The DP - A Community of IndividualistsSubmitted by Unknownuser on Thu, 04/03/2014 - 13:30
A while ago I was inspired to write a post about the DP as a community. Since then I've been on a journey to define what kind of community we are.
Recently I've taken notice of a lot of collective behavior on this forum. Who should "we" support? What should "we" do to save the world and "you aren't Libertarian enough to be in the Liberty movement" and "you aren't standing for Liberty the right way". This sort of idea is centralized and dangerous. Even the DP- a community of Liberty, if not cautious runs the risk of becoming our own worst enemy.
The definition collectivism.
col·lec·tiv·ism noun \kə-ˈlek-ti-ˌvi-zəm\
: a political or economic system in which the government owns businesses, land, etc.
1: a political or economic theory advocating collective control especially over production and distribution; also : a system marked by such control
2: emphasis on collective rather than individual action or identity
I specifically emphasize number two.
Collectivism is any philosophic, political, religious, economic, or social outlook that emphasizes the interdependence of every human. Collectivism is a basic cultural element that exists as the reverse of individualism in human nature (in the same way high context culture exists as the reverse of low context culture). Collectivist orientations stress the importance of cohesion within social groups (such as an "in-group", in what specific context it is defined) and in some cases, the priority of group goals over individual goals. Collectivists often focus on community, society, nation or country. It has been used as an element in many different and diverse types of government and political, economic and educational philosophies throughout history and most human societies in practice contain elements of both individualism and collectivism. Some examples of collectivist cultures include Pakistan, India and Japan. Collectivism is discussed extensively by Objectivists.
Collectivism can be divided into horizontal (or egalitarian) collectivism and vertical (or hierarchical) collectivism. Horizontal collectivism stresses collective decision-making among equal individuals, and is thus usually based on decentralization and egalitarianism. Vertical collectivism is based on hierarchical structures of power and on moral and cultural conformity, and is therefore based on centralization and hierarchy. A cooperative enterprise would be an example of horizontal collectivism, whereas a military hierarchy would be an example of vertical collectivism.
I believe what we are seeing here at the DP is called Philosophical Collectivism, which means that one should submit themselves to a group in the belief that the group’s goal should triumph or be superior to the individual. In a community of Philosophical Collectivism, there is a battle to conform to a single idea in order to achieve a single goal. A sort of "our way or the highway" way of thinking and those who don't quite fit the mold are ridiculed or even cast out.
I like to think of the DP as a community of individualists. How is it possible to have a community of individualists?
The term Individualism as defined by dictionary.com says:
1. a social theory advocating the liberty, rights, or independent action of the individual.
2. the principle or habit of or belief in independent thought or action.
3. the pursuit of individual rather than common or collective interests; egoism.
4. individual character; individuality.
5. an individual peculiarity.
Wikipedia says this:
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance and advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the state or a social group, while opposing external interference upon one's own interests by society or institutions such as the government.
Individualism makes the individual its focus and so starts "with the fundamental premise that the human individual is of primary importance in the struggle for liberation."Liberalism, existentialism and anarchism are examples of movements that take the human individual as a central unit of analysis. Individualism thus involves "the right of the individual to freedom and self-realization".
It has also been used as a term denoting "The quality of being an individual; individuality" related to possessing "An individual characteristic; a quirk."Individualism is thus also associated with artistic and bohemian interests and lifestyles where there is a tendency towards self-creation and experimentation as opposed to tradition or popular mass opinions and behaviors as so also with humanist philosophical positions and ethics.
The purpose of a community is to develop in light of meaningful exchange. Their purpose is natural and common. Their goals are not fixed, but evolve as the community progresses. The beneficiaries are the citizenry — sometimes even those who do not directly participate, rather than a select minority of elites. Communities work best when purpose and destiny are self-determined.
In a community of individualists, there is voluntary participation. It is a system that operates on honesty, conscience and individual will. There is no need to mold the individuals notions.The rights of the individual are respected and the more varied the insights of a population, the stronger it becomes.
A collective community promotes the idea that “we are all one.” However, they usually end up becoming antisocial and uncaring. A community of individualists seek to help each other because they desire an atmosphere of goodwill. A community of individualists defend one another, knowing that if the fate of one’s neighbor is ignored, the fate of oneself may also be ignored by others. No one is “expendable” in a community. Everyone is expendable in a collective.
How can we function as a community if we all don't conform to the same ideas or the same notions? That's simple, in a community of individualists, we are often not on the same page but in the end we are all on the side.