Wednesday, September 30, 2015

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CAPITALIST INDIVIDUALITY AND THE NEED FOR SOCIAL ORGANIZATION

1.-SCIOPATHS- 2.- INDIVIDUALISTS- 3.- COLLECTIVISTS- 4.- SUPPLY SIDE- 5.- DEMAND SIDE- 16.- SYNTHESIS

To understand any phenomenon one needs to study its positives and negatives in relation to its opposite, which also has positives and negatives. The result of this tension, which is the synthesis, harbors elements of both. One side of the equation is growing stronger and coming to the fore  while the other side is growing weaker and fading away. The same is true with its opposite, but in varying degrees. The truth will be revealed upon examination of which side is growing stronger and which side is growing weaker, and what the outcomes are, in which each eventually turns into it opposite. Truth can only be based on facts, not on conjecture or wishful thinking. 

2.-SOCIOPATHS-  INDIVIDUALIST NEGATIVES- Sociopaths are individualists who lack  empathy  or conscience, have poor impulse control  and are  manipulative. Fundamentally they are antisocial. These characteristics are valued under capitalism, because they can be seen  as providing audacious leadership by people who are adaptive in a highly competitive environment, and that get results for both the individual and the corporations. Capitalists are individualistic and sociopathological predators  who use charm,  intimidation, and violence  to control others and to satisfy their own selfish egos and lust for power. Whoever was responsible for the 911 events shows that kind of madness. Lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they take what they want and do as they please,  parasitically violating traditional social norms without  guilt or remorse, feeling that their superiority gives them carte blanche to do whatever they want.  They exhibit qualities that don't allow a human being to live in social harmony. Their egocentricity  and lack insight lead to little sense of responsibility or consequence. Their emotions are superficial and shallow, callous,  and incapable of forming lasting relationships, let alone showing any kind of meaningful love. They never perform any action unless it can be beneficial for themselves.

EMPTINESS. Even though they satisfy their feelings of being superior, at the same time they suffer a feeling of emotional emptiness, the result of having no concern for the feelings of others and no sense of social obligation, due to an inability to process contextual cues. Consequently, when others become hostile at their behavior, they blame the victim.  People in individual societies are known to feel "lonely" at some times or another compared to their collectivist counterparts. Many people also find it easier to live in a society where social harmony is emphasized, and groups by definition remain more cohesive than in individualist societies, where groups are observed to be in competition and are less stable.   Sociopath individualists have low tolerance for frustration and aggression. They have no  anxiety  in relation to their behavior; they are devoid of conscience. However, they are very good at mimicking a  conscientious manner when it suits their needs relying on their superficial charm to mask their unreliability, untruthfulness, insincerity and lack of shame. They exhibit antisocial behavior without apparent compunction, and  fail to learn from experience. After the market crash of 2008, caused largely by loans and derivatives, as soon as they were bailed out they went back to the same exact behavior, paving the way for a subsequent crash.

PERSONAL RELATIONS. They show a pathological incapacity to love. To them love is an arrangement of trophy wives, prenups and divorce settlements, which may include highly lucrative lawsuits, but exhibit general poverty in major affective reactions, and  unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations, leading to a sex life that is impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated.

AGGRESSION. They routinely engage in  aggression towards peers. They think its funny to get  others into trouble and are capable of initiating  a campaign of psychological torment. If they are found out they become more cunning in hiding their behavior better, and become  even more adept at manipulating others and concealing their  behavior. They  engage in such conduct because they care little about others. Their lifestyle may lead to depression and even at times suicide or murder, showing impulsivity, weak behavioral controls, irresponsibility, lack of realistic long-term goals, (for example in finance preferring short-term profits to long range planning, as in their use of derivatives),  proneness to boredom/need for stimulation, and a parasitic lifestyle. They show  a narcissistic and histrionic personality correlated to antisocial attitudes associated with reactive anger, anxiety, increased  criminality, and  violence. Their imagined superiority is made manifest by huge yachts, private planes and multimillion dollar homes on various continents. They engage in cruelty to animals and humans. They engage in the deliberate setting of wars with utter disregard for the property and lives of others, rationalizing their need for wealth and power. Lies are so extensive that it is often impossible to know lies from truth. (Ivasion of Iraq).

2.- INDIVIDUALISTS.  NEGATIVES.- Sociopaths are individualists to an exaggerated degree. Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the  centerdness of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of their goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance and push for the  interests of the individual  to achieve precedence over the well being of the state or a social group. They  oppose external interference upon their own interests by society or institutions (such as the much touted government).  Individualism is considered "free" when contrasted with totalitarianism (top down), or, (bottom up) collectivism.   Individualists do not favour any philosophy that requires the sacrifice of the self-interest of the individual for higher social causes.   According to them, humans first seek to ensure survival, and then they seek to dominate. These facets of human nature are supposedly a product of genetically coded survival instincts modified by the totality of our environment . Accordingly, once humans' basic needs have been filled  they may employ  self-interest.  Excessive general self-interest, however, leads to deception, criminality, and conflict. The doctrine of economic individualism holds that each individual should be allowed autonomy in making his or her own economic decisions as opposed to those decisions being made by the state, the community, or even the corporation.  Such a person  is justified in not paying taxes, attempting government coups, etc. all in the name of freedom.

POLITICAL ECONOMY. In capitalist economics, people's behavior is equally explained in terms of rational choice, as constrained by prices and incomes. The economist accepts individuals' preferences as givens. The economist continues to search for differences in prices or incomes to explain any differences or changes in behavior.  This method  is often rejected by collectivist, Islamic, or Confucian societies in Asia or the Middle East, (for example, it is against Islam to charge interest), making them easy targets for Western propaganda  Many foundational assumptions that dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, and established (Catholic) religion,  were fiercely opposed, often by armed might (Protestant Reformation). That opposition was capitalism in its infancy. Evidence that modern, decadent capitalism is starting to fade away is manifested by five points that show its inherent weakness; First, the system is unplanned and  unstable. This anarchy of production cannot reconciliate the social character of production and the private confiscation of production, and thus makes the recurring crises inevitable.(stock market crashes) Second,  It is an asymmetrical system, that is, the chasing after wealth produces the concentration and centralization of capital and the wealth of the society in a few  hands (polarization). Third, the global economy is market oriented and nationalist,  and requires military protection  to function globally (endless wars). Fourth,  The transnational corporations exclude  all the citizens of the world community, who have no say so in their decisions, and do not satisfy the needs of the population (world hunger). Fifth,  The development and use of resources of the first world is simply ecologically unsustainable (pollution).

EXISTENTIALISM  is practiced by those who not only think about their  own individuality but have no hesitation in sacrificing the individuality of others. This to them is the normative ethical position, that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest. Existentialism is a term applied to those who generally hold that the focus of philosophical thought should selfishly be to deal with the conditions of existence of the individual  and his or her emotions, actions, responsibilities, and thoughts. The individual solely has the responsibilities of giving one's own life meaning and living that life passionately and sincerely, in spite of many  obstacles and distractions that exist, including despair, angst, absurdity, alienation, and boredom. Subsequent existential philosophers retain the emphasis on the individual, but differ on the potential consequences of the existence or non-existence of God. Existentialism became fashionable in the capitalist West during the post-World War years as a way to reassert the importance of human individuality and "freedom", the existentialist  shibboleth of preference.  But, freedom leads to libertinage.  A libertine is one devoid of most moral restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behaviour sanctified by the larger society. Libertines place value on physical pleasures only.

OBJECTIVISM.- Objectivism is a similar system based on individuality  that holds: reality exists independent of consciousness; human beings gain knowledge rationally from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive and deductive logic; the moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest. Objectivists demand full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure laissez faire capitalism; and the role of art in human life is to transform man's widest metaphysical ideas, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form—a work of art—that he can comprehend and to which he can respond emotionally. Objectivism celebrates man as his own hero, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

FREEDOM IS TYRANNY-TURNING INTO ITS OPPOSITE.-  The greatest error held by proponents of "freedom" is that it is free. In  fact, private ownership over the means of production and  a return to 'free' competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny  worse  than that of an unyielding state. The term "free individual" is really  a smokescreen for the collective interests of the capitalist class; it is a front for the interests of the upper class, the straitjacket of individuality, as is  'rugged individualism', which  is only a masked attempt to repress and defeat the individual and his individuality. So-called Individualism is the social and economic laissez-faire: the exploitation of the masses by the ruling classes by means of legal trickery, spiritual debasement and systematic indoctrination and promotion  of the servile spirit ...  The idea has  resulted in the greatest modern debt slavery, the crassest class distinctions, driving millions to the breadline. 'Rugged individualism' has meant all the 'individualism' for the masters, while the people are regimented into a slave caste to serve a handful of self-seeking 'supermen.' ... This  is simply one of the many pretenses the ruling class makes to mask unbridled business and political extortion.

3.- COLLECTIVISM - NEGATIVE- TURNING INTO ITS OPPOSITE- Democratic and egalitarian collectivsm can also turn into its opposite. The danger in vertical collectivism is that those at the top can begin to exercise illegitimate power over those below. If  authoritarian collectivities are allowed to flourish,  power may accrue to the person or group who is supposed to embody the collective. For example,  in regards to a police department, an individual can be detained whether he or she wishes to or not, overriding his or her will . This can constitute a misuse of power. Collectives can degenerate into unquestioning, mass crowd mentality.  Popular conception interprets collectivism as mandated adherence to a state or other entity opposed to individual autonomy. This belief however may more precisely refer to corporatism,  nationalism, fascism,  etc. which in the 20th century was often considered the only forms of collectivism. As a consequence of the Cold War, and poor social science education  vertical  collectivism assumes that individuals are fundamentally different from each other. There are two main objections to collectivism from the point of view  of individualism. One is that collectivism stifles individuality and diversity by insisting upon a common social identity, such as nationalism or some other group focus. The other is that collectivism is linked to statism and the diminution of freedom when political authority is used to advance collectivist goals. . As soon as a faction has succeeded in winning the support of the majority of citizens and thereby attained control of the government machine, it is free to deny to the minority all those democratic rights by means of which it itself has previously carried on its own struggle for supremacy.   Some anti-collectivists  argue that all authoritarian and totalitarian societies are (vertically) collectivist in nature. Socialists argue that modern capitalism and private property, which is based on socialized production and joint-stock or corporate ownership structures, is a form of organic collectivism that sharply contrasts with the perception that capitalism is a system of free individuals exchanging commodities.  Some believe that collectivism results in the empowerment of a minority of individuals that leads to further oppression of the majority of the population in the name of some ideal such as a moral and political obligation of the individual to sacrifice his own interests for the sake of a greater social good.  Objectivists are particularly vocal opponents of collectivism, arguing that it leads to totalitarianism and the   subjugation of the individual to a group.
HISTORY.- Collectivism has in actuality been observed throughout history and has existed  for thousands of years, and has been noticed at the very founding of human societies until now.
There is a distinction between guilt societies (e.g., medieval Europe) with an internal reference standard, and shame societies (e.g., Japan, bringing shame upon one's ancestors) with an external reference standard, where people look to their peers for feedback on whether an action is acceptable or not. Monarchical societies  had a system of social ranks which were collectivist because the social rank one had or did not have was more important than his or her individual will.

4.  SUPPLY SIDE FINANCE - NEGATIVES-  In the classical perspective the output of an economy is determined by the level of employment. This model states that a government's proper role is to concern itself only with the money supply, and to otherwise leave the economy to regulate itself.  It claims that interest rates are what determine how much people save and—because investment money is drawn from savings—how much is invested.  The price levels for goods in an economy are set by the volume of money flowing in the economy. Investment typically follows a pattern:  an initial enthusiasm toward exploiting new natural resources  and people, followed by a period of caution since greedy overexpanding could possibly check growth, and finally a period of inactivity comes about when the market becomes saturated, and the investor keeps his/her fingers crossed hoping nothing will go wrong in the anarchical structure of investment. Thereupon follows a crisis of overproduction with no takers, and goods have to be thrown away or left to rot in order to keep the prices up.   This is referred to as "supply-side" economics— the most influential factor on an economy's growth is the quantity of supplies and how much producers are selling on the market.  It is stated that "supply creates its own demand," meaning that producers pay out incomes in order to produce their product and, by so doing, give people money with which, they argue, they will either spend their earnings  or invest.

BLAME FOR FAILURE.-   Supply-side economics proposes that production or supply is the key to economic prosperity and that consumption or demand is merely a secondary consequence. The supply of one good constitutes demand for one or more other goods. This requires that the original good have some value to another party and it is through willingness to trade this value that the producer of the new good can express his demand for another good.  Supply siders blame economic failure on high tax-rate progressive income tax systems, advocating  lower tax rates and a return to some kind of gold standard, so the capitalist can have more money to invest.  What actually  happens  when a country's economy seriously declines is that its citizens' income contracts and the possibility of saving diminishes.  This  puts the economy in paralysis—a frozen state of economic balance. The essential characteristic of a depression is a drop in investments.  Since  there is not a surplus of savings, interest rates remain high so the capitalist can hang on to the money.  However, investment will not be encouraged, since the risks increase and the amount of return on investment dips.  Consequently, an economy in a depression may very well stay that way—in depression. It is the  ruthless, speculative nature of economies.   Masses of unemployed  people can be crying for goods, while the economy run by individualists refuses to produce, due to a lack of sufficient investment . Supply side is inevitably revealed as a hoax.   Meanwhile, a rising segment of the unemployed simply do not have the ability to make the stricken  economy respond since they do not have by themselves the resources necessary to generate economic change.

THE CRASH.- The current decline in the US stock market is due to  the supply side theory in action.  Years of excessive cash availability supplied by the Federal Reserve have created a bubble so huge that a mere six stocks,  which have no earnings in keeping with their overblown price, accounted for more than all of the gain in market capitalization . The stock market decline is  due to corporations using their profits, and even taking out loans, to repurchase their shares, thus creating an artificial demand for the money value of the stock  shares, which was not backed by durable goods or value.  Orders fell  for  six consecutive months. Real median family income collapsed,  resulting in the collapse of consumer demand, after two decades of offshoring middle class jobs and partially replacing them with minimum wage  jobs and below without benefits,  none of which provide sufficient income to form a household. Supply-side economics developed  in response to the failure of  management to stabilize Western economies during the period of stagnation and inflation, where  the inflation rate was high, the economic growth rate slowed, and unemployment remained steadily high.  All this in the wake of the oil crisis where oil consumption–in the form of gasoline and other products–was rising even as domestic oil production was declining. US capitalists assumed that supply side would carry them through on oil production but the Middle Eastern countries placed an embargo on oil production to the West to curtail its -and Israel's- colonial expansionism, leading to an increasing dependence on oil imported from abroad, which  was not forth coming, and which in turn led  to a fuel shortage and sky high prices. .  The new thinking was forced to take into account   the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole, rather than individual markets, including national, regional, and global economies.

9.- DEMAND SIDE NEGATIVE- Those who advocate demand side are criticized for the fact that the theory can be  adapted more to the conditions of a totalitarian state than the theory of production and distribution of a given production put forth under free competition and  laissez-faire conditions. The total income in a society is defined by the sum of consumption and investment; and in a state of unemployment and unused production capacity, one can only enhance employment and total income by first increasing expenditures for  consumption. This is viewed as the foundation of  performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole, rather than individual markets, including national, regional, and global economies. Another criticism is the promotion of  stagnation and inflation, where   the inflation rate was high, the economic growth rate slowed, and unemployment remains steadily high, although the population is subsidized.
****************************************************************************
2.- INDIVIDUALISM- POSITIVES- LA VIE BOHEME.- Humans societies need individualism to light the creative spark. The human individual has  the right  to freedom and self-realization.  Individualism is often contrasted either with totalitarianism (top down) or with collectivism, (bottom up) but in fact there is a spectrum of behaviors at the societal level ranging from highly individualistic societies through mixed societies to collectivist. Individualism is  associated with artistic and bohemian interests and lifestyles where there is a tendency towards self-creation and experimentation as opposed to tradition. Individualism attracted a dedicated following of bohemian artists and intellectuals,  birth control advocates ,  naturists, nudists, freethought and anti-clerical activists as well as young anarchist outlaws, people who express their opposition in uniquely personal forms, especially in fiery tracts, outrageous behavior, and aberrant lifestyles in the cultural ghettos. It  remains largely a bohemian lifestyle, most conspicuous in its demands for sexual freedom, free love, and enamored of innovations in art, behavior, and clothing, evidencing a  denial of social conventions and dogmas in order to live in accord to one's own ways and desires.  Hedonism  is a  theory  which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good and pain is the only intrinsic bad.
 ANARCHISM.-  contends that the State lacks moral legitimacy and  advocates (usually) peaceful evolution to overcome it.  Philosophical anarchists do not believe that they have an obligation or duty to obey the State, nor conversely, that the State has a right to command. Individualism here is  used to denote a personality with a strong tendency towards self-creation and experimentation as opposed to tradition or popular mass opinions and behaviors. Individualists are chiefly concerned with protecting individual autonomy against obligations imposed by social institutions (such as the state or religious morality).   Civil libertarianism  supports civil liberties, and emphasizes the supremacy of individual rights and personal freedoms over and against any kind of authority (such as a state, a corporation, social norms imposed through peer pressure, etc . Individualists in this case are thus people who demand  the right to full development for all human facets, their own and that of others; an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to what may be an unjust state. They hold that the surest defense against evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even—eccentricity. That is, something that can't be feigned,faked, or imitated.
 
Anarchism shares with liberalism a radical commitment to individual freedom while rejecting liberalism's competitive property relations. Anarchism declares; "With the abolition of private property we shall have true, beautiful, healthy Individualism. Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things, and the symbols for things. One will live. Art is individualism, and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. There lies its immense value. For what it seeks is to disturb monotony of type, slavery of custom, tyranny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine.

LIBERALISM.- asserts that "no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions."  Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."  Liberalism followed earlier forms of liberalism in its commitment to personal freedom and popular government, but contradictorily differed from earlier forms of liberalism in its commitment to free markets and classical economics.

ETHICAL ALTRUISM.-  holds that moral agents have an obligation to help and serve others, but  there are variations on the theme that show the complexity of this point. Some feel  that a moral agent should treat one's self  with no higher regard than one has for others, in opposition to  egoism, which  elevates self-interests and "the self" to a status not granted to others. The other extreme is those who sacrifice their own interests for the sake of  others' interests.  The midway point  is not to  treat the subject's own interests as being more or less important than anyone else's. What is in one's self-interest may be incidentally detrimental, beneficial, or neutral in its effect on others. Individualism allows for others' interest and well-being to be disregarded or not, as long as what is chosen is efficacious in satisfying the self-interest of the agent. Nor does ethical egoism necessarily entail that, in pursuing self-interest, one ought always to do what one wants to do; e.g. in the long term, the fulfilment of short-term desires may prove detrimental to the self.  These are political positions based  on a belief that individuals should not coercively prevent others from exercising freedom of action.
  
FREETHOUGHT.-  holds that individuals should  accept ideas proposed as truth by recourse to knowledge, reason  and analysis. Thus  freethinkers strive to build their opinions on the basis of facts, scientific inquiry, and logical principles, independent of any other ideas involving logical fallacies or intellectually limiting effects of authority, confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, sectarianism, tradition, urban legend, and all other dogmas. Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to scientifically validate the existence of supernatural phenomena.

HUMANISM  is also a perspective common to a wide range of ethical stances that attaches importance to human dignity and capabilities. Although the word has many senses, its meaning comes into focus when contrasted to the supernatural or to appeals to authority. It has been associated with an anti-clericalism and  tends to strongly endorse human rights, including reproductive rights, gender equality, social justice, and the separation of church and state. The term covers organized non-theistic religions, secular humanism, and a humanistic life stance. Humanists identify individualism as an important current of socio-political thought with a  tendency similar to stoicism in which the honest person works his being in the manner of an sculptor who searches the liberation of the forms which are inside a block of marble, to extract the truth of that matter, to cultivate the idea of beauty within oneself, of satisfying one´s passions of feeling and thinking.

MUTUALISM.-  is an anarchist school of thought which  envisions a society where each person might possess a means of production, either individually or as a group, with trade representing equivalent amounts of labor in the free market. Integral to this idea is the establishment of a mutual-credit bank which lends to producers at a minimal interest rate only high enough to cover the costs of administration. Mutualism is based on a labor theory of value which holds that when labor or its product is sold, in exchange, it ought to receive goods or services embodying the amount of labor necessary to produce an article of exactly similar and equal utility. Receiving anything less would be considered exploitation, theft of labor, or usury. Inherent in this thinking is a disrespect for "ghosts" such as private property and markets. Unlike the rest of the socialist movement, the individualist anarchists believed that the natural wage of labor in a free market was its product, and that economic exploitation could only take place when capitalists and landlords harnessed the power of the state in their interests. Thus, individualist anarchism was an alternative both to the increasing statism of the mainstream socialist movement, and to a classical liberal movement that was moving toward a mere apologetic for the power of big business.

LEFT LIBERTARIANSIM.-OWNERSHIP.- names several related but distinct approaches to politics, society, culture, and political and social theory, which stress both individual freedom and social justice. Unlike right-libertarians, they believe that neither claiming nor mixing one's labor with natural resources is enough to generate full private property rights, and maintain that natural resources (land, oil, gold, trees) ought to be held in some egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively. Those left-libertarians who support private property do so under the condition that recompense is offered to the local community. First, on social—rather than economic—issues, libertarianism tends to be 'left-wing'. It opposes laws that restrict consensual and private sexual relationships between adults (e.g., gay, non-marital, and deviant), laws that restrict drug use, laws that impose religious views or practices on individuals, and compulsory military service. Second, in addition to  right-libertarianism—there is  a version known as left-libertarianism. Both endorse full self-ownership, but they differ with respect to the powers agents have to appropriate unappropriated natural resources (land, air, water, etc.).
*****************************************************************************
3.- COLLECTIVISM- POSITIVES- Collectivism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the significance of groups—their identities, goals, rights, outcomes, etc. Collectivism is the reverse of individualism and in some cases stresses the priority of group goals over individual goals and the importance of cohesion within social groups.  Collectivists usually focus on community, society, or nation. It has been used as an element throughout history and all human societies in practice contain elements of both individualism and collectivism. Collectivism is a basic element of human culture that exists independently of any one political system and has existed since the founding of human society ten thousand years ago,  an inherent feature of human nature

HORIZONTAL.-Horizontal collectivism stresses collective decision-making among relatively equal individuals, and is thus usually based on decentralization, depending on the historical context in which  it occurs.  The "I"  can only be thought in relationship to "we", which is a collective individual where a plurality of I 's acknowledge each other's existence.  As an example of a collectivism before then, the societies that existed along the eastern seaboard of what is now the United States before the Revolution were both individualist and collectivist. Collectivism has been used to refer to a diverse range of political and economic positions, including nationalism, direct democracy, representative democracy. Collectivism does not need a government or political system to exist. An example of that would be a religious organization not backed by government that stresses "group goals".  Collectivism  can also exist within a political system. Collectivism is best exemplified by  "horizontal collectivism", wherein equality is emphasized and people engage in sharing and cooperation,  and therefore expresses group orientation within a society. Horizontal collectivists  favor democratic decision-making, stressing common goals, interdependence and sociability.

VERTICAL.- Vertical collectivism stresses the integrity of the in-group (e.g. the family or the nation, for example), expects individuals to sacrifice themselves for the group if necessary, and promotes competition between different groups. Collectivism is often portrayed as the polar opposite of individualism, which is usually characterized as the economic, political, social or cultural autonomy of the individual within society; but given the different interpretations of individualism, from egocentric perspectives to more integrative ones, this apparent opposition is not necessarily true. For example, worker cooperatives operate on a collective basis but require the direct input of each individual member. While the ideas of holism posit that a sum is greater than its parts, this does not necessarily imply that a collectivity is greater or more powerful than the individuals that make it up, but instead that the collective energies of all individuals involved produce something that goes beyond each person. Collectivism remains with the understanding that any collective organization is fundamentally composed of individuals. Depending on how conscious a collectivity is of this reality determines how genuinely it maintains respect for individuality.   An example of collectivism in more modern times are the police and fire departments. Military ranks in any military system in the world are also an example of collectivism.  All individuals  are expected to pay taxes to these organizations and their will has been overridden in making them do so under law, thus they are collectivist institutions, albeit repressive ones. A different example of a collectivist political system is representative democracy, as in such systems, after voting occurs and a leader has been chosen by the population everyone is expected to accept that individual as their leader regardless of whether they voted for them or not. In collectivist societies, the group is considered more important than any one individual and groups in such societies are expected to take care of their members and individuals are expected to take care of the group. It may be considered inappropriate for a member of a group to openly criticize another in public, though they are  allowed to do so in private.

HAPPIER.- Collectivism has its advantages as compared to individualist societies, since people in collectivist societies  always have access to a group that can assume the responsibility for solving problems and  their members are known to be considered happier, less lonely, and have lower rates of mental stress.  It is sometimes argued that true individualism can only exist when individuals are free from coercive social structures to pursue their own interests, which can only be accomplished by common ownership of socialized, productive assets and free access to the means of life so that no individual has coercive power over other individuals. In response to criticism made by various pro-capitalist groups that claim that public ownership or common ownership of the means of production is a form of collectivism, it is argued  that common ownership over productive assets does not infringe upon the individual, but is instead a liberating force that transcends the false dichotomy of individualism and collectivism.  Socialists maintain that these critiques bring together in harmony the concept of private property in the means of production with personal possessions and individual production.

4.- SUPPLY SIDE - POSITIVE- The theory is that greater tax cuts for investors and entrepreneurs provide incentives to save and invest, and produce economic benefits that trickle down into the overall economy. Producers and their willingness to create goods and services set the pace of economic growth.  An increase in production of goods and services will increase output and lower prices.  When companies temporarily over-produce, excess inventory will be created, prices will subsequently fall and consumers will increase their purchases to offset the excess supply.  Lower tax rates will induce workers to prefer work over leisure . In regard to lower taxes on profits, they believe that lower rates induce investors to deploy capital productively. Lower rates would be more than offset by a higher tax revenue base - due to greater employment and productivity. The Federal Reserve is able  to increase or decrease the quantity of dollars in circulation (i.e. where more dollars mean more purchases by consumers, thus creating cash flow. By printing money the Fed create either too much inflationary cash  or not sufficient to grease the wheels of commerce. Supply siders advocate rather  a policy of gentle inflation tied to economic growth - for example, 3-4% growth in the money supply per year. This principle is the key to understanding why they often advocate a return to the gold standard.  Supply-siders argue that if the U.S. were to peg the dollar to gold, the currency would be more stable,  providing  investors with a "leading indicator" or signal for the dollar's direction and allow the capitalist to curb inflation based on the data.
******************************************************************************
5.- DEMAND SIDE- POSITIVES-   When the great Depression appeared as a result of failed supply side economics,  Western leaders were desperately searching for solutions to revitalize and stabilize the financial systems of their countries. Demand side found that the demand for goods is  more important than having a great supply. People's income level  determines how much they put into savings and investments. The government should actively involve itself, creating the demand for goods when there is high unemployment, and creating the means to purchase those goods. The costs of producing goods sets the price, and demand creates its own supply, because demand is the primary force determining whether or not goods are produced. A government must step in to curb the downward trend and stimulate investment directly,  in order to build a needed infrastructure. It is one of government's roles to provide a guiding influence on the propensity to consume,  encouraging it to return back towards sufficient growth.   It is  the decentralized  ownership of the instruments of production which it is important for the state to assume.  The State should function as a catalyst to repair the economy, and then as in the case of socialism, take it a step further.

FALSE ASSUMPTIONS.- The economy is not like a moving see-saw which will always right itself.  Rather, it is like an elevator which could be rising, lowering, or simply standing still at the bottom of a shaft. Previously, it was held that, caught up in a depression, the people would focus on saving their income, thereby driving interest rates down.  With lower interest rates, businesses would be encouraged to once again invest in economic growth.  But this reasoning was built upon the assumption that there would be a flood of savings available.  This assumption has been shown to be  false.

SOCIALISM.- Socialism is varied in its interpretations, and there are those who critically view  socialism as state ownership or command of the means of production within a more general criticism of the state form itself, as well as of wage labour relationships at the workplace. Instead there is a type of socialism that horizontally emphasizes workers' self-management of the workplace and decentralized structures of political government, asserting that a society based on freedom and equality can be achieved through abolishing authoritarian institutions that control certain means of production and which subordinate the majority to an owning class or political and economic elite. This variation of socialism supports a  decentralized means of direct democracy and federal or confederal associations such as libertarian municipality, citizens' assemblies, trade unions, and workers' councils. All of this is generally done within a general call for voluntary human relationships through the identification, criticism, and practical dismantling of illegitimate authority in all aspects of life.

**********************************************************************************
6.- SYNTHESIS- .   It has been established in this paper that individualism has both positive and negative aspects. The negative aspects are preponderant, as shown by the individualists' selfishness and egocentricity, their  lack of remorse or guilt, and their shallowness. Further, they tend to be emotionally empty, feeling lonely while relying on superficial charm. They show an incapacity to love, and are aggressive. They advocate "freedom" based on self-reliance and self-interest. These internal attitudes are carried over into political economy and all manner of anti-social  and cultural functioning. Individualists are existential and objectivist,  but don't realize that freedom is not free, and that things turn into their opposites. The positive sides to individualism  are important, although not a primary part of the ascendant forces. Self-realization lights the creative spark that affirms our humanity. Individualists will fight a totalitarian state as anarchists, liberals, altruists, and freethinkers, humanists, mutualists, and libertarians.

Supply side economics is run by those who consider themselves individualists, ignoring the fact of their dependency on the economic population in order to function. Supply side results in crises of overproduction where people cannot buy goods and services because financial bubbles have burst resulting in massive unemployment and unrest. Those who advocate for supply side blame the government and high taxes that supposedly prevent them from functioning according to plan. The positive aspects are that an increase in production will result in lower prices- as long as supplies last.

The collective aspects of society are equally divided into positives and negatives, but the positive aspects in the 21st Century are part of the ascendant forces. Within these contradictions the horizontal arrangement of the collective is the most democratic and satisfying, where people engage in sharing and cooperation with common goals, interdependence and sociability. Members of a collectivity have been shown to belong to a safer, happier, liberating force.   It is also suggested that collectivism has to travel along the path of the vertical, where a centralized government controls any attempts at sabotage, to its subsequent flowering into its horizontal aspects, where decentralization can occur as the people themselves make the decisions that affect their lives. The negative aspects of collectivism, much more easily restrained in the age of technology,  is that those at the top of the vertical pyramid can begin to exercise control over those below. Power may accrue to a person or a group that is supposed to embody the collective.
The demand side of the equation has powerful positives to back it up. Government involvement in the economy, massive employment and subsidies obviously result in greater wealth per capita and the ability to buy goods and services with the resulting dynamic push in the economy. Worker's self management in the workplace and decentralized structures in politics will bring about freedom and equality for everyone. The only negative is the danger of a "totalitarian state" but this can be overcome if the base is democratically organized and has the determinant and conscious voice in public affairs.


Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home