Thursday, May 08, 2008

The possibilities for individualism under socialism

I divide that into two parts, the first being the subject itself in the abstract, the second being what the experience of socialist countries has shown us in regards to possible failings. First off, in the abstract I think that the potential is there for socialism to enable greater individualism than has ever been possible. If the essentials of life like food, housing, clothes, are not only insured but are fundamental rights in society it's much easier to rebel and to become an individual in the fullest sense than if life is really, really, unstable. It should be possible to combine work life with this sort of individualism if ideology isn't something that's rammed down people's throats constantly. Which brings me to the second part, which deals with socialist societies' failings.

The right to individualism includes the right to dissent from society even if that society is set up specifically to reduce the alienation of its members and to facilitate their self development as complete human beings. If people are serious about facilitating self realization they shouldn't make these notions of liberation into a new dogma that can paradoxically be used to beat people who are pursuing their development in a way different from the official notion of how it should be done.

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