From the dawn of history to the late 1950s, the collective had been the organizing principle of human affairs. The pursuit of happiness was channelled via collectives and even dissidents and rebels formed collectives to express their grievances. But, this old system brought humanity to the verge of extinction. Disenchanted with mass ideologies, people switched to the opposite pole: militant individualism, which became the new battle cry and organizing principle of increasingly more narcissistic collectives and individuals alike.

As increasingly more potent technology was and is being added to this volatile mix, power is shifting from elites to the masses, from majorities to minorities, and from states and institutions to individuals. Thus, a varied range of hitherto exclusive and intermediated activities, both benign and pernicious, have been devolved are now the domain of empowered individuals and citizen collectives. Example include: gatekeeping in publishing; barriers to entry in various industries; inaccessible education; cross-cultural exchanges; journalism; and the state’s monopoly on violence.

Consider women:

Throughout the agro-industrial era, which lasted several millennia, men, possessed of muscle-power, ruled the roost. As emphasis shifted from brawn to brain and from mindless collectivism to self-centred networking, women, equally if not better equipped than men to cope in this brave, new world gained power and prestige to the point of eclipsing their male counterparts. In several Western countries, they now constitute more than half the workforce, including in professions such as law and medicine; by a growing margin, more women garner advanced academic degrees than men; single women earn more than single men in the USA and, in the US and the UK, one third of all main breadwinners in surveyed households are female. Women dominate teaching on all levels of education throughout the world (except in Africa and small enclaves in Asia.)

Increasingly, women refer to themselves in terms which were once the preserve of men: as being dominant, ambitious, assertive, goal-oriented, and aggressive. The rate of extramarital affairs (“cheating”) among women now equals men’s (and women increasingly justify their shenanigans with the old male adage: “It was only sex! It meant nothing to me!” or claim that they felt the need for sexual diversity and gratification). Men are on the retreat as they withdraw from professions “invaded” by women.

The symmetry ends here, though. Men are either monogamous or polygynous. They seek to leverage their money and power to have sex and relationships with one or more female partners. In contrast, women seem to relish their newfound freedoms because they allow them to avoid men, except as casual sex partners, or sperm donors. More and more women choose to remain unattached and childless, or to become single mothers. Men are seen as a redundant nuisance and are actively shunned as women form exclusively feminine social circles and engage in predominantly same-sex activities.

Author's Bio: 

Sam Vaknin ( ) is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East, as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, and international affairs.

He is the Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician and served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He was the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

Visit Sam's Web site at