The Lost Individual
This is more John Dewey, from the book Individualism Old and New, from the Chapter The Lost Individual, which was taken from an article he wrote for the New Republic in 1930. I have copied the second paragraph, and part of the third paragraph here:
What is mean here by “the lost individual” is, however so irrelevant to the question that it is not necessary to decide between the two views. For by it is meant a moral and intellectual fact which is independent of any manifestation of power in action. The significant thing is that the loyalities which once held individuals, which gave them support, direction and unity of outlook in life, have well-nigh disappeared. In consequence, individuals are confused and bewildered.
It would be difficult to find in history an epoch as lacking in solid and assured objects of belief and approved ends of action as the present. Stability of individuality is dependent upon stable objects to which allegiance attaches itself. There are, of course, those who are still militantly fundamentalist in religious and social creed. But their very clamor is evidence that the tide is set against them.
For the others, traditional objects of loyalty have become hollow or are openly repudiated, and they drift without a secure anchorage. Individuals vibrate between a past that is intellectually too empty to give stability and a present that is too diversely crowded and chaotic to afford balance or direction to ideas and emotion.
Assured and integrated individuality is the product of definite social relationships and publicly acknowledged functions. Judged by this standard, even those who seem to be in control, and to carry the expression of their special abilities to a high pitch are submerged.
They may be the captains of finance and industry, but until there is some consensus of belief as to the meaning of finance and industry in civilization as a whole, they cannot be captains of their own souls – their beliefs and aims…
I wish I could write as well – and could think as well also. America has ignored him. its greatest philosopher!