Collectivism vs Individualism. Can We Afford To Forget?
Obama on Individualism, vs. Collective thought, action and deed…
"In America,” Obama says, “we have this strong bias toward individual action. You know, we idolize the John Wayne hero who comes in to correct things with both guns blazing. But individual actions, individual dreams, are not sufficient. We must unite in collective action, build collective institutions and organizations.” - Barack Obama, Interview with the Chicago Reader, 1995
COLLECTIVISM vs INDIVIDUALISM; Definitions and Quotes
A political or economic theory advocating collective control especially over production and distribution ; emphasis on collective rather than individual action or identity. Any of several types of social organization in which the individual is seen as being subordinate to a social collectivity such as a state, a nation, a race, or a social class.
Collectivism is a term used to describe any moral, political, or social outlook, that stresses human interdependence and the importance of a collective, rather than the importance of separate individuals. Collectivists focus on community and society, and seek to give priority to group goals over individual goals. ... Specifically, a society as a whole can be seen as having more meaning or value than the separate individuals that make up that society.
Belief in the primary importance of the individual and in the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence; that the interests of the individual are, or ought to be, ethically paramount. The concept that all values, rights, and duties originate in individuals; maintaining the political and economic independence of the individual and stressing individual initiative, action, and interests.
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, or social outlook that stresses independence and self-reliance. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires, while opposing most external interference with one's choices, whether by society, the state, or any other group or institution. Individualism is opposed to collectivism or statism, which stress that communal, community, group, societal, or national goals should take priority over individual goals.
"Collectivism is defined as the theory and practice that makes some sort of group rather than the individual the fundamental unit of political, social, and economic concern. In theory, collectivists insist that the claims of groups, associations, or the state must normally supersede the claims of individuals.
" -- Stephen Grabill and Gregory M. A. Gronbacher
"The fact that most people think that ... pursuing one's own self-interest equates to behaving brutally or irrationally, is, as Ms. Rand noted, a 'psychological confession' on their part. In fact it is against one's own long-term self-interest to behave irrationally or trample others. Such actions are the exact opposite of selfish -- they're self-destructive." -- Wayne Dunn
"Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of 'emergency'. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And 'emergency' became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains."; -- Herbert Hoover
More quotes on Collectivism:
"The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." -- Pope John Paul II
"Collectivism often sounds humane because it stresses the importance of human needs. In reality, it is little more than a rationalization for sacrificing you and me to the desires of others." -- Jarret B. Wollstein
"Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom. If they clamor for freedom, it is but freedom to establish equality and uniformity. The passion for equality is partly a passion for anonymity: to be one thread of the many which make up a tunic; one thread not distinguishable from the others. No one can then point us out, measure us against others and expose our inferiority." -- Eric Hoffer
"It used to be the boast of free men that, so long as they kept within the bounds of the known law, there was no need to ask anybody's permission or to obey anybody's orders. It is doubtful whether any of us can make this claim today." -- Fredrich August von Hayek
"We are sure living in a peculiar time. You get more for not working than you will for working, and more for not raising a hog than for raising it." -- Will Rogers
"A social system is a code of laws which men observe in order to live together. Such a code must have a basic principle, a starting point, or it cannot be devised. The starting point is the question: Is the power of society limited or unlimited?
"Individualism answers: The power of society is limited by the inalienable, individual rights of man. Society may make only such laws as do not violate these rights.
"Collectivism answers: The power of society is unlimited. Society may make any laws it wishes, and force them upon anyone in any manner it wishes." -- Ayn Rand, Textbook of Americanism
"The foundation of individualism lies in one's moral right to pursue one's own happiness. This pursuit requires a large amount of independence, initiative, and self-responsibility.
"But true individualism entails cooperating with others through trade, which facilitates the pursuit of each party's happiness, and which is carried out not just on the level of goods but on the level of knowledge and friendship. Trade is essential for life; it provides one with many of the goods and values one needs. Creating an environment where trade flourishes is of great importance and great interest for the individualist.
"Politically, true individualism means recognizing that one has a right to his own life and happiness. But it also means uniting with other citizens to preserve and defend the institutions that protect that right." -- Shawn E. Klein
"One byproduct of individualism is benevolence -- a general attitude of good will towards one's neighbors and fellow human beings. Benevolence is impossible in a society where people violate each others' rights." -- Glenn Woiceshyn
More quotes on Individialism:
"Freedom is an intellectual achievement which requires disavowal of collectivism and embrace of individualism." -- Onkar Ghate
"The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom." -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas
"They conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone--the most prehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis (Olmstead v. U.S.)
"The right to be let alone is the underlying principle of the Constitution's Bill of Rights." -- Erwin N. Griswold
"You have to ask yourself, 'Who owns me? Do I own myself or am I just another piece of government property?' " -- Neal Boortz
"The crucial distinction between systems...was no longer ideological. The main political difference was between those who did, and those who did not, believe that the citizen could -- or should -- be the property of the state." -- Adam Michnik in Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens
"In principle, there are only two fundamental political viewpoints. That is, two contradictory ends of the 'political spectrum.' Those two principles are freedom and slavery." -- Mark Da Cunha
"There is nothing to take a man's freedom away from him, save other men. To be free, a man must be free of his brothers." -- Ayn Rand
"There is no greater stupidity or meanness than to take uniformity for an ideal.'' -- George Santayana, The Life of Reason
"The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society." --Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816
"There can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob." -- Ayn Rand
And one final quote...
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of
the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." -- Jefferson et al, The Declaration of Independence
Introduction by G. Edward Griffin: Creed of Freedom
"There is nothing more common in history than for oppressed people to rise up against their masters and, at great cost in treasure and blood, throw off the old regime, only to discover that they have replaced it with one that is just as bad or worse. That is because it is easy to know what we dislike about a political system but not so easy to agree on what would be better. For most of history, it has been the habit of men to focus on personalities rather than principles. They have thought that the problem was with the man who rules, not with the system that sustains him. So, they merely replace one despot for another, thinking that, somehow, the new one will be more wise and benevolent. Even if the new ruler has good intentions, he may be corrupted by the temptations of power; and, in those rare cases where he is not, he eventually is replaced by another who is not as self-restrained. As long as the system allows it, it is just a matter of time before a new despot wil... Excellent blog. I first learned of C vs I in a blog by jwalden. It had little videos that simply illustrated the differences and narrated by G. Edward Griffin. I am proud to say I'm an Individualist. Just a portion of a forward on Freedom Force International:
Introduction by G. Edward Griffin: Creed of Freedom
"There is nothing more common in history than for oppressed people to rise up against their masters and, at great cost in treasure and blood, throw off the old regime, only to discover that they have replaced it with one that is just as bad or worse. That is because it is easy to know what we dislike about a political system but not so easy to agree on what would be better. For most of history, it has been the habit of men to focus on personalities rather than principles. They have thought that the problem was with the man who rules, not with the system that sustains him. So, they merely replace one despot for another, thinking that, somehow, the new one will be more wise and benevolent. Even if the new ruler has good intentions, he may be corrupted by the temptations of power; and, in those rare cases where he is not, he eventually is replaced by another who is not as self-restrained. As long as the system allows it, it is just a matter of time before a new despot will rise to power. To prevent that from happening, it is necessary to focus on the system itself, not on personalities. To do that, it is just as important to know what we are for as it is to know what we are against." (more)