Sometimes you read an article that is so wrong-headed you really don't know where to start in trying to responding to it.
This review of Oliver James' book by Brendan O'Neill is one such piece. As I've said earlier, I've met O'Neill and found him to be affable. So I certainly don't want to hurl insults at him over the blogosphere. But really, Brendan. You purport to be a man of the left, yet your defence of anglo-saxon turbo-capitalism could have been penned by a director of Goldman Sachs. Instead of properly addressing James' thesis about the social harm which turbo-capitalism causes, you throw the silly jibe that James and those of us who are alarmed at the impact rampant consumerism has had on our society are 'herbal-tea socialists'. The evidence that turbo-capitalism is making us mentally ill is all around us, in record levels of drug addiction, alcohol abuse, crime and what Erich Fromm labelled 'acts of destruction': self-abuse, arson, vandalism. By writing what you have I can only conclude that (a) you walk around with your eyes closed; or (b) you have decided to throw your lot in with big business.
If you do happen to read this post, then please, please accept two friendly pieces of advice, before you next pen an article on this subject.
1. Read Erich Fromm (and in particular, 'To Have and To Be' and 'The Sane Society').
2. Spend some time travelling around continental Europe in places where turbo-capitalism still doesn't dominate and hopefully you'll understand better the point that Oliver James is trying to make.