Individualism and Collectivism

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Individualism emphasizes the value of self-reliance and personal responsibility. It is a philosophy which places the importance of the individual's will above that of the community, or rather than one does not have to place the wishes and desires of society or the community above one's own personal wishes or desires.


Societies characterized as collectivist are commonly communist or communal societies.
Democratic society is more or less based on individualism, and how as individuals we are all free to decide our own path and determine our own fates. These days, we all say that the individual has the right to decide how to live their own lives, and individuals, societies, or institutions should not be allowed to interfere. A common argument against individualism is that it is little more than selfishness or egotism. However, individualism is more about providing personal choices rather than explicitly providing benefit to individuals.
Perhaps the most glaringly obvious downside to this is that the increasing emphasis on the importance of the individual has by necessity occurred in conjunction with de-emphasis on the importance of community. In deciding that we are free to determine our fates regardless of any other considerations, we have lost that feeling of community that used to be considered so important. Too many people have stopped believing they have any responsibility to their wider community, and this is reflected in increasing crime rates, especially of violent crime. ...
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