We all love freedom, don’t we? Yes, it is absolutely yes. So let’s find out what is individualism. This might seem like a simple concept. Yet, it is not. It has a deeper meaning. The definition of individualism is the principle or habit of being independent and self-reliant. Individualism is also the practice and belief that every person is unique and self-reliant.
In particular, the United States has a strong bent towards individualism. The concepts such as Totalitarianism and Collectivism are in contrast to Individualism. Artistic and Bohemian interests and lifestyles are also associated with individualism. In those lifestyles, there is self-creation and experimentation as opposed to traditions and behaviors
Individualism is a quality or state of being an individuated; a person who is separated from each and everything with unique character by owning his or her desires, goals, and needs in comparison to their people. Individuals indicated separateness, as in individualism from the 17th century.
The principle of individuation is the manner in which a thing is recognized as distinguished from other things. Carl Gustav Jung, a German psychoanalyst, and psychiatrist described individuation as a process of transformation whereby the collective unconscious and personal is brought into consciousness (by means a free association, active imagination or dreams) to be adapted into the whole personality. It is a natural process for the integration of the psyche to take place. Furthermore, he also considered individuation as the central process of human development.
Initially, Individualism was introduced as a pejorative by Owen ties in the 1830’s. They rejected the collective ideas of property and found the individualism as a ‘’universalism’’ that permitted the development of the original genius.
Individuals are mainly concerned with guarding individual autonomy against obligations imposed by social institutions. The two political philosophies called liberalism and anarchism are fundamentally concerned with individual freedom but differs from each other in distinct ways.
Individual freedom is the strongest faith in liberalism. This belief is widely accepted in Europe, Australia, the United States and other western nations. It was considered as a paramount value by many western philosophers throughout history. This concept is often rejected by collectivist and Confucians in civilized societies. But, Taoists were recognized as individualists.
Liberal ideas in the 17th century influenced the governments in England, Poland, Netherlands and Switzerland, but it was strongly opposed by who favored absolute monarchy and established religion.
A political philosophy that promotes the principles of individualism is known as Autarchism, such as self-reliance and the moral ideology of individual liberty. This concept supports the elimination of government and rejects the compulsory government in favor of ruling oneself to the exclusion of rule by others.
The ideas of freethought define that individuals should not agree with ideas proposed as truth without recourse to reason and knowledge. Thus, freethinkers always fight to build their opinions in the basis of scientific inquiry, facts, logical principles or intellectually limited effects of authority, urban legend, confirmation bias, tradition, cognitive bias, sectarianism, conventional wisdom, prejudice and popular culture and all other dogmas. The freethinkers hold a belief in that there is insufficient proof to scientifically validate the existence of supernatural phenomena regarding the religion.
Humanism is the point to a number of ranges in ethical stances that attaches the importance of capabilities, human dignity, concerns, and particular rationality. Although the word has different meanings, it is focussed when contrasted to the supernatural or to appeals to authority. Humanism was associated with an anti-clericalism inherited from the 18th century enlighten philosophies since the 19th century. The 21st-century humanism tends to strongly endorse human rights, including, social justice, reproductive rights, gender equality and the separation of the church and state. The term also covers humanistic life stance, organized non-theistic religions and secular humanism.
Criticism of individualism
Most of the socialists have criticized the excessive levels of individualism in the United States. A socialist argued that three distinct but yet overlapping ideologies of individualism are currently prevalent. The first is the ideology of self-willed wealth and the second is the ideology of full self-reliance and the third is the ideology of high self-esteem. These ideas also can fuel selfish behaviors. People embracing individualistic ideologies may become preoccupied with attaining full self-reliance, wealth, high self-esteem at the expense of healthy marriages, altruism, and development of deep social bonds which are assumed to be self-evident virtues.
Religion and individualism
Many of the people in Europe tend to more individualistic them communitarian. One of the authors analyzed that this is the difference due to the part of the influence in the Catholic Church in the middle ages. They pointed specifically to its bans on cousin marriage, remarriage, incest, adoption and its promotion of the nuclear family over the extended family. The Catholic Church demonstrates that Lord’s Prayer competes with individualism because God loves everyone and each and everyone must be loved in turn.