But however flawed, the capitalist concept of self, the consumer concept of the self, is the reigning American concept. It is a broker’s view of people (e.g. that people have no basic commitment to anything except what is coming next and can be encouraged and seduced–without much ado–to change their minds and habits). It is also youth-oriented, resting on the idea that it is unfortunate, and somehow antihuman, to grow old. It is child-oriented too, because the very vision of the self it presents is that of a demanding child, susceptible to outbursts of both primal rage and primal yearning. It is also a permissive mind-cure notion that people prefer to be open completely to the “abundance” of the universe and to have no boundaries separating the self from the outside world.
William Leach, Land of Desire, 386.