What is one issue that reflects the individualist versus collectivist outlook in your own times? How does it do this?
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Well first, some definitions. The individualist outlook according to Wikipedia is defined as “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.” Regarding Collectivism, Wikipedia says, “Collectivism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the group and its interests. Collectivism is the opposite of individualism. Collectivists focus on communal, societal, or national interests in various types of political, economic, and educational systems.” *cough cough* Socialism! *cough*
If you look at out government today, it’s slap-you-in-the-face obvious that it’s leaning toward a collectivist outlook as opposed to the individualist outlook that has made so many countries thrive throughout history. Individualism is not some rich dude hoarding his money and not being generous and helping other people out. (And honestly, even if he is, what right do you have to go steal his money away from him to pay for your own stuff?) Instead, individualism is telling the gov. to get the HECK OFF MY LAWN and let me do what I’m best at to benefit others in society. It’s pretty simple: if I see a need, I will go fill that need and earn a profit. Both parties are now satisfied. However with collectivism (sociALISM) all parties are working for a set goal (that is often totally arbitrary) and no matter how hard they work, they only get a certain amount so that all of society will benefit equally and no one will be left hungry. This way of thinking sounds wonderful, but it has destroyed countless societies across the globe. Just look at Jamestown! The people were so focused on making sure that no-one was left poor that EVERYONE LITERALLY starved to death. If you get free food whether you work or not, why would you work at all? In the US today, we can see horrible welfare programs being praised by all and attracting millions upon millions of immigrants for this very reason. And public schools?! Basically forcing everyone who can spare any cash at all to pay for everyone else’s benefits. (BTW education is NOT a right, it is a privilege.) Heck, anyone who qualifies as “poor” can even get free cell-phones at the expense of everyone else! Why do you need a CELL-PHONE TO LIVE?
Sure, yeah, I am ranting, but this is a big deal. It’s not like I can just decide to stop getting taxed. As long as there are people who think that Individualists are greedy old geezers and Collectivists are just generous souls helping their neighbors out, the US will continue to economically crumble away. I do see where collectivists are coming from, wanting to help their community out over themselves, but being forced to give out your hard-earned money is not the solution. A similar problem could be though of this way: I go to a church and it’s time to give out money. Am I giving it myself because I know it will help other people, or am I being forced to give out money, knowing I have no other choice? Suddenly the money goes from charity to taxes.
“Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” We need to stop just giving men and women fish like we are doing now and instead be teaching these people to fish for themselves. That is truly helping, not just giving and giving and giving and never solving the problem.