The dominant public attitude toward Philosophy has steadily shifted from interest, to dis-illusion, to confusion, to dis-interest, to ridicule throughout the 20th century. The culmulating influence of post-modernism was in full display in the late 1960s, as the culture disintegrated into the arbitrary, violent, and irrational desparate search for meaning among the adolescents and young adults. As this generation has aged, most of these individuals have been forced by Reality to accept the fact that production is necessary for survival. Some still give lip-service (and votes) to supporting their earlier beliefs, but they cannot be dominant forces in any society without acting on undeclared rational principles. Most have adopted a position of cynical disbelief toward the philosophical foundations of the actions of their youth – these sentiments are apparent when they refer to philosophy as irrelevant, Utopian, or impractical.
It is in this collapse of belief that an opportunity exists for the growth of attitudes more amenable to the Objectivist philosophy. It may well be too late for the 60/70s generation to reject their latent philosophical beliefs; however, in their children – only now reaching maturity – this cynicism toward post-modern philosophy can be fertile ground in which a rational philosophy may be successfully introduced and cultivated.
I do not claim that there is dominant percentage of young adults who are eagerly awaiting the inception of Objectivist principles into their lives. The dominance of the collectivist/altruist philosophy in public education has successfully damaged the majority of these minds against being able to identify the contradictions in their lives. What I am hopeful for is a small percentage of this generation remaining interested in ideas, struggling to resolve the contradictions between what they must do to live, and what they have been taught to believe. I am of the opinion that it is only these individuals who will affect the future of the culture, and that many of them are ready to hear the Objectivist message.