Well here it is, Caldwell's synopsis of Rieff's Charisma at the New York Times Review of Books. Too busy at present to riff away on the title of this post; Caldwell does a fair and good job of capturing the strengths and weaknesses of Rieff's presentation, with little jewels like this adorning the whole:
Faith means obedience to commandments. Guilt means transgression, not as that word is understood in graduate schools but as it is understood in the Bible — as ostracism, disgrace and death. The system is ruthless, but Rieff shows it to be more supple than it looks. This is one of the windfalls of his long apprenticeship to Freud. Faith and guilt, like yin and yang, imply their opposites. Immoral impulses are always there.
Six sentences, then, is all it takes to convey something that seems to be completely excluded from the mental math of the social sciences. The literatures on social constructionism, on norm formation, grope in half-light toward the brute essentials. Hat tip Matt Crawford.