We have visited with Christy Rodgers previously in the context of collapse, wherein she took to task three contemporary visions of our future: Diamond, Kunstler, and Lovelock. This entry is more to Chaos' current interest: the national and sociological "character" of the American public, and how it got to this point, perhaps. Rodgers asks, "so what is it that characterizes us most profoundly? Disconnection from place. It creates a distinct set of pathologies." Well-thought out, and disturbing, if you let it simmer a bit.
To the same subject but vastly different results is our recent friend Joe Bageant. Chaos highly recommends all of this scathingly funny writer's essays; they capture profound insights on current life in the Empire one just can't find in the MSM. This one in particular has resonance to the subject at hand. Careful: fine writing ahead. Bageant's perspective is unique, and especially valuable when describing fundamentalists (his brother is a minister, and apparently will not cease trying to convert him) and the unvarnished depiction of the working classes. The unabashed consumption economy is not news to many, but the fresh take on its corrosive effects is worth the read.