Society is plagued by a cult of the individual that has gone so far as to see association with other human beings merely as a means through which an individual acquires commodities that satiate his private desires. Presuppositions of the individual’s paramount importance amongst the structures of society, and materialistic assumptions that individuals desire inanimate or personally consumable pleasures enjoyable mostly in private, this cult casts human nature in its own mold of convenience to suit its structural agenda. Ignored and marginalized lies the importance of collective and community life as well as the power and productivity generated by institutional capacity. Dissuaded and castigated remain the achievements and glory of public reputation, community responsibility, and collective destiny. These are less easily commodified and consumed; these are difficult to acquire; these are not deemed valuable in the consumer culture currently propounded. The individual becomes the sacrosanct end and society the denigrated means. Consumer culture’s iron clad grip on the global conscience originated historically as a ruse foisted onto the materially developed populous, propelled in part by a profiteering consumer agenda in whose interests it is for human masses to remain so haplessly addicted, and perpetuated in part by people’s own temptation when confronted with instant gratification. With corporate tycoons as ecclesiastics, financial motivation their will to power, the marketplace as their temple, satiety as its heaven, and commodification as ritual – the cult of the individual has become the orthodoxy of a new materialistic religion.
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[…] of competitism, invoking the “invisible hand” to create a prosperous society if each individual sought his own economic well-being; all yielded similar results: a host of personal and social […]