Democracy Individualism Essay example

3518 Words 15 Pages
Democracy Individualism

There is growing consensus in the United States of the potential collapse of democracy, and many scholars question whether America will be able to address the challenges necessary to avert it. At the heart of the issue is the disintegration of civil society. In a remarkable book on the subject – Democracy on Trial – Jean Elshtain (1995: 5) notes, “As a civic question – and it is by no means a civic matter alone – the locus of despair speaks to the loss of civil society. This deepening emptiness, and kind of evacuation of civic spaces, lies in the background of our current discontents, helping to explain why democracy is going through an ordeal of self-understanding as we near the end of the twentieth
…show more content…
In fact it is possible to have both negative and positive developments of individualism, a better understanding of which can be seen by an analysis of individual needs and individual reactions to environmental stimuli. Such an analysis may lend to a better understanding of not only how “negative individualism” develops in the U.S., but appropriate means by which these negative developments of individualism can be avoided in the future without loss of unique American individualism that stands as a forefront of American success and prosperity.
Such an analysis, however, must consider both the individual as a unique human being, with individual wants, desires, and needs, as well as the individual responding to environmental queues which affect their behavior by providing either impetus for, or roadblocks to, their needs and desires. Civil society begins to atrophy when collective behavior is the result of a sufficient number of individuals who feel that collective ends are thwarting their own individual needs, resulting in further exaggeration of negative individualism in an effort to regain a balance, perceived or otherwise, between individual and societal needs.
The qualitative method utilized in this effort attempts to unravel the disintegration of civil society in consideration of an analysis of the unique balance between individual needs and individuals responding to their environmental. Rapid and advanced
Open Document