Sunday, February 09, 2003
Individualism in the therapeutic state
posted by Jonathan Calder |
Instead of the confident individual, today's society flatters the victim or the survivor. The influence of the principle of self-limitation ensures that individuals as much as the community are in need of repair. The widely held misconception about the ascendancy of the individual is entireley understandable. The growth of individuation and the weakening of solidarity has helped create an impression of an atomised existence - where unrestrained egotism sweeps everything before it.
But this impression is only half true, for the highly fragmented individual is actually held back and restrained by a society whose main demand is that of caution and which cannot accommodate itself to the spirit of experimentation. Thus the distinct feature of society today is not the unprecedented flowering of the individual but the weakening both of a sense of collectivity and of individual aspiration.
Frank Furedi Culture of Fear (1997)