I frequently encounter arguments that the problems of our day — pollution, waste, economic decay, runaway corporate power — result from a lack of individual “awareness.”
But the problem in my opinion is not so much one of consciousness as a structural one. The consciousness is a problem in itself, of course, and a barrier to correcting the system. But it’s simply a side-effect of the structure, created as part of the natural process by which systems of power reproduce the kinds of “human resources” with the mindset required to keep those systems of power going.
The difference between then and now was that the people who saw contradictions in the system were isolated in a mass society in which information was controlled by the gatekeepers of a centralized, hierarchical, unidirectional hub-and-spoke media.
Now the transaction costs of such people getting in contact with each other, and aggregating into a critical mass, have fallen to near-zero.