Todayâ€™s ideal social form is not the commune or the movement or even the individual creator as such; itâ€™s the small business.
The small business is the idealized social form of our time. Our culture hero is not the artist or reformer, not the saint or scientist, but the entrepreneur. (Think of Steve Jobs, our new deity.) Autonomy, adventure, imagination: entrepreneurship comprehends all this and more for us.
Odder, it doesn’t seem specific to a generation. It is the hallmark of our culture.
When I talk about my company, I see the same glean of envy, the twitch of oh-lucky-you, across every age. I see every person I know thinking and dreaming in terms of their turn on the signing-side of the check; to be the name on the door.
No one I know thinks of their job as anything other than a rest stop. They have somewhere else they want to be; somewhere their own; somewhere small and free and without the confines of a schedule and a boss and an employee handbook they didn’t write. Wealth as an afterthought to the notion of self-sufficiency and self-determination.
I wonder when, or why, that change happened. Has it always been like this? Is the myth of the career something, like so much else, due more to nostalgia than to experience?