The Age of Individualism

Will the millennials come back to community?

Let me point out to you Douthat, that one of your muses Ayn Rand, was a promoter of individualism. That was the thesis of "The Fountainhead," she believed it is the individual who is the engine of society and innovation.

There is a great line in the Fountainhead where Ellsworth Toohey, the social critic asks Howard Rourke, "What do you think of me." Toohey has been critical of Rourke and is widely read. Rourke's retort is "I don't think of you."

I love this line as I have had occasion to use it over the years. Not the exact words, but when someone has said, "You know what I think of you?" I have answered "Who gives a damn what you think of me?" I also have had the occasion to say it the original way, and the look of astonishment is cause for great mirth.

So Douthat, we who sat around drank wine, listened to poetry, inhaled some fumes, and discussed philosophy in the 50s and 60s, faced the same old criticisms that you dig up from your repressed psyche, and it is just as stale now as it was then.

53 2014-12-13 19:03:24 - David Underwood

I love the irony of Douthat's Twitter link at the bottom. I don't see hypocrisy in this. Rather there is a certain inevitability to online life. If the community is online, we go online for community.

0 2014-12-11 18:31:09 - Steve

The first paragraph is excellent. Let's not get the wrong impression about this "Individualism" however. It implies personal strength. It may be more appropriate to use words like "selfish" and "what's in it for me." Individuals in this group do not display strength. Strength is in their social group or Posse. Individualism is actually shunned and such people are treated as outcasts. However you describe them, they are the future and we will see how it turns out.

2 2014-12-10 09:24:25 - Charlie

This reads like "A Clockwork Orange."

0 2014-12-03 20:33:47 - Brock
G, amen. Douthat forgets how our institutions were polluted.
0 2014-12-02 05:27:10 - Eddie

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