Individuals #11

Actually, the story about Mayor DiBlasio in one of the previous posts is a great example of the individualist ideology I’ve been discussing here. He proceeds in accordance of his deeply individualistic view of human beings. He sees humans as completely identical and ahistorical objects on a shelf. If anything goes wrong, they simply need to be moved to a different shelf.

The possibility that human beings are a part of something, that they don’t come from a conveyor belt, that they can’t be extracted from everything that went into their making is deeply alien to him.

Liberalism is about freedom. The greatest freedom it seeks is freedom from what an individual hasn’t chosen. Since nobody chooses their family, in order for this philosophy to be sustained it has to pretend that family’s impact either doesn’t exist or can be erased.

The question is, though, whether it’s an honest mistake or a desire – unarticulated and unacknowledged as it might be – to widen the gap between oneself and the losers in the neoliberal economy.

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3 thoughts on “Individuals #11”

  1. The problem is that the worship of the individual ultimately leads to a place where human beings lose their individuality and become a fungible commodity good with no real individuality whatsoever.

    Individualism is a great and precious good but like all good things turns into a curse when carried to excess.

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    1. Absolutely. That’s precisely the problem. Freedom is great, having choices is fantastic. But when this idea is carried to the extreme that you constantly need to be choosing everything, it becomes a heavy burden.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is more free association than counterpoint, but… I have only vague recollections of Fromm, but doesn’t the want to wiggle out of the inglorious fact of having been born have a far longer history than this? Part of the reason why most religions we have on record have a form of manufacture as humanity’s mythical starting point.

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