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Individualism is often associated with being alone. But in fact, it asserts that the individual is the primary unit of importance in society not that the individual should seek like outside of it. It simply says that though someone is a part of a society they still are a whole person with their own goals. A true individualist wants the best for themselves, so they look for the best no matter where it comes from. A true individualist seeks out the truth even if it contradicts them because the truth is more important. Therefore, Living inside of society has benefits that individualists cant deny.
A primary element of individualism is the responsibility of each individual. Being responsible making one's choices consciously and carefully, and accepting accountability for everything one does or fails to do. Productivity is a critical part of responsibility. The individualist recognizes that nothing nature gives men is entirely suited to their survival; but that, humans must work to transform their environment to meet their needs. This is the essence of production. The individualist takes responsibility for his or her own production; they seek to “pull their own weight.” Even though, it seems that only one person will benefit individualism helps out the whole.
Reason is a very important component to the individualist theory. Reason transcends the evidence of the senses into higher-levels of awareness. Reason plays a key role in imagination, emotions, and creativity. Every thing we think, feel, imagine and do is based on our awareness and our thoughts. We would be nothing without reason. Our character, personal identity, and achievements are defined by our thoughts. Our very survival depends on reason. Our food, clothes, shelter, and medicine all are products of thought.
Reason is individualistic. No person can think for another. Thought is an attribute of the individual and not a group. People have and exercise their minds in their own way. One can start with the ideas of another but take it to new highest and venues no one has ever known, this is a product of the individual. And when an individual does build on the work and ideas of others, he is building on the work of other individuals, not on the ideas of society. Individualism is based on the fact that humans are rational beings, and that reason is an attribute of the individual. Humans can get together and share the products of reason, which is a tool on the quest for further knowledge, but they cannot share the capacity to think is at the core of being human. Collectivism on the other hand comes form an entirely different perspective.
Collectivism is a belief in the primary importance of the group rather than the individual. It asserts that the collective is more than just a group of people who interact with each other, that the people are one. Collectivism asserts that the collective has a single identity, which is made up of a group of individuals. It attempts to take a group of individuals and make them into a single entity similar to a person. In Collectivism the individual comes second to the collective. The standard of good in a collectivist system is whether or not it benefits the group rather than the individual. By this definition it is ethical to ignore the needs and life of a single person if the group has something to gain.. There is no individual gain in collectivism. The failures and success of the group are given to everyone evenly. If the collective does something great like create a new energy source the scientists and technicians would be given the same amount of create as another person in the collective who had no idea that type of research was going on. In order to understand this we must examine it more closely.
Collectivism tries unsuccessfully to balance the needs of its people. Never has every single need of every single person been meat because some have been sacrificed for the sake of the society. Collectivism doesn't disparage responsibility; but it does not hold individuals accountable for the choices they make. When people in the society fail to save for retirement, make bad investments, or become addicted to drugs or smoking these issues are turned into “social problems” that “society” must handle. This is why collectivists try to protect its people from the bad decisions that they make. The responsibility in a Collectivist society should only go o those who know what to do with it.
Regarding production, collectivism sees society as the agent of production. As a result, wealth belongs to ``society.' This becomes a problem when it is time to distribute the any profits that that society acquires. Collectivist countries will make up their own rules of what they deem to be “social justice,” and then the few in charge will had out the wealth as they see fit.
The role of the individual throughout history had been long and triumphant. Individualism emerged in the ancient times. It was emphasized by Greek philosophers, most notable of them was a man by the name of Socrates. Socrates believed that all virtues converge into one, which is the good, or knowledge of one's true self and purposes through the course of a lifetime. Christianity also contributed to the rise of individualism in Ancient times. For example, in the book of Galatians Paul wrote specifically about freedom. Some of the parables of Jesus have individualistic connotations. Though the individualism is a strong part of many societies today it was not always that way.
Individualism was almost a lost idea. During the middle Ages progress in society and education greatly declined. While trying to live together and become more productive society seemed to take a giant step backward as everyone was worried about their towns and villages and less about their education and health. When the Renaissance came it brought a resurgence of thinking as well as the renewed sense of self- awareness. With the assistance of some of the greatest minds of the time Individualism was able to flourish. These great thinkers brought back the concept of self-exploration and betterment that has carried on to the generation of today. Though, Socrates is known throughout history for many things one of his most noticeable is spreading the idea of self.
Socrates sparked the flame that would ignite the curiosity of future generations. Famous for his view of philosophy as a necessary tool for all intelligent men, he is one of the great examples of a man who lived by his principles even though they ultimately cost him his life. His doctrine of the soul led him to the belief that all virtues converge into one, which is the good, or knowledge of one's true self and purposes through the course of a lifetime. In 399 BC he was brought to trial for corrupting youth and for religious heresies. Though, Socrates would be killed soon after trial his message still lives on today.


Feb 9, 2003
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What is Socrates's message?

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