Hence the emergence of inner-direction, which instilled in the souls of children a "rigid though highly individualized character," a permanent moral "set" that enabled them to weather the storms and stresses of an unstable and unpredictable world.
Inner-direction was highly appropriate to the era of imperial and industrial-capitalist expansion, an era that had learned to turn all productive energies to the task of conquering the "hardness" of the material world.
Even within the family, the severe internal discipline of inner-direction had evaporated, since informed parents realized that the possession of an inner-directed personality would actually be a liability to their children in a brave new other-directed world.
There was no way, then, that he would publish a tract that explicitly advocated a return to inner-direction. He knew all too well, from his own observation and experience, about its obsessive and inflexible aspects.
That Riesman himself was among the most compulsively work oriented of men only went to show how much he was still his father's son, a fact that perhaps made him all the more disinclined to affirm inner-direction as a virtue.
Even so respectful a commentator as Lionel Trilling, whose excited reading of The Lonely Crowd led him to wonder if sociology was "taking over from literature one of literature's characteristic functions," nevertheless shared the general reaction, finding inner-direction to be the "more attractive" and "more fully human" option.
But if there was no going back to inner-direction and no satisfaction to be had in other-direction, then what was a perplexed member of the lonely crowd supposed to do?