The modern individual is different

"In agrarian societies, a person's important life choices -- where to live, what to do for a living, what religion to practice, whom to marry -- were mostly determined by the surrounding tribe, village, or caste. Individuals consequently did not spend a lot of time sitting around asking themselves, 'Who am I, really?'" -- Fukuyama, p. 187

Fukuyama would have been a bit more accurate here to say that these things were not a matter of choice, rather than calling them "important life choices." But the main point is sound: it was not until the last couple of centuries that millions and millions of human beings puzzled over the above choices, wondering who they should be.


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