>>My impression is that individualism was a relatively marginal ideology
>>until the government-sponsored explosion of the suburban sprawl in 1950s.
>Depends on what you mean by individualism? Ever read any of the 19th
>century American classics, like Emerson, Thoreau, or Melville (who made
>merciless fun of the transcendentalists)? "I am an endless seeker with no
>past at my back. I unsettle all things," said Emerson. "Are they my
>poor?," asked Emerson.
I think we should make Matt, and the rest of the world, play Emerson for a while. [Oh yes, I know, Thoreau is the real 'Survivor' (got to got to have been stuff out there....?) but he was just an Emersonian robot, as Matt knows all too well.] Let's say -- the essay 'Self-Reliance': last one to the final page is a Bush-voter.