You sound as if you think individualism is a “bad” thing; I would counter that it is the cornerstone of democracy and perhaps even the essence of religion itself.
Science fiction, and fantasy, aside – there is a noble truth in the phrase uttered by Spock in his famous death scene: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one”.
It is also interesting that his noble (and last) act would be one completely motivated by individual will (for no one asked, or would ask for such sacrifice).
I say it is pure collectivist hooey in the grand scheme. I know you may wonder “what does this have to do with my column” – but hear me out.
A very close follow-up in the Star Trek series seems to repudiate this earlier stance illustrating “the borg” as one of the darkest entities in the universe (and an obvious reference to collectivism). Now, I know this an American work, but hey, I’m an American (and of rugged, East Tennessee, pioneer-individual descent).
It is also refreshingly interesting that the mind or minds behind the series choose to “resurrect” Spock in later episodes, yet again an example of the importance of the singular man (in spite of its also-important revenue stream).
I take the same slant in all this that I believe would also the good Captain Kirk (not unlike our American marines) – “Leave no man behind”.
You see, Mr. Rachman, I believe, whole-heartedly, it is when we sacrifice the individual for the group – it is then that we as a species make our gravest mistakes. We put the group (and the earth) above the man, and even, the men.
It is simply wrong, and I believe, the root of the world’s ills.
Should the individual choose to make sacrifices for the whole, is another matter indeed – but one completely motivated by a singular, sovereign and sanctified soul.
It is a choice made by a free man, and not coerced by the will of Nations.
So believe as you will in what may come in the centuries before us, I for one, American that I am, will NEVER give up on the rugged individual.
I believe that the day we compromise the individual for a more global rule is the day we will in truth compromise all good that ever came from any form of democratic thought; its (democracy’s) sole intent has always been to protect that loan man brave enough to cry foul against the onslaught of potentially corrupt masses.
It is Solzhenitsyn and the Apostle Paul expressing their views from prison cells (and in the Russian’s case, even from the US State of Vermont in his criticism of NATO); it is the lone man sacrificing self to save others; it is that one man with a dream, building a legacy of prosperity in the form of opportunities presented in enterprises built by teams of individuals and inviting to every, single man.
The essence of all things decent is built, and built completely, on the precept of protecting this solitary soul from the patent abuse that is “mass” psychosis.
May we always recognize our brotherhood in being born of this earth, of God and of mankind; but may we never forget that each and every one comes from his or her own, personal corner of this earth, and of this universe; each heart sovereign in God’s eyes. Each man, in the end, facing Him alone.
Alone, we make that solitary corner our very own; joined as sole and sovereign men, we each make that universe of corners hospitable for one and all.
Long live the free and solitary soul and may he never acquiesce to that soul-less, and I think, God-less collective that will always and only serve its group concept of what constitutes what is right and righteous for all, and all alone; all save for that ordinary, singular and consecrated soul!
(home of Davy Crockett, Alvin York and other free men and rugged individuals who, like myself, were and are of most questionable repudiation), US of A.