Individualist or a Collectivist?

The word "individualism" conjures up images of a society where everyone does things for themselves. It sounds like such a nightmare, doesn't it? But individualism is much more complex than what most people actually believe. It's not simply a rejection of collectivism, but rather an appreciation of individualism. So why should we be wary of collectivism?


Collectivism aims to regulate interaction among people. Collectivism assumes that humans behave collectively. Collectivism as an ideology also assumes that people aren't interested in individual incentives, but only group incentives, and because collectivism assumes that human beings are not rational, it also assumes that humans cannot act collectively to better society. This is why collectivism fails to provide a rationale for individuals to act individually. So, it is inherently unstable.


Individualism, on the other hand, believes that individuals are inherently rational, self-interested agents who can act collectively in the best interest of the entire group. It is deeply rooted in the individualistic theories of classical liberalism and Progressivism, which held that man is an inherently progressive species. That is, there is a natural tendency for people to rise above their instincts and become more rational, as they strive for greater justice and freedom. Individualism looks toward the future rather than the past, looking to the achievements of each individual through their own independent action.


Collectivism tries to control the actions of individuals through the collectivism of their actions and as such collectivists believe that the individual makes choices, and can be forced to make choices by the collective.


To combine these two ideologies, or to gain support for a combination of collectivism and individualism, some philosophers resorted to what is called "group theory." Group theory maintains that all individuals have equal rights and that all individuals share c