Welcome to the Eye of the Individual. The purpose of this blog is for the most part for me personally to relay thoughts and ideas that often run through my head. I sometimes think of my brain as similar to an industrial fan, or perhaps even a power generating reactor in the sense that it is constantly running, constantly spinning, and can scarcely be silenced. This blog may include discussions on religion, philosophy, politics, or just about anything else you can think of. Occasionally I may also discuss my work and things I’m doing in the community, in business, and more. I do believe, however, that the name itself begs explanation.
I strongly adhere to the philosophy of individualism. I strongly believe in respect for the individual, and in the values of honesty, integrity, and above all personal responsibility. I think that people should be rewarded on the basis of individual merit rather than in the application of group benefits.
I do want to clarify that I do not fully dismiss the alternate philosophy of collectivism. I recognize its merits, the value of its ideas, and I even recognize that if you study the philosophies more carefully you’ll find they are far more complicated than is presented at face value, and that if you study carefully enough you’ll find that some of the ideas of each philosophy sometimes intersect. They are not always mutually exclusive. For example the horizontal collectivist would at least agree with the individualist that each person deserves to have to equal rights and liberties under the law as well as equal opportunities to succeed. One idea simply asserts that people are to be seen in terms being part of a group, while the other asserts that each person should be seen each as unique individuals. I suppose I simply believe that people are too complex, too unique, and frankly too interesting to be categorized into groups.
I once read a biography of Martin Luther King, which explained that he once expressed his agreement with people like Gandhi who sometimes asserted that people committed greater sins in groups than they did as individuals. Often the herd mentality can indeed lead to greater sins whether we are talking about hate crimes, slavery, segregation, or even genocide. I also assert that in many senses collectivism has unintentionally given rise to harmful ideas ranging from racism and nationalism to statism and ultimately authoritarianism. I suppose my main issue with collectivismis that it demands conformity and submission to the groupthink even at the expense of the wellbeing of the individual. In many senses it is very much how Ben Franklin described direct democracy saying,
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for supper, liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.” in this quote alone whether knowingly or not he described virtues of individual liberty while pointing out the flaws of “group rights”
I also personally believe that individualism is a superior philosophy in approaching societies injustices in the sense that it stands up for the rights of every single person, rather than asserting that certain groups are entitled to certain rights and privileges. Individualism is also the only true fair way to judge anyone. Every person is different, every person is an individual and deserves to be judged as such.
I think it is also worth pointing at the individualism, contrary to the popular perception is not synonymous with egoism. It is not about the self but about the individual. Philanthropy and individualism, for example, are not as many people believe mutually exclusive. It simply recognizes that reason we help people is because each individual is of greater worth and value than the bunches, the masses, and the crowds we often get lost in.
It’s really best defined in this way: Collectivism says “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” where I as an individualist assert that the needs of every person matter and should be taken into account.
Perhaps the main reason that I am a staunch individualist, however, is a more personal one. Over the course of my life I have founded that I have never truly relate to being part of a collective. I don’t consider other people more worthy of my respect or affections simply because of what group they are part of. I do not consider myself part of any collective. I do not consider myself a “White man” or an “American”.
I am an individual, I am unique, I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” and created “In the image of God and I think the more you read the more you will find that there is no one on this planet quite like me. While I do consider myself a Christian and consider will tell you that my faith plays a major role in my life and in who I am as an individual I do not consider myself part of the “Christian collective” nor am I a follower of the church. Rather I am a follower of the individual who is the Christ, the son of God. There is a sharp contrast, but perhaps that is another post for another time.
So the real question is what does any of this have to do with the name of the blog? Absolutely nothing! This is not about individualism vs. collectivism, though that may be an occasional topic. The Eye of The Individual is as the name implies the perspective and view point of one person.
All of the crazy and controversial ideas discussed in this blog are my own. They do not represent the view of any business, organization, church, nation, or political party I am affiliated with. You are literally reading the thoughts of one individual, and you may do with that what you may.
Feel free to read, discuss, and even contradict me in anything I say as I love a good discussion and believe we have much to learn from another as individuals with conflicting viewpoints.
That being said welcome, and thanks for visiting the Eye of The Individual.