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  1. #1
    Grandmaster jamil's Avatar

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    Individualism (primacy of the individual) vs Collectivism (primacy of the group)

    This is a reply to a discussion about individualism from the Mueller thread. If we're going to talk about it, it's really too OT to discuss there.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamil View Post
    Getting a little OT, but the main problem is that we have a pretty broad division now, and we have essentially two worldviews fighting over how to order society. Those worldviews are inherently incompatible, so it's not like we can satisfy both by compromise. We're past that. Society can't be ordered by both the group and the individual. It's one or the other.

    The system I have faith in is the system which primarily favors individual rights over group rights. I think eventually we'll win. Our subsystems (voting, higher courts, etcetera) may need tweaking to protect us from the mob. But it seems evident that people prefer free societies when they fully understand both.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tombs View Post

    This is where I think you actually have it backwards. Hyper individualism is what spawned the left wing of the current time period that has progressed out of the 60s drug binge.
    No, that's not really true. I think you're confusing some things. The system I have faith in has nothing to do with group identity or not group identity. Also, group identity as little to do with group rights, other than who is fighting over the stick to control laws that people have to obey. The system I'm saying I have faith in is the system the founders put together. Group identity is not a system. Our governing principles laid out in our constitution favors individual rights over group rights. THAT'S the system I have faith in. To be clear, I'm not talking about nor advocating "hyper individualism".

    Quote Originally Posted by Tombs View Post
    What we had before was a group identity of Americans, hard working, faithful, and above all else committed to our own people and our own goals.
    Well yeah, those are attributes common to many or even most Americans historically. I'm not saying we didn't have that. But historically it has not been a single homogeneous identity. From the earliest settlers on, America has been as culturally diverse as the nations people immigrated from. Clearly there isn't just one American identity. I will grant you that as generations merged from diverse cultures, the melting pot of various cultural identities blended into a more common general American ethos shared by most but not all Americans. That's not the same as a single identity. I'm not saying there isn't something like a national identity, or even that having a national identity is wrong. I'm saying that we're diverse enough that you can't just say that "American" identity is all the attributes you're rolling up into just that one identity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tombs View Post
    These are not individualist traits.
    Individuals are real entities. Group identities are social constructs. Individuals have various attributes, some of which are common to other individuals. They ARE individual traits, that may be shared by many people in a group sense. But a group is a collection of individuals.

    Individuals can belong to any number of identity groups. You can be in the white group. The American group. The Indiana citizen group. The gun owner group. The gamer group. All at the same time. And you can feel a sense of loyalty to any or all or none of them. But they're kinda arbitrary in that you can decide which attributes you choose to identify with.

    As an individual, I belong to some groups. Some are grouped by physical attributes, or philosophical attributes, or national attributes. Sports team. Occupation. Grouping by shared attributes and assigning a priority to those attributes such that the group becomes one's identity, is a psychological and social construct. Contrast that with your individual nature. You're a real, living, biological person, operating in the world, and self-aware. Identity groups are mere constructs, only as real as that the grouping of shared attributes. May feel real. But isn't.

    If I say I'm an individualist first, that's not a binary statement where it must mean that I deny the existence of the group, or that I belong to any groups. It means that in terms of rights, individual rights have priority over group rights. My individual right to do what I want with my own income, for example, supersedes the collectivists' proposed group right to health care, or education. Or to ban stuff. Those are group rights. Group rights effectively distill to government power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tombs View Post
    Individualism falls into the trap of creating as many camps and classes as possible, dividing the population as far as possible, and banning everything that offends us instead of respecting our neighbor's rights.
    I think you're confused about what individualism is, and what collectivism is. Individualism isn't anything like postmodern intersectional feminism, which seems more like what you are describing. Individualism, by definition, is not camps or classes of people. That's collectivism.

    Banning stuff is a good example of a group right. Actually, I'm of the philosophical bent which says that there's no such thing as group rights, that those are actually group powers, because they're enforced by the power of the group, whether a representative government, or a mob of angry identitiarian **********s doxxing people and trying to get them canceled. Either way, the group asserts authority over the individual to do things like banning stuff. Respecting neighbors' rights is an individualist trait. So, banning stuff, the group says that something is harmful, and then uses the power of the group to free itself, as a group, from that perceived harm. Safety over liberty is a collectivist vs individualist battle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tombs View Post
    Our group identity was rugged individualism, yes, but it was a group identity, don't forget that. We shared that. This may be tangential to your point but it's an important thing to remember.

    Hyper individualism always results in direct democracy, because the individual thinks they are more important than the next person. And direct democracy results in voting yourself more money from your neighbor's wallet, because after all, you're more important than they are, and can better make use of it.
    "Our group identity was rugged individualism." Yes. You actually said that. I'm not forgetting that there is an American ethos inherited through the generations from hard working, self-sufficient, responsible individuals. But it's not individualism which results in direct democracy. First, hyper-individualism is essentially the same thing as anarco-capitalism. That isn't anything close to direct democracy. Second, I am not an advocate for hyper-individualism. I recognize that humans naturally form groups and have tribal kinds of group loyalty. But since the Enlightenment, in the West we've discovered that a society ordered by the primacy individual rights over group rights is a better society.

    To be clear, when I say individual rights, I'm saying it in a John Locke sense, where natural rights are not just what rulers allow us to do, but are inherent in human beings, derived from our desire towards self-determination and self-preservation. In contrast, a group rights are essentially oppressive to the individuals who disagree with one or more tenants of the group. Like the banning stuff example above.

    Today you might say "rugged individualism" is a sort of American an identity, and that's true at least a little. But not at first. It's not like the first settlers joined the rugged individualist club and then decided to be rugged, and individual. It was just a way of life that was inherited by its posterity, and became more of a way that such people understood each other, and then formed an identity later.

    It's also true that that way of life is being replaced by a newer postmodern ethos where the primacy of different identities from the traditional American ones is being favored. The result is the cultural war between the former (rugged individualist ethos) and the latter (postmodern ethos). And that the latter is indeed a group identity based ethos. There are three entities kinda duking it out. There's a left left wing identitarian sect, a right wing identitarian sect (alt-right), and then there are the few individualists left who just want to keep the individual rights based constitution.
    -spreading the word to end the r-word is retarded
    -activism is retarded because, what if you’re full of ****?

  2. #2
    Grandmaster ChristianPatriot's Avatar

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    A constitutional republic isn’t perfect, but it’s the best thing mankind has come up with so far, and it seems to have sprung from the enlightenment mentality of the autonomy of the individual. We’ve seen when group identity politics goes too far right (Nazism) and we’ve seen when it goes too far left (Marxism). We’ve actually got a pretty darn good system going right now and it seems to be tilted more towards individual liberties. Then the individuals are free to associate with whatever group they want to. I’m in favor of keeping it that way.
    Don't practice until you do it right; practice until you can't do it wrong.

  3. #3
    Master Lex Concord's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianPatriot View Post
    A constitutional republic isn’t perfect, but it’s the best thing mankind has come up with so far, and it seems to have sprung from the enlightenment mentality of the autonomy of the individual. We’ve seen when group identity politics goes too far right (Nazism) and we’ve seen when it goes too far left (Marxism). We’ve actually got a pretty darn good system going right now and it seems to be tilted more towards individual liberties. Then the individuals are free to associate with whatever group they want to. I’m in favor of keeping it that way.
    I generally concur, though I would not say it is the "best thing mankind has come up with so far". While it's possible I'm just being pedantic, I would say it's the best thing mankind has attempted to implement at scale so far.

    Also, excellent starter, jamil.
    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Franklin
    Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tench Coxe
    Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ... the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blakstone
    It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.

  4. #4
    Grandmaster ChristianPatriot's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lex Concord View Post
    I generally concur, though I would not say it is the "best thing mankind has come up with so far". While it's possible I'm just being pedantic, I would say it's the best thing mankind has attempted to implement at scale so far.

    Also, excellent starter, jamil.
    Not gonna disagree with that. Although I don’t think a “better” option exists, taking into account man’s imperfect nature.
    Don't practice until you do it right; practice until you can't do it wrong.

  5. #5
    Master Tombs's Avatar

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    There's a few things we disagree on but not many.

    For example, I don't personally see how healthcare or education is anymore a group right than the second amendment. They're both rights of the individual at that point, the difference being that the former requires other people to facilitate that right. A group right would require exclusion of another group. The only way that would make sense to me as a group right, would also require considering the second amendment a group right, by virtue of considering all under the jurisdiction of the constitution to be a group.

    As for American identities, we didn't have thousands of years to form a culture unique to this land. So of course it wasn't immediately an identity widely shared, but as we developed as a nation, that identity did form and flesh out. And now it's an undeniably unique trait of our people contrasted with the rest of the world, and sadly even many occupants of our states. That identity, and the mindset it invokes, was (and still is) an essential backbone to maintaining our rights and regulating our government's authority. We've seen what has happened to our nation and our people as we've begun to lose our identity, and I distinctly feel the loss of that identity is the conversion of citizens into subjects. I've been outside our borders and I know where that mindset leads us.

    I do take issue with your final conclusion, though.
    It's also true that that way of life is being replaced by a newer postmodern ethos where the primacy of different identities from the traditional American ones is being favored. The result is the cultural war between the former (rugged individualist ethos) and the latter (postmodern ethos). And that the latter is indeed a group identity based ethos. There are three entities kinda duking it out. There's a left left wing identitarian sect, a right wing identitarian sect (alt-right), and then there are the few individualists left who just want to keep the individual rights based constitution.
    .

    Our nation was not born out of a few individuals. Our nation was born out of a war between patriots and tories with individuals sitting on the sidelines.
    Those individual rights can't be maintained if you forget your identity.
    "Fiat justitia ruat caelum" - Trey Gowdy

  6. #6
    Grandmaster jamil's Avatar

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    Are you an identitarian?
    -spreading the word to end the r-word is retarded
    -activism is retarded because, what if you’re full of ****?

  7. #7
    Master Tombs's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamil View Post
    Are you an identitarian?
    In the sense that I'm an American, yes.

    I believe we created the greatest nation in the history of this world, and need to stay true to the identity that made that a possibility.
    "Fiat justitia ruat caelum" - Trey Gowdy

  8. #8
    Expert fullmetaljesus's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tombs View Post
    There's a few things we disagree on but not many.

    For example, I don't personally see how healthcare or education is anymore a group right than the second amendment. They're both rights of the individual at that point, the difference being that the former requires other people to facilitate that right. A group right would require exclusion of another group. The only way that would make sense to me as a group right, would also require considering the second amendment a group right, by virtue of considering all under the jurisdiction of the constitution to be a group.

    As for American identities, we didn't have thousands of years to form a culture unique to this land. So of course it wasn't immediately an identity widely shared, but as we developed as a nation, that identity did form and flesh out. And now it's an undeniably unique trait of our people contrasted with the rest of the world, and sadly even many occupants of our states. That identity, and the mindset it invokes, was (and still is) an essential backbone to maintaining our rights and regulating our government's authority. We've seen what has happened to our nation and our people as we've begun to lose our identity, and I distinctly feel the loss of that identity is the conversion of citizens into subjects. I've been outside our borders and I know where that mindset leads us.

    I do take issue with your final conclusion, though.
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    Our nation was not born out of a few individuals. Our nation was born out of a war between patriots and tories with individuals sitting on the sidelines.
    Those individual rights can't be maintained if you forget your identity.
    By Patriots do you mean those who wanted to separate from England? In the context of your point Patriot actually refers to those still siding with England, during the revolutionary days. Patriot was an insult.
    WTS/WTT 9mm and 308 win reload dies.

  9. #9
    Grandmaster jamil's Avatar

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    I thought everyone was supposed to hate the Patriots.

    Personally, I’m GLAD they won the superbowl.
    -spreading the word to end the r-word is retarded
    -activism is retarded because, what if you’re full of ****?

  10. #10
    Grandmaster jamil's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tombs View Post
    In the sense that I'm an American, yes.

    I believe we created the greatest nation in the history of this world, and need to stay true to the identity that made that a possibility.
    If you believe that identity has primacy over other priorities of order, THAT makes you an identitarian. Being patriotic doesn't make you an identitarian per se. The problem with thinking that identity makes you

    I believe that the only "we" I can apply to the greatest nation is that I am a proud citizen and beneficiary of the people who actually built it and made it great. I had nothing to do with the founding of this nation. I don't get to claim one iota of credit for it becoming great. And indeed I do believe that it is the greatest nation in the history of this world. I do identify with being an American, but that identity doesn't entitle me to claim credit nor take blame for the individuals who built it, or committed atrocities as part of it.

    You can't claim credit based on identity. It's unearned. If you believe that because you're a member of an identity group now that you can claim participation in the accomplishments of its entire history, then logically you must also claim participation in its atrocities throughout its entire history. Morally, as part of this timeless identity you've packed into "we", you owe the people it committed atrocities against a debt for your identity's sins against other identities. You then are as responsible for slavery as you are for the founding of this nation. You owe the debts of your ancestors for robbing people of their liberties and rights to self-determination. That's what identifying with the "we" earns you. You have to take the bad with the good.

    Or. You and I could stick with reality. Just by being the son of a great man, doesn't entitle you to claim his accomplishments. And neither does being the son of an evil man make you evil. It's the same as any group you identify with. You alone decide to be great or evil to the extent of your abilities. You alone decide what attributes of your identities you're willing to accept or reject according to your own conscience. I did not enslave anyone, nor did any of the descendants of the people who did. I don't owe the descendants of slaves anything, nor do you.

    Group identity is only real to the extent you perceive yourself as part of that group. But it is only a construct. You didn't take part in any battles in the Revolutionary war. You weren't involved in the formulation of our system of government. You didn't participate in anything that built this nation into greatness. You're merely a beneficiary of those who did. Along the same lines, you didn't enslave or support the enslavement of people prior to the end of the Civil War. But, if your identity makes you certain that you can say "we" built this country, the same identity has to take responsibility for "we" enslaved those people.








    Note: "those people" intentionally used for the salvation of language itself.
    -spreading the word to end the r-word is retarded
    -activism is retarded because, what if you’re full of ****?

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