At around 4500 words or so, Richard Lichtman's essay at Truthout, The Violent Disorder of Our Public Mind, does a remarkable job of capturing both the forest and the trees of what constitutes the malady of modern collective Western thought. He calls it capitalism, and that is a good word for it. It is only a word, however, and what it has come to represent to both its detractors and its supporters has been through so much defamation and rehabilitation as to become the proverbial finger pointing at the moon.
Detail from Francisco de Goya's Saturno devorando a su hijo
In his article, Lichtman redirects our attention to the moon. I'll drop a few excerpts here, but the whole point of this plagiarism is to direct you to go and read the whole thing.