Independent Individualists Needed


Cheyenne Travioli

Professor Epstein

Writing 100- Blog 5

1 August 2014

Independent Individualist’s Needed

“Most people lack [the capacity for] reverence and “taking things seriously” . They do not hold anything to be very serious or profound. Anything strong and intense, passionate, and absolute, anything that can’t be taken with a snickering little “sense of humor”- is too big, too hard, too uncomfortable for them. They are too small and weak to feel with all their soul-and they disapprove of such feelings. They are too small and profane for themselves to know what sacredness is-and they disapprove of anything being too scared” (Rand, Ayn).

The Hero generation were young adults during a Crisis like the Great Depression and WWII. They led with a practical, civic-oriented, can-do-spirit, and did big things like going to the moon. The Hero generations main societal contributions are comity, technology, and affluence. Millennials are also confident and ambitious goal setters, and remain optimistic despite the downbeat economy. (The Generation of Men). But if the description above from Ayn Rand sounds familiar it’s because we are in an age where nothing is revered. A society is civilized by the kinds of people that comprise it. American Society of the fifties was dominated by young and middle-aged people who were the most civilized of the entire 20th century (Characteristics of Civilized People).

“ Phrases like “Please”, “thank you”, and “excuse me” made up the vocabulary of the 1950’s. Children were taught manners, always addressing an adult by their first name, saying “Yes Ma’am” or “No Sir”. Those who have not lived in a courteous age seem to have the impression it was stiff and formal and in some way restricting, but in fact, it was the opposite. Common courtesy made social relationships much easier because people knew the appropriate way to interact and deal with one another and the words appropriate to polite conversation came to the lips of the well-mannered and all the ease and naturalness with which the vilest profanities fill the mouths of today’s ill-mannered louts” (Characteristics of Civilized People).

Hero generations tend to feel more attached to their fathers than their mothers, as they masculine energies of was and civic involvement are revived during a Crisis (What the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory..). “If there was one characteristic that distinguished people of the fifties from people of today, it would be their independence. Self-reliance, and competence were virtues individuals pursued in their own lives and admired in others. It came from their sense of individualism that not only recognized a person’s life is their own to be lived as they chose, but that the individual was responsible for that life, both to support and bear the consequences of how it was lived” (Characteristics of Civilized People).

“Men of the 50’s knew their own sense of integrity and self-worth. They did not want what they had not earned. They did not seek the approval or praise of theres, but knew whatever recognition others gave them, it was for their virtues and that they had earned it” (Independent Individualists). Today we are in need of a society that are able to stand on their own two feet. America is in need of courtesy, decency, reverence, independence, respect, and self-respect. We need the men of the 50’s, the independent individualists.


Firehammer, Reginald. “Characteristics of Civilized People”. Independent Individualists.

McKay, Brett and Kate. “The Generations of Men: How the Cycles of History Shape Your Values, Your Idea of Manhood, and Your Future”. 12 July 2012. Web. 29 July 2014.

McKay, Brett and Kate. “What the Strauss-Howe Generational Theory Tells Us About Manhood in America”. 12 July 2012. Web. 29 July 2014.

Rand, Ayn. “The Hollywood Year”. Journals- Part 1: Early Projects. February 1928. Web. 28 July 2014.


One thought on “Independent Individualists Needed

  1. First off, there were a few grammatical errors. It is rare to hear the phrases “Please”, and “Thank you”. I know I was taught that at an young age, and I am sure a lot of guys were taught about manners as well. You’re right about having common courtesy. It makes relations last longer and more respectable.

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