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Individualism

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:16 am
by Pandora
How old is the concept of individualism? It is argued that this concept is actually a pretty recent phenomenon, as most identities throughout history have been tribal. I would say that it makes sense in so much as lone survival in the past would have been extremely difficult, so most people have lived in communities and therefore had communal identities.
So, in that case, where does individualism stand existentially? Is it a natural part of man’s evolution, or is it rather a more modern man-made concept?

Re: Individualism

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:20 pm
by Ierrellus
Id say individualism as a social phenomenon in the West began with Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation and was intensified by the advent of the printing press.
On the level of evolution organisms and their parts go through three types of existential experience: individuation, synthesis and metamorphosis. The experiences can be described from a human POV as being, becoming and belonging. If human destiny follows these evolutionary patterns, society is now well into the age of individuation and may be on the verge of an age of synthesis or global awareness. Population increases and the lack of a wilderness suggest we will have to become more dependent on each other for the necessities of life.

Re: Individualism

PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:45 pm
by Pandora
Sounds to me like you’re describing a circle movement: from collective, to individualist, and then back to collective.

Re: Individualism

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:01 am
by john1565
By the way, this is the golden (?) era of individualism, I think. While 20 years ago there was 1 phone for 1 or few families , now we all have at least 2 mobiles with us! This is separating us :x

Re: Individualism

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:26 pm
by Ierrellus
It is my opinion that individual evolution sets the stages for social evolution, that descriptions of one can work for the other. In other words,the processes of growth and development are synonymous for individual and collective. These processes are circular depending on the living space available for the expansion of human development. We cannot foresee humans migrating to space stations or to other planets or their satellites in the near future. This meanwhile entrapment in a limited space, given the increase in human population, forces globalism as a necessary collective. This does not mean there will not be powerful individuals or individualistic movements in our near future. It means that the focus of survival may shift from I to We,
from individualistic morality to the ecomorality as implicit in ecosystems.

Re: Individualism

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:11 pm
by Ierrellus
Welcome, john. About the smart phone technology, I believe it is drawing us closer together. The single phone has to have feedback from other phones. It is not an isolating toy; it's an advance in communication, which takes at least two to accomplish.

Re: Individualism

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:15 pm
by Karpel Tunnel
Individualism was more present in Native American cultures at first contact. Tribes had a great distrust of authority, and chiefs needed to constantly curry favor and perform well to remain in their roles. Individuals in tribes were more expressive of individual traits than their European counterparts. I think related to this was tribal ideas of childhood which was more pronounced than Europeans who often treated children as little adults. There was a real development stage in NA childrearing, something that would have been considered strange and indulgent in Europe. Ideas about individualism filtered out into European immigrants and affected the culture of the US, making it one of the most individualistic large cultures in the world.

Re: Individualism

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 4:30 am
by Rabbi Shekelstein
Pandora wrote:How old is the concept of individualism? It is argued that this concept is actually a pretty recent phenomenon, as most identities throughout history have been tribal. I would say that it makes sense in so much as lone survival in the past would have been extremely difficult, so most people have lived in communities and therefore had communal identities.
So, in that case, where does individualism stand existentially? Is it a natural part of man’s evolution, or is it rather a more modern man-made concept?


Extreme individualism was born with the liberal philosophical movement that birthed democratic government and republican parliamentarianism.

Extreme individualism is a cancer on community and societal social cohesion which is why the west is where it is at currently. Only when extreme individualism is destroyed will the western host recuperate from its current afflictions and ailments.

Re: Individualism

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 4:33 am
by Rabbi Shekelstein
Karpel Tunnel wrote:Individualism was more present in Native American cultures at first contact. Tribes had a great distrust of authority, and chiefs needed to constantly curry favor and perform well to remain in their roles. Individuals in tribes were more expressive of individual traits than their European counterparts. I think related to this was tribal ideas of childhood which was more pronounced than Europeans who often treated children as little adults. There was a real development stage in NA childrearing, something that would have been considered strange and indulgent in Europe. Ideas about individualism filtered out into European immigrants and affected the culture of the US, making it one of the most individualistic large cultures in the world.

No. :lol:

Native American communities were very communal, there was no room for individualism in survival off of the land. Everything was a group activity.

Re: Individualism

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 5:47 am
by Pandora
I also believe the identity was more communal among Native Americans. I remember from reading about slavery among native tribes that it was a common practice for the captured war prisoners of another tribe to be incorporated into the tribe as their own members (after certain number of years of slave service).
[and not just females]. I think that this practice was more practical than anything else, as any lack of tribal numbers was probably a big deal.

Inter-tribal wars were just as often motivated by revenge, as they were over hunting turfs, also pointing to collective identity.

And diplomacy between the tribes was big thing among Native Americans, and some even had complex and elaborate rituals for that purpose (seasonal meeting places and events, gift-giving, mutual celebrations, etc.).
Most of American Indian mythology also revolves around “peoples” (bear/raven/mountain/valley people, etc., and not specific persons). And most of individual characters mentioned in stories are spirit animals.

With other ancient sources, most individuals, that is, people actually mentioned by their name, were people of power, like kings, great warriors, or pharaohs. Probably later, when dynasties were formed, people could claim individual status by association to that person of power, like their descendants, and maybe later, just to the family house (familial tribe). Although, like in the bible, some individual people were also mentioned by their birth (or residence) place, but before that, I don’t know.
I also don’t know what the earliest written record of an individual person is, but I’m pretty sure it would likely be some distinguished person of power, like a great warrior.