Politics

21

Individualism versus Collectivism/Statism

“Individualism regards man—every man—as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful coexistence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights—and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.”

Ayn Rand, from the essay “Racism” in “The Virtue of Selfishness

“Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group … and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force—and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism.”

Ayn Rand, from the essay “Racism” in “The Virtue of Selfishness

“The political expression of altruism is collectivism or statism, which holds that man’s life and work belong to the state—to society, to the group, the gang, the race, the nation—and that the state may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.”

Ayn Rand, from the article “Introducing Objectivism” in “The Objectivist Newsletter”

Capitalism versus Socialism, Communism, Fascism and a Mixed Economy

“Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.”

Ayn Rand, from the essay “What Is Capitalism” in “Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal

“It is the basic, metaphysical fact of man’s nature—the connection between his survival and his use of reason—that capitalism recognizes and protects.

In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary. Men are free to cooperate or not, to deal with one another or not, as their own individual judgments, convictions, and interests dictate. They can deal with one another only in terms of and by means of reason, i.e., by means of discussion, persuasion, and contractual agreement, by voluntary choice to mutual benefit. The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial. It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree—and thus keeps the road open to man’s most valuable attribute (valuable personally, socially, andobjectively): the creative mind.”

Ayn Rand, from the essay “What Is Capitalism” in “Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal

“The main characteristic of socialism (and of communism) is public ownership of the means of production, and, therefore, the abolition of private property. The right to property is the right of use and disposal.  Under fascism, men retain the semblance or pretense of private property, but the government holds total power over its use and disposal . . . .

Under fascism, citizens retain the responsibilities of owning property, without freedom to act and without any of the advantages of ownership.  Under socialism, government officials acquire all the advantages of ownership, without any of the responsibilities, since they do not hold title to the property, but merely the right to use it—at least until the next purge.  In either case, the government officials hold the economic, political and legal power of life or death over the citizens . . . .

Under both systems, sacrifice is invoked as a magic, omnipotent solution in any crisis—and “the public good” is the altar on which victims are immolated.  But there are stylistic differences of emphasis.  The socialist-communist axis keeps promising to achieve abundance, material comfort and security for its victims, in some indeterminate future.  The fascist-Nazi axis scorns material comfort and security, and keeps extolling some undefined sort of spiritual duty, service and conquest.  The socialist-communist axis offers its victims an alleged social ideal.  The fascist-Nazi axis offers nothing but loose talk about some unspecified form of racial or national “greatness.” The socialist-communist axis proclaims some grandiose economic plan, which keeps receding year by year.  The fascist-Nazi axis merely extols leadership—leadership without purpose, program or direction—and power for power’s sake.”

Ayn Rand, from the essay “The Fascist New Frontier” in “The Ayn Rand Column

We are not a capitalist system any longer: we are a mixed economy, i.e., a mixture of capitalism and statism, of freedom and controls. A mixed economy is a country in the process of disintegration, a civil war of pressure-groups looting and devouring one another.”

Ayn Rand, from the essay “The Obliteration of Capitalism” in “Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal

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Individualism vs. Collectivism

21 thoughts on “Politics

  1. In a democratic society the individual must have the ultimate power to change or redirect that social order as determined by the individual ‘collective’ – as we see democracy in action in America all too often the will of the people are determined by ‘a collection of individuals’ known as Congress – often subject to the individual ‘leader’ in either House or Senate – it is at that point that the ‘collective’ state of individuals exercise their ultimate power (not limited to the election cycle only) to change or redirect the efforts of one individual ‘strong man’ leader who manipulates the decision of all the others in the House or Senate – if what I believe you are advocating in you ‘individualism’ application is the method employed – then, as it appears to me, to allow the individual sole sovereignty for all actions necessary to satisfy the individual determined justice for all situations – should one individual be allowed to determine that for economic gain he could convert his property of 1000 acres for use as a landfill without consideration of what his neighbors considerations may be – the loss of property values for others adjacent to the newly operational landfill – or for other environmental issues relative to air and water quality – and if one individual in opposition to the individual with the landfill be allowed to execute what form of justice upon the other individual as he so determines – even if taking his gun and killing the other individual to satisfy his own sense of justice – almost any social/economic method will not meet with approval of all who are involved with the social economic environment – if individualism is the preferred government model then all Federal, State, County, City, and any other Local application are determined by an individual rather than a ‘collective’ social/economic relative to the effects upon other individuals – it is true that one should profit from their own labors/investments and be required to share equally with those who do not contribute to the effort of their own survival – and yet those who are unable as the result of racial prejudice, sexual orientation bigotry, physical/mental disorder, and many other exclusions from not participating in the social order – must be assisted to provide access but not necessarily ‘continuance dependency’ – I would hope that you may never be allowed to build a garbage dump next door to me simply because you choose to exercise your individualism – there is a balance for both the individual and for a ‘collective society’ without the dissolution of all forms of government and put in its place individual sovereignty without restraints of ‘collective individuals’ – while philosophical ideologies are great discussion points – without the benefit of all mankind and not just a single individual must be our goal for the continuation of all mankind – love joy peace

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