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The Temple of Self-Gratification

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Author David Foster Wallace once said that America is, “One enormous engine and temple of self-gratification and self-advancement.” The spectacle of American consumerism comes galloping to mind. But the pageant of gluttony with which we sate ourselves on a weekly basis is a pale reflection, at least in its intensity, of American foreign policy. Like our national addiction to guns mirrors our international addiction to bombs, so too our appetitive instincts at home merely reflect those same greedy impulses writ large in the global arena. From the soul of the gourmand to the surface-to-air missile, the attitude to the world is the same: take what ye would, all else be damned. More

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