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Thread: Individualism Vs. Collectivism

  1. #11
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    Good point, although my understanding of individualism is rather that it supports the right of the individual to govern itself rather than serving the self before the group. I do not rule out the possibility of that understanding being faulty, however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blóš ok Andi View Post
    Good point, although my understanding of individualism is rather that it supports the right of the individual to govern itself rather than serving the self before the group. I do not rule out the possibility of that understanding being faulty, however.
    An individualist is one who believes he should act in his own interests without having to take the good of society into account. But again, no such animal really exists, and if he did, he'd have to be put down as a menace to society.

    That is what individualism entails.

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    I think one needs to clarify some of the terminology.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe McCarthy View Post
    The individual is real. The ism isn't. The point is that individualism puts primacy on the individual rather than the collective. Such a situation does not exist, and cannot exist. Indeed, even the most radical objectivist will ultimately have to concede that there are limits to what can be allowed an individual as his-her interests collide with that of the collective. Ayn Rand herself believed in patriotism, understanding it was necessary to punish treason.
    People from the libertarian realm and that includes many of the "objectivists" will insist that individuals are real, while nations, families, tribes and other institutions are not. That's what they mean by being an individualist.

    I'd distinguish three concepts called individualism:
    * methodological individualism / Approaching economics, politics from the angle that individual humans do act. It's basically the method of the Austrian School of Economics.
    * political individualism / the preference for political institutions built around the concept of "individual rights".
    * cultural individualism. The attitude of individuals only to look after their own personal interests.


    You will find that many libertarians came from the third position and then promoted the second, while trying to justify everything with the first one. I hold against that that, if one would consequently implement political individualism those libertarians that are cultural individualists right now would definitely loose out against practicing collectivists that sustain each other.
    "And God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which they should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race. They should observe what elements mingle in their offspring;..." Plato Politeia

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    Individualism is necessary for personality and own finding. Collectivism is done when people loose their connections especially in these days.

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    There is also a positive and higher Individualism so to say, which in the end, has a connection to a higher level Collectivism, simply because evolved individuals have a sense for higher goals, moral, sacrifices and group orientation.

    What we have today is just a "construction-kit Pseudo-Individualism" presented by our "rulers", the Plutocratic Oligarchy, which distracts people from more important things and gives them "a more special Individuality" which is mostly filled up with useless things or simply crap.

    I don't want a collectivist culture in the sense of having no ideas about individual needs and rights at all, the group is just more important, but inside of the frame which is necessary for the good and development for the majority of the people and the group, individual needs and differences should be recognised and where they are even advantageous for the indivduals AND group fostered.

    Positive-neutral-negative behaviour, that's what matters.

    Old, traditional cultures with a more collectivist approach often neglected individual needs, freedom and personal development - if your father was a smith, you became one too quite often, regardless of the fact that you would have been a better writer or the like, if you know what I mean.

    Your fate was fixed and individual freedom neglected, even to a degree being rather detrimental for the group again, especially if individuals with a greater potential being limited to something on a lower level - now my approach for the collective-Gemeinschaft is exactly to search for and foster individual qualities and advantages - both for the individual and the group.

    With Eugenic and Euphenic programs cultivating a individual freedom and responsibility on a higher level - the problem is just, not every person is ready for too much of it, for various and often very different reasons, some probably never will, and the kind of Pseudo-Individualism we experience in the Western World today is a joke.

    It is just the destruction of group and group oriented structures, which being substituted by control mechanisms in Capitalism, working for the Plutocratic Oligarchy. Many of our ancestors were "more individual" even in a strict traditional society than many of the lemmings of our "modern time" are, even though they think of themselves being "so special and individual".

    They just eat what they get from the Plutocratic Oligarchy, nothing of a real higher individual development, nothing - if something evolves individually on a higher level, he must come back to the collective and higher orders and ideals, otherwise being a defect and dangerous human being, because brutal egoism on a higher level is even worse than on a lower...

    Collectivism should be the dominant element - but Individualism in a positive sense is necessary and beneficial too, in its limits of course and not talking about brainwashed dependent subjects which defend their Pseudo-Individualism just the way the rulers want it, while not seeing their longer term, vital and larger own interests - especially as a group and in the world - if you don't defend your group and build up a good community, a real Gemeinschaft, you might be sooner or later one of the lonely victims of exploitation through the corrupted system, nothing else.

    On a certain level really developed individuals should come back to the group orientation out of reason rather than tradition, but that's really something one can't expect from everybody...
    Magna Europa est patria nostra
    STOP GATS! STOP LIBERALISM!

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    Individualism, Collectivism & the Society/State

    Basing the organisation of the State around such concepts is tricky at best. Under the concept of the "Social Contract" theory, the individual must subject his/her individual will and rights to the State and Society in order to secure and guarantee those very same individual rights (Hobbesian School). If such is not done, and Individualism is allowed te reign supreme, Anarchy is the result and the Society or State degenerates into a form of open "warfare" between the all against all.

    On the other hand, if the State is given absolute control, the individual loses all and becomes nothing less than a slave to the State.

    The tough nut to crack, is developing and maintaining the proper balance between "individualism" and "collectivism". Which can only come about by the "Rule of Law" as opposed to the "Rule of Man". Hence the rise of the modern concept, "A Nation of Laws and not of Men".

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    Individualism as it exists today is an abomination. Today it seems to mean that an individual is free to engage his every whim no matter what kind of disorder it happens to cause. Drugs become perfectly OK even if it means that you become useless and untrustworthy to your tribe. It's OK to dress like a slut, even though it may cause men to want to rape you. It's OK to look at porn, no matter what kind of distruction it causes to society.

    Now collectivism isn't much better. Collectivism in simple terms means the robin hood idea. You have, other want, someone comes with a weapon and steals from you to give to others. It doesn't mean working for all the people of your tribe.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wittwer View Post
    Basing the organisation of the State around such concepts is tricky at best. Under the concept of the "Social Contract" theory, the individual must subject his/her individual will and rights to the State and Society in order to secure and guarantee those very same individual rights (Hobbesian School). If such is not done, and Individualism is allowed te reign supreme, Anarchy is the result and the Society or State degenerates into a form of open "warfare" between the all against all.

    On the other hand, if the State is given absolute control, the individual loses all and becomes nothing less than a slave to the State.

    The tough nut to crack, is developing and maintaining the proper balance between "individualism" and "collectivism". Which can only come about by the "Rule of Law" as opposed to the "Rule of Man". Hence the rise of the modern concept, "A Nation of Laws and not of Men".
    I agree on the problem, but not necessarily the solution.

    After all, laws are still made and used by men, so in the end, it all depends on the quality of the leaders and structures to fulfil their role.

    Laws and rules shouldn't be used - like in the Jewish religion - to be followed word by word, but for the sense of it, if they are good at all. What the Jews do is making up rools and than searching for loopholes other's don't find and thats something they bring close to predestination, similarly to, but on a higher level, than some Calvinist sects.

    Finally it's everything about quality, especially of the leadership. If the leadership and judges are corrupt or misled, nothing can save you but a revolution, which is essentially the same in every thinkable system going mad, be it based primarily on collectivist or individualist standards...

    Now collectivism isn't much better. Collectivism in simple terms means the robin hood idea. You have, other want, someone comes with a weapon and steals from you to give to others. It doesn't mean working for all the people of your tribe.
    Rather not, rather not, that is a Liberal-Individualist interpretation of Collectivist approaches or a description of a Pseudo-Collectivist system which being abused by corrupted individuals at best/worst.
    Magna Europa est patria nostra
    STOP GATS! STOP LIBERALISM!

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    Originally Posted by Horagalles
    People from the libertarian realm and that includes many of the "objectivists" will insist that individuals are real, while nations, families, tribes and other institutions are not. That's what they mean by being an individualist.
    For the record, Rand did believe in abstractions like nations, families, etc., but regarded racism as the most primitive form of collectivism. To her, the rights of the individual were to be indulged without regard for concerns for society, though as I've mentioned, her view was contradictory.

    The sort of extreme nominalism among libertarians that you're describing, to the extent it exists, is nonsensical, as while it denies an abstraction like the nation, inconsistently affirms the reality of another abstraction, the corporation, even going so far as to favor conferring 'personhood' upon it in the pursuit of limited liability.

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    Originally Posted by velvet
    So any action that is taken in the course of this is unjust, because you cannot punish someone else (the individual) for your (the collective's / government's) own failure.
    Instead of coming up with an idea how to correct the wrongs of the world (including governments), one after another comes up with ideas how to castrate the individual as the eternal enemy of the state.
    Then what you do suggest be done? If your alternative is to remove racial aliens from the nation, that, by your logic, would also be 'unjust', as it, like banning miscegenation, violates the 'rights' of the individual for the good of our collective.

    The only way to consistently apply your individualist fetishism, then, is to do nothing and allow racial aliens to stay and continue race-mixing with our people.

    To say it is desirable to remove a treasonous government that allows in racial aliens is all well and good, but even if that is done, the basic problem remains: we still have racial aliens among us, and until they can be removed it is imperative that measures be taken to prevent them from miscegenating with our people. And I say again: if you object that this is 'unjust', then I answer that by your own logic it is, if anything, an even greater trespass on the individual, and more 'unjust', to remove racial aliens from the country altogether.

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