The ‘growing sense of vulnerability’ that Rami Khouri (2005) notes in the West, and that so many feel today, arises primarily not from malign external threats but from internal incapacity. This is an incapacity persistently shored up and maintained by habits of thought that have become increasingly outdated for at least a century but still maintain their hold in Anglo-American culture, especially in the United States, where we and our gurus apparently lack the strength to confront our own cultural challenges and instead prefer to listen to the siren songs about economic indicators that keep us cycling in denial.