Chapters 4 and 5 touched on the tension in contemporary industrialized societies between the Enlightenment, or turn to reason, and its disenchantment of the world, or loss of spirituality, meaning, a higher realm. As Charles Taylor (1989, p413) suggests, Enlightenment and Romanticism are still in battle today as the ‘struggle between the technologically and the ecologically oriented’. It would appear that a rather base form of Enlightenment is winning this battle, in the form of instrumentalism. Marx (1965, p72) presciently foresaw the fetishism of commodities, the way in which capitalism encourages us to treat people as things and value ourselves by the goods and services we can acquire (see also Taylor, 1989, p500). The ‘end of history’ (Fukuyama, 1992) is one label given to the global spread of capitalist production and neo-liberal ideologies, trumpeted in the transformation of formerly communist economies and the success story of the ‘Asian dragons’ and their expanding middle classes. A mass of information and cultural production saturates our daily lives and seeps into our psyches, commodifying our subjectivities and social relations, as Naomi Klein (2000) argues in No Logo. She links the spread of multinational capitalist production throughout the world with its colonization of public spaces (schools, streetscapes, cultural performances), so that we identify

ourselves through our consumption of particular brand names. We become Branded, as Quart (2003) discusses for teenagers in the US. ‘(B)y adulthood the average American can identify 1000 corporate logos, which they began to recognize at the age of six months, but only ten plants’ (Kilbourne, 2003, p7). Commodification is expressed in the increased requirements of a good life: a second colour television set was felt necessary by 10 per cent of respondents in a Roper poll in 1975 and 28 per cent in 1991; the importance of a lot of money increased from 38 per cent to 55 per cent, while that of a happy marriage declined from 84 per cent to 77 per cent (Hochschild, 2003, p144).