Thank you for the good word! And I will certainly read your individualism piece and get back to you.
I agree about music, of which “the industry” has not only eviscerated Rock but hip-hop and R&B as well. But always remember the wise observation of Frank Zappa, who said “Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny.” Probably true of Rock as well. Keep the faith.
I agree with your observation about Europe and its serious consideration of Marx, as well as Catholicism. I think Weber was right about some strains in Protestantism legitimating capitalism — certainly the Calvinism that was imported into the colonies in 1620 — but then again the Radical Reformation (the Diggers and Levelers in particular) was just as opposed to the Cult of Wealth as the Catholics were, without the Catholics’ endorsement of authoritarian hierarchy. I think the irony is that, nowadays, the Catholics in the USA are more prone to endorse Capitalist libertarianism than certain mainline Protestant denominations, such as my own Episcopal tradition, as long as abortion, contraception, and LGBTQ rights are opposed. While I think “American Exceptionalism” is the USA’s Achilles Heel, in a way it is exceptional — many social relationships are just topsy-turvy. It probably is time for the USA to reckon with Marx (or better yet, the non-Marxist socialist Karl Polanyi, probably my favorite political economist). Otherwise we’re stuck in the mud.