Philosophical Individualism


Philosophical Individualism

It is the individual alone, and not a newspaper publisher or a pressure group boss or a Hollywood entertainer, or society as a whole, who knows what will bring her happiness.

Yet less and less do the instruments of opinion-making — the Establishment media and the public schools and the entertainment industry — honor the concept of Individualism. Also, and partially as a consequence, less and less do ordinary people value Individualism or even are aware of it as a paradigm for living their lives. People, perhaps more than ever before, or at least since the 1950s, incline to simply accept as being true the images of their elite and society as a whole. Scapegoating plays a large role in this; many people fear to venture their opinions lest their words be deliberately distorted and they be called a bigot or a Vast Right-Wing Conspirator. And the university scholars, whose institutions have long become one-party and one-ideology domains, may not even be able to elucidate the philosophy of Individualism any more.

Yet America would benefit were Individualism to be emphasized and rewarded once again. Simply repeating and imitating the images of the Liberal elite means that we will become a culture of imitators, with the result that we will invent fewer innovations, create less new art forms, and espouse fewer new ideas. Adapting the events of the past to make them fit into the political correctness of the present means we will also lose an appreciation for our rich and colorful historical experiences and personalities, as well as a knowledge of these experiences and people that imbeds in reality. Simply squeezing the individual’s life into a societal template means that she will lose an awareness of the value of the experiences that are unique to her happiness and life setting and the lessons they teach her for the future. The things that an elite and the Establishment press and society teach her serve a purpose, but nothing can be as close to her as her experiences as an individual.

The lessons and images of elites and society may not be suitable for the individual. The interests, wishes, experiences and personal setting of the individual may vary from the goals, experiences and national setting of society as a whole. Also, the interests, wishes, experiences and personal setting of the individual can — and almost certainly will — differ from the interests and circumstances of elites, and including the Liberal elite. Also, to the extent that the interests and setting of the individual are compatible with those of the elite and society as a mass, the means of enforcing elite and societal interests — demonology and myth-making — may be irrelevant to her or, if they divert her energies and her focus away from things that make her happy, downright counterproductive. Finally, conforming to societal and elite myths and interests and political tactics detract from her ability to act rationally. Rational behavior is a talent that one must work at constantly to perfect, and working at rationality means being able to think independently. Arriving at the Rational course might require thinking that goes “outside the box.” If a person has been conditioned through conformism and political correctness and a societal system of carrots and sticks and fear imaging to think in a certain way, her ability to engage in rational thinking and behavior is diminished. In the end, the person most able to think and act rationally is the person that can best control her processes of analysis, information gathering, alternatives generating and alternative selecting, and the person who can best control these processes is the individual who can determine her judgment for herself.

There should be no doubt, also, that the person needs, psychologically, to be an individual. Human beings are not automated robots, mechanical things which can be switched off and on at the behest of some master. Rather, they are beings, or creatures that have an individual consciousness. Observers have termed it different things: the Soul, the Inner, the Spirit, and the Self are among the labels it goes by. Whatever name we choose, the fact is that human beings, while they share commonalities with other human beings, all possess an inner consciousness that is different from the inner consciousness of the other human beings around her. All individuals have their own identity, an awareness that, while they live among other human beings and are like them, they are also unique. The inner identity may be an inconvenience to elites and actors who have a Statist or Collectivist political perspective — actors who want the person to do the things they, and not the person herself, want. Such players may ignore or disrespect the reality of the Self. But to do so is to imperil the individual psychologically.