Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Three Part Series on Individualism -vs- Collectivism...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

I found the following series interesting and informative. A good refresher for those who have thought about the distinctions between individualism and collectivism, and a great intro for those who may not have heretofore spent the time in these considerations.

Part Two

Part Three

For anyone interested more can be found by going to You Tube and typing in Individualism -vs- Collectivism. Good hunting!


  1. to the individualist i have a question:

    what is the difference between having the "right" to do something and having the "power and authority" to do something?

    1. I was wondering the same thing about abortion.

      The SCOTUS says it's cool and all, but at what point does a person have the right to kill another when the other is innocent of any crime?

    2. The power and authority to do something does not make any given action right.

      Rights have intrinsic ethical consideration that determine right of any given action. Example: I have the right to lead my own life in the manner I chose in so far as the exercise my right does not infringe on your right to do the same.

      It is called respect. With any right one possess come responsibility to respect the rights of others. As in ones right to their own life, liberty, ad property.

      The authority and power I have over the exercise of the above stated rights give me no right to take by force (power) or authority your right to the same.

    3. As to abortion, I have expounded on my position many times. To do so again is not necessary. Those who have read my position (of which I believe you are one One Guy 2012) need not hear hear a broken record.

      Suffice to say my position has not changed.

    4. RNUSA,

      I did not expect it to change at all. Quite the contrary, you explained it perfectly, again, in your comments about power and authority and doing what's right, as long as it doesn't disrespect another's right to life. I couldn't have said it any better.

      Nicely said, sir.

  2. Why would you argue individualism against collectivism? I mean, don't all get what the extremes of those terms mean by now?

    In real life, human, social animals that we are, have to balance individual and collective interests in our lives. That's it. That's life. We marry, we form companies, work together, our children play together, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc... We are VERY social animals, oh, and also the MOST advanced over the course of billions of years here on Earth.

    There's a reason for that. It is society that both encourages and engages us for popular want. We are both products and consumers of our culture, our society, our humanity.

    It is for that reason that individualism and collectivism are not opposites. They are different. They can be both mutually exclusive, philosophically, and mutually dependent, and the more-so the more advanced the society.

    While individualism and collectivism can make a pretty 3D show in Disney World, and writers, pundits, politicians, clerics, poets all have a crack at separating the two, we are products of our long, deep culture.

    So, be careful making extreme, polarizing arguments. We should at least acknowledge the need for at least some collectivism in our lives - like the trash, and the mail, and some cops and firemen, and hospitals and stuff like that.

    What exactly do you want, Les??? Because if you really believe you can do it all by yourself, in a vacuum, you must be one heck of "producer."


    1. jmj - One chooses the degree of collectivism in their life. Only you are talking about a vacuum. Making bold assumptions to fit your narrative.

      I have basically everything that is of importance in life jmj, not that I owe you an answer to your rather, oh forget it.

      I don't know what kind of producer you think I may or may not be, it doesn't matter. I'm proud of what I have accomplished and the trial and difficulties I endured during my 60 years on this earth. So, I'm fine with life, being an individualist that believes capitalism (in its truest form) is still the golden engine if you will of progress and prosperity. It is a shame Americans of all parties and businesses have corrupted it beyond recognition.

      Good night jmj...

  3. It is a balance, Jersey, I agree. Of course, the devil is always in the details and in today's (as you say) polarizing environment the details are getting exceedingly harder to arrive at. I mean, just look at the Simpson-Bolwes commission, the Wyden-Ryan Medicare compromise, etc.. Bold, compromising stuff like that always gets kicked to the curb by the extremists and partisans. And I really don't see it changing any time soon, either, unfortunately.

    1. What my last sentence in my reply to jmj says.

    2. George Washington didn't like political parties all that much, either, correct?

  4. jersey,
    is that what individualism is all about, "doing it all by yourself"?

    is that a collectivist's understanding of it's meaning? if so, where did you learn this?

  5. Griper, my apology. While attempting to post your follow up comment from my smart phone I accidentally deleted it. I guess my phone will have to give me futher instructions.

    Feel free to re-post if you desire.

  6. I may have done the same with your last comment of Disney and 3D movies etc. My apology, feel free to re-post if you like.

  7. Jersey argues from a statist position. If people voluntarily collectivize, I have no problem with that. The problem we face today is government forcing us to collectivize. That violates our natural rights as well as the Constitution.

    Excellent topic, Les!

  8. RN... how do we determine when our rights impinge on someone else's rights? For instance, does someone have a right to ride a motorcycle without a helmut. On the surface, it might seem so. But what happens if he has a wreck and suffers serious head injuries. Do we, as a society, then have a right to not pay for any of his health care?

    He will have big costs for his accident, the rest of us will bear that cost and my rights to not care for an injury that could have been prevented will be violated... won't they?

    1. Dave, I understand your point and have no problem with it.

      My direct response:

      1) I believe it my right to ride without a government mandated requirement to wear a helmet.

      2) If the public safety (and cost) is impacted by my decision not to wear they should not held responsible for my decision.

      3) I view all things with consideration of my own rational self interest. Therfore I would ride for my on safety.

      4) This does not mean I would impose that on others. It should be a mater of choice.

      5) With choice comes the acceptance of res;responsibility for those choices.

      Have I answered your inquiry adequately?

    2. 5) With choice comes the acceptance of res;responsibility for those choices.

      Pardon the expression, RNUSA, but AMEN!

      Indeed, how much simpler would our lives be as American citizenry if we were allowed to make our own choices provided it was clearly understood that with our decisions would come total accountability should our decisions be poor ones?

      Why, oh why cannot our elected officials understand this?

      Mr. Miller, it seems your concern is a financial one, in that you and others would have to bear some cost of someone else's choices. That reeks of statism and a mild display of victimization. If I were a smoker, and one day I get the lung cancer, why should your rates go up to pay for my choice? Why should your family's money be affected by this choice? It shouldn't be. At all. Unless you voluntarily did something like offer to pay for my funeral or treatment. It would be your decision.

      If the government didn't try to force us to 'share the burdens of wealth' and pay for each other's issues, your rates and your money would be safe from my foolishness.

      However, the government sees it differently.

    3. The problem is this... using my example, when that person is hurt, and unconscious, we will immediately begin incurring costs... or should we as a society, if he has no record of coverage when the EMT's get there, walk away, and let him die, since he made his choice?

    4. One, let me look at it in a different... I don't want my kid to be vaccinated against measles, mumps, or rubella... should I be able to claim that right, even though in so doing, I may endanger your kids who attend the same school?

      Or does the government have a vested interest in making everyone get that vaccination?

      If so, how is that determined? If not, are your kid's rights being violated by my exercise of my rights to raise my kids as I see fit?

      What about car insurance? Does someone have a right to opt out of the system, even if he has no financial ability to pay for damages that he might cause to another?


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