch observes, “The assumption that our standard of living…will undergo a steady improvement colors our view of the past as well as of the future. It gives rise to a nostalgic yearning for bygone simplicity – the other side of the ideology of progress.” Here we have Lasch the historian at his best, sketching out the false dichotomies that cause our political discourse to meander endlessly around the same ideological cul de sacs. By confusing criticism and longing, so many self-styled conservatives unwittingly take progressive assumptions as their own."