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Thread: Individualism Vs. Collectivism

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    Individualism Vs. Collectivism

    Define individualism, define collectivism, and discuss the merits and weaknesses of each. It's my view that any society is essentially collectivist, otherwise no society can exist, but the question becomes one of where the line is drawn between the good of the group and individual. In my view the 'rights' of the individual only extend so far that they do not threaten the good of the whole. Even American 'individualists' will, in the end, acknowledge this, as they see the desirability of patriotism, which is necessarily collectivist. We do have laws against treason, after all, which reflect a need to punish offenses against a collectivist entity, the American nation.

    The question then, at least in my opinion, is not so much whether societies are collectivist, but just how much autonomy individuals should have.

    I'll be interested to see other views.

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    My view - now somewhat aged but still largely mine - can be read here:
    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=76327
    Magna Europa est patria nostra
    STOP GATS! STOP LIBERALISM!

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    I could also add this to Agrippa's thread, but the following adds a term to the debate and looks to it from a different angle:
    Brad Stone recently delivered a lecture at the Mises Institute concerning the relevance of the work of Robert Nisbet to the libertarian movement (audio | video). He argued that it is important for libertarians to also be "communitarians," defending traditional social institutions from the state. He cautioned against the valorization of the individual and any position that acknowledges only individual rights as ideas that lend themselves to a growth in state power. Overall, the presentation was insightful. The importance of families and other such small communities ("subsidiary institutions" in the language of Catholic social teaching) should be a topic of concern to libertarians, and precisely for some of the reasons that Dr. Stone identified, such as the provision of services often connected to the modern welfare state. The introduction to Nisbet was also welcome as a point of intellectual history in light of the connection between the Old Right and the modern Austro-libertarian movement.1

    http://mises.org/daily/1870
    I'd say that most writing in this forum are more or less communitarian in their point of view. I mean this in the value/cultural sense, which doesn't necessary proscribe a certain political setting.
    "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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    Our first task is to determine what we value collectively. Then we must be able to rationally demonstrate why what we value is so important that it merits putting limits on the acts of individuals that harm what we value.

    Second, we should recognize that individualism is a phantom, an illusion. It doesn't really exist. All so-called individualists must act within a collectivist entity, society. Society is an aggregation of individuals, not an individual, and thus is collectivist by definition. Society must be valued collectively, as man, being a social being, must be able to function socially while knowing his life, property, etc., is protected. Some will object that the protection of life and property are individual rights, and though I don't believe natural rights exist, we'll assume for the sake of argument that they do. (Individual rights plays well into our subject too as they are very closely associated with individualism.) To function, individual rights must be defended by a collectivist entity, society, or government, if you like. Property, for example, cannot be defended unless it is protected by an arbiter higher than the individual, namely society-government. So we see that even 'individual rights' can only exist under collectivism.

    Now that we have disposed of the fiction that is individualism, and have established that all must work within the prism of collectivism, we return to the question of what it is we should value, and what limits should be put on the actions of individuals to protect what we value. Of course, I believe the white race should be valued, and that appropriate limits should be put on the actions of individuals to protect it. I deal with this here:

    http://forums.skadi.net/showpost.php...2&postcount=77

    All of the endless (and oftentimes dubious) chatter about genetics, defects, etc., aside, this is ultimately a legal and political question and should be treated as such by the relevant judicial, legislative, and executive authorities. Miscegenation should be added to the existing criminal code pertaining to treason with the appropriate punishment applied.

    When a white person engages in miscegenation it tends to help in lessening our numbers and strengthening the numbers of what are in most cases and to varying degrees of intensity, races and groups that are hostile to us, thus tending to threaten us collectively. Certainly an individual person engaging in such behavior is not, in and of itself, particularly dangerous (though it is still bad), but then much the same can be said for many treason cases tried now. Adam Gadahn, the American Jew that joined al Qaeda is not, by himself, particularly dangerous, for example, but he has nonetheless been indicted for treason on the principle that if such behavior is allowed to go unpunished, it will send a dangerous signal to the wider society that such activity is basically permissible and thus will inevitably lead to more of it.

    In some of our countries we are now approaching the point where legal miscegenation is reaching such high levels that it could, if left unchecked, begin to help threaten our numerical status in our own lands, even to the point of making us minorities - with all of the perils that implies.

    Here, then, is what should be done:

    In basically white nations with significant non-white populations, such as the US, miscegenation should be made a criminal offense with the possibility, depending on the circumstances of individual cases, of the death penalty being applied (we already employ the death penalty for treason in the US). Such harsh punishment is necessary for the simple reason that the large number of non-whites makes the possibility of mass miscegenation especially threatening, and thus severe measures must be taken in order to deter the commission of such behavior. Certainly the drive to have sex is fundamental, and such a strong desire will not likely be blunted by a relatively weak punishment.

    In nations that are more homogeneous the death penalty is probably not necessary, but miscegenation should still be made a criminal offense with the proviso that any white person who goes overseas and obtains a non-white spouse will be stripped of his-her citizenship and denied re-entry into the country.

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    When the "society-government" construct (which in the end is a result of individuals who put effort into it) is the "higher arbiter" and can overwrite individual rights, then this construct also carries a higher burden of responsibility and the duty to act accordingly.

    Now, you can go to great length and limit the rights and liberties of the individual under the premise that this would protect the society and prohibite miscegenation and with that, to protect the "white"/Germanic, whatever race.

    The problem is that when a large, or just significant part of the population of any given country is of racial aliens, then the function of the state, the society-government as the higher institution / entity with execution rights and the responsibility to act in the interest of the people, already has failed, and tries to push responsibility back to the individual, when in truth it would have been the society-government, as the extension of the collectivist individuals who comprise it, that must prevent miscegenation, simply through not giving the opportunity to and that has to protect the nation (its people) from racial aliens.

    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.

    And when you say that one of the highest values is the race of the nation (on which I agree), then one of the highest imperatives of a society-government / state must be to protect its people and the territory of the nation, because racial aliens damage the fabric of society, the community and threaten the individual through more crime and through enforced cultural relativism. When you let racial aliens in, the state has failed to protect its people and should be punished accordingly, as this constitutes high treason.


    The basic question is, when did governments become antagonisms to the individuals and the communities they form (=collective)? And why is there obviously not enough fantasy left in people to change this fact? 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.
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    Humans from a certain level of development tend towards degeneration in various respects, the state is just the organisation on which higher order relies in greater communities, having rules rather than chaos.

    There is no better alternative to the state, but there are just different alternatives for the rules which should be applied in the state.
    Magna Europa est patria nostra
    STOP GATS! STOP LIBERALISM!

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    The problem per se is not the individual, the problem is the individual being above the most basic needs of society. Naturally, if certain actions/positions by an individual (be they entrepreneuers, think-tanks, younameit) are beneficial to the folk, the state should support such enterprise. If they neither benefit nor harm the folk, they can be gladly ignored. If they harm the folk, they should be seen to and should not be tolerated.

    For instance, I will not let the state infringe on harmless personal matters such as: what haircut I choose to have, what music I shall listen to, what sexual practices I employ with my partner. These are none of the state's business as they don't affect the folk in the slightest; these are things on a personal level which do not harm the collective. If they did, then perhaps they could be subject to regulation as well.

    However, there are of course certain things in which some regulation might be quite necessary, usually when it comes to being aware of what happens around you: As the collective, the folk, must still stand before the individual; and that quite in our own interest: We can only thrive if that around us is healthy. As such, collectivism is to be preferred over individualism once it comes to the "-isms".

    As has been said, the rights of the individual only extend as far as they don't threaten or harm the collective.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
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    Originally Posted by Sigurd
    For instance, I will not let the state infringe on harmless personal matters such as: what haircut I choose to have, what music I shall listen to,
    As you are apparently a Platonist you should see the possibility that some kinds of music could be harmful. Socrates discusses this in The Republic.

    It's interesting that even European Communist states banned or strongly discouraged rock, realizing it promoted rebellion against authority. Even Hitler said songs are a weapon. I don't think we can simply dismiss music as non-threatening to the collective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe McCarthy View Post
    [...] we should recognize that individualism is a phantom, an illusion. It doesn't really exist.
    I disagree. Collectivism is the illusion. Just because it is in the nature of every individual to cooperate with other individuals, doesn't make the individual any less real.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blóš ok Andi View Post
    I disagree. Collectivism is the illusion. Just because it is in the nature of every individual to cooperate with other individuals, doesn't make the individual any less real.
    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.

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