On Individualism vs. Collectivism

Right out of the gate, this is a BIG issue and I will not do it justice in one post. That being said here is my take:  As humans we are inherently individuals, it is part of what we are. That being the case, we are also fairly helpless/useless all by ourselves. Think of all you know, all you can do. Now how much of that did you discover completely on your own, without help from anyone? Almost everyone will answer that question with a resounding not to much, and no one can answer it with all society has to offer (math, politics, philosophy, science, art ect…) So we are dependent on one another, at least to start.

Now somewhere down the line some of us forget this fact, or are un-grateful for the all the information preserved from the lives of millions of people that came before. I am not, if given 5 lifetimes I would never mach to work of Newton, or any other grate thinker for that matter.  As an individual I recognize that I am quite limited in my ability, and while I might be able to do some things better than others, there is NOTHING I can do that an entire civilization could not.  This is true for all of us regardless if we agree or not. So we are all members of society, not that we are given much of a choice in the matter, but that is simply not possible.

This leads to slightly different than center view on property and event ownership, if I come up with a fancy new song and try to sell it the profits will go to me and whoever was involved financially, but if look at who really had the largest parts in making that song it would be who ever taught me about music, and the person who taught him, if the song had lyrics my parents are entitled for their cut for teaching me language. This is all a bit hyperbolic and silly, but the point still stands. There is no windows with out preservation of the Greek tradition, no space program without Newton, no anything without society.  So I say we should share, I understand that individuals make contributions, but there is no contribution that is close to the value of the whole, and moreover it is only by using all the good things in society that we do anything at all!

So here in the states we have it wrong, it is not idyllic to be a lone anything. Our go it alone mentality might do wonders for our ego, but it is a foolish idea to think that an individual working alone can do anything of value.  We build on what others have done. We have no issues sharing ideas and information, but for some reason when physical things are produced as a direct extension of those shared ideas we get VERY possessive.  So to recap- for the first decade of your life you were (most likely if you can understand me) given the collective intellectual wealth of the entire species! All that you do, think, produce is because of this, so maybe tone down the “mine!” mentality, were all in this together.

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