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Individualism...


GraphicsGuy
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I've been thinking about this a lot lately, so please pardon me if I ramble or don't quite make sense. These are a jumble of thoughts that are slowly being pieced together.

 

What is more important:

 

The group?

 

The individual?

 

If we were part of a small desert tribe in Africa I would say that survival of the group is first and foremost. Individuals must sacrifice their own wants/needs/feelings/desires for the benefit of the whole group.

 

A family really works the same way.

 

A corporation.

 

A city, a state, a country.

 

A church as well.

 

However, in our current society (democratic/free/capitalist/whatever) we have the luxury of considering and meeting the needs of the individual.

 

The individual apart from society/groups.

 

Perhaps this is why we are so much more "aware" of mental/social illnesses as time marches on.

 

Personally, I am incredibly interested in individuals. What makes them who they are. What makes them tick. What they like/dislike. Etc.

 

I love being the individual that I am today. I love being me. Even within a group I just want to be me.

 

I feel like religion really steals that individualism. It can force you to conform and be someone that you just aren't. Many (most?) churches simply want people to conform to the overall ideal that they worship. When people can't meet those ideals/expectations they often end up with very poor self-image.

 

Who really has the right to control each individual person? Even if God exists I don't see what would particularly give him/her/it the right to have any amount of control over any particular person. Maybe he/she/it is "out there" and actually realizes that...

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I've been thinking about this a lot lately, so please pardon me if I ramble or don't quite make sense. These are a jumble of thoughts that are slowly being pieced together.

 

What is more important:

 

The group?

 

The individual?

 

The individual is a product of modernization. I think it is fairly clear that early man, and even today, there is little sense of "the individual" in Hunter Gatherer communities...

 

Personally I believe the entire notion of "self" to be one of many survival strategies we have adopted for this crazy thing we call civilization. It simply isn't necessary in less "success and progress" oriented societies.

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The individual is a product of modernization. I think it is fairly clear that early man, and even today, there is little sense of "the individual" in Hunter Gatherer communities...

 

To an extent, that is true...but that doesn't explain cultures like China, or Japan (unquestionably modern). In their case, the belief systems probably do factor in pretty strongly.

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The individual is a product of modernization. I think it is fairly clear that early man, and even today, there is little sense of "the individual" in Hunter Gatherer communities...

 

Well, yes. This is why I stated that individualism is somewhat of a luxury. We have the ability and the luxury of focusing on ourselves instead of solely on the well-being of the group we belong to.

 

Personally I believe the entire notion of "self" to be one of many survival strategies we have adopted for this crazy thing we call civilization. It simply isn't necessary in less "success and progress" oriented societies.

 

Even if something isn't "necessary" I think the desire for it is probably still there.

 

I just keep thinking that mankind has been moving forward as a society for all these centuries with very little focus on the individual. Women and many races were even considered sub-human and their personal achievements were rather underrated.

 

Yet there have always been artists and free-thinkers who moved outside of society's "norms".

 

The 70s were very much geared towards individualism.

 

Rock-and-roll has been one the pivotal influences in freedom of expression. "Stickin' it to The Man™."

 

It feels to me as if we are moving towards a balance of society and individualism and there are certain portions of society - societies within society - that almost want to quell the exploration.

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The individual is a product of modernization. I think it is fairly clear that early man, and even today, there is little sense of "the individual" in Hunter Gatherer communities...

 

I would think you would have to define "little sense" here, as I would assume individuals had functionality based maybe on their abilities.

 

Personally I believe the entire notion of "self" to be one of many survival strategies we have adopted for this crazy thing we call civilization. It simply isn't necessary in less "success and progress" oriented societies.

 

I don't know that I would define self as a survival strategy. I have not been out of the county much in my lifetime, but I wouldn't think in a non "successful and progressive" society that individualism does not play more than just the "litte sense" role.

 

I would like to understand why you have come to that conclusion...

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The individual is a product of modernization. I think it is fairly clear that early man, and even today, there is little sense of "the individual" in Hunter Gatherer communities...

 

Personally I believe the entire notion of "self" to be one of many survival strategies we have adopted for this crazy thing we call civilization. It simply isn't necessary in less "success and progress" oriented societies.

I don't think that's necessarily the case. I think it's fair to say I'd have a pretty strong individualist streak running through me regardless of where or when I was born. Had I been raised in a culture which values the group more, I'd almost certainly have more concern for the welfare thereof, but my individuality is a pretty strong part of my personality. Even in the context of a community/family-focused society, I'm sure it would find a way to come out and express itself.

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