Monday, August 27, 2012


Another very important point/problem that was presented towards the middle of the book was if hyper-individualism is damaging our lives. The proper definition of hyper-individualism is "a tendency for people to act in a highly individual way, without regard to society". McKibben writes about whether it is good for the economy if everyone just focuses on themselves. In doing so he reflects back on the past, and the problems that our governments and economies have had and how we resolved them. "The contemporary liberal answer to our predicament is continued economic growth, but with the benefits distributed more fairly and more of them put back into the public realm. We should try, in other words, to turn back the clock a couple of decades in our political and economic life, and then correct our trajectory slightly so that we stay highly (but not, perhaps, hyper-) individual" (McKibben 105).

 Although this is a very long quote, I feel like it sums up any questions any reader could have about the problems and also benefits of hyper-individualism. He is pretty much pointing out that although we do not need to get rid of it totally we may need to tailor it to fit our economy today, by using what we have learned from previous experiences.

1 comment:

  1. so what this is saying is to instead of focussing on personal economic growth, one should aspire to public economic growth. Not only benefitting one's immediate society, but society at large on a global scale as well. I agree. I also think we can grow economically as well as benefitting the earth by not over-using the resources it has given us. My take is that farming and agriculture is the biggest industry in North America. The rate at which the average american consumes meat, dairy, poultry, and fish will leave our oceans empty from fish; our rainforests deprived of trees and still a growing need to meat products.
    i know i kind of went off tangent a bit here but agriculture and the economy go hand in hand.
    Here too we as a society need to reassess our demands for animal products and ask ourselves to whose benefit is this? Certainly not the earth; certainly not our health; but rather our hyper-individual desires. The desire to have a fat juicy steak or a big rotisserie chicken. The economy does benefit from agriculture but not the economy of the planet, which is by far, more important.

    What's your take on this?