Which is more important?

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Collectivism or indavidualism?


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JamesU
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm reading Ayn Rand's novel 'the fountainhead' where the theme of the book is collectivism versus individualism.

The main character, Howard roark is an architect and he is the 'individualist'. He created modernistic buildings, without any particular style, which is not what the public wants. He will not let his clients alter the design of his buildings, or he will quit the job. This results in him getting ery little clients, and failing in his career, just because he does it how he wants it.

The Other main character is Peter keatings, he's another architect and he's the 'collectivist'. He'll do what his clients want, and as a result, he becomes very succesful.

What do you think is more important? being yourself, doing what you want, or being what everyone wants you to be or do?
 

Answers and Replies

JamesU
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okay, I know I spelled individualism wrong in the poll. :rolleyes:
 
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In nearly all cases I place the right of the individual over the rights of the collective majority. It's why I hate things like eminent domain laws and... well I think I should just stop right there. :smile:
 
JamesU
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yes, you should.

have you read the book?
 
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yomamma said:
yes, you should.

have you read the book?
no................
 
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There needs to be a 4th option for those of us who disagree with Ayn Rand's interpretation of individuality.
 
JamesU
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and just what is your interperetation of individuality?

and I mean individuality in general, I was just sayin that reading the book got me thinking. it was just an example
 
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Smurf said:
There needs to be a 4th option for those of us who disagree with Ayn Rand's interpretation of individuality.
What is her interpretation? I was using the conventional meaning of the word. Nothing more.....
 
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JamesU
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So howard doesn't represent inividualism as you know it?
 
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yomamma said:
and just what is your interperetation of individuality?

and I mean individuality in general, I was just sayin that reading the book got me thinking. it was just an example
Ah, well, where to start. Ayn Rand presents individuality and collectivism as being opposite ends of linear map, and that everyone resides somewhere between the two, or at one end. This creates the very foundation for her philosophy, and I disagree with her, I don't believe individuality is in any way opposed or in conflict with collectivism, and that many cases there is little or no distinction between the two. Also, collectivism (in Ayn Rand's sense of the word) is often in conflict with it's self. Acting in this capacity it cannot form any kind of unified opposition to anything, let alone individuality, which is it's self dependant on collectivism (it's alleged opposite) to exist at all.
 
I haven't read the book so I don't really know Rand's definition of individuality. By my own definitions though I would say there needs to be a balance of the two.
 
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yomamma said:
So howard doesn't represent inividualism as you know it?
Howard? ... oh the character! Well not really, I don't think Ayn Rand wanted him to be a representation of anything. She was using the story (as opposed to the character) as a medium to explain her philosophy. This is one of the reasons I like a lot of philosophical literature better than common fiction, it usually focuses more on elements of story and creating a 'reality' rather than creating a person whom the story revolves around.
 
JamesU
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Smurf said:
Ah, well, where to start. Ayn Rand presents individuality and collectivism as being opposite ends of linear map, and that everyone resides somewhere between the two, or at one end. This creates the very foundation for her philosophy, and I disagree with her, I don't believe individuality is in any way opposed or in conflict with collectivism, and that many cases there is little or no distinction between the two.
I don't agree. To me, collectivism is the opposite of individualism.
Also, collectivism (in Ayn Rand's sense of the word) is often in conflict with it's self. Acting in this capacity it cannot form any kind of unified opposition to anything, let alone individuality, which is it's self dependant on collectivism (it's alleged opposite) to exist at all.
I have to agree with you here
 
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Townsend said:
I just looked it up....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fountainhead#Architectural_theme



That is exactly how I see things..... hence the reason why I said and voted the way I did. According to wiki her interpretation of individualism is the conventional meaning of the word.
In the conventional meaning of the word I tend to lean towards individuality (okay, maybe it's more like full speed ahead than leaning)... I don't know if you're old enough (in PF time) to remember any of my stunts, but to paraphrase:
Franznietzsche said:
I'm worried about you, individuality and rebellion are good and all, but arn't you taking it a bit far?
(this coming from franz!)
 
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yomamma said:
I don't agree. To me, collectivism is the opposite of individualism.
That's okay, you've been conditioned to think that way by the collective.
 
Smurf said:
Howard? ... oh the character! Well not really, I don't think Ayn Rand wanted him to be a representation of anything. She was using the story (as opposed to the character) as a medium to explain her philosophy. This is one of the reasons I like a lot of philosophical literature better than common fiction, it usually focuses more on elements of story and creating a 'reality' rather than creating a person whom the story revolves around.
Have you read any Tom Robbins novels? He always creates interesting characters but uses them like exagerations on archetypes to play out and dialog his philisophical ramblings.
 
JamesU
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here's a good website:

http://huizen.daxis.nl/~henkt/individualism-versus-collectivism.htm [Broken]
 
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Smurf said:
In the conventional meaning of the word I tend to lean towards individuality (okay, maybe it's more like full speed ahead than leaning)... I don't know if you're old enough (in PF time) to remember any of my stunts, but to paraphrase:
(this coming from franz!)
Well then you would think that we should pretty much agree on just about everything.....

I think socially you're very much pro-individualism. However economically I cannot be so sure.
 
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JamesU
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I think that people should try to be individual and not rely on everyone else to determine who they are. But in howard's situation, it's a little eccesive
 
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TheStatutoryApe said:
Have you read any Tom Robbins novels? He always creates interesting characters but uses them like exagerations on archetypes to play out and dialog his philisophical ramblings.
No. What's we write about?
 
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Townsend said:
Well then you would think that we should pretty much agree on just about everything.....
No, the reason we don't is because you see them as being opposites. I don't. I have a completely different outlook for the fundamental aspects of individuality than you.
I think socially you're very much pro-individualism. However economically I cannot be so sure.
I'm pretty much an anarchist any way you look at it.
 
JamesU
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The intent of this thread was not for townsend and smurf to battle :|
 
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Smurf said:
No, the reason we don't is because you see them as being opposites. I don't. I have a completely different outlook for the fundamental aspects of individuality than you.
Ah... ok...I am not sure if I should but I feel like I am suppose to understand what you mean but I don't.... :blushing:
 

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