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  1. #1
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    Default Collectivism

    Seeing as we have so many socialists, communists, and Mao (Chineese revolutionary who was responsible for the deaths of nearly 70 MILLION people), and other revolutionary thinkers in the White House, I thought it prudent to post this little piece I found about collectivism:

    Collectivism vs Individualism. Can We Afford To Forget?


    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

    Definitions:

    Collectivism n.

    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.

    Individualism n.
    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:

    "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

    INDIVIDUALISM:
    "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)

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    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    we need individual thinking followed by mass communication (internet works great for this) and collective action, but instead it seems most Americans are conditioned for conforming to collective thinking and supporting those who take individual action.

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    Manichean duality is an overly simplistic way to look at the world.

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    There is a balance between two extremes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    There is a balance between two extremes.

    Not in this case. The United States needs MORE individualistic thought and action, not less. The worst you can have is individual greed with collective consequences. Bailouts, anyone?
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    ^^ *Yawn* prove it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Not in this case. The United States needs MORE individualistic thought and action, not less. The worst you can have is individual greed with collective consequences. Bailouts, anyone?
    That's called the rule of law. Individuals are punished based on a collective standard...

  8. #8
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    My experience is admittedly limited, but I have found nonetheless that when a highly visible, charismatic individual raises the call for people to start to act collectively, that individual is generally envisioning him- or herself directing that "collective" action.

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    Collectivism works okay, if not better than individualism, in close-knit communities and such. The human mind evolved for life in small hunter-gathering groups, and so it has a battery of "tools" for dealing with common resource problems (loyalty, empathy, guilt, etc.). Traditions of conduct and morality arise around these "tools," but ultimately they tend to break down when applied to what Hayek called the "extended order."

    In the extended order of impersonal human cooperation, individualism rules.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  10. #10

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    Wow, what a bullshit dichotomy.

    The individualism which you have described is ignorant of the ways in which individuals are affected by the societies in which they live, and the collectivism which you have described is ignorant of the way in which societies are affected by the individuals of which they are composed.

    Could you please direct me, Risen, to the Maoists and Stalinists in the Obama administration? By pointing out Mao's death toll, do you mean to suggest that we are moving in this direction?

    I'd like to ask also if and where you disagree with that 1995 Obama quote. Is the thought that people should help each other out and work together to face problems really so offensive to you?

    It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini.
    And it was the tactic of Franco's fascists in Spain to use millions of dollars of goods supplied by Texaco, General Motors, and other US corporations. It's easy to forget the parts of history that don't support your views, isn't it?

    The way this whole debate you've set up is framed is ridiculous, too. Have you ever heard of a Straw Man? It's generally what happens when you let one side define both positions in an argument. You also get -10 internets for quoting Ayn Rand, and -50 for quoting someone else quoting 'Ms. Rand.' And hey, just what definition of socialism are you using anyway? Socialists were NEVER in support of the bailouts (let me repeat for shock factor: no true socialist ever supported the bailouts) because socialists recognize the way corporate influence has infiltrated the state for obvious corporate benefits.
    Ti = Ne > Fi = Ni > Te = Si > Fe = Se

    "I've never seen a child who didn't want to build something out of blocks, or learn something new, or try the next task. And the only reason why adults aren't like that is, I suppose, that they have been sent to school and other oppressive institutions which have driven that out of them."
    -- Noam Chomsky

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