Saturday, June 2, 2012

Individualism, the Proper Driving Force for Societal Growth and Stability...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

A classical liberal view of individualism and collectivism. I doesn't get much plainer, or right that this.


Prof. Aeon Skoble claims that if we really care about the wellbeing of communities, we should keep in mind the unique and autonomous individuals that make it up. Each individual is deserving of respect and dignity, and should be free to pursue their own ends as long as they don't infringe upon the freedom of others. Although the concept of community is important, it does not warrant overlooking the individuals that comprise it.

This video is part of a learning path, a structured series of lessons and questions: Political Philosophy: Liberty and Rights


  1. the problem is not in choosing one over the other. it is in the recognition of power.

    a collective cannot exist without individuals but individuals cannot exist without collectives either.
    and the collective is the dominant force in this relationship.

    it was Jefferson, himself, that recognized this by forming the first political party in this nation.

    1. "Fear of factionalism and political parties was deeply rooted in Anglo-American political culture before the American Revolution. Leaders such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson hoped their new government, founded on the Constitution, would be motivated instead by a common intent, a unity. Though dominant, these sentiments were not held by all Americans. A delegate to the Massachusetts ratifying convention, for example, asserted that “competition of interest…between those persons who are in and those who are out office, will ever form one important check to the abuse of power in our representatives.” (Quoted in Hofstader, p. 36) Hamilton argued from a slightly different perspective in Federalist #70: “In the legislature, promptitude of decision is oftener an evil than a benefit. The differences of opinion, and the jarrings of parties in that department of the government, though they may sometimes obstruct salutary plans, yet often promote deliberation and circumspection, and serve to check excesses in the majority.”

      Political parties did form in the United States and had their beginnings in Washington's cabinet. Jefferson, who resigned as Washington's Secretary of State in 1793, and James Madison, who first began to oppose the policies of Alexander Hamilton while a member of the House of Representatives, soon united, as Jefferson wrote in his will, "in the same principles and pursuits of what [they] deemed for the greatest good of our country." Together, they were central to the creation of the first political party in the United States."


      A minor detail I'm sure but for the sake of accuracy it was the efforts of two of America's finest. Jefferson AND Madison.

  2. the point i was trying to get across and i'll admit i did a poor job was, that the practice of individualism in politics didn't last long even in this nation where individualism was its finest trait and the defining characteristic that separated this nation from the nations of Europe up until the 20th century.


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