zonder 'ik' ben je nergens
individualism is a disease, like cancer or a virus. but where and how does it originate historically?
did it begin in the garden of eden? is socrates to blame? or descartes?
or yves saint laurent?!
this is an interesting op-ed in some ways in the vk by daniela hooghiemstra (in dutch) but it needs a serious edit, so that's what i started to do but then i got bored. this is my version and here is the original.
in any case the article tries to make the useful and important connection between 'individuality' and 'authenticity' (and how grotesque both have become) but it doesn't really drive the point home.
leaning on a book by a historian, Piet de Rooy, the article argues, that the widespread narcissism in the world of 2020 stems from the sixties, when authenticity, 'being who you really are' and the freedom to 'be yourself', to 'express yourself' became fashionable. the idea that you matter, that each individual human matters, indeed that you (which really means 'i') are important, and that what you want needs to be respected and taken into consideration when decisions are made.
but there are of course numerous historical markers for this idea, the beats in the fifties, the lost generation of the 1920s, the romantics, nietzsche, descartes, socrates (not to mention the serpent) but perhaps the sixties was when the idea that the individual matters and that all humans are equal and have the right to speak and to be heard became more widespread and generally accepted.
and over the following decades the parenting and education of children was adjusted accordingly. and now the world is being run by spoiled children and by those who know how to manipulate spoiled children.
unsurprisingly, i have more to say about this.