Individualism vs. Collectivism

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RCSaunders
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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Nick_A wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:30 am
RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:10 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:44 pm Individualism can cause problems for the community.
How? If you believe that you don't really know what an independent individual is.
Of course. That is why Jesus and Socrates had to be killed. ...
Jesus and Socrates were hardly independent individuals. Now a true independent individual might be a threat to a society of crooks, gangsters, politicians, collectivists, or religious tyrants (but I repeat myself), but that is certainly not a danger to the community.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:54 am I suspected that what you (or Gary) are referring to as, "individualism," is not what, "individualism," means to an independent individual.
Suspect as you will, you'll have to ask Gary.
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:00 am
Nick_A wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:30 am
RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:10 am
How? If you believe that you don't really know what an independent individual is.
Of course. That is why Jesus and Socrates had to be killed. ...
Jesus and Socrates were hardly independent individuals. Now a true independent individual might be a threat to a society of crooks, gangsters, politicians, collectivists, or religious tyrants (but I repeat myself), but that is certainly not a danger to the community.
This is hard to explain but Jesus was a conscious individual capable of conscious ACTION as opposed to people as part of collectives who live by mechnical conditioned REACTIONS.

Awakening to experience freedom from conditioned respones to reflect universal truth must invite opposition. Do you realliy think that Jesus attracted the disciples by giving speeches or was it an awakening influence so powerful that they dropped everthing to follow him? Of course the authorites wanted to kill him but didn't know that his death had to be. They were part of what has been called a conscious drama.

We measure individuality by societal standards but without renewing the mind we remain oblivious of what individualism is by objective universal standards. I've read that the most hated machine is the alarm clock. I didn't understand at first but now I do.
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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Nick_A wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:17 am Do you really think that Jesus attracted the disciples by giving speeches or was it an awakening influence so powerful that they dropped everthing to follow him?
Nick, I have no intention of offending you, and I am not personally interested in what you choose to believe, but you need to understand that using examples from your own set of beliefs not shared by those you are talking to is a waste of time.

I have no more belief that any person named Jesus attracted anyone to anything than I do that a character named the "pied piper" attracted animals and children.
Nick_A wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:17 am We measure individuality by societal standards ...
I have no idea who, "we," is, but it does not include me. Perhaps you measure individuality by some fictitious societal standard, but I do not. It's not individualism, but independence, I advocate, and it's not measurable. One is either independent, or they are not. It's like poison. One does not choose to eat a meal if there is only a little poison in it. One does not choose to enslave themselves to others so long as it is only a little bit.
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:06 am
RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:54 am I suspected that what you (or Gary) are referring to as, "individualism," is not what, "individualism," means to an independent individual.
Suspect as you will, you'll have to ask Gary.
Well I'm not interested in who said what, only what was said. It just happens to be your words, "Individualism can cause problems for the community," I was questioning. It just bewilders me how anyone can believe independence can possibly be a harm or danger to anyone else.

I have to assume, anyone who makes a statement like yours does not know what independence means to an independent individual.
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:05 pm Well I'm not interested in who said what, only what was said. It just happens to be your words, "Individualism can cause problems for the community," I was questioning.
You don't think there's any way it can?
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:45 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:05 pm Well I'm not interested in who said what, only what was said. It just happens to be your words, "Individualism can cause problems for the community," I was questioning.
You don't think there's any way it can?
That's right. There is no way it can, so long as you don't leave out the rest of my comment:
"I have to assume, anyone who makes a statement like yours does not know what independence means to an independent individual."

It is not, "individualists," but, "independent individuals," that cannot possibly be a problem for any community. It is only, "individualism," in the sense that independence necessarily pertains to individuals. This has to be emphasized because, "individualism," has been redefined by collectivists and assorted anti-individualists to mean "subjectivism," "hedonism," or any behavior that is deemed, "different."

[One reason for the misunderstanding of what individualism means can be blamed on Ayn Rand's very poor choice of the word, "selfishness," as a stand-in for individualism. Her choice is understandable when one realizes it was in opposition to altruism on which the whole of communism, which devastated her Russia, was based. Unfortunately, she did not realize that most people would not be able to make the fine distinction between individual independence and subjective, "anything I want or do is right because it's mine," which is an absolute contradiction of true independence.]
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:52 pm
Nick_A wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:17 am Do you really think that Jesus attracted the disciples by giving speeches or was it an awakening influence so powerful that they dropped everthing to follow him?
Nick, I have no intention of offending you, and I am not personally interested in what you choose to believe, but you need to understand that using examples from your own set of beliefs not shared by those you are talking to is a waste of time.

I have no more belief that any person named Jesus attracted anyone to anything than I do that a character named the "pied piper" attracted animals and children.
Nick_A wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:17 am We measure individuality by societal standards ...
I have no idea who, "we," is, but it does not include me. Perhaps you measure individuality by some fictitious societal standard, but I do not. It's not individualism, but independence, I advocate, and it's not measurable. One is either independent, or they are not. It's like poison. One does not choose to eat a meal if there is only a little poison in it. One does not choose to enslave themselves to others so long as it is only a little bit.
No offense taken but the essential question remains: Are we awake to reality or do we live psychologically as if in a cave described by Plato? If we do, it stands to reason that there would be conscious influences to provoke awakening. If we are awake to reality than Plato and the great teachings are misguided.

Assuming the concept of conscious awakening is accurate, we refers to all asleep in Plato's cave. Awakening is an expression of individuality while independence is an expression of conditioned freedom from one set of attachments in favor of another.

Understanding your beliefs better requires first knowing if you believe you are awake as humanity was intended or asleep and attached to the shadows on the wall as Plato described?
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:21 pm It is not, "individualists," but, "independent individuals."
Here's something I think maybe you'll really like, RC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McZdgBPkmEE
Last edited by Immanuel Can on Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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Nick_A wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:28 pm No offense taken but the essential question remains: Are we awake to reality or do we live psychologically as if in a cave described by Plato? If we do, it stands to reason that there would be conscious influences to provoke awakening. If we are awake to reality than Plato and the great teachings are misguided.
Plato was the first to introduce that form of skepticism that cast doubt on the validity of conscious perception which has infected philosophy ever since. Every variety of that skepticism makes some form of the same mistake. How did Plato know what a cave was, a shadow was, or a fire was, if one cannot trust what they perceive to be what they perceive as they perceive it? Did he not come to have ideas of a cave, a shadow, and a fire from what he had perceived. But if perception cannot be trusted, perhaps caves, shadows, and fires are only illusions, and his whole theory is made up from something he made up in his mind. He was attempting to prove everything was an illusion on the basis of an illusion. If caves are what we perceive them to be, and shadows are what we perceive them to be, and fire is what we perceive it to be, why shouldn't everything else be?

The reality we directly perceive, that is, what we see, hear, feel, smell, and taste, is reality as it actually is. That physical existence and our consciousness of it are all that exists and all our knowledge is about that existence. Everything else that is commonly believed is superstition with there is no basis for believing it at all.

That is what I know, but you do not have to agree with it. I'm not trying to convince you, only explaining why I cannot accept any view that cannot be demonstrated on the basis of perceivable evidence, deduce by reason from that evidence, or based on the fact of life, consciousness and human minds.
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:15 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:21 pm It is not, "individualists," but, "independent individuals," that cannot possibly be a problem for any community. It is only, "individualism," in the sense that independence necessarily pertains to individuals.
Well, I see the distinction upon which you are hoping to insist. I think it's oversimplified, but I'm not unclear on why you think it's true, I think.
Well you know I am always willing to listen to reason and learn. If you think individual independence can in some way be less than benevolent relative to one's community, I'd be willing to consider it.
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:15 pm I agree with you that the Collectivists have got this wrong. I think Rand's got it wrong a different way, but wrong nonetheless. Rand had such a bad experience with Collectivists, that she can be forgiven for thinking the right answer was an immoderate tilt to the opposite side.
I really don't think she got individualism wrong. I think it was a matter of emphasis she got wrong, and an admixture of some wrong social/political views. The impression she made on many certainly was contrary to her objective.
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:15 pm But she missed a great deal in taking this tilt, as her own life would seem to demonstrate.
Nobody's perfect! One has to be careful when evaluating her life, however, especially if one's views are tainted by those who hated her, like the Brandens who shamefully used and betrayed her and took advantage of her generosity, something else you won't learn from others who write about her. If you are ever interested in another side of her as a person, find the book, Facets of Ayn Rand by Charles and Mary Ann Sures.
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:31 pm I really don't think she got individualism wrong. I think it was a matter of emphasis she got wrong, and an admixture of some wrong social/political views.
Well, that's "potato, potahto," as they say. It's two ways of saying the same thing, I think. Individuality is one thing: Individualism, another, and Egocentricity another. Yet they are connected, and Rand connected them too tightly when she chose words like "selfishness" to characterize them. What she won in shock value, she lost in moral credibility there.
The impression she made on many certainly was contrary to her objective.
Yes, fair enough. Though it's always hard to tell what a person "would have intended to say, if she'd said other than what she actually DID say," so to speak. One has to take people at their word.

The alternative, of always presuming to be able to be telling them "what they really meant" is untenable, because it disrespects their autonomy and their right to attempt to say what they really did mean. It doesn't take people's effort to speak seriously.
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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RC

My primary interest is in learning how the horizontal truths of science compliment the vertical truths of being as described in the great chain of being. Obviously they both cannot be true, If they appear in opposition it is the result of our misunderstanding
The reality we directly perceive, that is, what we see, hear, feel, smell, and taste, is reality as it actually is. That physical existence and our consciousness of it are all that exists and all our knowledge is about that existence. Everything else that is commonly believed is superstition with there is no basis for believing it at all.
We can agree that our senses reveal to a great extent reality as we are capable of experiencing it. We may experience how our distorted senses produce self deception but that is not the issue. Our senses were designed to reveal the external world and serves its purpose.. Science follows the law of non-contradiction or the Law of the EXCLUDED middle made famous by Aristotle to verity the accuracy of our senses. The same phenomenon cannot both exist and not exist

But suppose we learn that there is a way that the same phenomenon can both exist and not exist? It is obvious that people will be laughed out of the building. But regardless I will introduce you to the law of the INCLUDED middle. It invites us to experience a contradiction from a higher perspective where it is no longer a contradiction. This is heavy stuff so I assume you are open to reading new ideas.

But once I understood the Law of the Included Middle it became obvious that levels of reality can be verified by science beginning the necessary eventual complimentary relationship between the truths of science and the essence of religion. It may take fifty years but it is possible
http://ciret-transdisciplinarity.org/bulletin/b12c3.php

2. The logic of the included middle

Knowledge of the coexistence of the quantum world and the macrophysical world and the development of quantum physics has led, on the level of theory and scientific experiment, to the upheaval of what were formerly considered to be pairs of mutually exclusive contradictories (A and non-A): wave and corpuscle, continuity and discontinuity, separability and nonseparability, local causality and global causality, symmetry and breaking of symmetry, reversibility and irreversibility of time, etc.

For example, equations of quantum physics are submitted to a group of symmetries, but their solutions break these symmetries. Similarly, a group of symmetry is supposed to describe the unification of all known physical interactions but the symmetry must be broken in order to describe the difference between strong, weak, electromagnetic and gravitational interactions.

The intellectual scandal provoked by quantum mechanics consists in the fact that the pairs of contradictories that it generates are actually mutually contradictory when they are analyzed through the interpretative filter of classical logic. This logic is founded on three axioms:
1. The axiom of identity : A is A.
2. The axiom of non-contradiction : A is not non-A.
3. The axiom of the excluded middle : There exists no third term T which is at the same time A and non-A.

According to the hypothesis of the existence of a single level of Reality, the second and third axioms are obviously equivalent. The dogma of a single level of Reality, arbitrary like all dogma, is so embedded in our consciousness that even professional logicians forget to say that these two axioms are in fact distinct and independent from each other.

If one nevertheless accepts this logic which, after all, has ruled for two millennia and continues to dominate thought today (particularly in the political, social, and economic spheres) one immediately arrives at the conclusion that the pairs of contradictories advanced by quantum physics are mutually exclusive, because one cannot affirm the validity of a thing and its opposite at the same time: A and non-A.

Since the definitive formulation of quantum mechanics around 1930 the founders of the new science have been acutely aware of the problem of formulating a new "quantum logic." Subsequent to the work of Birkhoff and van Neumann a veritable flourishing of quantum logics was not long in coming [4]. The aim of these new logics was to resolve the paradoxes which quantum mechanics had created and to attempt, to the extent possible, to arrive at a predictive power stronger than that afforded by classical logic.

Most quantum logics have modified the second axiom of classical logic -- the axiom of non-contradiction -- by introducing non-contradiction with several truth values in place of the binary pair (A, non-A). These multivalent logics, whose status with respect to their predictive power remains controversial, have not taken into account one other possibility: the modification of the third axiom -- the axiom of the excluded middle.

History will credit Stéphane Lupasco with having shown that the logic of the included middle is a true logic, formalizable and formalized, multivalent (with three values: A, non-A, and T) and non-contradictory [5]. Stéphane Lupasco, like Edmund Husserl, belongs to the race of pioneers. His philosophy, which takes quantum physics as its point of departure, has been marginalized by physicists and philosophers. Curiously, on the other hand, it has had a powerful albeit underground influence among psychologists, sociologists, artists, and historians of religions. Perhaps the absence of the notion of "levels of Reality" in his philosophy obscured its substance. Many persons believed that Lupasco's logic violated the principle of non-contradiction -- whence the rather unfortunate name "logic of contradiction" -- and that it entailed the risk of endless semantic glosses. Still more, the visceral fear of introducing the idea of the included middle , with its magical resonances, only helped to increase the distrust of such a logic.

Our understanding of the axiom of the included middle -- there exists a third term T which is at the same time A and non-A -- is completely clarified once the notion of "levels of Reality" is introduced.

In order to obtain a clear image of the meaning of the included middle, we can represent the three terms of the new logic -- A, non-A, and T -- and the dynamics associated with them by a triangle in which one of the vertices is situated at one level of Reality and the two other vertices at another level of Reality. If one remains at a single level of Reality, all manifestation appears as a struggle between two contradictory elements (example: wave A and corpuscle non-A). The third dynamic, that of the T-state, is exercised at another level of Reality, where that which appears to be disunited (wave or corpuscle) is in fact united (quanton), and that which appears contradictory is perceived as non-contradictory.
It is the projection of T on one and the same level of Reality which produces the appearance of mutually exclusive, antagonistic pairs (A and non-A). A single level of Reality can only create antagonistic oppositions. It is inherently self-destructive if it is completely separated from all the other levels of Reality. A third term, let us call it T', which is situated on the same level of Reality as that of the opposites A and non-A, can accomplish their reconciliation.

The entire difference between a triad of the included middle and an Hegelian triad is clarified by consideration of the role of time . In a triad of the included middle the three terms coexist at the same moment in time . On the contrary, each of the three terms of the Hegelian triad succeeds the former in time. This is why the Hegelian triad is incapable of accomplishing the reconciliation of opposites, whereas the triad of the included middle is capable of it. In the logic of the included middle the opposites are rather contradictories : the tension between contradictories builds a unity which includes and goes beyond the sum of the two terms.

One also sees the great dangers of misunderstanding engendered by the common enough confusion made between the axiom of the excluded middle and the axiom of non-contradiction [6]. The logic of the included middle is non-contradictory in the sense that the axiom of non-contradiction is thoroughly respected, a condition which enlarges the notions of "true" and "false" in such a way that the rules of logical implication no longer concerning two terms (A and non-A) but three terms (A, non-A and T), co-existing at the same moment in time. This is a formal logic, just as any other formal logic: its rules are derived by means of a relatively simple mathematical formalism.

One can see why the logic of the included middle is not simply a metaphor like some kind of arbitrary ornament for classical logic, which would permit adventurous incursions and passages into the domain of complexity. The logic of the included middle is perhaps the privileged logic of complexity, privileged in the sense that it allows us to cross the different areas of knowledge in a coherent way, by enabling a new kind of simplicity.

The logic of the included middle does not abolish the logic of the excluded middle: it only constrains its sphere of validity. The logic of the excluded middle is certainly valid for relatively simple situations. On the contrary, the logic of the excluded middle is harmful in complex, transdisciplinary cases……………………………….
As long as people remain attached and identified with the shadows on the wall they can only respond by duality and the excluded middle. However what if for several reasons, a person begins to experience the same phenomenon from a higher perspective and the perspective of the included middle. Then we can agree that a person is beginning to experience a more conscious perspective of what those caught up in the duality of the excluded middle are yet to experience
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:15 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:21 pm It is not, "individualists," but, "independent individuals."
Here's something I think maybe you'll really like, RC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McZdgBPkmEE
So, the solution to socialist thinking is the independent individual that never judges things in terms of what others do or have, only in terms of what he himself does and has. The independent individual is not interested in how much anyone else has (except to know, the more others have the more they have for him to trade for), he is only interested in having whatever he knows is his, because he produced it.
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

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RCSaunders wrote: Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:28 pm The independent individual is not interested in how much anyone else has (except to know, the more others have the more they have for him to trade for), he is only interested in having whatever he knows is his, because he produced it. (red parts my emphasis here)
Did you watch the video, RC? You should.

And you should watch this one, too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zocMv3OU2c

You've got me wrong, RC. You're straw-manning me right now.

I'm no apologist for the Collectivists, nor have I any interest in challenging you to that effect. However, at the same time, there's a problem with "rugged individualism" of the kind you're espousing -- and that is, that it's not actually individual. :shock:

Instead, you're describing how an individual acts within a society. If you were speaking of true individualism, total individualism, you'd be advocating we all become hermits or ascetics.

What's even more problematic is that Rand speaks of ethics. And ethics are inevitably about how we treat others, not about just ourselves. The absolutely lone individual doesn't even have a single ethical duty. So even Rand's heroes all live within societies, and practice cultural forms within those societies. And architect, for example, is not a lone individual; he is an adherent of the design and construction practices of a group of people known as "architects." He learned his trade from others, practices it with the help of others, and enacts his craft for the benefit of others. He's not going to live in his great building all by himself.

If individual power were the beginning and end of the story, there would, in fact, be no story at all.

So whether we like it or not, something has to be said about others and about society. To speak only of individualism is not going to convince anyone, because nobody -- not even Rand -- believes that the individual, all by himself, amounts to anything.
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