“Many observers, at the time and later, contrasted the period unfavorably with what they portrayed as a more collective and idealistic era tat proceeded it. Most famously, in the mid-1970s writer Tom Wolfe, in a self-fulfilling prophecy, declared that “the 1970’s ……. will come to be known as the Me Decade.” p. 312
Tom Wolfe was important because “he connected the narcissism of the 1970s with the enormous boost in national wealth that occurred during the thirty years after World War II. The once exclusive ability of the rich to engage in ongoing scrutiny and reinvention of the self spread through the society during the golden age of capitalism. Millions of Americans could now afford the money and time for spiritual retreats, encounter sessions, and therapy of all kinds. Economic growth had allowed the common man and woman to do “something only aristocrats (and intellectuals and artists) were supposed to do- they discovered and started doting on Me!””
He very neatly and eloquently identified a great problem within the culture. Shifting from golden age times to the harsher times of the 1970s would require a mind-state change which obviously did not occur.