The rise to power of bourgeois forces since the Enlightenment has been an unmitigated disaster for Western man, especially for Southerners, Brazilians and others of the neo-Classical Golden Circle. It has harmed none more than the middle class it sought to empower with broken families (the US divorce rate is over 40%), unsafe cities, highly corrupt government, failing schools and out-sourced industries. We continue to pay a heavy price for the ascendancy of such values as consumerism, equality, mass democracy and universalism.
Nineteenth century French intellectual Ernest Renan captured the essence of the bourgeois mentality and its negative impact on society:
Bourgeois materialism is fated to be a perpetual dupe: talent is beyond a man with lowly interests; a vulgar bourgeois platitude can never spark a sufficient devotion to create an order of things, and it cannot maintain it either.