## Individualism

The origins of the imperative, "know thyself", are lost in the sands of time, but the age-old examination of human consciousness continues here.

### Individualism

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?

Pandora
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### Re: Individualism

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.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
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Ierrellus
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### Re: Individualism

Sounds to me like you’re describing a circle movement: from collective, to individualist, and then back to collective.

Pandora
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### Re: Individualism

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
john1565

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### Re: Individualism

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.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
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Ierrellus
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### Re: Individualism

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.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
I admit I'm an asshole. Now, can we get back to the conversation?
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Ierrellus
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### Re: Individualism

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.
Karpel Tunnel
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### Re: Individualism

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.
"I'm sorry, but the lifestyle you've ordered that you've grown accustomed to is completely out of stock. Have a nice day! "-$$Zero_Sum Evil Neo-Nazi Extraordinaire. Posts: 2759 Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:05 pm Location: U.S.S.A- Newly lead Bolshevik Soviet block. Also known as Weimar America. ### Re: Individualism Karpel Tunnel wrote:Individualism was more present in Native American cultures at first contact. Tribes had a great distrust of authority, and chiefs needed to constantly curry favor and perform well to remain in their roles. Individuals in tribes were more expressive of individual traits than their European counterparts. I think related to this was tribal ideas of childhood which was more pronounced than Europeans who often treated children as little adults. There was a real development stage in NA childrearing, something that would have been considered strange and indulgent in Europe. Ideas about individualism filtered out into European immigrants and affected the culture of the US, making it one of the most individualistic large cultures in the world. No. Native American communities were very communal, there was no room for individualism in survival off of the land. Everything was a group activity. "I'm sorry, but the lifestyle you've ordered that you've grown accustomed to is completely out of stock. Have a nice day! "-$$\$

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### Re: Individualism

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.

Pandora
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### Re: Individualism

Socrates is a known account of individualism. The same person who said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." He went to the streets asking questions to common folk in which people could understand, brought his individual nature in motion, from microcosm to macrocosm, which his adherence to such got him killed. Unsuccessful example of immediate individualism as a social phenomenon, but inspiration nonetheless carries on to Plato. A building truth carries onward from microcosm to macrocosm through time with inspiration, finally leading to common people learning more self-awareness with unleashed printing press 1500 years later.
Keep smiling, people will want to know what you're up to

xhightension

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### Re: Individualism

Zero_Sum wrote:
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.

Native American communities were very communal, there was no room for individualism in survival off of the land. Everything was a group activity.
No
You see communal and mutually exclusive to individualism because you only have huge societies to go by. At the tribal level of course they needed to work together, but nothing like as much as modern humans do. Chiefs were not kings. If tribal members did not like them (anymore) in that role, they lost it. Children, unlike those in Europe, were given childhoods and a great deal of freedom, and not treated like little adults who need to get their asses worked off. Adults were not seen as beholden to anyone, though of course if you did not do you share there would be social pressures. But there was little hierarchy and that was flexible. Individual dress, behavior, interests were all allowed. The spiritual beliefs were fluid and could be affected by individuals. In fact one of the main problems they had when encountering Europeans was that they were used to individual and individual tribal decision making. It was not easy to whip up a war, because any adult could say no.

"The foundation principle of Indian government had always been the rejection of government. The freedom of the individual was regarded by practically all Indians north of Mexico as a canon infinitely more precious than the individual's duty to his community or nation. This anarchistic attitude ruled all behavior, beginning with the smallest social unit, the family..."
-Zinn

Of course there was a great deal of variation, tribe to tribe, but Natives struck incoming Europeans and proud individuals. You will find such descriptions all over the place. The Founding father were influenced by the democratic and individualistic governing of the Eastern Tribes when they formed the structure of the independent US.
Karpel Tunnel
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### Re: Individualism

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?

'HOW does individualism stand existentially?'

Although I could still answer, where it does stand. I think too critical for this, being it is a modern-man-made concept.
I still trust the ancestors of our ancestors were far more individual than any type of architectural-human being these days. You know, having been co-existing forever, and building adaptable civilization together for millennia. That top me is more an example of individualism than actual individualism, having current individuals protest 'cordial' individualistic-philosophy. Individualism has been apart of history for a long time, yet it's discourse has been of course, Off-Course. That would be a struggle to fix.
(Our object of desire isn't to change current belief systems or complicate already convoluted streams of information; we're not trying to even prove ourselves in anyway. We're just human beings similar to yourself. Not superior, the same. Ancestors of the lost world. The conflicts of beliefs you face in your world, are not only the conflict of self yet life, we cannot compel such conflicts to other's will for any self-benefit. The true goal reached here is there is nothing we can say nor do that can convince anyone else of what they don't know for themselves already. And, when the time calls, and you are ready, the barriers of awareness will expand and such confirmed information will be easily perceived, and known to them! Allow them to seek and find out when they are prepared. All will arrive to light in no time.) Ego sum via veritas et vita;Amesha Spenta;Vohu Mano; Allow all things measurable, microbial and astronomical to remain infinite, unchanged and arrive to light.

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