Some aspects of Transcendentalism can be applied in today's society, while others have lost their relevance due to the changes of social and economic conditions since the time of Thoreau. The Transcendentalists' goal was to create a Utopia in America. They believed in a society without rules in which you would be free to do whatever you wanted as long as it did not infringe on the freedom or well-being of others. The concept of what is a Utopia is different for every person. In today's densely populated countries it appears almost impossible to do anything that does not affect or infringe upon someone else.
The Transcendentalists also believed in the Jeffersonian philosophy that each generation should only be concerned with itself and its own well-being, which would assure a solid foundation for the next generation. I think this would not work in today's society because there are many things we could do to help our generation but would make later generations pay a price.
An example of this would be providing jobs for a strip-mining project to help the current generation's economy, while it destroys the environment for later generations. Transcendentalist beliefs of adding onto the previous generations' efforts would not work if each generation, in helping itself, is destroying the Earth.
The Transcendentalists also believed that one should live simply, with few material possessions. To explain this point, we consider how much the sheer volume of material possessions has changed over the years. When cave men roamed the earth, an elaborate material possession might have been a wood club studded with rocks, or an especially beautiful loincloth. In the 1800s, an automobile was a possession of great material value. Thoreau had a small house, 3 chairs, a desk, 2 suits, and a few books. He was...