Give Me Individualism Any Day

I used to think that collectivism was always a good thing. As you may be aware, I'm a pretty leftist guy, and so socialist ideals of cooperation appeal to me. I still think humans should work for each other - for the collective good as well as their own. I doubt I will ever lose that belief. When one considers collectivism in general, however, it becomes clear that for people to work together is not always the best way for the good of all to be accomplished; indeed, idealistically, I would prefer that a person is at their heart independent in mind and independent in how they contribute to society. Humanity doesn't need sheep for its best betterment. Give me individualism any day.

Don't believe I am no longer willing to decry the flaws of capitalism. That supposedly "free" economic system enslaves humanity with its inequities: inequality constantly expanded and magnified by the very substance for which it is named - capital. My previous statement, I believe, best encapsulates the essential failing of the system. In the past, however, my thoughts usually focused on capitalism's emphasis on individual greed, and sometimes this carried over to a negative view of individualism itself. Greed can indeed be a very unhelpful human feature when we consider the betterment of the world, but to consider that a product of capitalism was very naive of me indeed - yes, even for me. To look negatively on individual betterment in general was even more stupid. In pursuing human progress, humans need not be organized as cogs of a great human machine; we need not be made one. We need to simply be one with our Selves, and, as my axiom states, realize that in loving ourselves, we must love the world.

One particularly vile scourge of today's world is corporatism. In no way does a corporation work like capitalism; it is rigidly structured, generally lacking in individualism and absolutely lacking in any freedom or equality. Corporations, as a matter of fact, work much like a dictatorial collective - to use a simpler term, they seem much like communism. The main difference is that corporations openly serve themselves, while communist structures are superficially labelled as working for the collective well-being. Perhaps it's time that the worker permanently severs themselves from such bondage, regardless of the collective's stated goal.

I realize that I have been less than articulate and not at all detailed in describing my philosophic movement towards the embrace of individualism. In truth, my thoughts have been moving towards those most supportive of freedom for quite some time. My politics have become more and more libertarian in recent months, up to the point I now label myself a libertarian socialist. Reconciling that contradiction was not yet something I had fully realized. Now I know that even as I continue to push for social and economic justice in this world, I must maintain my absolute support of individual freedom; and when it comes to achieving humanity's goals, it would do well to value the lasting perseverance of individual pursuits over the failed organizations of collectivized work.

Break from the group and follow your Self.

You'll benefit the group more than they could ever imagine.

Image: I don't like the term "anarchist," given it implies the creation of chaos, but admittedly, I am steadily becoming more of an anarchist. Enjoy the audacity (and simplicity) of the symbol.

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