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Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time IMG INT
04-06-2011, 04:37 AM
Post: #16
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
(04-06-2011 04:29 AM)concenfla Wrote:  Both individual and collective mindsets have advantages and disadvantages. And each of them are themselves made up of different qualities, which in turn have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Individuality has subdivisions called "egotism", "self", "narcissism" and others. All of these subdivisions are quite different from one another, but even each of them also has good and bad sides as well. (Except for maybe narcissism, which doesn't have any advantages, aside from maybe getting people to exercise more.)

Collectivism also has a good and bad side to it. You appreciate humanity as a whole when you're in a group, and if you're working together for an honest cause or celebrating life, then that's a good thing. Unfortunately, due to group-think, crowds are also very easy for smart overlords to manipulate for nefarious purposes. And group intelligence trends downward in almost every working model.

"Individualism vs. collectivism" is too simple of a paradigm. I know a lot of "awake" people who say that individualism is the way to go, and that individualism is under attack. To an extent that's true. Each person's unique sovereign "self" is under attack. But on the other hand, each "ego" is being fed. And each person is being psychologically bribed into becoming their own little precious narcissist. I'm not even going to get into how "selfishness" is different from "self", but there's a distinction there, too. People like Ayn Rand are totally into redeeming "selfishness", but it's not that simple. None of these terms are that simple, and most of them depend upon specific contexts in order to decide whether they're good or bad, useful or harmful, in the given instance. Broadly speaking, the elites of the world, via their media, are feeding the bad sides of both individualism and collectivism--actually feeding the bad sides of each subdivision of these two divisions--and thereby creating disadvantageous conditions for us, advantageous conditions for them.

Praise be for the Str8 thinkers!
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04-11-2011, 06:02 AM
Post: #17
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
If you break it down, how can one support the notion of equal rights and be a collectivist? Because under collectivism the majority can always overrule the minority, thus by definition individuals aren't equal. However, situations in which a minority such as the rich are able to tell the rest of the majority what to do are bad too and even worse. And that's the real position taken by a lot of people on the right wing who claim to be individualists. Particularly the 'sweatshops are good' Milton Friedman type of crowd. The limit of true individualism is that you're not supposed to be able to violate another person's individual rights, so to me the real debate is where that line is and what type of economy would be the fairest under those conditions.
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04-11-2011, 07:20 AM
Post: #18
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
Quote:The limit of true individualism is that you're not supposed to be able to violate another person's individual rights, so to me the real debate is where that line is and what type of economy would be the fairest under those conditions.

Taken to its logical conclusion, we'd all be truly individual by fending for ourselves, defending against those who've decided upon safety in numbers. Economy or economics is really the method used to compensate people for working towards something they wouldn't care about if it wasn't for this thing called money which allows you access to certain items controlled by a monopoly, which just happen to be the most important and basic things humans need. I know I wouldn't dream of working if I had another way of meeting my base needs and I'm sure most people in the world wouldn't also. My individual rights are violated simply by the fact that I have to sell my labour for a unit of exchange that then entitles me to obtain what I need to live. This is why 'the right' only go so far with 'individuality', if everything was provided for you, why would you ever go to work? Why does 'work' or employment even exist, especially in a world where base needs can easily be met? Why is the debate between left-right, individual-collectivist implicit in a promise of a utopia or improved social conditions? What are we really arguing about? We are not free because we have shops and we can buy things - things we didn't even have a say in whether it should be available in our communities or not, and things that we are simply forced to get because of our jobs or social/marriage/peer pressures. Everything we think frees us in fact further enslaves us. We can't make or create the vast majority of everything we use and consume and most of it can only exist if enough people are forced to sell their labour.

The days of a simple life are over and the closer we get to a technocracy this will always be the case. Of course once technocracy arrives it means that there'll be no need for most of us but until then, you have to look at the extremely high levels of organisation in every sector of society and that same organisation is required in virtually everything we take for granted. We live in a totally organised world.

Don't mistake this rant as defending collectivism, it is just to highlight that if you really want true individualism, you have to be willing to make what could be drastic changes to your life. Our modern society and life are based totally on collectivist systems, if you want more individuality, you'll have to be prepared to go through some hardships along the way.

It is not the happy life individuality promises, but the complete life.
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04-17-2011, 01:32 PM (This post was last modified: 09-16-2012 02:41 AM by Negentropic.)
Post: #19
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
Quote:It is not the happy life individuality promises, but the complete life.

Exactly. Not even the complete life but the mere possiblity of a comprehensive life worth living and if you reach a level of calm understanding or being-at-peace-with-yourself at a certain point in your journey then you will have a profound and genuine if temporary 'happiness' rather than a long term counterfeit one that you fake for your whole life to finally realize emptiness Like Socrates said way back in the day "the unexamined life isn't worth living" and you can't even begin to examine or be a true thinker without being an individualist and nonconformist first. And it was Fellini who said "Happiness is simply a temporary condition that precedes unhappiness. Fortunately for us, it works the other way around as well."


Quote:Ayn Rand — One More Agent of Our Destruction!

Recently, a listener to the Don Black –David Duke Radio Program wrote me to criticize my denunciation of the hyper-individualism of Ayn Rand accusing me of being a collectivist, much like the advocates of socialism, communism, fascism and the welfare state! Here is my answer.

Dear Bart,

Sorry we disagree here. But, yes, I believe in loyalty to more than self. I believe in a group loyalty, whether it be man and wife, man and family, man and community, man and nation, man and his race.

That doesn’t mean that there should be no individual rights. Our Constitution is a balance of those rights, the individual on one side and the community, nation state on the other.

If our race does not defend itself, advance its interests as a people we will go down to destruction. The reason why extremist Jews have been able to lead us to disaster is primarily the fact that too many of us have have been taught to believe it is evil to defend our own group, our own heritage, our own values, our own common interests.

You can call that collectivism if you want, but the American founding fathers believed that we had to stand together as Americans, not as a few scattered individuals against the might of the British Empire. Yes, we were motivated by individual rights, and we were motivated by our rights as 13 colonies united in a new nation.

As far as war is concerned…

There has always been war, and there will always be war. Just as there have always been conflicts that have led to violence between individuals. It is our duty to try to lesson those conflicts, to try to avoid war. But those who don’t band together and defend themselves will be conquered by those who do band together.

The fact that we have been in constant war over the last few years, and are now embroiled in a war on terror (or of terror) is precisely because the American people did not defend our basic interests as a people from the Jewish extremists who organized, coordinated and orchestrated a Mideast policy that led this country to 911 and the subsequent disaster of the Iraq War. Too many of our people acted as ultimate individualists advancing their own immediate political or media careers or corporate interests while the Jewish supremacists put their group interests and their Jewish Supremacist State, first.

Ayn Rand’s “virtue of selfishness” philosophy is certainly not practiced by the neocons or the Jewish rulers of media and campaign financing. Nor is it the dominant philosophy of Israel. Israel is not a nation of individuals, Jews and Palestinians, it is as you would say a, “collectivist” Jewish State dedicated to the advance and interests of the Jewish people. Ayn Randism is one more example of Jewish-originated ideas fostered on Gentiles while the organized Jewish community has the opposite view point. It is exactly like the long Jewish domination of the “open borders” movement for non-European immigration into the United States while they the Jewish State which has a Jewish only” immigration policy. These same Jewish extremist hypocrites support the individual choice of racial intermarriage in countless Jewish Hollywood films, but at the same time support all the major Jewish organizations that spend millions to oppose Jewish intermarriage. Of course, they support Israel a nation that does not allow the individual Jew to legally marry a non-Jew.

Ayn Rand’s individual selfishness and extreme individualism is not meant for Jewish consumption. It is meant for us, and too many of our people have swallowed it.

We have already been conquered in many ways by a united enemy who has banded together, and if we don’t band together now, we White people will perish from the earth. As White people perish and suffer as a group, you as an individual will suffer as well.

Our founding fathers recognized this. The biggest defender of individual rights, Thomas Jefferson, wrote of the deep differences between the races that would destroy America unless we separated. He was a defender of our people as were the writers of the Constitution, who as a body in one of the first legislative acts of the new American government limited immigration only to White Christians.

Using words like “collectivist” to define good common sense and brotherhood between our people is evidence of the damage done by people like Ayn Rand whose hyper-individual ethic has not been taken up by the Jewish extremists from whence she came, nor by the other races in or outside of Europe or America, but only by a number of European-Americans who are taught to pursue their egoist and selfish immediate, short-term interests rather than the long term interests of the people and the community that make even their own existence possible.

As far as collectivism being the founding principle of the welfare state, of socialism, of communism, in a sense you are right. Most of those people who work for those outmoded ideas are motivated by the idea of doing good for people as whole. Problem is that their system does not work and violates the true nature of man.

But if you define collectivism as supporting the idea of a government or way of life good for the community as a whole, I would suggest that every one of our founding fathers was a “collectivist” as well. They respected individual rights such as freedom of speech, assembly, religion and opposed an abusive government. But they also had the idea that they could establish a government and system of government that would be bring freedom and prosperity to the great mass of the American people. They wanted to make it possible for the healthy, intelligent and hard-working man to rise as far as his ability provided. In doing so they devised a system which everyone lived under a common government, heritage, tradition, ideals and vision. Is that also collectivism? By yours and Ayn Rand’s narrow definition it is!

If you define collectivism as government coercion, control, denial of human rights of freedom of speech, property and the like, I am as opposed to collectivism as you are.

But to lump socialism, communism, National Socialism, fascism, welfare state, and even the idea that our people should ban together to defend their rights, and heritage and even their survival — as quote, “collectivism” is a silly notion.

More than that it is one more Jewish-originated idea that will lead us to our destruction as a people.

I hope I have given you something to think about.

Sincerely,

David Duke

http://www.davidduke.com/?p=3449

I would add that there is no such thing as 'hyper-individualism' in the legal sense. There is only individualism as defined by individual rights, the rights of the smallest unit of human to be free from initiated coercion to do anything it pleases as long as it doesn't infringe physically through direct force or indirect force of fraud on other individuals.


'Hyper-individualism' or neurotic individualism not to the long term interests of the individual, when it is practiced, is psychologically, sometimes physically & often financially damaging to the individual themselves and not physically damaging by force or fraud to other individuals. It may be disappointing or counter-productive to a collective of individuals intent on getting more like-minded individuals on board their collective to go violate the individual rights of people in other collectives not as numerically powerful as themselves, in order to benefit themselves (as in a labor union, for instance) but it's not a violation of anyone's individual rights.


Collectives, on the other hand, do not even have the moral right to exist unless they are collectives organized to protect the individual rights of each member within that group and not at the expense of the same individual rights of individuals belonging to other groups. Any group or collective that violates individual rights without the consent of the individuals whose rights are being violated is morally invalid on its face and even if all individuals within this collective consent to have their rights violated (such as Muslim women), they cannot force their 'happy' collective of neurotic-consent and co-dependence on any other individual within or without any other group.


Large numerical collectives of individuals organized as 'self-defense' force of the legally defined but in reality fictitious collective of a 'nation' are only valid in so far as they are acting as the police enforcement of individual rights violated in that legally defined geographical area called a 'nation.' The same thing applies to non-fictitious collectives of race or ethnicity. They draw their validity from individual rights and their intent to protect the individual rights of their family, race and ethnicity from being violated by 'group rights' of others. When they start clamoring for 'group rights' they become just as invalid and immoral as the pressure groups they are fighting.



Murray Rothbard's defence of David Duke:

Quote:RIGHT-WING POPULISM

by Murray N Rothbard


http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/ir/Ch5.html

January 1992

Well, they finally got David Duke. But he sure scared the bejesus out of them. It took a massive campaign of hysteria, of fear and hate, orchestrated by all wings of the Ruling Elite, from Official right to left, from President Bush and the official Republican Party through the New York-Washington-run national media through the local elites and down to local left-wing activists. It took a massive scare campaign, not only invoking the old bogey images of the Klan and Hitler, but also, more concretely, a virtual threat to boycott Louisiana, to pull out tourists and conventions, to lose jobs by businesses leaving the state. It took a campaign of slander that resorted to questioning the sincerity of Duke's conversion to Christianity – even challenging him to name his "official church." Even my old friend Doug Bandow participated in this cabal in the Wall Street Journal, which virtually flipped its wig in anti-Duke hysteria, to the extent of attacking Duke for being governed by self-interest(!) – presumably in contrast to all other politicians motivated by deep devotion to the public weal? It took a lot of gall for Bandow to do this, since he is not a sacramental Christian (where one can point out that the person under attack was not received into the sacramental Church), but a pietist one, who is opposed to any sort of official creed or liturgy. So how can a pietist Christian challenge the bona fides of another one? And in a world where no one challenges the Christian credentials of a Chuck Colson or a Jeb Magruder? But logic went out the window: for the entire Establishment, the ruling elite, was at stake, and in that sort of battle, all supposedly clashing wings of the Establishment weld together as one unit and fight with any weapons that might be at hand.

But even so: David Duke picked up 55 percent of the white vote; he lost in the runoff because the fear campaign brought a massive outpouring of black voters. But note the excitement; politics in Louisiana rose from the usual torpor that we have been used to for decades and brought out a turnout rate – 80 percent – that hasn't been seen since the nineteenth century, when party politics was fiercely partisan and ideological.

One point that has nowhere been noted: populism won in Louisiana, because in the first primary the two winners were Duke, a right-wing populist, and Edwin Edwards, a left-wing populist. Out in the cold were the two Establishment candidates: incumbent Governor Buddy Roemer, high-tax, high-spend "reform" Democrat embraced by the Bush Administration in an attempt to stop the dread Duke; and the forgotten man, Clyde Holloway, the official Republican candidate, a good Establishment conservative, who got only five percent of the vote. (Poor Human Events kept complaining during the campaign: why are the media ignoring Clyde Holloway? The simple answer is that he never got anywhere: an instructive metaphor for what will eventually be the fate of Establishment Conservatism.)

A left-wing populist, former Governor Edwards is a long-time Cajun crook, whose motto has been the rollicking laissez les bon temps roulez ("let the good times roll"). He has always been allegedly hated by businessmen and by conservative elites. But this was crisis time; and in crisis the truth is revealed: there is no fundamental difference between left-wing populism and the system we have now. Left-wing populism: rousing the masses to attack "the rich," amounts to more of the same: high taxes, wild spending, massive redistribution of working and middle-class incomes to the ruling coalition of: big government, big business, and the New Class of bureaucrats, technocrats, and ideologues and their numerous dependent groups. And so, in the crunch, left-wing populism – phony populism – disappeared, and all crookery was forgiven in the mighty Edwards coalition. It is instructive that the Establishment professes to believe in Edwards' teary promises of personal reform ("I'm 65 now; the good times have mellowed"), while refusing to believe in the sincerity of David Duke's conversion.

They said in the 60s, when they gently chided the violent left: "stop using violence, work within the system." And sure enough it worked, as the former New Left now leads the respectable intellectual classes. So why wasn't the Establishment willing to forgive and forget when a right-wing radical like David Duke stopped advocating violence, took off the Klan robes, and started working within the system? If it was OK to be a Commie, or a Weatherman, or whatever in your wild youth, why isn't it OK to have been Klansmen? Or to put it more precisely, if it was OK for the revered Justice Hugo Black, or for the lion of the Senate, Robert Byrd, to have been a Klansman, why not David Duke? The answer is obvious: Black and Byrd became members of the liberal elite, of the Establishment, whereas Duke continued to be a right-wing populist, and therefore anti-Establishment, this time even more dangerous because "within the system."

It is fascinating that there was nothing in Duke's current program or campaign that could not also be embraced by paleoconservatives or paleo-libertarians; lower taxes, dismantling the bureaucracy, slashing the welfare system, attacking affirmative action and racial set-asides, calling for equal rights for all Americans, including whites: what's wrong with any of that? And of course the mighty anti-Duke coalition did not choose to oppose Duke on any of these issues. Indeed, even the most leftist of his opponents grudgingly admitted that he had a point. Instead, the Establishment concentrated on the very "negative campaigning" that they profess to abhor (especially when directed against them). (Ironic note: TV pundits, who regularly have face lifts twice a year, bitterly attacked Duke for his alleged face lift. And nobody laughed!)

WHAT IS RIGHT-WING POPULISM?

The basic right-wing populist insight is that we live in a statist country and a statist world dominated by a ruling elite, consisting of a coalition of Big Government, Big Business, and various influential special interest groups. More specifically, the old America of individual liberty, private property, and minimal government has been replaced by a coalition of politicians and bureaucrats allied with, and even dominated by, powerful corporate and Old Money financial elites (e.g., the Rockefellers, the Trilateralists); and the New Class of technocrats and intellectuals, including Ivy League academics and media elites, who constitute the opinion-moulding class in society. In short, we are ruled by an updated, twentieth-century coalition of Throne and Altar, except that this Throne is various big business groups, and the Altar is secular, statist intellectuals, although mixed in with the secularists is a judicious infusion of Social Gospel, mainstream Christians. The ruling class in the State has always needed intellectuals to apologize for their rule and to sucker the masses into subservience, i.e., into paying the taxes and going along with State rule. In the old days, in most societies, a form of priestcraft or State Church constituted the opinion-moulders who apologized for that rule. Now, in a more secular age, we have technocrats, "social scientists," and media intellectuals, who apologize for the State system and staff in the ranks of its bureaucracy.

Libertarians have often seen the problem plainly, but as strategists for social change they have badly missed the boat. In what we might call "the Hayek model," they have called for spreading correct ideas, and thereby converting the intellectual elites to liberty, beginning with top philosophers and then slowly trickling on down through the decades to converting journalists and other media opinion-moulders. And of course, ideas are the key, and spreading correct doctrine is a necessary part of any libertarian strategy. It might be said that the process takes too long, but a long-range strategy is important, and contrasts to the tragic futility of official conservatism which is interested only in the lesser-of-two-evils for the current election and therefore loses in the medium, let along the long, run. But the real error is not so much the emphasis on the long run, but on ignoring the fundamental fact that the problem is not just intellectual error. The problem is that the intellectual elites benefit from the current system; in a crucial sense, they are part of the ruling class. The process of Hayekian conversion assumes that everyone, or at least all intellectuals, are interested solely in the truth, and that economic self-interest never gets in the way. Anyone at all acquainted with intellectuals or academics should be disabused of this notion, and fast. Any libertarian strategy must recognize that intellectuals and opinion-moulders are part of the fundamental problem, not just because of error, but because their own self-interest is tied into the ruling system.

Why then did communism implode? Because in the end the system was working so badly that even the nomenklatura got fed up and threw in the towel. The Marxists have correctly pointed out that a social system collapses when the ruling class becomes demoralized and loses its will to power; manifest failure of the communist system brought about that demoralization. But doing nothing, or relying only on educating the elites in correct ideas, will mean that our own statist system will not end until our entire society, like that of the Soviet Union, has been reduced to rubble. Surely, we must not sit still for that. A strategy for liberty must be far more active and aggressive.

Hence the importance, for libertarians or for minimal government conservatives, of having a one-two punch in their armor: not simply of spreading correct ideas, but also of exposing the corrupt ruling elites and how they benefit from the existing system, more specifically how they are ripping us off. Ripping the mask off elites is "negative campaigning" at its finest and most fundamental.

This two-pronged strategy is (a) to build up a cadre of our own libertarians, minimal-government opinion-moulders, based on correct ideas; and (b) to tap the masses directly, to short-circuit the dominant media and intellectual elites, to rouse the masses of people against the elites that are looting them, and confusing them, and oppressing them, both socially and economically. But this strategy must fuse the abstract and the concrete; it must not simply attack elites in the abstract, but must focus specifically on the existing statist system, on those who right now constitute the ruling classes.

Libertarians have long been puzzled about whom, about which groups, to reach out to. The simple answer: everyone, is not enough, because to be relevant politically, we must concentrate strategically on those groups who are most oppressed and who also have the most social leverage.

The reality of the current system is that it constitutes an unholy alliance of "corporate liberal" Big Business and media elites, who, through big government, have privileged and caused to rise up a parasitic Underclass, who, among them all, are looting and oppressing the bulk of the middle and working classes in America. Therefore, the proper strategy of libertarians and paleos is a strategy of "right-wing populism," that is: to expose and denounce this unholy alliance, and to call for getting this preppie-underclass-liberal media alliance off the backs of the rest of us: the middle and working classes.

A RIGHT-WING POPULIST PROGRAM

A right-wing populist program, then, must concentrate on dismantling the crucial existing areas of State and elite rule, and on liberating the average American from the most flagrant and oppressive features of that rule. In short:

l. Slash Taxes. All taxes, sales, business, property, etc., but especially the most oppressive politically and personally: the income tax. We must work toward repeal of the income tax and abolition of the IRS.

2. Slash Welfare. Get rid of underclass rule by abolishing the welfare system, or, short of abolition, severely cutting and restricting it.

3. Abolish Racial or Group Privileges. Abolish affirmative action, set aside racial quotas, etc., and point out that the root of such quotas is the entire "civil rights" structure, which tramples on the property rights of every American.

4. Take Back the Streets: Crush Criminals. And by this I mean, of course, not "white collar criminals" or "inside traders" but violent street criminals – robbers, muggers, rapists, murderers. Cops must be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment, subject of course to liability when they are in error.

5. Take Back the Streets: Get Rid of the Bums. Again: unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares? Hopefully, they will disappear, that is, move from the ranks of the petted and cosseted bum class to the ranks of the productive members of society.

6. Abolish the Fed; Attack the Banksters. Money and banking are recondite issues. But the realities can be made vivid: the Fed is an organized cartel of banksters, who are creating inflation, ripping off the public, destroying the savings of the average American. The hundreds of billions of taxpayer handouts to S&L banksters will be chicken-feed compared to the coming collapse of the commercial banks.

7. America First. A key point, and not meant to be seventh in priority. The American economy is not only in recession; it is stagnating. The average family is worse off now than it was two decades ago. Come home America. Stop supporting bums abroad. Stop all foreign aid, which is aid to banksters and their bonds and their export industries. Stop gloabaloney, and let's solve our problems at home.

8. Defend Family Values. Which means, get the State out of the family, and replace State control with parental control. In the long run, this means ending public schools, and replacing them with private schools. But we must realize that voucher and even tax credit schemes are not, despite Milton Friedman, transitional demands on the path to privatized education; instead, they will make matters worse by fastening government control more totally upon the private schools. Within the sound alternative is decentralization, and back to local, community neighborhood control of the schools.

Further: We must reject once and for all the left-libertarian view that all government-operated resources must be cesspools. We must try, short of ultimate privatization, to operate government facilities in a manner most conducive to a business, or to neighborhood control. But that means: that the public schools must allow prayer, and we must abandon the absurd left-atheist interpretation of the First Amendment that "establishment of religion" means not allowing prayer in public schools, or a creche in a schoolyard or a public square at Christmas. We must return to common sense, and original intent, in constitutional interpretation.

So far: every one of these right-wing populist programs is totally consistent with a hard-core libertarian position. But all real-world politics is coalition politics, and there are other areas where libertarians might well compromise with their paleo or traditionalist or other partners in a populist coalition. For example, on family values, take such vexed problems as pornography, prostitution, or abortion. Here, pro-legalization and pro-choice libertarians should be willing to compromise on a decentralist stance; that is, to end the tyranny of the federal courts, and to leave these problems up to states and better yet, localities and neighborhoods, that is, to "community standards."


[Image: 3071.jpg]

Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature by Murray N Rothbard

http://mises.org/daily/3071


Karl Marx as Religious Eschatologist by Murray N. Rothbard

http://mises.org/daily/3769



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"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that person than he, if he had the power, would be in silencing mankind… If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error." -- John Stuart Mill


"Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them." --- John Stuart Mill


"That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant." -- John Stuart Mill


"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." -- Rudyard Kipling


"The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition is so powerful that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often encumbers its operations." -- Adam Smith



"Any power must be an enemy of mankind which enslaves the individual by power and by force, whether it arises under the Fascist or the Communist flag. All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded to the individual." -- Albert Einstein

"It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed." -- Albert Einstein


"Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation." -- John Quincy Adams


"There is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which, therefore, more needs elucidation, than the current, that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong." -- James Madison


"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." -- Herman Melville


"Whenever 'A' attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon 'B', 'A' is most likely a scoundrel." -- H.L. Mencken


"The heart of the liberal philosophy is a belief in the dignity of the individual, in his freedom to make the most of his capacities and opportunities according to his own lights…This implies a belief in the equality of man in one sense; in their inequality in another." -- Milton Friedman

"Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it." -- Mikhail Bakunin


"Even more significant of the inherent weakness of the collectivist theories is the extraordinary paradox that from the assertion that society is in some sense more than merely the aggregate of all individuals their adherents regularly pass by a sort of intellectual somersault to the thesis that in order that the coherence of this larger entity be safeguarded it must be subjected to conscious control, that is, to the control of what in the last resort must be an individual mind. It thus comes about that in practice it is regularly the theoretical collectivist who extols individual reason and demands that all forces of society be made subject to the direction of a single mastermind, while it is the individualist who recognizes the limitations of the powers of individual reason and consequently advocates freedom as a means for the fullest development of the powers of the interindividual process." --- Friedrich August Von Hayek

"A free man is he that, in those things which by his strength and wit he is able to do, is not hindered to do what he has a will to." -- Thomas Hobbes

"The revolt against individualism naturally calls artists severely to account, because the artist is of all men the most individual; those who were not have been long forgotten." -- Willa Cather

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." -- Robert Frost


"The disposition of all power is to abuses, nor does it at all mend the matter that its possessors are a majority. Unrestrained political authority, though it be confided to masses, cannot be trusted without positive limitations, men in bodies being but an aggregation of the passions, weaknesses and interests of men as individuals." -- James Fenimore Cooper


"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


"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is “not done”… Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals." --- George Orwell


"Individuality is freedom lived." -- John Dos Passos


"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress had been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." -- Oscar Wilde

"Art is individualism, and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. There lies its immense value. For what it seeks is to disturb monotony of type, slavery of custom, tyranny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine." -- Oscar Wilde


"Profound insights arise only in debate, with a possibility of counterargument, only when there is a possibility of expressing not only correct ideas but also dubious ideas." -- Andrei Sakharov


"By pursuing his own interest [every individual] frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good." --- Adam Smith


"The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world." -- Alexander Sozhenitsyn


"And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in all the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual." --- John Steinbeck

"The essential support and encouragement comes from within, arising out of the mad notion that your society needs to know what only you can tell it." -- John Updike


"The essential characteristic of Western civilization that distinguishes it from the arrested and petrified civilizations of the East was and is its concern for freedom from the state." --- Ludwig Von Mises

"Once it has been perceived that the division of labour is the essence of society, nothing remains of the antithesis between individual and society. The contradiction between individual principle and social principle disappears." -- Ludwig Von Mises


"Fact of the matter is, there is no hip world, there is no straight world. There's a world, you see, which has people in it who believe in a variety of different things. Everybody believes in something and everybody, by virtue of the fact that they believe in something, use that something to support their own existence." -- Frank Zappa
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05-03-2011, 11:56 AM
Post: #20
Video RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
Just upped and continues on from the earlier Collectivism/Anarcho-Communism - Planned Chaos video I had posted dissecting the hit video The Corporation and lending some balance to it from the free market / libertarian / anarchist perspective of Michael Shanklin.

The Corporation - A Voluntaryist's Review (2011)
http://concen.org/tracker/torrents-details.php?id=23779

It's nothing if not in-depth.

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05-04-2011, 08:41 AM
Post: #21
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
(05-04-2011 07:35 AM)Hans Olo Wrote:  "Collectivism vs Individualism is a false paradigm."

I don't think so. They disagree on almost every single topic, other than the so called left or right or Democans or Republicrats.

I say false paradigm moreso in meaning in that they are not disassociated polarized concepts. Teamwork is beneficial in both protecting and adding value to the individual. The concept of a republic was, at least on the surface, founded on that primary principle and rooted in property rights and individual freedom.

Whatever the system the individual needs to have those basic functions to express the will and the collective will tends to organically take shape around the individual as a part of the whole.

Humanity is not a machine or a computer program but it is being treated as such in policy that quantifies human value as a resource. It is in commoditizing humans as value that we lose touch and put limits on human production and innovation with the open invitation for management to meet quotas or quantifiable goals as deemed valuable by systems such as economics. Humanity has an aspect of intangibility and the unquantifiable value of morals and expression.

The corporate entity skews that even further in legally creating a shell that has similar, if not superior rights granted than the human being.

In designing a machine one looks to predictable programming in controlled environments (cities, homogeneous culture), rules (globalization of religion, resources and culture) and subjects humans to a finite definition of the name or the human resource - as member of a herd on a farm (video).

Cooperation however has it's benefits. Group security as agreed upon by individuals voluntarily is a good thing. Deferring opinion to an expert can be a productive means of enhancing life and fulfilling needs and desires for all involved. That said it the group needs to share that responsibility and not be so detached. A global commune does not scale well to meet those ends in nearly every case, maybe with the exception of an asteroid, global pandemic or some other imminent threat.

Global warming, war, pandemics, alien invasions, water scarcity, famine, economic crashes and nuclear disaster are all being trumped up to sell this globalism. Even the united religion movement and the we are all one mantras with humans being one organism exploit a truth and take it way too far then spin it as something to be centrally managed on a global scale.

Managed equality under common rule is a farce pitch. It's rendered both inadequate and is often manipulated by those appointed the appropriators of advantage whatever form it may take in rights, land, resources, information or the illusion of money.

People tend to be inherently voluntarily charitable in appropriating excess when needed without being forced by a central authority. There are a few that don't but the vast majority of human beings are in touch with that virtue.

Morality in the form of empathetic values, instilled guilt and promoting self sacrifice as a virtue are being exploited. Manufactured scarcity via hoarding, saboteur mentality and calculated distribution is recombinates with these factors to make for a climate begging for, or demanding for their brethren, the social crutch. Empathy and need co-dependence is being used as a tool to create a false need for management. This is somehow justified in culture by the Robin Hood meme and other pshychological tactics that make might right and justify the means to the ends.

In turn morals are being attacked to promote greed and disassociation with our fellows be it thy neighbour or the iPod factory worker from the other side of the planet exacerbating the problem and thus the need for a centrist power core to make things "right" and "fair".

Individualism vs Collectivism is a real paradigm in many aspects but that does not mean they cannot co-exist on different layers both in opposition and in support of each notion. The deciding factor is the implementation and how a collective can protect the individual and respect those inside and detached from the collective much of that relates to scale and moral foundation.

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05-04-2011, 11:20 PM
Post: #22
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
You are right, they are not mutually exclusive in all contexts. But if we're talking government one often has to make a choice between these two directions. For example, a question like "do we want health care" can be answered yes or no, more or less, for some people, for many, ... but as long as we don't assume that we pay for it with our own money but that we also take money from the people who disagree, we are still waaaay in collectivist territory. And that's because the questions presented to us are already biased towards collectivism. Should gay people have the right to get married? The collectivist answers with either yes or no, the individualist asks "How is this even my business? How does that affect me?" and if the answer is, singles pay higher taxes, like in many countries, then he should be campaigning against THAT fact, not the marriage.
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05-05-2011, 04:06 AM
Post: #23
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
Maybe I just hate labels. In this case it's not so much untrue but vague in application. If the conditions are transparent and you are given an opportunity to opt out I suppose we have no one to blame but ourselves with some finger pointed on a manipulative cultural and survival mechanisms to lure and entrap the majority into a one-sided deal.

The paradigm is all too true in the government context but on a community level we can enact voluntarism more easily depending on the personalities and general social order (respect) present.

Health care was a good example, taxes themselves being another. But they get around that by propping up the social contract from birth in the document of certification, then later with licensing (car, business ..), accounts (bank, work ..), contracts (mortgage, tenancy ..), numbers (SIN, SS..) and registration (voter, census ..) in taking the paltry bribe offered you social programs, infrastructure access etc... I don't want this to turn into a freeman thread because that gets caught up in the the intricate web of man's law but maybe there is an out.

Give freely. Take freely. By subverting and seceding the collectivist system on a personal level. That's is the just of it.

If it were to happen en-masse (e.g. bank default in Iceland, and maybe in Ireland, Hungary and Finland) we could maybe claim back a good chunk of that elusive individual freedom, at least the economic pillar and by extension some other dominoes, outright.

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05-05-2011, 08:34 PM
Post: #24
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
Not much to add except keep up the good work, let's stay healthy, school ourselves and talk to people who want to listen.
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05-07-2011, 07:55 AM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2011 08:02 AM by Infinite.)
Post: #25
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
(04-11-2011 07:20 AM)R.R Wrote:  
Quote:The limit of true individualism is that you're not supposed to be able to violate another person's individual rights, so to me the real debate is where that line is and what type of economy would be the fairest under those conditions.

Taken to its logical conclusion, we'd all be truly individual by fending for ourselves, defending against those who've decided upon safety in numbers. Economy or economics is really the method used to compensate people for working towards something they wouldn't care about if it wasn't for this thing called money which allows you access to certain items controlled by a monopoly, which just happen to be the most important and basic things humans need. I know I wouldn't dream of working if I had another way of meeting my base needs and I'm sure most people in the world wouldn't also. My individual rights are violated simply by the fact that I have to sell my labour for a unit of exchange that then entitles me to obtain what I need to live. This is why 'the right' only go so far with 'individuality', if everything was provided for you, why would you ever go to work? Why does 'work' or employment even exist, especially in a world where base needs can easily be met? Why is the debate between left-right, individual-collectivist implicit in a promise of a utopia or improved social conditions? What are we really arguing about? We are not free because we have shops and we can buy things - things we didn't even have a say in whether it should be available in our communities or not, and things that we are simply forced to get because of our jobs or social/marriage/peer pressures. Everything we think frees us in fact further enslaves us. We can't make or create the vast majority of everything we use and consume and most of it can only exist if enough people are forced to sell their labour.

The days of a simple life are over and the closer we get to a technocracy this will always be the case. Of course once technocracy arrives it means that there'll be no need for most of us but until then, you have to look at the extremely high levels of organisation in every sector of society and that same organisation is required in virtually everything we take for granted. We live in a totally organised world.

Don't mistake this rant as defending collectivism, it is just to highlight that if you really want true individualism, you have to be willing to make what could be drastic changes to your life. Our modern society and life are based totally on collectivist systems, if you want more individuality, you'll have to be prepared to go through some hardships along the way.

It is not the happy life individuality promises, but the complete life.

Yeah I don't disagree with the sentiment at all, I'm not sure why you've worded this comment as if I would be. Maybe because most people you've talked to are in disagreement but I'm not. We're herded into all these institutions, both physical and social, in order to keep things running in a way that doesn't come naturally to us or would at least probably look a lot different were humans truly independent in their lives. I'm not one of these totally anti-technology people though because to me it seems that any basic tool that one uses to do a task like a hammer could be considered technology. But the way the world is organized in such a centralized fashion, only collectivization and authoritarianism can make that possible most likely. I'd be willing to put freedom before convenience. However I think it's a fallacy to assume that a world free of coercision would necessarily be a world free of technology and inventions, especially because so much of the education system is designed to stifle creativity. People would likely be more creative and inventive living as complete individuals rather than as gears in a big machine. Also I agree that a certain level of alienation is part of obtaining personal freedom. I think that's an important point because almost everyone in what's called the truth movement or that interfaces with it in some way like on the internet seem bent on 'rescuing the herd' from the so-called New World Order which is really just a contrived catch phrase for the engineered society we've always lived in. But few talk of instead leaving the herd because in my view it's the herd like mentality of collectivism, including patriotism/nationalism, that is to blame for much of these problems. The psychological and emotional need that most seem to have for being part of a group and following a leader.
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05-09-2011, 04:29 AM
Post: #26
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
Quote:Yeah I don't disagree with the sentiment at all, I'm not sure why you've worded this comment as if I would be. Maybe because most people you've talked to are in disagreement but I'm not.

What I was getting at was that almost every resource that has been used by humans, especially for 'progress', was almost always obtained through ways that violated another persons rights. How many people have been moved from their own lands where their ancestors lived for hundreds if not thousands of years? How many were simply killed because they lived close to an important resource? How many were moved or enslaved to work on gathering the various resources? If the locals weren't doing the labour, it was a task invariably assigned to the lower rungs of the society of the invading nation who themselves were being violated by their own societies' rulers. This has not stopped today either, where countries that are 'modernising' are some of the biggest breakers of human rights laws such as China and the various oil-rich middle-eastern countries who are only following the example left by the colonial powers before them. The bottom-line is, any kind of advancement or modernisation requires plenty of human labour and if it wasn't for needing money to provide food and shelter for yourself and your family, nobody would willingly work for anyone else unless they genuinely wanted to. This was the trade-off that occured not too long ago; physical slavery was replaced by economic slavery.

Ask yourself what would the world look like today if, whenever a resource was discovered to be useful, that the people that needed to be 'dealt with' in the procurement of that resource had their rights respected and the invaders simply left them alone. You'd have a very different world, certainly in material standards. Also the rulers of the various nations realise this, hence why many excuses (lies) are made to convince their own populations of entering another territory, it is with their consent for if the general public disagrees and ultimately refuses to attend work, the ruling nations simply wouldn't go abroad under the pretexts of catching terrorists or whatever other nonsense their gullible public's believe. The best slaves are the ones who think they are free and in all of the countries occupied by western governments, it is no coincidence that they are exploiting each region's most abundant natural resources, and it is certainly not for monetary gain, it actually conforms more to the high respect these people have for science and technology and the power it gives them.

From this understanding we actually have the key to civilized human history which is essentially rulers vs the ruled, where the rulers must find various methods to coax their public's into working for them and everything else is a trade-off between the two - but at its heart is very simply one group not wanting to do the laborious tasks and train another group to do the menial tasks for them. This is the philosophical foundation that almost everything we as a civilzed species do. The methods of coaxing include the various lies promulgated throughout history which includes the divisive ideologies of religion and their counterparts which are really faith based belief systems and thus can be anything, not just religious, merely a unifying mythology that organises/motivates the labourers into working for something they are convinced is of benefit to them.

In a nutshell what I'm saying is really no different to what capitalists have advocated as their prime argument against state-sponsored healthcare or public services - if people have their means provided for them, they simply won't work and therfore we can kiss goodbye to modern society and all its associated material benefits; what people like Ludwig von Mises said - division of labour is the whole basis of society. If we study how division came to be, it was simply early slavery that created a luxury class which then subdivided into specialist areas while still having use of slaves. The promoters of socialism are ideological fools thinking people work for work's sake when in reality work/employment is the evolution of slavery and they cannot see a world detached from employment - somebody else telling you what to produce instead of your tribe/family or community deciding on what they want to do to sustain themselves. However promoters are different to progenitors and socialism's true goal is the management of resources from a central authority, eliminating the 'freedom' to use ill-obtained resources the way you see fit and basically a return to pre-industrialised social order where the rulers/government tell the rest of us what to do although as a compromise will provide you with certain standards of living much like serfs.

I understand where you are coming from and that is basically saying that the things we consume are 'not evil' in themselves and I agree, but we have to look at how they are made, what purpose they serve, how they serve the powers that do not represent our best interests and ultimately what do we do with them or how they change our ways of living (and therfore values) which needs to be looked at. If we could live in a world where the creation of modern technology didn't require the enslavement of millions and didn't have the obvious propaganda behind them I'd be all for their development and research. Unfortunately it takes industry to bribe the public to basically pay more wages to create products which are utimately going to make the species obsolete and this need for a wage arises at first by destroying individual and even collective abilty to shape your own immediate environment or local community and then to popularise the very lifestyles that give rise to nihilistic mindsets who don't care if the very technologies or societies they help to sustain are working towards the eventual destruction of humanity as we know it.

Quote:I'm not one of these totally anti-technology people though because to me it seems that any basic tool that one uses to do a task like a hammer could be considered technology.

I'm not anti-technology but at the same time we have to ask is technology neutral? Technology cannot think and thus is a product of whoever creates it, for example weapons carry the obvious intention to hurt or kill. Most of what we use is made by what everone calls greedy capitalist monopolies so what does that say about the intentions behind the products they create? If these corporations routinely abuse humans and embark upon behaviours that we are against, what does it say about the very products they create? I suppose it sounds metaphysical like the concept of leaving your vibrations on something but its not really more like the mindsets involved and the subsequent changes in our own mindsets that arise from paying homage to these things and their ideological creators.

Quote:However I think it's a fallacy to assume that a world free of coercision would necessarily be a world free of technology and inventions, especially because so much of the education system is designed to stifle creativity.

Put it this way, make all your gadgets in the privacy of your own home but don't then try and convince the world that they should adopt what you've created out of some philanthropic need to help your fellow man. In fact the majority of times in history we always see a reluctance from people to adopt technological change or improvements - humans generally seem to be happy in states of stagnant development which is why so much of technology is intertwined with propaganda and marketed towards children in todays world for the obvious reason of being able to push through change with less opposition. In fact the key determinate of technological change, development and subsequent introduction into society has been war which by its very nature goes hand in hand with coercion. I can still remember my youth without mobile phones and the internet and I still enjoyed life, my older relatives told me the days pre-television and assured me life was fun and they also remarked how their grandparents said similar things and how they, in their maturing years, were beginning to sound like their grandparents. These changes are generally forced upon us even if they 'benefit' us. In modern times too we are seeing the links between intelligence agencies and introduction of technologies which help them in the management of the modern totalitarian systems they have over us and who knows what similar roles were played in history with these introductions and either removal or simply going unrecorded in the historical record.

I think the removal of coercion wouldn't stop certain people developing their own technologies but those people will have to overcome the problem of other people having the right to say 'no' to adopting their technology and also saying 'no' to the bigger issue of people living on top of a resource that you deem essential to your own research. On top of that with the removal of coercion, what would motivate in terms of wanting to persue technology aside from making basic tools to provide your own sustenance? We need the extra free time today simply to allow us to adopt escapist hobbies which arise from our dislike of work, which generally uses technology and always wants improvements. Without escapism you'd have a lot of rebellions, revolutions and insurrections occuring - we are provided with the very bread and circuses that maintain our slavery.

The biggest key to freedom that everyone misses is the ability it brings to say 'no' - the word everyone hates mainly because it stops you doing something you want to do, but again in context of violating another, it has to be respected. This ability to say no then is recorded in history as stubbornness and then weighed alongside modern history to show how silly those people were and how they delayed 'technological progress'. But by all means I have nothing against technology, only against those who use it against us. Also do not forget the ability of technology to change values, especially technology's role in giving humanity it's mastery over it's environment - inevitably the mastery will go on to want to dominate anything within it.

Also I wasn't having a go at technology per se, but technocracy, which is essentially rule by scientists and engineers or other experts who are generally materialistic atheists, which I don't care about but, if the religious theocracies of the past could commit their atrocities all the while preaching love, ethics and happiness - I have no faith in living under a group who believes such things to be products of human imagination because they help the species to survive. By that logic (survival of the fittest) we'd see state mandated eugenics to eliminate the inferiors alongside a highly centralised world authority willing to destroy anyone who gets in their way. It is doubly dangerous because you can't even call them hypocrites to delay and force them to think of ingenious sidesteps. Afterall technology is essential to the modern way of the world and by extension 'human evolution', it thus then becomes a part of survival and anything getting in the way of survival must either elimate it or be eliminated.

As for education, it is designed not to stifle creativity but to create the menial workers of society without which the specialist positions would be unsustainable. Very small percentages of people actually derive a benefit from school and those that do tend to be linked to the elites anyway that just happen to dominate the world. Those that are capable of taking orders and see nothing too wrong in breaking a few eggs (killing them 'mooslims') to make an omelette (to get oil - one of the most important resources used in the modern world) are the ones that tend to get far.

Anyway I could go on but if you want to better understand what I'm getting at have a read through this thread and read through some of these book reviews, mainly the ones discussing sociology:

http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=35849
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05-10-2011, 06:41 PM
Post: #27
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
Not to devolve and detract from a great conversation but this illustrated a certain aspect of striking a balance and it had to get posted here.

   

Unfortunately the 'big fish' is often a conjuration to re-enforce a perceived need for the collective via The Greater Good thought train. But then there are times where the 'big fish' is very real and can only be dealt with by a group initiative. Best to keep that action direct, accountable, transparent and voluntary.

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05-18-2011, 08:29 AM
Post: #28
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
I read a lot of what people had to say and I think some great things have been said and without being redundant with some things or trying to start a debate about others I figured I would throw my two cents in 'cuz I haven't been able to have an intelligent conversation today and need to say something before I hit the hay. I think this is an important debate that will always be waged, especially in societies with many complex problems to solve but I simply just wanted to throw out there that it isn't simple enough to just say that any solution isn't just one way or another. Individual freedom comes with responsibilities for it to bring happiness and prosperity to everyone or a majority. I would stress that this self responsibility is part of a voluntary collective good. Narrow minded self interest is bad and breeds a collective cycle of greed and misfortune that wipes out the benefits of cooperation amongst members of a population. Collective action not brought about by necessity or self-evident benefits are part of this cycle, because coercion is always part of someone or some thing's narrow-minded self-interest. The voluntary aspect of collectivism and cooperation keep the negative aspects of collectivism in check while also creating the benefits of cooperation. As soon as the collective is cheating someone or many people, they can remove their effort and energy which leaves this dynamic powerless to continue. Let's face it, humans got this far primarily by cooperating and collaborating with one another much much more than competing. While we were hacking and slashing each other in prehistory with the average male life expectancy of 25 over much larger uncultivated spaces, we weren't advancing our standard of living until a common benefit of working together to "invest" more work for a possible return of more food required us to stop hitting each other with rocks and coordinate complex planning and long term goals in small collectives. Each individual had a stake in this and was within their own self interest as well as the common good to do this. Of course large collectives such as states and armies are predatory and rob everyone after they've wooed them with rhetoric and promises and anyone that tried to cut their losses was enslaved. Large scale collectives are bad because it requires a hierarchy which leads to privilege and the accountability problem and no one person is selfless or perfect. Small scale collectives respond to local conditions and cannot overwhelm any stake holder. We can try to hash out the implications in economics all night but maybe another time. Just as much as we cannot give more than we can afford to any dynamic with diminishing returns, we cannot all be single atoms in a vacuum. So my point would be that individualism or collectivism do not triumph over one another, they have a relationship like an equation and when it is out of balance there is a remainder and a deficit on one side or the other. An autonomous individual needs to be part of a collective for survival and the benefits of civilization and a collective is only as bad as the totality of the relationships between its individuals. There is no intrinsic value to either. An individual or collective is morally and ethically defined by it's characteristics. By the way kudos to who posted some Rothbard. I've been here two days and I like this place.
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05-28-2011, 03:46 AM (This post was last modified: 11-27-2012 01:52 AM by Negentropic.)
Post: #29
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
True independence is of the mind:



Quote:"The message to the beginner, well, that's a very simple message actually because people scream to me all the time about what can I do and everything seems so hopeless. Actually the answers, the solutions are grass-roots and are more simple than you possibly realize. The message to the beginner is to be mad, to be 'mad as hell' as they say. To get so angry with what is going on that you effect change that way. See anger's there for a reason. We've been told a pack of lies about the emotions. Certain emotions exist for certain reasons and used correctly and understood correctly in their true psychological context, they can be the spark, they can be the motive to cause great change. So if you see injustices, if you see something warped or rotten, you shouldn't feel alright about it. It's not good to just roll over and go to sleep as if it didn't exist. It's not good to get into all forms of escapism and excuse mechanisms. It's essential to be mad about what you see in the world and going on around you.

'To think deeply in our culture is to grow angry and to anger others. And if you cannot tolerate this anger, you are wasting the time you spend thinking deeply. One of the rewards of deep thought is the hot glow of anger at discovering a wrong, but if anger is taboo then thought will starve to death." -- Jules Henry (American Anthropologist)

'Till the false is seen as the false, truth is not.' Krishnamurti

He's talking about apophatic learning here. See that which is false, through your critical abilities, through your judgment, through your doubt, and also using things like pattern recognition. Analyze the situation, analyze what's in front of you, see it as untrue. My work is very much built out of that, of constantly being skeptical and doubting what I've been told from official sources. So Krishnamurti says when you see the false as false, perhaps then you will develop the ability to see what is true amid all those lies and falsehoods. But see to be able to do that requires attitudinal independence. I mean independence after all is about what you have in the mind. It's not some fashion statement, it's not some cosmetic statement. It's not some petty allegiance or affiliation. Some of the freest men are those that have been locked up in prisons or thrown into dungeons. Always remember that true independence, that word is brandied around so much we sometimes forget this, true independence is attitudinal, it's of the mind. And then later it's of your behavior and your personality and so on. But today we have to develop an independence against the collective, the consensus trance. And, of course, we know where we need to go if we don't want to have that independence. We go to the normal media which is always happy to tell us what we should do and what we should believe and how we should think. The independent person has what I describe as psychic immunity, he's unmutual, he doesn't want to go along to get along, he questions and he doubts. And the work of alternative historians like myself is basically applicable to those individuals. That doesn't mean we're right, that doesn't mean we have all the answers or that we're experts in anything but it does mean that we're looking at knowledge, we're looking at the world in a slightly different way and therefore that will only be of interest to those that have independent minds. But again, those individuals who have made that choice, subliminally or liminally to not do that, we know where they go, they go to the circus, the juggling act, the daily, nightly news, the spiel the spin of all the hucksters whose attitudes and statements are doctored. So many fine books have been written on this very process but let's not ever doubt that it does succeed in forcing people into consensus trance and lockstep. So they give us an idea of 'democracy' they give us an idea of 'freedom,' they bandy words around like 'independence' and 'individuality.' But do we really have those things? Are we not in an oligarchy, a plutocracy?

'Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it' - J. F. Kennedy

I highlight the word fear there because fear needs to be studied, just like anger needs to be understood. We need to understand what it is in society that makes us afraid. Is there an entire leviathan out there, a media apparatus that instills fear into us and anxiety and trepidation? Until people are frozen and they can't think correctly? And that fear is there to make sure that you remain within the walls of the known and the walls of the established traditions? So we need to study fear and find out what it is and where it leads and whether it's really coming from our own selves or whether there is an injection of fear daily in the world that prevents us from coming to understand the meaning of life.

'We don't receive wisdom. We must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.' - Marcel Proust

Jack Trout in his book 'Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind' addressed this concept of breaking the consensus:

'The sane person constantly analyzes the world of reality and then changes what's inside his or her head to fit the facts. That's an awful lot of trouble for most people. Besides, how many people want to constantly change their opinions to fit the facts? It's a whole lot easier to change the facts to fit your opinions. Unsane people make up their minds and they find the facts to 'verify' their opinions. Or even more commonly they accept the opinion of the nearest 'expert' and then they don't have to bother about the facts at all." -- Jack Trout (Positioning, The Battle for Your Mind)

The main message, the main message of Michael Tsarion to the world is to never leave consciousness at the door. So that we always understand, we remain vigilant to understand that no matter how many permutations this great war takes and how many violations there are, both political and economic or social, let us never leave consciousness at the door, let us never forget that the real war is a war on consciousness. It's a psychic war, a psychic dictatorship. I constantly emphasize this throughout all my work and it's the key. Because we think of colonization or colonialization primarily in political terms. We have to learn to think of those as mental or spiritual or psychic terms, a colonization of the mind. It's vital for us to be vigilant and aware of that all the time. And there's many tentacles of that colonization, many tentacles of this war on consciousness. As we said:

Historical Amnesia - we're not taught about history correctly

Groupthink

Consensus Trance - which is again born out of fear

Veged Out / Bored - the complete and utter disinterest in anything that's not the most narcissistic or practical areas of life. And we have this especially amongst the young, among the teenagers and which is so prevalent in our societies today.

Over stimulated Minds - Scientists know, behaviorists know, those who study consciousness know that if a mind is perpetually and constantly overstimulated with the stimuli of the world, it basically freezes and is incapable of real thought. It's certainly not capable of what we talked about a few minutes ago, the apophatic learning, the deductive reasoning, the critical judgment. In fact, in our society today you're almost criticized if you're critical. You're criticized if you are skeptical. You're criticized if you have a higher form of judgment. We're living in societies that don't want you to make fine judgments, don't want you to assess the facts and come to your own understanding. But we have thinking and the finest part of thinking is the human reason. It's what separates us from the rest of creation and the reason is critical understanding and judgment. So we don't need to have these things weakened, we need to have them strengthened in our society and that is again, against the flow of what the establishment wants. The power brokers don't want us to be critical thinkers forming rational judgments. They want us over stimulated so that the mind ultimately shuts down. They want us sense infatuated.

Sense Infatuated - There is nothing wrong with sensation but look at the world we're living in right now. We're in a world of Outer-Directed personality types

Outer Directed Personality Types - as opposed to Inner-Directed. Do we know what the difference is between an inner-directed person, a person who's got self-hood, psychic sovereignty and psychic immunity and the person who's outer-directed, who is waiting for the world to turn him on, who's waiting for the world to give them meaning. You may be bumping into such people. You may have them in your family. You may be working right beside such people. Isn't it important to understand what their psychic profile is, what their psychological type is? Might that not answer a great deal of your own existential issues and problems?

Pornographic Media - We have an unspeakable barrage of nonsense generated by ubiquitous media oracles. It's another form of psychic tyranny that's again designed and created to erode your own sense of independence. To befuddle, to confuse, to insert and embed all sorts of negative means and thought patterns and to work on also the limbic areas of our brain and to work on what the eastern, vedic people would call the lower chakra drives. And what is the result of that? Well, the delinquency and addiction that we see all round us in the world today.

Delinquency and Addiction - Slowly and slowly more people are becoming toxic and unsane, even insane.

Toxic and Unsane - I've talked about this rising of toxicity, specifically of the human emotions. Where are we going with these? The beginner asks these questions. What is the future of mankind? Where is mankind heading? Are we heading for a terminal? Are we terminal? Are we heading for some sort of apocalypse?


Terminal - That could be very much the case if the world chooses, if human beings choose as they seem to be choosing, to not face their emotions. Or they simply don't even have the equipment or the strength of will to face toxic, negative emotions because we've been conditioned to think in negative terms about our emotions. And if we continually avoid dealing with the emotions, what will happen to humanity? Will people become one-dimensional, paper-thin, or will those emotions start coming back? As the psychologists have always said, the repressed content, the content you don't want to look at, has a strange habit of always coming back. Now the Maya talked about a countdown to an age of awakening, an age of enlightenment, an age of revelation. Is that one way of saying that we are going to inherit the shadows that we have projected into the world? And when we look out into the social world today, into what's happening in the world today, is that what we're seeing unfold? How much does our own psychic profile, you see, bring into being the world that we have to live in?

So those two areas, the healthy anger, the blue flame of anger which is born of a total, clear understanding of the world, a zero tolerance of lies and falsehood, the ability to fall in love with the word 'No,' and that idea that all forms of independence are never given to you by your master. The world is never going to make your free, the world is never going to make you independent. That is a gift that you give yourself, through your own abilities, just as you give the world meaning, instead of waiting for the world to give you meaning, you give meaning to the world from inside yourself if you're capable of doing that. And with that is the psychic immunity and also the attitudinal independence. Because the person who has these things, who's psychically immune, who's spiritually sovereign, who's moral, virtuous, who's using his critical judgment, who's centered in himself, he's completely secure no matter what kind of nonsense arrives in the world tomorrow. He has also pinpointed where the source of the fear is coming from and he makes himself immune to that. All of these factors is what makes a true rebel, a true iconoclast, a true free thinker. This whole idea of an age of revelation and awakening, a kind of apocalypse, a kind of critical mass in which there is perhaps a splitting of the ways and people who are not happy and have no interest in facing their own emotions they start slipping, sliding, going down and those individuals who are capable of doing that, another road opens up for them. Is this what the Maya were talking about? --

Michael Tsarion from the Introduction to "The Irish Origins of Civilization"








[Image: 4557180706_a9899ba4e3_z.jpg]

Quote: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysander_Spooner


Lysander Spooner (January 19, 1808 – May 14, 1887) was an American individualist anarchist, political philosopher, Deist, Unitarian abolitionist, supporter of the labor movement, legal theorist, and entrepreneur of the nineteenth century. He is also known for competing with the U.S. Post Office with his American Letter Mail Company, which was forced out of business by the United States government.


Spooner advocated what he called Natural Law – or the "Science of Justice" – wherein acts of initiatory coercion against individuals and their property were considered "illegal" but the so-called criminal acts that violated only man-made legislation were not.[2]

Although he denounced the institution of slavery, Spooner recognized the right of the Confederate States of America to secede as the manifestation of government by consent, a constitutional and legal principle fundamental to Spooner's philosophy; the Northern states, in contrast, were trying to deny the Southerners that right through military force.[23] He "vociferously opposed the Civil War, arguing that it violated the right of the southern states to secede from a Union that no longer represented them."[19] He believed they were attempting to restore the Southern states to the Union, against the wishes of Southerners. He argued that the right of the states to secede derives from the natural right of slaves to be free.[21] This argument was unpopular in the North and in the South after the War began, as it conflicted with the official position of both governments.[24]

Views on economics and self-employment

Spooner believed that it is beneficial if people are self-employed so that they could enjoy the full fruits of their labor rather than having to share them with an employer. He argued that various forms of government intervention in the free market made it difficult for people to start their own businesses. For one, he believed that laws against high interest rates, or "usury" prevented those with capital from extending credit because they could not be compensated for high risks of not being repaid: "If a man have not capital of his own, upon which to bestow his labor, it is necessary that he be allowed to obtain it on credit. And in order that he may be able to obtain it on credit, it is necessary that he be allowed to contract for such a rate of interest as will induce a man, having surplus capital, to loan it to him; for the capitalist cannot, consistently with natural law, be compelled to loan his capital against his will. All legislative restraints upon the rate of interest, are, therefore, nothing less than arbitrary and tyrannical restraints upon a man’s natural capacity amid natural right to hire capital, upon which to bestow his labor....The effect of usury laws, then, is to give a monopoly of the right of borrowing money, to those few, who can offer the most approved security." [25]

Spooner also believed that government restrictions on issuance of private money made it inordinately difficult for individuals to obtain the capital on credit to start their own businesses, thereby putting them in a situation where "a very large portion of them, to save themselves from starvation, have no alternative but to sell their labor to others" and those who do employ others are only able to afford to pay "far below what the laborers could produce, [than] if they themselves had the necessary capital to work with."[26] Spooner said that there was "a prohibitory tax --- a tax of ten per cent. --- on all notes issued for circulation as money, other than the notes of the United States and the national banks" which he argued caused an artificial shortage of credit, and that eliminating this tax would result in making plenty of money available for lending[26] such that: "All the great establishments, of every kind, now in the hands of a few proprietors, but employing a great number of wage labourers, would be broken up; for few or no persons, who could hire capital and do business for themselves would consent to labour for wages for another."[27]


The Constitution of No Authority

by Lysander Spooner
- can be read here:

http://www.tirnasaor.com/wp-content/uplo...reason.pdf

http://www.mind-trek.com/treatise/ls-cona.htm

or listen to an audio file here:

http://archive.org/download/NoTreasonThe...hority.mp3
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06-15-2011, 03:08 PM (This post was last modified: 06-15-2011 03:14 PM by JazzRoc.)
Post: #30
RE: Individualism vs Collectivism, The True Debate of Our Time
Quote:So those two areas, the healthy anger, the blue flame of anger which is born of a total, clear understanding of the world, a zero tolerance of lies and falsehood, the ability to fall in love with the word 'No,' and that idea that all forms of independence are never given to you by your master.
That's an Irish count, then.
"born of a total, clear understanding of the world" - and WHO has THAT?
I have no master. But I have a mistress...

Quote:The world is never going to make your free, the world is never going to make you independent. That is a gift that you give yourself, through your own abilities, just as you give the world meaning, instead of waiting for the world to give you meaning, you give meaning to the world from inside yourself if you're capable of doing that.
I'm all for "giving meaning".

Only by co-operating with each other can we ever become powerful. But most people aren't sufficiently nice or generous in spirit to form a co-operative with people they know personally.
They apparently have to be coerced from a distance and remain alienated from their co-workers.

So there it is: become wise enough, and nice enough, or stay as you are...

STOP sucking START blowing
http://jazzroc.wordpress.com
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