Scott (magneto_evo) wrote,
Scott
magneto_evo

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'The Individual' as a Negative Value

Which would you say is more important: individualism or individuality ?

We understand individuality to be the condition of being singular, unique in 'form' and 'content' as it were and, of course, primarily independent - the diversity of traits and persons. Some feel a protective pride as they boast of their individuality, others simply live it, but there is that tendency also to use individuality as the prison of an ideology: individualism.

We understand individualism to be the advocacy of 'the individual' at any cost: this belief proceeds from fundamental presuppositions such as the doctrine of free will; human agents being of positive, equally valid judgement; 'human rights', 'individual rights', et cetera; and the most overlooked presupposition - the existence of 'the individual' as a substantial unit of being.

'Free will' is, of course, a fantasy - taken up by religion, by those all over the political spectrum (that is to say, in reality, 'those of the political persuasion', who are all very much the same upon inspection). Trying to argue for or from a free will position disproves more of one's points than it proves.

Of course, equally valid judgement (a value of democracy and pluralism - often of individualists also, as is implicit in their credo) may be rejected out of hand as a reductio ad absurdum fallacy. It validates all propositions, including the proposition that not all people's views are valid; this argument is self-eliminating, thusly it requires no further refutation from me.

'Human rights' are at best an invention - this is not to say that they have not been beneficial or that the values we encapsulate in such abstractions are not valuable to many of us, but that does not whatsoever make them true. 'Individual rights' are therefore a similar invention, founded upon yet another invention, the latter of which I shall now endeavour to explain.

The individual is a modern phenomenon. It is a quaint idea which has arisen due to the peculiar material conditions of commercialism in the Western world, which has over the generations made itself appear synonymous with the autonomy of singular organisms; the grammatical function of the linguistic item 'I'; the metaphysical invention of the separate 'identity'; and perhaps most absurdly, with economic benefit itself.

The 'individual' is, in fact, not a property, but where properties end - it is where the person's power ceases, just as rights are granted where a person's power fails (that is, it places a cap on their ability). One becomes an individual where limits are reached (or imposed), therefore one's consciousness takes on the features of 'the individual' as a form of imprisonment. What does this say for 'freedom' arguments ? I've explored this theme in my book and I thought I would share it with all of you as a little tease pre-publication, whether said teaser will be received positively or not.


With goodwill to the worthy,
Scott

PS. Please keep in mind that I have no political desire for this entry. I am merely forwarding my criticism on philosophical grounds. So, compañeras y compañeros, rest easy - there is no statist or collectivist agenda behind what I say, merely critical inference on ontological grounds.

That said, this thing's here to be commented on. Have at it!
Tags: consciousness, individualism, ontology, psychology
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