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The age of the individual must end – our world depends on it

The costs of a culture focused on an illusory idea of personal autonomy are making us ill and heating our planet. But a new age may be dawning, Guardian, Tom Oliver, Mon 20 Jan 2020  Last month, as I travelled to see family for a very mild Christmas in the UK, I thought about the bushfires simultaneously raging across Australia. They are just one example from a long series of extreme weather events in 2019, including cyclones in India and Bangladesh that displaced more than three million people, Cyclone Idai, which killed more than 1,000 people in southern Africa, floods that displaced tens of thousands of people in Iran, and entire townships laid to waste by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. The year ended with reports of record rates of Arctic ice melt that, through positive feedback effects, are likely to intensify climate heating and impact the future of humanity.

In the face of global catastrophe, it’s hard not to feel daunted. What can I, an individual, do to address such a crisis? Understanding that my daily actions are partly responsible for climate change, I feel a gnawing sense of sense of individual guilt……..
Developing human minds are like sponges and ours were submerged in ever more individualistic language. Phrases such as “unique”, “personal”, “self”, “me” and “mine” were used with increasing frequency in lyrics, TV shows and books. This immersion took its toll: analysis of data from almost 80 countries shows how the majority have shown marked increases in individualistic attitudes over recent decades.
Having a strong sense of self can be useful, but excessive individualism has its costs. The more we see ourselves as discrete entities, the more likely we are to feel isolated and lonely and to show “selfish” behaviours. As a consequence, rates of anxiety and depression are rising across the world, while the climate and biodiversity crises deepen ever further.
Yet times are changing. In the last decade, we may have seen individualism peak. ……..
 the new science of social networks shows how we are linked together so closely that ideas, behaviours and preferences flow between us in a way that makes it unclear where one mind ends and another begins. …….https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/jan/16/the-age-of-the-individual-must-end-tom-oliver-the-self-delusion

January 21, 2020 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, culture and arts

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