There has been a change of the concept of the self. Recently in the modern era, when man as an individual was faced with the task of experiencing himself as an independent entity, our own identities became a problem.
In the Middle Ages where man felt himself a part of the social and religious community in ref8erence to which he conceived his own self when he as an individual had not yet fully emerged from his ‘group’. I’m sure some of us still think of ourselves this way.
In the nineteenth-century the concept of self had narrowed down increasingly, the self was felt to be constituted by the property one had but under the growing influence of the market, the concept has now shifted meaning to “I am as you desire me”.
May I apologize in advance for using women as an example of the self in a case of ‘I am as you desire me’. I hate to objectify women but I have to make this as relatable as possible. Somehow a woman living in a market economy feels herself to be a commodity. She might be divorced from herself, as the seller of a commodity is divorced from what she wants to sell. To be sure, she is interested in herself, immensely interested in her success on the market, but she is the manager, the employer, the seller – and the commodity. Her self interest turns out to be the interest of “her” as the subject who employs “herself” as the commodity which should obtain optimal price on personality market.
The concept of the self is in detorioration. A stage has been reached where the organization of social life has become the paramount task of mankind after the problem of production has virtually been solved.
In conclusion, from the words of Erich Fromm, a psychotherapist and a social philosopher, in one of his popular works, Man for Himself (1947), presents the idea that; ” The failure of modern culture lies not in it’s principle of individualism, not in the fact that people are too much concerned with their self interest, but that they are not concerned enough with the interest of their real self, not in the fact that they are too selfish but that they do not love themselves.”