This week, we’re going to discuss how community, other schools of thought, and constant action deepen your mind.
You Must Critique Individualism
“An individualist is a man who says: “I will not run anyone’s life—nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone—nor sacrifice anyone to myself.” – Ayn Rand
Individualism, like any other philosophy, is worthy of scrutiny and critique. Unfortunately, most criticism against individualism is immature, underdeveloped, and deceitful. However, despite the lack of quality criticism, we should not grow comfortable.
Just as you frequently evaluate your own life, you should always analyze individualism.
Individualism Is Not Enough
Individualism’s greatest weakest is self-absorption. Therefore, we mustn’t trap ourselves into believing self-help will deliver complete insight into legal, moral, and economic issues.
Individualism helps you live your best life. But, you are an individual. Your best life will be different from someone else’s. Furthermore, you may have questions about spirituality, civilization, and economics. A typical discussion of virtue, healthy habits, and inspirational quotes will not give you perfect knowledge of multi-layered, complex subjects.
Thus, you’ll need a community, other schools of thought, and constant action to help deepen your mind.
All Individuals Need A Virtuous and Rational Community
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Theresa
Individualists need a community. As a social creature, it is challenging to journey the path of self-improvement alone. Remember, individualism is not about being a lone wolf – it is about being your best self.
A social group gives you new insights into what you may be lacking. You are one person, and there are shortcomings and flaws you cannot see. If you have other, virtuous individuals giving you advice, then you can improve.
Lastly, on a pragmatic note, having a community will keep you safe. Other individuals can protect you or provide you aid when things get rough.
Remember, the cliche of the “rugged individualist” is borne of collectivist envy. Very few individualistic people are anti-society. They are anti-force and anti-collectivism. Individuals want a voluntary community they choose to be a part of.
Individualism Needs Other Schools of Thought
Individualism is a personal philosophy. What I discuss on this site is not a substitute for a complex legal system, government, or economic principle.
That being said, I do believe we need individualism to build fair, long-term, and just systems. Respect for individualism will lead to limited or no government, a more capitalistic economic system, and a lean legal system. However, what does this look like? What are the parameters? Who sets the rules? I’m not sure.
That’s why you must read from great thinkers and form your conclusions to the best of your ability. And here you may come up against walls or face opposition in yourself and others.
A good example is Catholicism. Catholicism is an essential school of thought and helped build Western civilization. You may not agree with the tenants, as I don’t, but you cannot casually dismiss it as mere superstition.
My exploration of Catholicism has helped me understand the importance of virtues such as patience, generosity, and gratitude. Furthermore, sticking only to individualistic philosophies, such as Objectivism and Libertarianism, did not lead me to see the importance of these communal virtues.
Yet, Catholicism is anti-individualistic. Does this mean I throw it away? No, it means I adapt what I know to be true and reject what is false. This thinking is what you have to do to strengthen your individualism.
Lastly, I do want to warn against searching too far and wide. For example, socialist thought only teaches how to massacre millions of people. You have limited time, and anti-life philosophies, such as socialism, nazism, communism, etc., will sap you of mental energy and disgust you with their cruelty. Avoid them.
Individualism Needs Action
“A boy will dabble in a thousand pursuits and then drop them when he gets bored or they become too difficult. A man will always finish what he starts.” – Brett McKay
Individualism will not improve your life if you do nothing. You also need action.
Wisdom means nothing if you do not act by what is prescribed. Therefore, individualism requires action, not route memorization of the virtues. You have to live the virtues, set clear goals, and pursue your best self. Through work, you will see the legitimacy and benefit of individualism.
Lastly, we are all different. We should follow the moral rules, but we have separate preferences. Thus, through action, you gain a more profound knowledge of what you love, cherish, and desire.
Act and individualism will improve your life beyond the theories and arguments.
Individualism Is Crucial For Your Personal Growth
“If you’re up for it, the world could use more heroes.”
The goal of individualism is to strengthen everyone so we can better deal with problems and concerns. Although individualism is not enough, it is the crucial bedrock for a better world.
Why? Because morality and virtue are individual struggles. Thus, individuals need a personal, narrow philosophy to help them live their best lives on the rational terms they set. Individualism provides this answer.
Strengthen your mind. Increase your willpower. Embrace responsibility. Enjoy virtue. Become an individual.
- What is one school of thought you find interesting? This can be a religion, economic theory, government concept, etc. Why do you find it interesting? How does it match up with the ideals of individualism?
- What is your community like? If you have good people in your life, how did you find them? If you have bad people in your life, why do you keep them?
- What is one act you can do today to change your life in the future? For example, if you’re a balanced meal today, you’ll feel better tomorrow. Are there any actions like this that will help you feel better?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.