The roots of the ‘real you’

From the Los Angeles Review of Books: "Where to find the 'real you'? And, upon its discovery, how best to communicate it to the world? This anxiety has a long pedigree, first arising amid the revelations of the Enlightenment, when individuals were no longer beholden to the stiff hierarchies of feudalism but could tear away the garments of their socially determined roles in order to reveal their authentic selves. Thinkers like Rousseau believed that such a quest for self-discovery would accelerate the promises of democratic equality. 'It is a great and beautiful spectacle,' he wrote, 'to see man raising himself from nothingness by his own efforts.'""

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