Must Our Generation Be Narcissists for the Nanny State?

Pretty much everybody accuses Americans, particularly the younger generation, of being narcissists, and for good reason: we are indeed becoming more self-absorbed as a people. Even a cursory view of our culture should reveal that 21st century Americans simply do not value empathy, charity, and humility to the same extent our forebears did.

Millennials feel as though “the System” is rigged against them. And to an extent, they are correct.

It could be, however, that I am simply perpetuating the old and insipid tendency of man to lament the direction of his society while looking to the past with rose-colored glasses. Alas, there is scientific research to back up my assertion that Americans today are indeed more egotistical than in the past.

Self-Absorbed but Not Self-Reliant

Writing at Psychology Today, Dr. Peter Gray notes that according to questionnaires given to college students, “70 percent of students today score higher on narcissism and lower on empathy than did the average student thirty years ago.” Other research seems to