Search This Blog

Friday, April 26, 2019

Can Individualism and National Pride Co-Exist?

We like writing on what we call capital-I Individualism and the dangers of the collective mindset so when we received the following question yesterday, we were more than happy to respond to it...

Q:  You write a lot on individualism as if it is polar opposite of collectivism; as if the two are contradictory and at war with one another - Can't one be an individual and still feel a collective connection with a larger group, for instance being a proud American?

This is an interesting question and to answer it, one has to look at the term 'proud American' and understand really what that means (and does not mean)

Pride is an achievement and accomplishment based feeling; it can be direct or transferred to another person there's an emotional connection to, but it is not something abstract
We as a society use the word for everything and anything because its a feel-good term and who wants to make someone feel bummed by correcting as to proper usage

So let's use America as an example

One can say something like 'I am proud of America' for this or that but unless you are a foreign born citizen who became a naturalized American,  you can not be proud to be one because you did nothing to make it so

In this instance you are fortunate to be born to either American parents or have a foreign mother but delivered on US soil with makes you automatically American the second you draw your first breath
Those who come legally from other parts of the world have to go through a process, take a test, etc.. It's time consuming and not easy but once that person is sworn in as an American citizen, he/she can take great pride in that achievement

If something is a given or just happens to be without your control or involvement, how can one seriously believe to assign feelings of pride

For instance does one feel pride because he/she can stand or walk or lift their arm in the air?

Generally speaking, no - that seems stupid to feel that emotion to those tasks
But what if you recovered from a stroke where for a long period of time you could not do those body functions but now you can?

Do you feel pride in walking to the kitchen or picking up a fork then?

Absolutely - you did the therapy.. you did the work.. You accomplished something big and the self-pride should be beaming
White pride..  Black pride..  Hispanic pride.. Gay pride.. 

ALL are complete total bullshit and all who subscribe to such beliefs are absolute losers who need to attach self-worth to something bigger than themselves because it can't be located from within

When you were brought into this world, you had absolutely no control over your skin, hair or eye color or any other physical aspect of you

You also had no real control over your ethnicity, sexual orientation or even your religion since unless your parents were atheist, they put down on your birth certificate your faith..
So a person let's say born Christian or Jew can not feel any pride in that unless one ultimately is an active participant in the particular religion or converted from the faith one was born to another

And to be proud of having white skin and blue eyes or being caramel colored or a man becoming erect at the sight of another man's ass is pure idiocy; no different than feeling pride in possessing two ears, two kidneys, two kneecaps and a prostate

But people are allowed to continually think this way; socially and politically encouraged in fact to think this stupidity and demonstrate the pride as openly as one can

Except if you're white then you best shush up or be destroyed

Shame that non-whites with this mindset can't be destroyed as well
So the long and short of it is that individualism and collectivism are contradictory and that includes nationalistic pride

One can be proud of their country, the actions one does in benefit of one's nation like serving in the Armed Forces or working in a government position of some kind or of the successes of other Americans

But simply to say one is proud to be American is not an individualist mindset; it is collectivist
Some people truly do not want to be individuals.. its frightening and takes a lot of time and work and introspection to learn who one really is

To those people, they're proud Democrats or blacks or gays or NY Giants fans or whatever

Much easier for them so they're a bit lost but the System loves people like that - so much easier to control than an individual

In summary, John Lennon said it best in a song.. "I don't believe in Beatles; I believe in Me"