What is Individualism??

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3rdseason
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Feb 15 2005 15:15
What is Individualism??

I think I sorta know but not in much detail. Isn't it generally the belief that individual freedom should be prioritised and not ever sacrificed for some the good of the community (within reason, not like killers just being allowed to butcher people)? It just rejects the idea of communes and collectives doesn't it?

Someone enlighten me please (not just say "its crap").

3rdseason
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Feb 15 2005 15:21

for fucksake ( roll eyes ) I meant anarcho-individualism.

3rdseason
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Feb 15 2005 15:23
revol68 wrote:
3rd why do you ask such stupid questions?

Because I get a kick out of knowing that you spend precious minutes of your existence which you can never get back sat alone in your bedroom answering my enrager threads.

3rdseason
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Feb 15 2005 15:31

OK I will answer my own question using the FAQ.

Quote:
Individualists generally prefer education and the creation of alternative institutions, such as mutual banks, unions, communes, etc. They usually support strikes and other non-violent forms of social protest (such as rent strikes, the non-payment of taxes and so on). Such activity, they argue, will ensure that present society will gradually develop out of government into an anarchist one. They are primarily evolutionists, not revolutionists, and dislike social anarchists' use of direct action to create revolutionary situations. They consider revolution as being in contradiction to anarchist principles as it involves the expropriation of capitalist property and, therefore, authoritarian means.

the individualist anarchist (like the mutualist) denies that this system of use-rights should include the product of the workers labour. Instead of social ownership, individualist anarchists propose a more market based system in which workers would possess their own means of production and exchange the product of their labour freely with other workers. They argue that capitalism is not, in fact, a truly free market.

The individualist fears being forced to join a community and thus losing his or her freedom (including the freedom to exchange freely with others). Max Stirner puts this position well when he argues that "Communism, by the abolition of all personal property, only presses me back still more into dependence on another, to wit, on the generality or collectivity . . . [which is] a condition hindering my free movement, a sovereign power over me. Communism rightly revolts against the pressure that I experience from individual proprietors; but still more horrible is the might that it puts in the hands of the collectivity." [The Ego and Its Own, p. 257] Proudhon also argued against communism, stating that the community becomes the proprietor under communism and so capitalism and communism are based on property and so authority (see the section "Characteristics of communism and of property" in What is Property?). Thus the Individualist anarchist argues that social ownership places the individual's freedom in danger as any form of communism subjects the individual to society or the commune. They fear that as well as dictating individual morality, socialisation would effectively eliminate workers' control as "society" would tell workers what to produce and take the product of their labour. In effect, they argue that communism (or social ownership in general) would be similar to capitalism, with the exploitation and authority of the boss replaced with that of "society."

Needless to say, social anarchists disagree. They argue that Stirner's and Proudhon's comments are totally correct -- but only about authoritarian communism.

There. smile

AnarchoAl
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Feb 15 2005 17:25

That FAQ's not entirely true. There was (is?) a Stirnerite syndicalist strain in Glasgow that held that it was in every individual worker's personal interests to join together in unions and do away with capitalism.

Nick Durie
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Feb 20 2005 14:31

It is also true that some of the classic individualist thought (Max Stirner et al) is much less individualistic than some of the modern individualist thought a la Hakim Bey, modern post-leftist rubbish, and the American libertarians.

I guess the interesting thing about individualism is that it derives from the same intellectual currents as humanism and socialism, but that ultimately we are world's apart. It is in our mutual self-interest to co-operate and to share but I think most comrades derive their socialism from ethics which IMO makes socialism more of a religious credo (Shock! Horror! Argh!) than utilitarian and empirical.

Cheers now,

Nick Durie

Caiman del Barrio
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Feb 24 2005 20:08

Individualism is a pile of egotistical bollocky wankoff nonsense that's more akin to the politics of a Fortune 500 CEO than a revolutionary.

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Volin
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Feb 24 2005 23:23

Disagreed. Individualism is an important part of the anarchist tradition which varies in it's beliefs and principles concerning to what extent the individual should relate to the collective..so it ranges form the absurdly egoistic to an idea that stresses the importance of the individual but within social context. I mean, I consider myself to be an individualist as much as I am a socialist -I kinda come to a logical bridge between the two which allows for the individual independence or sovereignty and social well-being and co-operation. They strengthen one another. But I think this idea is covered by many social-anarchists anyway.

The "bollocky wanky" individualism you're talking about is not what I'd call a genuine example of this tradition. In American anarchism you do find people like Tucker coming a little close to kind of atomistic, anti-socialist philosophy but that's still way different from "Libertarianism" or ""Anarcho"-Capitalism" (both absurd labels) which speaks of the primacy of the individual and freedom, but in reality doesn't give a fuck about either.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 25 2005 13:02

Who was it who said something like 'anarchism is individualistic as it relates to the individual and collectivist as it relates to society' (?) confused Malatesta?

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Volin
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Feb 25 2005 23:49

I dont know, but I certainly agree with that sentiment. I'll try to find it.