Collectivism is a term used to describe any moral, political, or social ideology that strongly stresses interdependence and the importance of a collective, rather than individuality and self-reliance.

As depicted in Ayn Rand's dystopian novella "Anthem", a character named Equality 7-2521 is living in an obviously stated governmental position of a collectivism. The concept of the word "I" has been removed to imply upon the collective as being a whole and the total ideology of individuality being completely eliminated.

Collectivism also has a strong implication that the whole (majority) of the collective or society is far more democratically superior to it's oppositional front or the sum (minority) of the society. And that the whole is far more important in creating the perfect utopia.

Some of the statements made in strong favor of a collective have been made by such people as Social anarchist Alexander Berkman, who is also a horizontal collectivist. He argued that equality, resulting from a collectivism or even economically speaking in a communistic state does not imply a lack of unique individuality, but an equal amount of freedom and opportunity to develope one's own skills and talents.

"equality does not mean an equal amount but equal opportunity. . . Do not make the mistake of identifying equality in liberty with the forced equality of the convict camp. True anarchist equality implies freedom, not quantity. It does not mean that every one must eat, drink, or wear the same things, do the same work, or live in the same manner. Far from it: the very reverse, in fact. Individual needs and tastes differ, as appetites differ. It is equal opportunity to satisfy them that constitutes true equality. Far from leveling, such equality opens the door for the greatest possible variety of activity and development. For human character is diverse, and only the repression of this free diversity results in leveling, in uniformity and sameness. Free opportunity and acting out your individuality means development of natural dissimilarities and variations. . . . Life in freedom, in anarchy will do more than liberate man merely from his present political and economic bondage. That will be only the first step, the preliminary to a truly human existence."

- Alexander Berkman.

How can individuality and collectivism co-exist one with the other? Is not individuality the number one prized possession of a natural right of mankind?

As rapper and Socialist Guerilla Immortal Technique once said "You're nothing like diversity, without equality." Which can be interpreted in many ways but in my sense of the word it is invariably the fact that equality is an important aspiration to mankind but not to the extents of a collective as such. And also that individuality is what makes us all equal in the sense that we are all equally allowed to be individualistic. That's why Individualism: the political philosophy or ideology that stresses individuality in persons and self-reliance, in which Ayn Rand depicts quite thoroughly in her philosophies such as The Virtue Of Selfishness, is such an oppositional front to the political ideology of collectivism.

Therefore we can take this argument back to a biblical stance stating that individualism and free-will, in which God has granted over mankind are more than synonymous in the obvious sense of the word

Just as capitalism and communism, depending on the individual being questioned, have their positives and negatives.

The positives of a collectivism are quite small and do usurp the neck of littleness. But one pro is that like in a communistic rule there could possible be no unemployment if you want to take the fictuous statements of Ayn Rand into context and apply them to real life if people are assigned a job by the government or in the Marxist terminological sense "bourgeois" then all would be evenly distributed and there would be no upper class and the entire concept of having a gentry group of individuals would be utterly eliminated. Taking the anti-thesis on of the old "accountant and garbage man getting payed the same."

The cons of a state as such in a democratically/capitalist country, such as the United States, is that the individuality of Americans is far more frequently shown and depicted than that of any other country. Partly due to it being founded on immigrants and due to the great influx of peoples from far off lands with the American concept of "taboo" not even in their vocabulary. The entire country is partly successful due to individuality and the stable foundation of which it was built on, such as acceptance of other cultures.

Such an outspoken country such as the United States is positively safe for being on a strong oppositional front of collectivism, as stated before, due to its largely depicted individuality throughout states thanks to amendments and rights branching off from the foundation of ideologies of which such a stable and individualistic/diverse community can co-exist.

Col*lect"iv*ism (?), n. [Cf. F. collectivisme.] Polit. Econ.

The doctrine that land and capital should be owned by society collectively or as a whole; communism.

W. G. Summer.


© Webster 1913.

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