Thursday, June 9, 2016

In the Age of the Individual

Social critics spoke loathingly at times of the "Me Generation" of the 1970s. They imply in this way that such a swing toward individualism is a brief abnormality or a spell of temporary insanity that came over their safe collectivized world. In truth, the Me Generation was the bow wave of the Age of the Individual.

Alvin Toffler describes this as The Third Wave*; the age of industrialization and collective being the second wave.

The need for adaptation to a time when the only productive people will be self-starters is causing terrible disruption comparable to that at the Industrial Revolution.

In this new age, external guidance will be less obvious; self motivation will become the only authority. Because society can financially provide for those who are non-productive, two separate classes will emerge; producers and non-producers. The producer will not necessarily be part of any company, but will be an individual of sufficient vision and purpose to happily "sacrifice" a life of leisure to take on the stimulation and challenge of productivity. 

In order to survive, the individual will need to trust their inner self for motivation and inspiration, since by definition, the system can provide neither. Those who rely on the system will have jobs of a repetitive "uninspiring" nature, or will have no job at all.

*New York: Wm. Morrow, 1980

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