“Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: “I’ll do as I please at everybody else’s expense.” An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of man -- his own and those of others.
An individualist is a man who says: “I will not run anyone’s life -- nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone -- nor sacrifice anyone to myself.”
“Textbook of Americanism,”
The Ayn Rand Column, 84
The question of Individualism Vs. Collectivism has been a topic of debate among philosophers for hundreds of years but has only recently come into the mainstream. Unfortunately the more it is debated, the more divided people become about the issue. This question has led to a dramatic shift in political, social and domestic structure that is changing the world forever.
Before we begin to delve into who is right or wrong we need to get an understanding of both sides of the issue.
Individualism might mean different things to different people. Ayn Rand, one of the foremost thinkers and commentators on the subject would probably tell you:
“Individualism regards man -- every man -- as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful coexistence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights -- and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.”
The Virtue of Selfishness, 129
I think this definition is much too idealistic for real world application, especially when we are in the midst of an invasion of incompatible and irrational low IQ migrants who don’t care about or understand our lofty intellectual concepts of the Rights of Man and Moral Philosophy.
As much as I adore and respect Ayn Rand as one of the greatest philosophers the world has ever known, her concepts of Individualism and Objectivism are only implementable among people who are capable of thinking philosophically. In places like Africa, the Middle East as well as Central and South America very few people have the education, stability or luxury necessary to become philosophic. In the Third World the only thing that matters is survival and the Rule of Man.
However I think we could agree that, within Westerns nations, the rights of the individual should be valued so long as those individuals are both culturally compatible and legal citizens.
On the other side of the debate Collectivism could be defined as: “A political or economic theory advocating collective control especially over production and distribution; also : a system marked by such control or emphasis on collective rather than individual action or identity”.
Collectivism is most certainly not without merit. The Industrial Revolution wouldn’t have been possible without the manpower of the collective. The survival of races and nations are dependent on banding together as a tribe to fight off enemies thus remaining strong and unified during times of hardship. If you are surrounded by enemies would you rather go it alone or have friends to back you up? The question answers itself. Unfortunately this is the situation the West is in right now. We are surrounded and we need to stick together if we want to keep from getting beaten to a bloody pulp by an army of incompatible peoples who are quite skilled at working together collectively in the pursuit of their own interests. Collectivism is highly valuable as a means of defense against hostile groups which is why every military on Earth utilizes a collectivistic chain of command and social culture so that soldiers learn to work together as a team to accomplish shared goals.
Civilizations in general tend to be the most peaceful when they are ethnically and culturally homogeneous, a form of benign Collectivism. Like Japan for instance where they have such a low crime rate that the police are mostly idle. This was also true of Sweden before the migrant invasion destroyed their demographic homogeneity. Ever since these nations adopted multicultural immigration and social policies rates of crime have skyrocketed, especially sexual crimes, drug offences, assaults and overall penal code violations. There is a significant correlation between a shared collective ideology/ethnicity and low crime as well as between heterogeneous societies and high crime. I think that a shared collective identity, racial or otherwise is a positive aspect of collectivism, as it is very difficult to keep a civilization peaceful and productive when they are being torn apart by demographic and ideological conflicts.
“White Man, let us stand together to secure the survival of your people and my people, for they are one and the same -- they are our beloved, miraculous, wonderful, blessed and masterful white race!”
— George Lincoln Rockwell
I think a major component that is missing from the debate over Individualism versus Collectivism is the ability to “take the good and leave the bad”. Just because I respect Ayn Rand certainly doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything she has ever said, it would be foolish and unphilosophic to do so.
With that having been said, I think we need to make a distinction between benign Individualism and hyper-individualism as well as a distinction between benign Collectivism and hyper-collectivism. Unless we can take the good and leave the bad, this debate between these schools of thought will never end and we will be divided and conquered.
The individual is the building block of any larger group, so we can’t just do away with the rights of the individual and force them to adhere to whatever we say is right. An individual might do something that influences the collective or even changes the course of history. On the other hand an individual is influenced by the collective through family, friends, schooling and their community. The two are interconnected and a harmony between both needs to be achieved in order to have sane individuals and a sane society.
Within the school of Existential Therapy exists the concept of The Existential Trinity (or Quaternity) composed of the Umwelt (natural/physical world), Mitwelt (social world), Eigenwelt (inner-world/Self) and the Überwelt (spiritual world). Each of these “worlds” represents a fundamental aspect of consciousness. The whole point of Existential Therapy is to find a comfortable balance between these three (or four) worlds. That middle-point may not be exactly the same for everyone but the closer you move from the edge to the middle the more psychologically balanced you become. For instance if you are an overly introverted person, chances are you are imbalanced toward the Eigenwelt and maybe even the Umwelt. By making the effort to engage in social interaction more often this could help you gain confidence, conquer social anxiety and escape loneliness, thus improving your overall psychological health. On the other hand if you are a hyper-extraverted “Type A personality” you are probably imbalanced toward the Mitwelt side of the trinity. Some time alone going on a hike in the forest might help you to clear your mind, reconsider your priorities and reconnect with your true and authentic Self. In a hyper-collectivist model, people lose sight of their true Self and become one with the crowd, In a hyper-individualist model, one might become too much of a loner and lose sight of his duty and sense of kinship to his people.
I sincerely recommend that all of you reading this find where you are in this trinity and try to push toward your middle-point. Existential Therapy is a very simple and effective method to maintain your psychological stability in a very unstable world.
With that having been said, everyone has a different path and different personality, we need to respect that and understand that what works for me, may not work for you — and vice versa. Some people are social butterflies, some people are introverts. Some people are very aggressive and ambitious while others are submissive and quiet. Some people are goody-two-shoes, while others need to learn the hard way about how to live a moral life. Some people are brilliant mathematicians, I for one am terrible at math, but I dounderstand politics and philosophy quite well. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and because of this each of us individually needs to pursue our own life-path and find our individual purpose as well as our role within society.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the generally recognized standard within the psychological community for understanding these 16 major personality types. As an Occultist I use Astrology to figure out what someone’s personality is and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Many of the greatest psychologists like Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud used Astrology to help them understand, not only human psychology but the psychology of mythology. Sigmund Freud was actually an Egyptologist long before he ever became involved in psychoanalysis and was quite familiar with Astrology. Carl Jung was well known for his writings on Astrology, Alchemy and Symbology. The 16 MBTI personality types actually correspond directly to the 16 court cards of the Tarot. With that having been said I think it is safe to say that Astrology is not just some wacky carnival scam, but rather an effective tool used to understand Archetypal Psychology. You’ll see how this relates to Individualism versus Collectivism soon.
“Astrology is of particular interest to the psychologist, since it contains a sort of psychological experience which we call projected -- this means that we find the psychological facts as it were in the constellations. This originally gave rise to the idea that these factors derive from the stars, whereas they are merely in a relation of synchronicity with them. I admit that this is a very curious fact which throws a peculiar light on the structure of the human mind.”
— Carl G. Jung in 1947 in a letter to prof. B.V. Raman
Astrology plays a major role in someone’s personality, emotional characteristics, overall life trajectory and philosophical leanings. That is not to say that these things are entirely deterministic, but it is a substantially influential factor, just like your upbringing, environment and genetics. If you weigh these factors together the result is a very predictable and accurate formula of charting and forecasting one’s interests, compatibilities, sexual personality, emotional traits and overall psychological profile.
For instance Ayn Rand has Aquarius as her Sun sign, a Fixed Air sign or the realm of the Mind. Aquariuses are by their very nature individualistic, independent, original, pioneering, witty, inventive, idealistic, opinionated, restless, rebellious and emotionally detached. We can now see Ayn Rand’s worldview in a different light. She was naturally inclined to be an Individualist. Combine these Astrological traits with the fact that she was born in Soviet Russia and it becomes clear why she so despised Collectivism in all of its forms.
And that’s OK, she was who she was and we need people like her. They are the intellectuals, philosophers, inventors and trail-blazers who enrich our civilization with their wisdom and passion.
Conversely let’s take someone like Donald Trump who’s Sun sign is Gemini, another Air sign, except this time a Mutable Air sign. Geminis, like Aquariuses, are usually intelligent and independent but are also free-enterprising, adaptable, communicative, curious, persuasive, amusing and reactive. This too is OK. We need people like Trump, as they have a valuable role to play in communicating effectively with people and convincing others of their ideas.
Both he and Rand have Leo as their Ascending sign which is the sign that is rising on the Eastern horizon at the time of their birth, this has to do with the persona that they project or the “mask” that they wear in public. People with a Leo Ascending will often times project a powerful presence, a dramatic or even flamboyant persona as well as an optimistic outlook. It now becomes clear why Ayn Rand and Donald Trump are the way they are and how similar they are in many ways, both are very individualistic, intelligent, aggressive and outspoken people. Certain signs are more likely to have one worldview over another, someone who is a Libra or a Pisces is more likely to be collectivistic and passive and we need those kinds of people too.
The reason why I emphasize the importance of Astrology is because there tends to be this idea in Collectivist circles, that everyone needs to adhere to this ideal “propaganda poster” image of masculinity and femininity. Every man is supposed to be a Thor-like, alpha male god-man when most men aren’t this way. This is, however a great role model for some to base their Ego Ideal upon, certainly better than idolizing Snoop Dogg. They will often portray the ideal female as a beautiful, elegant stay at home mother. Again this is also a great role model for young girls, certainly better than Miley Cyrus or Nicki Ninaj but not all women are meant to be that ideal image, and that’s OK so long as they are useful in some other regard. Human Psychology is so much more complex than these oversimplified concepts of Alpha/Beta that have been proselytized by these know-nothings for so long, and I fear that if Western civilization does adopt a more collectivistic social model, we will do so without a solid understanding of psychology which will create a Frankenstein monster of mass mental illness, repression, neurosis and suicide— much like the one we live in today!
In President Trump’s “The Art of The Deal” he recounts the individual personalities of his immediate family. In particular, his older brother Fred Jr. who never had the same ambition in the business world that Donald or his father Fred had:
"Eventually, it became clear to all of us that it wasn’t working, and Freddy went off to pursue what he loved most -- flying airplanes. He moved to Florida, became a professional pilot, and flew for TWA. He also loved fishing and boating. Freddy was probably the happiest during that period in his life, and yet I remember saying to him, even though I was eight years younger, “Come on, Freddy, what are you doing? You’re wasting your time.” I regret now that I ever said that. Perhaps I was just too young to realize that it was irrelevant what my father or I thought about what Freddy was doing. What mattered was that he enjoyed it. Along the way Freddy became discouraged and started to drink, and that led to a downward spiral. At the age of forty-three, he died. It’s very sad because he was a wonderful guy who never quite found himself. In many ways he had it all, but the pressures of our particular family were not for him. I only wish I had realized this sooner."
This heartbreaking story reminds us that pressure to conform to an established dogma of achievement or social norm can have serious consequences. Trump’s anecdote is not simply an anomaly, this pressure to succeed has often led to suicides and a variety of other domestic and psychological problems.
When the pressure to conform to a collective norm is applied to the macrocosmic level, genocide is often the result. After the Bolsheviks took over Russia there were several sets of purges that occurred under the Communist regime, with intellectuals, writers, artisans and philosophers at the top of the kill list.
I am not implying that society needs to tolerate every act perpetrated by individuals, what I am saying is that common sense needs to be applied when developing social prohibitions. Rapes, murder, violence, theft, degeneracy, and vulgarity are by no means to be tolerated however we must be mindful to enforce these prohibitions justly and wisely. Not every scantily clad woman needs to be shipped off to the gulag and not every shoplifter needs to have his hands lopped off with a machete. At the same time pedophile priests and corrupt politicians need to feel the same unforgiving brutality of the law that common street criminals have long been subjected to. Women have been propagandized by the media and the culture creators into thinking they don’t need men and shouldn’t have babies. While this may be true for some of them, to promote such a toxic image of femininity and such suicidal breeding practices is both extremely reckless and destructive. Lady Justice’s Scales need to find their balance-point in a way that we haven’t seen in a very long time in both the social and legal world.
I don’t have the answers as to how exactly we achieve this goal — but what I do know is that this level of social change can only be achieved through a strong collective movement of like-minded individuals. It should be becoming more clear that there is an interconnected and symbiotic relationship between Individualism and Collectivism, with the individual being the microcosm and the collective being the macrocosm, and we must find a harmonious balance-point between the best aspects of the two. Tip the scales top far towards one or the other and major problems are sure to arise.
For instance; in the West we are plagued by hyper-individualism. Most people have completely lost sight of what it means to be an American, a German, a European, etc. and have instead adopted a nihilistic and narcissistic worldview void of any sense of duty to one’s family, culture, nation or race. People have become absolutely apathetic toward the plight of their neighborhood, town and nation — and have chosen Commercialism, drug abuse, promiscuity, video games and other destructive behavior as a pacifier to waste their time away as civilization crumbles all around them. A sad situation indeed. I would argue that this isn’t really even Individualism is the pure sense of the word, but an infantile form of extreme narcissism on a micro and macro level. It is a mental illness that is borne out of the void where true Self-Esteem, tradition, nationalistic, ethnic and cultural pride once stood.
A man who is proud of himself, his ancestors, his race and his nation doesn’t behave like this, he wants to become a credit to his people, he wants to become the physical manifestation of the pride he feels for his people, whether that’s by becoming a great thinker, writer, artist, inventor or simply a competent stone mason who lives a humble yet moral life. He doesn’t have to be an astrophysicist or a brilliant inventor, but he does have to contribute something of value, something he can be proud of — and something his ancestors would have been proud of. He needs to identify with and have allegiance to his people, his race and his homeland, otherwise his civilization will slowly collapse or be conquered and he will be unable to continue his virtuous endeavors. If he doesn’t fight to preserve his race and his nation, who will?
“It’s time to stop being spectators, to stop listening to the hypocritical cant of the liberals and the mindless ramblings of the conservatives. It’s time to base everything -- everything -- on the proposition that we must survive, our people must survive. If a policy strengthens our people, if it increases the survivability of our people, it is a good policy. If it weakens us or puts us at a disadvantage in the struggle for survival, it is a bad policy. That’s all that matters. That’s all that we should consider. Racial survival, racial victory in the struggle for life and dominance, must be the goal of every plan, of every policy, of every thought and action. Tribal thinking.”
— William L. Pierce
This is what I mean by benign Collectivism. It doesn’t mean you join a cult or drink the Kool-Aid, it doesn’t mean that you sacrifice your personality and your life goals for the happiness of others like the hyper-collectivists do. What it means is that you defend your culture and your people and have an internalized sense of duty to them. You don’t just throw your civilization away because you’re busy doing your own thing like the hyper-individualists have done. It is this level of balance that needs to be attained in order to pull Western Civilization back from the brink of collapse and repair the generations worth of damage that has already been done — both to us, and by us.
On the other side of the coin the West is also plagued by hyper-collectivism, group-think, pathological altruism, “authority-worship”, self-loathing, social justice and even outright Communism is rampant all throughout the West. The propagandization of the masses through TV, sports, education, political correctness, social media and pop culture have turned the majority of people into braindead zombies not only incapable of thinking for themselves — but incapable of thinking at all! For more information on this please read my article titled “Daddy Issues” and “The Blind Leading The Blind”. I’m not going to beat this topic to death here simply because so many people have covered it much better than I could hope to in one short article. I merely want to point out that the West is plagued by both hyper-individualism and hyper-collectivism simultaneously. This is why I am trying to find a healthy middle-ground between these two extremes. Anything can be taken too far and we must develop the maturity and wisdom to know when to hit the brakes on either of these perspectives.
Another aspect of this debate that we must deal with is the fact that there are different classes of men. We touched on this earlier in regards to how low IQ peoples are mostly incapable of philosophic thought and thus are incompatible with individualistic societies and peoples. Plato might call these philosophic individuals “Philosopher Kings” or people who value the love of wisdom above all else. These people are, by their very nature, individualistic as philosophy requires isolation, introspection, individual free speech and a degree of intelligence that lesser men are envious of. Anyone who has ever been successful in something knows how it feels to be attacked and envied by less accomplished people. Rather than praise you for your successes and strive to find excellence in their own way, the masses will generally despise you and try to tear you down to their level. This is a well known psychological phenomenon especially among siblings, mother-daughter relationships and in Crowd Psychology . Because of this, we must be wary of the consensus-trance of the envious masses and their witch-hunts that are all too common in collectivistic models. The crowd is a useful tool, a powerful ally and a merciless foe and the Philosopher King would be wise to understand this and to interact with the masses tactfully as to avoid being burned at the stake.
An understanding of Crowd Psychology is a prerequisite to understanding the Collectivism versus Individualism debate as people think, speak and act quite differently when they are alone versus when they are in a crowd. If you’ve made it this far, chances are you have a high degree of intellect and some beliefs that the majority of people would find not only intellectually complex, but perhaps even unpopular. You didn’t gain this knowledge and develop these opinions in a crowd of people. Chances are you were at home, in your room, reading a book or listening to a podcast and then introspectively developing your beliefs over a span of many years. Chances are you were chastised and even disowned by your friends or family for holding these beliefs. This is because most people aren’t philosophic and react to things strictly out of emotion or by regurgitating whatever dogma they were taught in school or on TV.
Notice how, when political figures speak to crowds they never go through the painstaking process of laying out their whole economic recovery plan in front of 10,000 people. Why? Because they would get booed off stage. They speak in very simple and vague terms. They use words like “safety and security”, “peace and prosperity”, “hope and change” and everyone cheers because they are telling you what you want to hear, not necessarily what is true. To be fair, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad people, this is just how you effectively communicate to crowds as well as to low IQ individuals.
“The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim. An individual in a crowd is a grain of sand amid other grains of sand, which the wind stirs up at will.”
— Gustave Le Bon
It is well known in the field of Crowd Psychology that people become significantly less intelligent in crowds. Most people are “crowd people” or on the Mitwelt side of the Existential Trinity. Most people (especially of the Southern Races) are hyper-collectivistic and tribal. One of the things that has made White Western Civilization so great is how individualistic we are. It is because of this that the Whites have invented the overwhelming majority of useful inventions, pioneered and excelled in every field of engineering, architecture, medicine and academia and why every single element on the periodic table of elements was discovered by Europeans. These things weren’t done in a crowd. The inventions of these great thinkers may have been mass produced or consumed by a crowd, but not invented in one. We need both. A strong tribe to keep us safe and brilliant individuals who use their minds to benefit not only themselves but the whole tribe.
“A crowd is not merely impulsive and mobile. Like a savage, it is not prepared to admit that anything can come between its desire and the realisation of its desire.”
-- Gustave Le Bon
Someone in favor of Collectivism cannot deny that although the power of the crowd is physically much stronger than that of the individual, who controls the crowd? It doesn’t control itself. It is controlled by a leader. Leaders are inherently individualistic that is what separates them from the collective. And we need leaders, just like we need crowds.
What frustrates me about the Collectivism versus Individualism debate is most people fall on either one side or the other and fail to understand the nuance and symbiosis between both sides of the argument. I am naturally individualistic, not only Astrologically but also because of things I have experienced in my life. If it were up to me I would make everyone moral, intelligent, competent and philosophic enough to be true Individualists. Sadly most people are not this way and never will be — not in my lifetime anyways. One of the most difficult lessons I’ve learned in my life is that most people simply aren’t ready for the Truth. Most people don’t actually want freedom and will do anything to unconsciously sabotage themselves to ensure they never get it. Freedom is just one of those flowery words like “peace“ and “love” that people say. They don’t really know what it means, or how to attain it, it just sounds nice. Individualists claim to value the individual rights and freedoms of man above all else, a virtuous value, but fail to realize that most people worldwide (often including themselves) are incapable of the level of thought needed to understand and apply these concepts to their life or within their communities. Collectivists claim to support what is best for the collective yet live the life of an Individualist intellectual; misunderstood, despised and outcasted by the collective that they so desperately want to save.
Until mankind is capable of living in an Individualist’s utopia we must protect the rights, freedoms and uniqueness of the Individualists who will be the intellectual engine and leadership of the world — while at the same time taming the dangerous and powerful beast that is the collective, harnessing it’s power to keep hostile tribes at bay and for the long-term benefit and stability of mankind.
1984 by George Orwell
A Traditionalist Confronts Fascism by Julius Evola
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Capitalism by Ayn Rand
Escape From Freedom by Erich Fromm
Fascism Viewed From The Right by Julius Evola
For The New Intellectual by Ayn Rand
Honoring The Self by Nathaniel Branden
Notes on The Third Reich by Julius Evola
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
The Crowd by Gustave Le Bon
The Fall of Western Man by Mark Collett
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The Psychology of Revolution by Gustave Le Bon
The Psychology of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
The Romantic Manifesto by Ayn Rand
The Sane Society by Erich Fromm
The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand
Philosophy Who Needs It by Ayn Rand
Propaganda by Edward Bernays
The Fall of Western Man