Tagged: Individualism

On Groups

A team is where a boy can prove his courage on his own. A gang is where a coward goes to hide. –Mickey Mantle, The Quality of Courage (Bison Books edition, 1999), 90 Collectivism, as a moral premise, is essentially the denial of the ultimate value, or rather the ultimate existence, of the individual. Individualism, as that term is used all too often...

Signs of Life

We live in the age of The Group. Group fear, group laughter, group compliance, group protest.  As I have said many times, following Socrates, every crowd is dumber than its dumbest member. “Group activity” and “group thought” are euphemisms for death and stillbirth, respectively. No group achieves more of positive value than any individual member, acting alone or in coordination with one or...

Standing Apart

You are not better merely for standing apart — many who stand apart are only fools or fugitives. But neither can you become better until you stand apart. Those in the crowd hate the one who stands apart, because they lack the courage to risk becoming better themselves, and failing — and because they fear being left behind. Nothing angers the crowd more,...

Nietzsche on Party Politics

Apart. — Parliamentarianism — that is, public permission to choose between five basic political opinions — flatters and wins the favor of all those who would like to seem independent and individual, as if they fought for their opinions. Ultimately, however, it is indifferent whether the herd is commanded to have one opinion or permitted to have five. Whoever deviates from the five...

The Individual

Most political calamities in this era of the Politics of Calamity, if one were to analyze them down to their barest elements, would prove to revolve around the problem of the lost individual. This is not surprising, since both of the defining currents of modern politics, totalitarian progressivism and strongman populism, are perspectives which systematically reject the individual soul — its natural needs...

On Restoring American Individualism

The following, originally published at American Thinker in 2012, was my attempt to offer a synoptic account of the intellectual grounding of modern constitutional republicanism — i.e., political freedom — and of how that grounding is undermined by progressivism. This essay is assigned annually in a required discussion course taught at University of Missouri, where I suppose it has made hundreds of young...

The Great Surrender

Those who have been forcibly divested of their natural liberty by tyrants must be pitied. They have been coerced into accepting lies of security and state beneficence as paltry compensation for the loss of their birthright of a life worthy of human beings. And yet such wretchedness of external conditions, though destroying a man’s practical life, does not destroy the man. More wretched...

The Vanishing Feeling of Freedom

  The primary reason it is so difficult to defend political liberty today is that freedom is a rational construct, and thus cannot be understood by the irrational. Children, or adults whose moral reasoning skills are stalled at childish levels, are unable to experience it—they literally don’t know what they are missing. This is why authoritarians of all stripes are hell-bent on producing...

Where’s the Progress in Progressivism

As we know from the climate change farce, progressives are never deterred by reality’s refusal to fall in line with the theories they use to justify their authoritarian advances. This obstinacy reveals the extent to which, contrary to honest reasoning, their political agenda determines their theoretical framework, rather than vice versa. Nowhere is this more evident than with regard to the most fundamental...