Paradox: normalized over-individuation

We are embedded in a planetary society connected for information, resources, and cooperative survival, yet we are simultaneously reminded to realize our personal potential (self-actualize) as a form of agency to stand out within this wired hive.

While being surveilled by the state and corporations, we are told to be private and autonomous, to be rebels. Personal actualization, we are told, comes from over-individuating, that is, leaning so hard into yourself that you are separated from consensus normalization. However, our very systems to communicate and sense our agency (our rebel status) in the world are technologically adapted against individuation in favor of communal alignment.

All that to say, anyone who feels crazy under these antagonistic imperatives is sane is normal.

attention awareness behavior belief capitalism change choice community control creativity death desire ego fear freedom future goals growth happiness identity individuality insight labor language life love pain paradox perspective politics power present psychology purpose rationality reality reason responsibility self society stress time truth value work