Tom Wolfe has chronicled the inward turn of most American’s during the 70’s in his essay ‘The Me Decade & The Third Great Awakening’. When the 1960’s sexual revolution hit Main street in the 1970’s, families fell apart, divorces skyrocketed, and America witnessed the beginnings of sexually transmitted diseases.
Wolf’s title for his essay is taken from the early 18th century religious awakening lead by Jonathan Ewards and the 19th century abolitionists. Needless to say, Wolfe saw a great awakening in the 1970’s plunge into self absorption.
These were years of psychological analysis, self-therapy, the jogging craze and cults. Everyone had an analyst, advisor, guru, genie, prophet, priest or spirit. But Wolf missed the single most significant catalyst as he chronicled this move inward.
What happened in the 1970’s turn inward is simple: human energy and creativity were diverted from the mature pursuit of economic advancement. High taxation, high unemployment, stagflation, exploding oil prices, all diverted one’s attention inward and away from time consuming mature pursuits.