Is society becoming too individualized?
In humanity, individuals are the fundamental building blocks of families, organizations, communities, and nations.
An individualizing society is a process where extended families are first reduced to nuclear families. Then further disintegration of immediate relationships leads to relatively isolated individuals. Atomized individuals have largely been deprived of meaningful ties to others. We are relatively quickly descending into an individualized culture where psychological shock; excess novelty; behavioral extremes; and the destruction of happy, heterosexual, family life are fracturing society into that of relatively isolated individuals.
In 2018, a record 35% of people aged 25 to 50, or 35 million, were never married. In 2020, there were about 11 million single-parent homes. So we are still far from being an individualized society — but what are the trends toward such an endpoint?
There are increasingly fewer learned systematic principles for comparing the value of healthy human interaction, so immediate emotional appeal trumps formal relationship qualities, which often leads to isolated individuals with nothing above them but the all-powerful state. This is largely a modern phenomenon, which is worth investigating since it bodes decay for any society which fosters and promotes an overabundance of relatively isolated individuals.
Humans have a long ancient history of hunter-gatherer local communities with extended family structures. Presently, religious local community involvement exists to some extent, where traditions from one generation are passed on to the next generation with all of its myths and truths. Today, with religion on the decline, local communal involvement is on the decline as well, and too many individuals are set adrift in society without a strong moral or ethical ethos or a true understanding of what a happy, heterosexual life with offspring is all about.
In effect, adults are largely beginning to view children as a financial and emotional liability or burden, which, for many, means the end of independent living with all of its freedoms. Commitment to marriage is becoming a scary phenomenon for many men, while women interested in offspring suffer the most under such circumstances.
A moral or ethical, financially responsible, heterosexual family unit is the backbone of any democratic society and without one, the society disintegrates into chaos and dysfunction. In time, that will be replaced by coercive, corrupt, tyrannical rule from above in an attempt to instill some semblance of order in daily life.
American family units are under siege with climbing divorce rates and far too many single-parent households. The causes of offspring dysfunction are many, which can be attributed to bad parenting; bad education; poor, crime-infested neighborhoods; no siblings; lack of good peer role models; lack of good adult role models outside (or even inside) the family; promiscuity; addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling, and pornography; videogames; weird cartoons and movies; social media; and excessive shopping.
Further handicaps await those who get trapped in low-wage jobs, have bad teachers in the educational establishment, respond to poor role models in the media, listen to ignorant celebrities, encounter poor role models in politics who show no accountability, and endure dogmatic ideologically biased academic "education." In effect, this all results in a lousy modern social environment to be living in.
What is not a problem with society is income inequality, systematic racism, white supremacy, gender inequality, homophobia, transphobia, climate change, vigilantism, and overpopulation, even as these "crises" are trumpeted in the press. At least there is no overpopulation in America, which actually has a declining birth rate. All of these are just false social problems and are used to further socialist or Marxist-like agendas which envision authoritarian rule by one party in perpetuity.
Atomization of society leads to many individual problems such as mental illness; including depression; bipolar disorders; schizophrenia; and problems such as loneliness, inability to socialize successfully, unhealthy eating, emptiness, boredom, confusion, hopelessness, obesity, misery, failure, and health problems. Often not having family support, problem-laden adult individuals sometimes go to psychologists and psychiatrists for advice. These professionals who have their own personal problems offer little useful advice, which is not taken seriously most of the time by dysfunctional patients addicted to too many bad habits.
There is an old truism that states that it is easier to raise children properly than it is to rehabilitate wayward adults. So most attempts at rehabilitation fail because when the dysfunctional adult individuals return to their old environment and circumstances the old stimulating cues are still there and the preprogrammed individuals revert back to their old sick ways of coping with the surrounding environment. Once you become individualized, it is very hard to return to a healthy relationship with a happy family, with groups, and with community organizations.
After individualization becomes the dominant lifestyle, the only real hope for a return to a healthy, family-orientated society is to make the secular public educational system instruct young children in heterosexual role-playing, where they are taught to be honest, moral or ethical, dependable, competent, friendly, and good conversationalists with fellow students and adults.
Such role-playing should include real-life circumstances with two role-playing male and female teachers playing the part of the mother and father, and two or more children played by the students themselves. The role-playing staged circumstances should include conflict resolution, sharing, compromise, sacrifice, financial responsibility, budgeting, and proper family and social etiquette.
Religious schools, private schools, private tutors, private nannies, homeschooling, and charter schools probably will not go out of fashion for wealthier families. Secular students with poor parental guidance and limited financial resources will have to be taught in secular public schools exclusively unless they are clever enough to wisely use the internet to pursue their interests.
Yes, the public schools will have to start performing the parental functions ignored by dysfunctional families in society. The real problem here is a dearth of competent teachers to play the roles of responsible mothers and fathers, especially in crime-ridden poor neighborhood schools. Life is just not fair, is it? Perhaps the only real hope in poor neighborhoods is competent father, mother, and child role-playing on audiovisual interactive computer software or the internet.
So, ultimately, with society individualizing or disintegrating the way that it is and also disintegrating in family values, it is just a matter of time before a mandatory course in public, secular pre-K and elementary school will be family life.
Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.
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