What are your views on the notions of community and responsibility to society vs. individualism? I know most of us here enjoy at least a spot of individualistic consumption, this being an anime forum, but I'm sure some people here also feel a certain estrangement from larger society. So I'm interested to hear everyone's views on the more traditional notion of duty to society vs. our more current mode of individualism. Why is it that some of us feel estranged? Is it the more individualistic capitalistic nature of our societies that's to blame, or is the problem that it's still not individualistic enough? On the one hand I feel like the lack of community spirit, at least in big cities, is something that certainly leads to many people feeling isolated and estranged, but on the other hand, having spoken to people who grew up in close knit repressive communities, that hardly seems like a walk in the park either. This was train of thought was brought about by reading about how 'cute culture' emerged in 70s Japan, essentially as a passive form of rebellion against the patriarchy and Confucian ideals of the country. At that time, individualistic consumption was still somewhat frowned upon by the Japanese elite, all the more so for women who were supposed to strive for self sacrifice in the name of family and larger society. But young women started embracing individualistic consumerism and an attempted retreat into the supposed sweet obliviousness of childhood, deliberately trying to disengage from adult concerns like politics. These women was thusly attacked by both the right and left wing male elite of Japan for being "selfish and stupid girls" despite them harming no one. And as we all know, the retreat into cute culture only intensified. I thought that was a really interesting example of highly traditional, supposedly society oriented attitudes clashing with an equally extreme attitude that attempts to entirely disengage with the concerns of larger society, and employing consumerism as a means to achieve this. So where do you all stand on this? Are our capitalist societies going in right direction in regards to individualism, or do we need stronger community ties? I don't know where I stand on this myself, having grown up without any feeling of community spirit, I kind of long for it, and imagine it as quite positive, but also know how stifling it must if you don't get on with that community.