Collectivism versus individualism

A forumnite in Asiawind, who called himself Platypus, asserted that "Collectivism is just responsible individualism. There’s no necessary conflict between the two". I like his statement, as it is in congruence with the duality of nature. There is always the ying and the yang that go together, and one can’t really say that one prefer the ying to the yang and vice versa.
 
This is how Platypus argues his case:
 
Let me explain why I think that collectivism versus individualism is so much false dichotomy.

By my observation the Chinese people are the most individualistic people I’ve seen. Chinese all got their individual opinions and are eager to voice them. Yet Chinese are collectivist too.

So how to resolve the seeming paradox? Well, collectivism is just individualism that takes into account the concept of externality.

Example: It’s your individual choice to drive a gas-guzzling SUV, but if you’re able to put your decision in its proper context, then you’ll see the negative externality you’re generating and the perception of you that you’re creating, then you might think twice about buying a big SUV.

In other words, collectivism is not individualism snuffed out. Collectivism is just responsible individualism. There’s no necessary conflict between the two.

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About kchew

an occasional culturalist
This entry was posted in Philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

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