(click on pic to read)
…found the above text in a glossary from the Sculpture Projects Muenster 07 (a publication that accompanies the city-wide exhibit of the same name, which is presented every 10 years).
“The reigning belief today is that closeness between persons is a moral good. The reigning aspiration today is to develop individual personality through experiences of closeness and warmth with others. The reigning myth today is that the evils of society can all be understood as evils of impersonality, alienation, and coldness. The sum of these three is an ideology of intimacy: social relationships of all kinds are real, believable, and authentic the closer they approach the inner psychological concerns of each person. This ideology transmutes political categories into psychological categories. This ideology of intimacy defines the humanitarian spirit of a society without gods: warmth is our god. The history of the rise and fall of public culture at the very least calls this humanitarian spirit into question.” —The Fall of Public Man (1977) Richard Sennett
…& this profile/link on Sennet from the Guardian (Melissa Benn, 2001) gives a good overview of the complicated man, mentioning that Sennett is “an American read by Europeans.” This should explain why the folks in Muenster & the German artist Betke are so keen to use his theories. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2001/feb/03/books.guardianreview4