in the absence of a public space in which we can engage with one another in an attempt to discover and secure the common good, we fall back on private strategies to shore up both our material conditions and our sense of self. We try to tailor our personalities to become more competitive. We mange our moods and adjust our attitudes through a process of self-surveillance and voluntary intoxication that in its reach and effectiveness far exceeds the achievements of totalitarian government. Or we seek chemical oblivion, sudden enrichment thorough gambling or the narcosis of being well-known in conditions of deepening distress. Our energetic, even frenzied, preoccupation with the private self plays out as a civic listlessness. And even as the need to collaborate in the production of public goods grows ever more acute, the economy consigns an ever greater number of us to enforced idleness.
Dan Hind, The Return of the Public, Pg 7-8