Essay on american cultural values of individualism and mateialism benefit american society?

i am doing an essay in sociology and need help writing it. The topic The american cultural values of individualism and materialism benefit american society and lead to the personal fullfillment and happiness for american citizens.

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2 Answers to “Essay on american cultural values of individualism and mateialism benefit american society?”

  1. biedron says:

    Individualism most likely developed during America ‘s colonial and pioneering stages. Many Americans lived isolated lives, developing their own plot of land, after the initial attempts at group colonization. The exception was those who lived in forts.After the colonial period,even those who lived near towns often lived outside the village’s immediate boundaries. They had to fend for themselves when it came to protection from marauders or bandits. The early settlers’ tenaciousness came from their strong individualism. It is the dynamo that powers America.Townships themselves did play a role in the growth of the U.S. But they were in large part self-governing which again reflects that maverick spirit.Invidualism could be considered an outgrowth of the original idea of “self-government”, which is what probably brought the largest majority of colonists from other countries, and pioneers into the less populated areas of the nation.This individualism was reflected not only in the desire for self-government, but also the desire to worship as one wanted, without the interference of government – NOT the other way around. Many historical revisionists like to imply that our nation was established on the idea of keeping religion out of government. The Mayflower Compact itself, is a covenant between the people and God, and the basis of our early government. This document’s ideals are modeled on the original Judaic concept of a people covenanting with God Almighty. Truth is – colonists wanted to worship as they desired without governmental intervention. Today’s popularized viewpoint is just the opposite. Materialism could be said to be one of the pillars of Capitalism in America today. Capitalism itself means that those who work the hardest obtain the most tradeable goods (money). Another simple concept of Capitalism would be that everyone has equal opportunity to achieve the same goal. Some just work harder toward those goals than others. Capitalism positively influences the building of a healthy national economy. Without it, as was well-observed in Russia during Communistic rule, people lose their incentive to work. Not only does Capitalism’s antithesis (Communism) dampen a country’s economic growth but it also gives people no reason to work. Capitalism is a form of healthy competition whereas blatant materialism is not.Materialism differs from Capitalism. Materialism is simply a focus on or desire for material goods. Materialism could be a neutral idea which is made negative by its ability to push people to a crazed frenzy, without their being aware of it. America has lost her focus because our society has become unbalanced toward the race for material goods. Pride, greed and the desire for power through money are some of the motivations behind American materialism. The desire to feed one’s family does not constitute materialism. Nor does the desire to provide a comfortable home environment for one’s children. Those are natural and normal desires. Materialism becomes a negative force when it causes people to lose sight of what is important. There is a spiritual realm that exists which many people don’t acknowledge. Nonetheless, it does exist. People focused on materialism are less likely to consider spiritual matters. The material world is the opposite of the spiritual realm. Everyone will however be forced to acknowledge the “spiritual” on the day they walk over death’s threshold. Every human being leaves this life the way they arrived…naked and penniless. Mass materialism implodes into a spiritual vacuum. This causes even more fervor in people looking to fill the spiritual yearning with material objects.Our nation has become so enthralled with materialism that it is difficult to get away from the constant barrage of brain-washing called advertising. This “brain-washing” feeds the vicious cycle which foments itself into a whirlwind of self-perpetuating intensity.Sadly, Americans have rejected our national planners’ original intent in our pursuit of materialism. Our forefathers cared about freedom, truth and God. Capitalism was initally used to keep the flow of currency and goods continuing. Nowadays, Americans are so frantically pursuing material goods they’ve been brainwashed to feel are essential, that they have become apathetic to what is truly important. Many soldiers die in battle but only a scarce few devotees live to keep our founders’ true values alive.Therefore, materialism, although it might be said to increase the living standard of a nation, is harmful when taken to excess. Capitalism itself is a positive ideal. Individualism will always be a potent force for good. It is only when a person can think for himself and choose what is right, that real leadership can thrive. Even free-thinking and wealthy Americans need good leaders.People are most happy when there is a good balance between fulfillment of personal needs made accessible (by capitalism) and also having spiritual and intellectual needs met (individualism).

  2. pleasantnesses says:

    Absolutely, positively, unequivocally — Yes. By trying to benefit ourseves, we benefit the society at large. Read Ayn Rand, especially non-fiction (The Virtue of Selfishness, for example).