Intellectual devolution: How narcissism and hubris are destroying civil society

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

Last week, I had a very interesting conversation with a visiting relative.  We discussed a wide range of topics, and I greatly appreciated his perspective as a late Gen Xer who resides in a culturally distinct region from my own.  One of the topics we delved into was the human psychology behind the escalating public distrust of our social institutions.

When I conveyed my concerns about civil society breaking down from the rise of narcissism, hubris, and uninformed subjective opinion amongst the populace, he said something I didn’t expect:

“It’s like devolution.”

He went on to suggest that this apparent return to our primitive past, where intellectualism and humility were denigrated as feeble and effeminate, is at least partially due to modern consumer technology.  Specifically, he cited how cellphones and other electronic devices are alleviating people of the everyday activities which help keep our minds sharp…

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