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The Ideologies of Individualism and Collectivism
Transcript of The Ideologies of Individualism and Collectivism
is recognized as the ideology that emphasizes the well-being of the individual over the well-being of the group. This ideology stresses the importance of self-reliance and states that in order for society to be collectively happy, individuals must first be happy. There are 6 key features that are recognized as Individualistic.
Milton Friedman was a strong advocate for an individualistic society and was a strong supporter of a
free private market.
He lived from 1912-2006, and won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976.
The Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution of 1750 created the world's current views on the role of the individual in the society. With the shift of power from farming in rural areas to factory work in urban centres, 3 new factors came about at this time in Great Britain:
New ideas about human potential and individual worth
A government friendly to business and innovation
investments in capital and cheap labour, which resulted a larger amount of innovators and inventors encouraged by the possibility of a reward (income)
What is Collectivism?
Collectivism is a ideology that stresses the necessity of human interdependence and the importance of a collective, regardless of the size of the population. Extending from Communism and Socialism, it emphasizes the groups goals over any one individual's.
Tommy Douglas was a member of the New Democratic Party in Canada from 1962-1979. He led North America's first socialist government as the premier of Saskatchewan, and is most recognized for his foundation of Canadian Health Care in 1960.
The Hutterites are a Christian community located in North America with approximately 45,000 members in 460 colonies (Western Canada houses the largest population). Following the teachings of the Bible, Hutterites practice a "community of goods" which governs them to work as a collective. An important aspect of this is that all money earned belongs to the colony. An individual rarely has possessions, instead they are owned by the colony. This is effective in discouraging members from earning personal spending money as they recognize that their family and community are far more important than individual gain.
The Ideologies of Individualism and Collectivism
Kristina Koersen-de Boer
Where Canada is Now
One's personal interest or advantage. People act for their own well-being and life as opposed to putting the rest of society first. This is a a Social aspect of Individualism as it reflects the personal interests and role of any one person in society.
ex. High School students often wish to obtain the highest marks possible to aid them in their personal future goals.
Something owned by the individual. This is most commonly viewed as an Economic factor of individualism as one's possessions and their worth often dictate his or her role in society. There are 3 main types of property:
ex. A man who purchased a plot of land may do what he wishes with his land
Individual Rights and Freedoms
The rights belonging to every individual member of society. (freedom of speech, religion, language). This is a Political aspect of Individualism as often governments decide the rights and freedoms that individuals in a nation will have.
ex. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows Muslims to practice their religion free of prejudice and discrimination.
The ability of individuals to buy, sell, and partake in anything that they wish (in accordance to the law). This is an Economic factor as it relates to the tendencies of individuals to spent money on brands that they deem fit.
ex. An individual has many brand names and companies to chose from when looking for an item
The freedom to buy whatever you want and to sell your labour, idea, or product to whomever you wish without government interference. This is an Economic factor of individualism as it stresses the importance of money on an individual's role in society.
ex. Free Market Economy that is highly dependent on international trade.
Rule of Law
Every individual is equal before the law and all citizens are subject to the law. This is a political aspect because it dictates how courts throughout Canada should be run and how any government decisions should be made.
ex. However, sometimes this is not correctly followed, often times in the cases of celebrities. In August 2014 Justin Bieber was cleared of all DUI charges.
Friedman strongly believed that free private markets were beneficial to all members of society. When individuals put a focus on their own self-interest, they are ensuring that both themselves and others can mutually benefit. The interaction of individuals can successfully lead to both parties benefit, which in turn can lead to a prosperous society.
"The essence of human freedom as of a free private market is freedom of people to make their own decisions so long as they do not prevent anybody else from doing the same thing. That makes clear, I think why free private markets are so closely related to human freedom."
-Milton Friedman, November 1, 1991
Society must function to obtain the benefit of the interests of all. This is identified as a Social factor of Collectivism because it focuses on the well-being of society as a whole.
ex. placing garbage in the garbage can is beneficial for the environment and current population as well as for generations to come.
Holding a whole group or collective responsible for the actions of individuals within the group. It is a Social factor of collectivism because it stresses the actions and consequences of the group and society as a whole.
ex. During the occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany, any kind of help given to a person of Jewish faith was punishable by death not only for the rescuer but for his or her family as well.
Working together towards a common goal. Identified as a Social factor because of the extent to which individuals must work together and make sacrifices for the common good. It could also be argued a Political factor as governments attempt to work with the common interests of the public.
ex. Individuals within a small group of friends often exhibit the, "If you help me I'll help you" state of mind. This secures both parties benefit while the feelings of friends are not hurt.
Adherence to Collective Norms
Faithful observance of the standards imposed on members in the group. It is Political factor of Collectivism as many government made decisions are chosen within the confines of social norms of the pluralistic groups in Canada.
ex. In the Muslim culture, it is required of women to dress modestly by wearing lose and non revealing clothing. Obeying the dress code is a way of obeying God.
The community or state owns the property and it is managed according to the groups desires.This is an Economic factor of collectivism as many of these services are paid for by taxpayers money.
ex. The Eastlink Centre in Grande Prairie promotes services that meet the recreational and cultural needs of Grande Prairie and area citizens.
Citizens are all equal when it comes to the economy regardless of status. This is an Economic factor of Collectivism as it relates to the money earned and spent by Canadian citizens.
ex. In Canada and in many nations around the world, people with a higher income pay higher taxes.
As a democratic nation, Canada allows citizens to have a say in what they believe is right. As well, liberalism and individualism is supported through a free market. However, with laws in place and services such as Health Care, Canada also demonstrates Collectivism by supporting the common good and well-being of all its citizens. For this reason, Canada is known as a Welfare State.
Douglas strongly believed in the necessity of obtaining goals for the common good, and that the role of the government is to maintain equality in the affairs of all citizens.
"When you people sent me to the House of Commons in 1935, we had no universal old age pension. We have one now. It's not enough, but we have one. We had no unemployment insurance. We had no central Bank of Canada, publicly owned. We didn't have a Canada Pension plan, didn't have any family allowances.
"I'm sure that the standard of public morality we've helped build will force government in Canada to approve complete health insurance."