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Caledonian
Monday, December 27th, 2010, 06:14 AM
Nothing exists in a vacuum. Individualism presupposes collectivism. Let us use Plato’s cave from his “Allegory of the Cave” to make a simple point. There are men in this cave, chained to the wall, and their only view of the outside is a very small opening far off. Now if one of these men manages to break free, and crawl out of the hole, he is automatically an individual, but only because the collective he left behind still exists. He is free, but only because there are those who remain chained. Etc, etc

It is a rough remake of a classic philosophical question, but hopefully the point is clear. Everything that does not have substance (ideas & idealogies) exists only when it has an opposite to be compared to.
Atheism presupposes theism. For if there were no humans who believed in gods, what would an athiest be?

Non-conformism presupposes conformity. If every man lived by his own law rather than that of a collective, what would a non-conformist be?

Existentialism presupposes death. If there were no death, would an existentialist be so gung-ho about “living it up?”

What is individualism without collectivism?

Is it not collectivism that defines individualism?

Does not collectivism triumph over individualism?

Which rules over the other?

Paradigm
Monday, December 27th, 2010, 06:46 AM
You should probably first read the philosophy of individualists before assuming what individualism is. No individualist philospher I read ever talks of people in environments such as vacuums.

kuehnelt
Monday, December 27th, 2010, 06:47 AM
Atheism presupposes theism. For if there were no humans who believed in gods, what would an athiest be?

You're confusing anyone speaking about a word with the what the words themselves denote. If there were no humans who believed in gods, those humans who existed would all be non-theists. If, beyond that, some of them asserted that there's definitely nothing mystical or spiritual about the universe, they would be atheists without even having arrived at theism, as they've denied its premises. That we have atheism and theism is just intellectual history; to observe that nobody would call themselves anti-X without there first being some formulation of X, says nothing meaningful about pro- or anti-X propositions or their domain.

And of course you say nothing meaningful about individualism here, and don't critique it in any way. You can't rebut individualist propositions by talking about intellectual history. Try defining individualism, drawing out some individualist positions, and then talking about these.

RoyBatty
Monday, December 27th, 2010, 06:55 AM
Non-conformism presupposes conformity.

And in actively pursuing perceived non-conformism from the type of conformity they reject the proponents often end up conforming to the conformity type they accept, thereby ending up back with conformism again.

Reminds me of that Chris Rock comedy sketch about the Columbine Trenchcoat Mafia. Can't remember the exact words, the basic theme of the joke was:

"They were angry and antisocial because they had no friends.... BUT THERE WERE 6 OF THEM!!!"

:D

ulfrik
Monday, December 27th, 2010, 07:08 AM
Quote:-----------------
Non-conformism presupposes conformity. If every man lived by his own law rather than that of a collective, what would a non-conformist be?
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I suppose it wouldn't be.
Non-conformity is simply the lack of conformity. like how cold is simply the lack of heat or how darkness is the simply the lack of light.

However.
You must not forget that by definition the collective comprises of individuals. with each individual having it's own path and place in the world.
Basically you cant have one without the other.

You must define yourself as an individual before you can be part of the collective.
Otherwise the collective is nothing more than one big individual.

Caledonian
Monday, December 27th, 2010, 07:16 AM
At the end of the day individuals are defined by the collective not the other way around therefore individuals are always submissive to the greater social collective.

The social collective always over powers the individual.

The individual derives their sense of being always through the social collective where they are nothing without it.


Ulfrik:

You must not forget that by definition the collective comprises of individuals with each individual having it's own path and place in the world.
Basically you cant have one without the other.

The individual is only that which the collective dictates it to be.

The individual can never supercede that of the collective.



You must define yourself as an individual before you can be part of the collective.
Otherwise the collective is nothing more than one bign individual.

The collective is a super-organism.

The individual defining themselves is redundant to which the collective defines for them.

ulfrik
Monday, December 27th, 2010, 07:51 AM
Yes individuals are defined by the collective like how you must contrast against the collective in order to distinguish your self as an individual.

However.
You must not marginalize the the importance of the individual.
Individuality is something people will always aspired to even though they are ultimately part of a collective. The need for segments of the collective to distinguish themselves is part of human nature just like how joining a collective is part of human nature.
Dont underestimate the importance of the individual.

There is no need to Criticise Individualism. Rather you should embrace your individuality.

Caledonian
Monday, December 27th, 2010, 07:59 AM
Yes individuals are defined by the collective like how you must contrast against the collective in order to distinguish your self as an individual.

However.
You must not marginalize the the importance of the individual.
Individuality is something people will always aspired to even though they are ultimately part of a collective. The need for segments of the collective to distinguish themselves is part of human nature just like how joining a collective is part of human nature.
Dont underestimate the importance of the individual.

There is no need to Criticise Individualism. Rather you should embrace your individuality.

Individuals within the collective have individual tendencies but their individuality itself no matter how prized amongst themselves is left to redundancy when it concerns the collective to which all individuals are dictated by.

It doesn't matter if you embrace your individuality or not because at the end of the day your merely a segment of the collective that dominantly defines your entire existence despite how you or I may see ourselves as.

At the end of the day it doesn't matter how you or I see ourselves as individually because the collective dominantly predisposes us the way it sees fit.

Paradigm
Monday, December 27th, 2010, 08:14 AM
Actually, it's the various individuals who define the collective, not the other way around. It's the individuals, and their individuality, who contribute and form the culture (poltics, art, etc.) of the collective as an organic whole. Essentially, the individual makes the collective, not the other way around. From this a collective culture is formed, which in turn can influence the people, but if it's not for individuality, the collective wouldn't exist. This is a point of Hegelian philosophy.

ulfrik
Monday, December 27th, 2010, 08:29 AM
@AlaricLachlan
Yes the individual is a segment of the collective.

However.
surely you believe that there is at least some merit in Individualism and the Individual?