Friday, January 26, 2007


There are two mutually opposed ideas in the world.

Individualism deals with the sovereign unit of the individual.
Collectivism deals with the sovereign unit of the collective.

The root words, obviously:

Individual - a single person, one mind + one body
Collective - a group, more than one.

Individualists deal with every individual as someone who thinks, acts, makes decisions, and oberves the world independantly.

Collectivists deal with the sovereign unit of the collective, and all thoughts, actions, decisions, and observations apply uniformly to all members of a collective.

Individuals pre-exist collectives.

If you have some individuals in a collective, take away the collective and you're left with individuals.

If you have some individuals in a collective, take away the individuals and you've got no more collective.

Individuals are discrete. It's easy to tell when one person and another person are differet.

Collectives are arbitrary. A single person can be a member of multiple collectives simultaneously.

Individuals are real.
Collectives are figments of the imagination.

Individuals have minds.
Collectives are creations of the mind.

Individuals can think and act, individuals are sovereign.
Collectives cannot, only individuals in the collectives can.

Now that I think I've pretty well shown that individualism makes sense and collectivism is stupid, let's look at some examples of collectivism so you can recognize it in the wild.

Towns/Cities/Counties/States/Nations/Countries: Collectives by geography.
Races: Collectives by ethnicity.
Democrats/Republicans/Libertarians/Communists: Collectives by politics.
Christians/Jews/Muslims/Buddhists/Atheists: Collectives by religion.

All of these are arbitrary.

"White" is not a set I belong to, it is a trait which is part of me.
"Atheist" is not a set I belong to, it is a trait which is part of me.
"American" is not a set I belong to, it is a trait which is part of me.

If I say "All these objects on my desk constitute a collective", I'm simply grouping them by my perceptions of a common trait among them: They are all on my desk. I'm not creating any real or object that can be dealt with singularly as if I was referring to an engine or a firearm.

Right-wingers usually bitch about how left-wingers are collectivistic. Right wingers then appeal to nationalism. Nationalism is collectivism. Right-wingers are hypocrites.

Did you catch the collectivism right there? I said "Right wingers are hypocrites". Don't fall into this trap of collectivizing people like that. Learn how to catch when people say things like this. Next time I say something like that, a red flag should go up in your head. Not all right-wingers are hypocrites, but the ones that bitch about collectivism and support nationalism are (not all bitch about collectivism).

Individuals are the only sovereign units which really exist. Jews do not make decisions, nations do not make decisions, blacks do not make decisions, it is individuals who are jewish, reside in an area, or have black skin, who individually make decisions.

Arbitrary collectives are deceptive. Some would have you believe all leftists support affirmative-action, for instance. But this is not how things work. I know some who think it's racist (and they're right). Coincidentally, racism is collectivistic.

It is possible to have an individualistic collective. If the collective is voluntary, then all members of the collective are acting as sovereigns to participate in the collective. If not, if it is involuntary, then it is a collectivistic collective.

When you group people into arbitrary collectives and make generalizations, your generalizations tend to fall apart.

When you drag people into an arbitrary collective with you, such as "society", then you run into the problem of people who don't want to be a part of your society, and your collective fragments into the individuals which really exist and constitute the arbitrary collective.

Collectivism is bogus, and useless.

How is this relevant to anything?

"Society needs to take care of it's less fortunate."

How is society defined? Everyone else living in the area? That's an arbitrary grouping to include me. I don't force you into my imaginary collective, so don't force me into your imaginary collective.

And what's democracy? It's based on the arbitrary geographical collectivization under governments, deferring the sovereign unit from the individual to the collective, directly contrary to reality. Same thing as above.

If you can find some other people that want to go play collectivism with you, have fun. But don't make people play who don't want to. The game is going to fall apart.

Identify all instances of collectivism in your thoughts, and stomp them out. They stand in opposition to reality, reason, and liberty.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:40 AM  

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