George Walford: Ideology in Everyday Life

For evidence that this society is pervaded by political-intellectual collectivism, and economic-material individualism, look at well, almost anything manufactured for general use; cars, houses, pens, clothes… All of us, as far as we can, possess our own individual ones and, at any time, all of them conform within narrow limits to the same pattern; it is known as “fashion.” Not only do all the cars of a period look alike, at least when seen from a little distance in time, but all the cars, clothes, houses, pens… of a period share features hard to define but recognisable by anybody who has made a study of the subject.

In the economic side of life, in ownership, the tendency is towards separateness, distinction, individualism. In the field of ideas, in that broad and general sense in which style, fashion and design are ideas (as distinct from material objects) the tendency is away from distinctiveness towards merging oneself in the collectivity, towards collectivism. There are people who tend in the opposite directions, but they remain a protesting minority.

from Ideological Commentary 37, January 1989.