A cultural transformation is not like the transformation of an individual. Yet in the MODERN AGE both the transformations of civilizations ; as emmerging foremost in Europe and then the United States of America ; and the transformation of INDIVIDUALs exploring the depths of their character and those individuals in key positions enabled to effect change in societies and in their personal lives ; both evolved in a stunning parallel fashion.
One can question that in revamping the structure of the MODERN WORLD emmerging by tearing up the streets of a city and redesigning them; by ripping down old buildings and creating new structures artistically reflecting the evolving consciousness of their era; and all as a MODERN CITY such as PARIS (for example) came into being in the nineteenth century :: this transformation is parallel to the INDIVIDUAL ARTIST who comes of age, as in the Spirit of the Age. The ARTIST who claimed the traditions and cultural mores of it's human society and then transformed them through him/her self. This is how the MODERN WORLD came about. Through specific inspired reactions to specifically orchestrated sets of circumstances. What beautiful innocent days the emmerging nineteenth century still held.
Not only in PARIS but everywhere Urbanization transformed as the excitment of rapid and profound change competed with deeper spiritual needs to break the yoke of redundant systems. Yet systems, the masses must become reliant upon to keep a civilization functional. Communal Functionality and INDIVIDUALITY were at once at odds with each other in the MODERN MATRIX occurring. As well, a duality of utter mechanization became polarizing against a NATURALISM. Whereas the Naturalistic Tradition became the neucleus of the ROMANTICS from The BARBIZON SCHOOL to the ART NOUVEAU MOVEMENTS at the beginning of the twentieth century. The mechanization of Industrialized Society signed it's pact with the devil in WAR and Exploitation; thus the Aesthetic War between Materialism and an AVANTE garde Fine Arts began.
In America developed an Arts and Crafts Movement parallel WILLIAM MORRIS in Britain and OTTO WAGNER in Austria. America's exponent became FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT all near the end of the nineteenth century. A deep excitment of MODERNISM became this combined artistic AND domestic agenda of fundamental and literal rebirth of the cities as they were also being invented. Yet all this MODERNIST SPIRIT seems to have petered-off with the end to the ultimate dramatic moment of the twentieth century, in the climax of World War Two. At the end of the 1940s we first get discussions of a POST-MODERNISM. The heightened Modernist excitment of "overcoming" all obstacales shifted to an 'addiction' which became incompatable with an act of "being" in a MODERN WORLD created by our FINE ARTS and culture. This coincided with the introduction of the new synthetic DRUGS created during WORLD WAR TWO. By the 1950s within this magnificent creation of a MODERN WORLD, the inhabitants seemed incapable of "BEING" in it, and continuously sought to "overcome" often through addictive artificial means ( alcoholism, new drugs, porn, rock-n-roll culture..etc..) in an addictive parallel the creation of a MODERN SOCIETY. The 1950s became famous for this angst-riff between HARMONY and REBELLION.
By the end of World War Two the decade of the 50s became a schizophrenic social capsule of passifing conformity and the very real human excitments of a new space age of futuristic Utopianism. The twisted by-products (culturally) in this American Social experiment became ; rock-n-roll, Hollywood's versions of porn and social rationalization through drama, and the synthetic outcome to Freudian Dream Imagery :: Surrealism in Advertizing and Commercialism.
As Sigmund Freud himself forecasted : what would make the Psychological Science of Psychoanalysis mute; making Individuals taking responcibility for their own psyche' and individual character mute, along with it; became one of the National Socialist NAZI's most profitable products from the WAR...Mood Altering Drugs : methamphetimines, steroids, and then designer drugs like Valuim. The duality of finding Value and Harmony in our spiritual "being" and the conspicuous consumption of materialism and artificially man-created excess continues to polarize the unachieved goals of the MODERNISTs.