On Toxic Individualism

An anon on 4chan offers his insights on the root cause of many of today’s social issues:

Toxic individualism, basically.  The inability to contextualize yourself as part of a larger whole.

The ability to shut out the things you disagree with, no questions asked.  The loss of the expectation that neighbors should know each other.island man

I’ve said this many times before, but the driving forces behind social atomization are market forces.  It has to do with jobs and housing.

Your average person experiences too many traumatic separations over the course of their early life.

Why make friends in elementary school?  They’re just going to go to a different middle school.
Why make friends in high school?  We’ll go to different colleges.
Why get married?  More than half of marriages end in divorce.
Why make friends with your neighbors?  We’re both renters and one of us will move away.
Why care about my parents?  They will kick me out at 18.

We have forgotten what is is like to have long-term bonds, and without long-term bonds, we cannot contextualize ourselves as part of a larger whole.

If you go back 50 years, people didn’t get around much.  The people you were raised by next door?  You would probably know them for your whole life.  If you did something bad or hurt their feelings, they would remember.  If you did something good, they would remember.  If someone harmed your neighbor?  You came to their defense, because they’re YOUR people.

Volkischness has never been about race or social class.  I don’t get you guys identifying the problem, but then inserting race into it.  It has always been about land.  If you have bonds to the same land, you are the same people, the same folk.

While I think there are more causes to the ever decreasing amount of social cohesion in the US and the world in general, such as the rise of the internet and the echo chambers that come with it, this anon’s insights still make a lot of sense.

Going by my own personal experience, I can attest that my parents have family friends that they are still in contact with.  These are friends who they grew up next door to, whose parents also lived next to their parents for decades of their lives.  My mother is also still in touch with most of her friends from her school years.  In contrast, I’ve moved twice during my childhood and live in a rental apartment as an adult.  These moves have certainly resulted in more social distance, as I don’t keep in touch with my childhood friends and barely know my neighbors (indeed, they do tend to move out after a couple of years in the building).

Compared to the generations that came before me, I do focus a lot more on just myself and I’ve noticed the same mentality in most of my cohorts.  This is trend that will most likely continue – the job market has changed in such a way that people change jobs and move fairly regularly.  The days when one can work the same job for a couple of decades or even their whole lives, and subsequently live in the same neighborhood next to other people doing the same have long gone.  In the pursuit of more profit for big corporations and career advancement (or just bare survival) for ourselves, we’ve given up on community without even knowing it.

Original screen cap:

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2 thoughts on “On Toxic Individualism

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