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Individualism in a Modern, Corporate Age: Essential Characteristics - Essay Example

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What does it mean to be an individual in our present, modern times Under a mass of information and incredibly rapid technological changes and advances, an individual can easily get lost. But this sense of certain aimlessness except when it comes to financial goals in life, leads us to think about what could fill this gap…
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Individualism in a Modern, Corporate Age: Essential Characteristics
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Download file to see previous pages But we need to go back further in history in order to understand the development of human consciousness and morals up to this point. It is easier to do this if we follow Dewey's demarcation of the Individualism into Old and New.
According to Dewey, the Old Individualism has proceeded from the feudal age and Medieval times. At those times, Church was a central institution that governed man's life. The central aim of the Church was a salvation of individual soul. The prevailing belief was in the eternal nature of the soul and in the importance of its salvation.
To compare this belief with the Industrial age, in the modern times the main aim of man's life is financial prosperity. Thus the results are centered on the here and now, as opposed to them being centered on the after-life. However, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution Church has lost much of its power in the
society. Apart from philosophies of Utilitarianism in Europe, there has been no central unifying philosophy to explain the morals of the modern age and what our goals should be. Of course, In the United States of America, with the Founding Fathers, there is a philosophy of liberty and rights of the individual that were set forth in the American Constitution. This philosophy is still valid, but there needs to be a connection between it and the morals of the modern man in our times. The definition of the morals is what we are lacking.
Our present age-the Age of Information-is moving at an even faster pace than when Dewey was writing his analysis of the contemporary American society, in the 1950ies. However, his lucid analysis is still extremely applicable to our times. From the beginnings of the Industrial Age in 1800's, we have moved to the present corporate age, with incredible technological and scientific advances that we see every day. Our pace of life is equally fast, and people tend to change careers at least three times (if not more) in their lifetime. What we have completely moved away from is religion as the basis of our actions. Religion is no longer a unifying factor in the society, and in fact has not been for hundreds of years. What we see in our society today is different groups of people getting back to the religion and trying to unify under different religious and theological beliefs: some of these groups are dogmatic, some of them are impractical and withdrawn from participation in the society at large, some of them follow orthodox religions, but there is no general sense of unity at all. However, one can still see a trend in society whereby the focus is on doing some good for others while one is financially stable, such as in charities, while in the Medieval times the focus was on salvation of the individual soul.
Dewey has commented that this is partly due to the fact that the rich might feel guilty and thus to relieve their guilt contribute to charities, but he has also stated that there
exists a basic need for solidarity in man. I have to admit that I have had hard time believing this, as he never gave any proof for the last statement, until I did some thinking of my own.
Even religion today, as dispersed into different groups as it may be, is focused more on the good for humanity, or society, or at least people other than oneself.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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