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Shake-ups, break-ups and individualism are rocking the world's established order

 The storming of the Bastille, 14 July 1789 via Wikipedia/Public Domain.
The storming of the Bastille, 14 July 1789 via Wikipedia/Public Domain.
The storming of the Bastille, 14 July 1789 via Wikipedia/Public Domain.

This week-end emancipation and empowerment were in the news.

On Sunday March 16, 2014, Crimea broke away from the Ukraine and declared itself a separate republic. Not wasting any time and in the "face of stern international criticism the Parliament of the breakaway republic of Crimea declared its independence from Ukraine on Monday, formally asking Russia to annex it and moving swiftly to cement its rupture with the authorities in Kiev" Read More

In another shake-up or break-up, Scotland is also considering declaring its independence from the United Kingdom. It's citizens will vote on the issue in September. But on Sunday, 03/16/2014, in an all out effort to entice voters away from independence, the Scottish Labour leader, Johann Lamont, said "There is no such thing as government money, only money that governments have taken from taxpayers. And I think successive governments have taken too much." Then when asked, "if that would mean higher taxes for the wealthiest?", Lamont told the people of Scotland: "Yes, it would. I believe so. It's an agenda of having powers for a purpose." Read On

Meanwhile, in America, Sunday’s New York Times, columnist Ross Douthat appears to bemoan the current climate of “individualism” in America. It seems a Pew survey, dated 03/07/2014, reports that young adults are also rocking the established order. The survey says that Millennials (at least those ages 18-33) are "unmoored from institutions", and as a group are more socially liberal on issues like immigration, marijuana and same-sex marriage. They are also relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, hopeful about the future but distrustful of people and in no rush to marry. Additionally, they are also America’s most racially diverse generation. Read the Pew Survey.

Shake-ups, break-ups and individualism, which seems be the tenor of our time, are rocking the world and polarizing peoples into two absolutist groups: change-fearing preservationists who believe in using laws to protect traditional norms, and liberals (in the more-freedom sense than the leftist sense) who tend to view tradition as arbitrary, xenophobic, and inefficient... and trust free individuals to choose their own lifestyles. But... Could there also be a middle ground where the preservationist’s insistence on tradition and liberal's compelling narrative for the future can be realized?