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Individualism is the
moral A moral (from Latin ''morālis'') is a message that is conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a narrative, story or wikt:event, event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader, or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly enca ...

moral
stance,
political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...

political philosophy
,
ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of ...
and social outlook that emphasizes the intrinsic worth of the
individual An individual is that which exists as a distinct entity Entity may refer to: Computing * Character entity reference, replacement text for a character in HTML or XML * Entity class, a thing of interest within an entity–relationship model or d ...
. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and to value
independence Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or Sovereign state, state in which residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory. The opposite of independe ...

independence
and self-reliance and advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
or a social group while opposing external interference upon one's own interests by
society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be ...

society
or
institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent more than half a century at Harvard University Ha ...
s such as the government. Individualism is often defined in contrast to
totalitarianism 259x259px, Democracy Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (2020): perceived authoritarian regimes in red, democracies in green, and color intensity ≈ regime intensity Totalitarianism is a form of government and a political system that prohi ...

totalitarianism
,
collectivism Collectivism is a value that is characterized by emphasis on cohesiveness Group cohesiveness (also called group cohesion and social cohesion) arises when bonds link members of a social group to one another and to the group as a whole. Although c ...
and more
corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal person, legal ...
social forms. Individualism makes the individual its focus and so starts "with the fundamental premise that the human individual is of primary importance in the struggle for liberation".
Anarchism Anarchism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge ...

Anarchism
,
existentialism Existentialism ( ) is a form of philosophy, philosophical inquiry that explores the problem of human existence and centres on the experience of thinking, feeling, and acting. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point ha ...
,
liberalism Liberalism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals ...

liberalism
and
libertarianism Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamen ...
are examples of movements that take the human individual as a central unit of analysis. L. Susan Brown. '' The Politics of Individualism: Liberalism, Liberal Feminism, and Anarchism''. Black Rose Books Ltd. 1993 Individualism involves "the right of the individual to freedom and self-realization". ''Individualism'' has been used as a term denoting " e quality of being an individual; individuality", related to possessing " individual characteristic; a
quirk Quirk or Quirks is having unconventional beliefs or manner, for example mispronouncing, in-jokes An in-joke, also known as an inside joke or a private joke, is a joke A joke is a display of humour Humour (English in the Commonwealth ...
". Individualism is also associated with
artistic Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of what constitutes art, and i ...
and
bohemian A Bohemian () is a resident of Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. Bohemia can also refer to a wider area cons ...
interests and lifestyles where there is a tendency towards self-creation and experimentation as opposed to tradition or popular mass opinions and behaviors such as with
humanist Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or some ...

humanist
philosophical positions and ethics.


Etymology

In the
English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), g ...

English language
, the word ''individualism'' was first introduced as a pejorative by
utopian socialists Utopian socialism is the term often used to describe the first current of modern socialism Socialism is a Political philosophy, political, Social philosophy, social, and economic philosophy encompassing a range of Economic systems, economic ...
such as the
Owenites Owenism is the utopian socialist philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, ...
in the late 1830s, although it is unclear if they were influenced by
Saint-Simonianism Saint-Simonianism was a French political, religious and social movement of the first half of the 19th century, inspired by the ideas of Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon (1760–1825). Saint-Simon's ideas, expressed largely through a ...
or came up with it independently. A more positive use of the term in Britain came to be used with the writings of
James Elishama Smith James Elishama Smith, often called Shepherd Smith (1801, Glasgow – 1857, Glasgow) was a British journalist and religious writer. Smith studied at Glasgow University. Hearing Edward Irving preach in 1828, he became a millenarian and associated w ...
, who was a
millenarian Millenarianism (also millenarism), from Latin wikt:millenarius, ''mīllēnārius'' "containing a thousand", is the belief by a religious organization, religious, social, or political party, political group or Social movement, movement in a comin ...
and a
Christian Israelite The Christian Israelite Church was founded in 1822 by the prophet In religion, a prophet is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divinity, divine being and is said to speak on behalf of that being, serving as an intermediar ...
. Although an early follower of
Robert Owen Robert Owen (; 14 May 1771 – 17 November 1858) was a textile manufacturer, philanthropist and social reformer, and a founder of and the movement. He strove to improve factory working conditions, promoted experimental socialistic communitie ...
, he eventually rejected its collective idea of property and found in individualism a "universalism" that allowed for the development of the "original genius". Without individualism, Smith argued that individuals cannot amass property to increase one's happiness. William Maccall, another
Unitarian Unitarian or Unitarianism may refer to: Christian and Christian-derived theologies A Unitarian is a follower of, or a member of an organisation that follows, any of several theologies referred to as Unitarianism: * Unitarianism (1565–present), ...
preacher and probably an acquaintance of Smith, came somewhat later, although influenced by
John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873), also cited as J. S. Mill, was an English philosopher, Political economy, political economist, Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) and civil servant. One of the most i ...
,
Thomas Carlyle Thomas Carlyle (4 December 17955 February 1881) was a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Sco ...

Thomas Carlyle
and
German Romanticism , (1774–1840)'' Moonrise by the Sea,'' 1822, 55x71 cm German Romanticism was the dominant intellectual movement of German-speaking countries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, influencing philosophy, aesthetics, literature and criticism. ...
, to the same positive conclusions in his 1847 work ''Elements of Individualism''.


Individual

An individual is a person or any specific object in a collection. In the 15th century and earlier, and also today within the fields of
statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sens ...

statistics
and
metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between ...

metaphysics
, individual means "indivisible", typically describing any numerically singular thing, but sometimes meaning "a person" as in "The problem of
proper name A proper noun is a noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (lingu ...
s". From the 17th century on, individual indicates separateness, as in individualism. Individuality is the state or quality of being an individuated being; a person separated from everything with unique character by possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires in comparison to other persons.


Individuation principle

The principle of individuation, or ', describes the manner in which a thing is identified as distinguished from other things. For
Carl Jung Carl Gustav Jung ( ; born Karl Gustav Jung, ; 26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961), was a Swiss psychiatrist A psychiatrist is a physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations ...

Carl Jung
, individuation is a process of transformation, whereby the personal and
collective unconscious Collective unconscious (german: kollektives Unbewusstes) refers to the unconscious mind The unconscious mind (or the unconscious) consists of the processes in the mind which occur automatically and are not available to introspection and include tho ...
is brought into consciousness (by means of dreams, active imagination or free association to take examples) to be assimilated into the whole personality. It is a completely natural process necessary for the integration of the psyche to take place.Jung, C. G. (1962). Symbols of Transformation: An analysis of the prelude to a case of schizophrenia (Vol. 2, R. F. C. Hull, Trans.). New York: Harper & Brothers. Jung considered individuation to be the central process of human development.Jung's Individuation process
Retrieved on 2009-2-20
In ''L'individuation psychique et collective'',
Gilbert Simondon Gilbert Simondon (; 2 October 1924 – 7 February 1989) was a French philosopher best known for his theory of individuation, a major source of inspiration for Gilles Deleuze, Bruno Latour Bruno Latour (; ; born 22 June 1947) is a French ...
developed a theory of individual and collective individuation in which the individual subject is considered as an effect of individuation rather than a cause. Thus, the individual atom is replaced by a never-ending ontological process of individuation. Individuation is an always incomplete process, always leaving a "pre-individual" left-over, itself making possible future individuations. The philosophy of
Bernard Stiegler Bernard Stiegler (; 1 April 1952 – 5 August 2020) was a French philosopher. He was head of the Institut de recherche et d'innovation (IRI), which he founded in 2006 at the Centre Georges-Pompidou. He was also the founder in 2005 of the politi ...

Bernard Stiegler
draws upon and modifies the work of
Gilbert Simondon Gilbert Simondon (; 2 October 1924 – 7 February 1989) was a French philosopher best known for his theory of individuation, a major source of inspiration for Gilles Deleuze, Bruno Latour Bruno Latour (; ; born 22 June 1947) is a French ...
on individuation and also upon similar ideas in
Friedrich Nietzsche Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (; or ; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, me ...

Friedrich Nietzsche
and
Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud ( , ; born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist Neurology (from el, νεῦρον (neûron), "string, nerve" and the suffix -logia, "study of") is a branch of medicine M ...

Sigmund Freud
. For Stiegler, "the ''I'', as a psychic individual, can only be thought in relationship to ''we'', which is a collective individual. The ''I'' is constituted in adopting a collective tradition, which it inherits and in which a plurality of ''I''s acknowledge each other's existence."


Individualism and society

Individualism holds that a person taking part in society attempts to learn and discover what his or her own interests are on a personal basis, without a presumed following of the interests of a societal structure (an individualist need not be an egoist). The individualist does not necessarily follow one particular philosophy. He may create an amalgamation of elements of many philosophies, based on personal interests in particular aspects that he finds of use. On a societal level, the individualist participates on a personally structured political and moral ground. Independent thinking and opinion is a necessary trait of an individualist.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment throughout Europe, as w ...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
, claims that his concept of
general will In political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its topics include politi ...
in ''
The Social Contract ''The Social Contract'', originally published as ''On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Political Right'' (french: Du contrat social; ou Principes du droit politique) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 ...
'' is not the simple collection of individual wills and that it furthers the interests of the individual (the constraint of law itself would be beneficial for the individual, as the lack of respect for the law necessarily entails, in Rousseau's eyes, a form of
ignorance Ignorance is a lack of knowledge and information. The word "ignorant" is an adjective that describes a person in the state of being Awareness, unaware, or even cognitive dissonance and other cognitive relation, and can describe individuals who are ...

ignorance
and submission to one's
passions ''Passions'' is an American television soap opera that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1999, to September 7, 2007, and on DirecTV's Audience (TV network), The 101 Network from September 17, 2007, to August 7, 2008. Created by screenwriter Jam ...
instead of the preferred
autonomy In developmental psychology Developmental psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions ...
of
reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek ...
). Individualism versus collectivism is a common dichotomy in
cross-cultural research ''Cross-Cultural Research'' (formerly Behavior Science Research) is a Peer review, peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes papers in the field of Social Sciences. The journal's Editor-in-Chief, editor is Carol R. Ember (Human Relations Area F ...
. Global comparative studies have found that the world's cultures vary in the degree to which they emphasize individual autonomy,
freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and bein ...

freedom
and initiative (individualistic traits), respectively
conformity Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natura ...

conformity
to group norms, maintaining traditions and obedience to in-group authority (collectivistic traits). Cultural differences between individualism and collectivism are differences in degrees, not in kind. Cultural individualism is strongly correlated with
GDP per capita Lists of countries by GDP per capita list the countries in the world by their gross domestic product Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money ba ...
. The cultures of economically developed regions such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, North America and Western Europe are the most individualistic in the world. Middle income regions such as Eastern Europe, South America and mainland East Asia have cultures which are neither very individualistic nor very collectivistic. The most collectivistic cultures in the world are from economically developing regions such as the Middle East and Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South and South-East Asia, Central Asia and Central America. An earlier analysis by
Ruth Benedict Ruth Fulton Benedict (June 5, 1887 – September 17, 1948) was an American anthropologistAn anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Society, societi ...

Ruth Benedict
in her book The Chrysanthemum and the Sword states that societies and groups can differ in the extent to which they are based upon predominantly "self-regarding" (individualistic, and/or self-interested) behaviors, rather than "other-regarding" (group-oriented, and group, or society-minded) behaviors.
Ruth Benedict Ruth Fulton Benedict (June 5, 1887 – September 17, 1948) was an American anthropologistAn anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology. Anthropology is the study of aspects of humans within past and present Society, societi ...

Ruth Benedict
made a distinction, relevant in this context, between guilt societies (e.g.
medieval Europe In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
) with an "internal reference standard" and shame societies (e.g. Japan, "bringing shame upon one's ancestors") with an "external reference standard", where people look to their peers for feedback on whether an action is acceptable or not. Individualism is often contrasted either with
totalitarianism 259x259px, Democracy Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (2020): perceived authoritarian regimes in red, democracies in green, and color intensity ≈ regime intensity Totalitarianism is a form of government and a political system that prohi ...

totalitarianism
or with
collectivism Collectivism is a value that is characterized by emphasis on cohesiveness Group cohesiveness (also called group cohesion and social cohesion) arises when bonds link members of a social group to one another and to the group as a whole. Although c ...
, but there is a spectrum of behaviors at the societal level ranging from highly individualistic societies through mixed societies to collectivist.


Competitive individualism

According to an Oxford Dictionary, "competitive individualism" in sociology is "the view that achievement and non-achievement should depend on merit. Effort and ability are regarded as prerequisites of success. Competition is seen as an acceptable means of distributing limited resources and rewards.


Methodological individualism

Methodological individualism In the social sciences, methodological individualism is the principle that subjective individual motivation explains social phenomena, rather than class or group dynamics which are (according to proponents of individualistic principles) illusory ...
is the view that phenomena can only be understood by examining how they result from the motivations and actions of individual agents. In economics, people's behavior is explained in terms of rational choices, as constrained by prices and incomes. The economist accepts individuals' preferences as givens. Becker and Stigler provide a forceful statement of this view:
On the traditional view, an explanation of economic phenomena that reaches a difference in tastes between people or times is the terminus of the argument: the problem is abandoned at this point to whoever studies and explains tastes (psychologists? anthropologists? phrenologists? sociobiologists?). On our preferred interpretation, one never reaches this impasse: the economist continues to search for differences in prices or incomes to explain any differences or changes in behavior.


Political individualism

Individualists are chiefly concerned with protecting individual autonomy against obligations imposed by social institutions (such as the state or religious morality). For L. Susan Brown, "Liberalism and anarchism are two political philosophies that are fundamentally concerned with individual
freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and bein ...
yet differ from one another in very distinct ways. Anarchism shares with liberalism a radical commitment to individual freedom while rejecting liberalism's competitive property relations."
Civil libertarianism Civil libertarianism is a strain of political thought that supports civil liberties, or which emphasizes the supremacy of individual rights and personal freedoms over and against any kind of authority (such as a Sovereign state, state, a corporat ...
is a strain of political thought that supports civil liberties, or which emphasizes the supremacy of
individual rights Group rights, also known as collective rights, are rights held by a group ''wikt:qua, qua'' a group rather than by its members severally; in contrast, individual rights are rights held by Individuality, individual people; even if they are group-d ...
and personal freedoms over and against any kind of authority (such as a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
, a
corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...

corporation
and social norms imposed through
peer pressure Peer pressure is the direct or indirect influence on people of peers, members of social groups with similar interests, experience, or social status. Members of a peer group are more likely to influence a person's beliefs and behavior. A group or ...
, among others). Civil libertarianism is not a complete
ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of ...
; rather, it is a collection of views on the specific issues of
civil liberties Civil liberties are guarantees and freedoms that governments commit not to abridge, either by constitution, legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgat ...
and
civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights Rights are legal Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', ...
. Because of this, a civil libertarian outlook is compatible with many other political philosophies, and civil libertarianism is found on both the
right Rights are legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is desc ...
and
left Left may refer to: Music * ''Left'' (Hope of the States album), 2006 * ''Left'' (Monkey House album), 2016 Direction * Left (direction) Body relative directions (also known as egocentric coordinates) are orientation (geometry), geometri ...
in modern politics. For scholar
Ellen Meiksins Wood Ellen Meiksins Wood (April 12, 1942 January 14, 2016) was an American-Canadian Marxist political theorist and historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work surv ...

Ellen Meiksins Wood
, "there are doctrines of individualism that are opposed to
Lockean John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism Liberalism is a ...

Lockean
individualism ..and non-Lockean individualism may encompass
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
". British historians such as Emily Robinson, Camilla Schofield, Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite and Natalie Thomlinson have argued that Britons were keen about defining and claiming their individual rights, identities and perspectives by the 1970s, demanding greater personal autonomy and self-determination and less outside control, angrily complaining that the establishment was withholding it. Historians argue that this shift in concerns helped cause
Thatcherism Thatcherism is a form of British conservative ideology named after Conservative Party Conservative Party may refer to: Europe Current *Croatian Conservative Party, *Conservative Party (Czech Republic) *Conservative People's Party (Denmark) ...
and was incorporated into Thatcherism's appeal.


Anarchism

Within anarchism,
individualist anarchism Individualist anarchism is the branch of anarchism that emphasizes the individual and their Will (philosophy), will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions and ideological systems."What do I mean by individualism? I mean b ...
represents several traditions of thought within the anarchist movement that emphasize the individual and their
will Will may refer to: Common meanings * Will and testament A will or testament is a legal document that expresses a person's ( testator) wishes as to how their property (estate (law), estate) is to be distributed after their death and as to which ...
over any kinds of external determinants such as groups, society, traditions and ideological systems."What do I mean by individualism? I mean by individualism the moral doctrine which, relying on no dogma, no tradition, no external determination, appeals only to the individual conscience
''Mini-Manual of Individualism'' by Han Ryner
/ref>"I do not admit anything except the existence of the individual, as a condition of his sovereignty. To say that the sovereignty of the individual is conditioned by Liberty is simply another way of saying that it is conditioned by itself." "Anarchism and the State" in ''Individual Liberty'' Individualist anarchism is not a single philosophy but refers to a group of individualistic philosophies that sometimes are in conflict. In 1793,
William Godwin William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) was an English journalist, political philosopher Political philosophy is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those abou ...
, who has often been cited as the first anarchist, wrote ''
Political Justice ''Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Morals and Happiness'' is a 1793 book by the philosopher William Godwin, in which the author outlines his political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of gove ...
'', which some consider to be the first expression of anarchism. Godwin, a philosophical anarchist, from a rationalist and
utilitarian Utilitarianism is a family of normative ethical theories that prescribe actions that maximize happiness and well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''quality of life'', refers to what is intrinsically va ...
basis opposed revolutionary action and saw a
minimal state A night-watchman state or minarchy is a model of a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (n ...
as a present "necessary evil" that would become increasingly irrelevant and powerless by the gradual spread of knowledge. Godwin advocated individualism, proposing that all cooperation in labour be eliminated on the premise that this would be most conducive with the general good.Paul McLaughlin. Anarchism and Authority: A Philosophical Introduction to Classical Anarchism. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007. p. 119. An influential form of individualist anarchism called
egoism Egoism is the philosophy concerned with the role of the self The self is an individual person as the object of its own reflective consciousness. Since the ''self'' is a reference by a subject to the same subject, this reference is necessar ...

egoism
,Goodway, David.
Anarchist Seeds Beneath the Snow ''Anarchist Seeds Beneath the Snow'' is a 2006 book about anarchism and left-libertarian thought in Britain written by David Goodway and published by PM Press. Notes References * * * * * * * * * * * * External links ...
. Liverpool University Press, 2006, p. 99.
or egoist anarchism, was expounded by one of the earliest and best-known proponents of individualist anarchism, the German
Max Stirner Johann Kaspar Schmidt (25 October 1806 – 26 June 1856), known professionally as Max Stirner, was a German post-Hegelian philosopher, dealing mainly with the Hegelian notion of social alienation and self-consciousness. Stirner is often seen as ...

Max Stirner
. Stirner's ''
The Ego and Its Own ''The Ego and Its Own'' (german: Der Einzige und sein Eigentum) is an 1844 work by German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For ...
'', published in 1844, is a founding text of the philosophy. According to Stirner, the only limitation on the rights of the individual is their power to obtain what they desire,The Encyclopedia Americana: A Library of Universal Knowledge. Encyclopedia Corporation. p. 176. without regard for God, state, or morality.Miller, David. "Anarchism." 1987. ''The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought''. Blackwell Publishing. p. 11. To Stirner, rights were '' spooks'' in the mind, and he held that society does not exist but "the individuals are its reality". Stirner advocated self-assertion and foresaw unions of egoists, non-systematic associations continually renewed by all parties' support through an act of will, which Stirner proposed as a form of organization in place of the state. Egoist anarchists claim that egoism will foster genuine and spontaneous union between individuals. Egoist anarchism has inspired many interpretations of Stirner's philosophy. It was re-discovered and promoted by German philosophical anarchist and
LGBT ' is an initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (li ...

LGBT
activist
John Henry Mackay John Henry Mackay (6 February 1864 Greenock, Scotland – 16 May 1933 Stahnsdorf, Germany) was an egoist anarchist, thinker and writer. Born in Scotland and raised in Germany, Mackay was the author of ''Die Anarchisten'' (The Anarchists, 1891) and ...

John Henry Mackay
.
Josiah Warren Josiah Warren (; 26 June, 1798 – 14 April, 1874) was an American utopian socialist Utopian socialism is the term often used to describe the first current of modern socialism Socialism is a Political philosophy, political, Social philoso ...

Josiah Warren
is widely regarded as the first American anarchistPalmer, Brian (2010-12-29
What do anarchists want from us?
'' Slate.com''
and ''The Peaceful Revolutionist'', the four-page weekly paper he edited during 1833, was the first anarchist periodical published.William Bailie, ''Josiah Warren: The First American Anarchist — A Sociological Study'', Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1906, p. 20 For American anarchist historian Eunice Minette Schuster, " is apparent ..that Proudhonian Anarchism was to be found in the United States at least as early as 1848 and that it was not conscious of its affinity to the Individualist Anarchism of Josiah Warren and
Stephen Pearl Andrews Stephen Pearl Andrews (March 22, 1812 – May 21, 1886) was an American individualist anarchist, linguist, political philosopher, outspoken abolitionist Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, was the movement to end slavery. In W ...

Stephen Pearl Andrews
. .. William B. Greene presented this Proudhonian Mutualism in its purest and most systematic form".''Native American Anarchism: A Study of Left-Wing American Individualism'' by Eunice Minette Schuster
Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817May 6, 1862) was an American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading Transcendentalism, transcendentalist, he is best known for his book ''Walden'', a reflection upon simple living in natural s ...

Henry David Thoreau
was an important early influence in individualist anarchist thought in the United States and Europe."Paralelamente, al otro lado del atlántico, en el diferente contexto de una nación a medio hacer, los Estados Unidos, otros filósofos elaboraron un pensamiento individualista similar, aunque con sus propias especificidades. Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), uno de los escritores próximos al movimiento de la filosofía trascendentalista, es uno de los más conocidos. Su obra más representativa es Walden, aparecida en 1854, aunque redactada entre 1845 y 1847, cuando Thoreau decide instalarse en el aislamiento de una cabaña en el bosque, y vivir en íntimo contacto con la naturaleza, en una vida de soledad y sobriedad. De esta experiencia, su filosofía trata de transmitirnos la idea que resulta necesario un retorno respetuoso a la naturaleza, y que la felicidad es sobre todo fruto de la riqueza interior y de la armonía de los individuos con el entorno natural. Muchos han visto en Thoreau a uno de los precursores del ecologismo y del anarquismo primitivista representado en la actualidad por Jonh Zerzan. Para George Woodcock, esta actitud puede estar también motivada por una cierta idea de resistencia al progreso y de rechazo al materialismo creciente que caracteriza la sociedad norteamericana de mediados de siglo XIX
"Voluntary non-submission. Spanish individualist anarchism during dictatorship and the second republic (1923–1938)"
Thoreau was an American author, poet, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher and leading transcendentalist, who is best known for his book ''
Walden ''Walden'' (; first published in 1854 as ''Walden; or, Life in the Woods'') is a book by American transcendentalist writer Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817May 6, 1862) was an American naturalist, essay An essa ...

Walden
'', a reflection upon
simple living Simple living encompasses a number of different voluntary practices to simplicity, simplify one's lifestyle (sociology), lifestyle. These may include, for example, reducing one's Personal property, possessions, generally referred to as minimalism ...
in natural surroundings, and his essay ''
Civil Disobedience Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal of a citizen Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the co ...
'', an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state. Later,
Benjamin Tucker Benjamin Ricketson Tucker (; April 17, 1854 – June 22, 1939) was an American anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of h ...

Benjamin Tucker
fused Stirner's egoism with the economics of Warren and Proudhon in his eclectic influential publication ''
Liberty Broadly speaking, liberty is the ability to do as one pleases, or a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant (i.e. privilege). It is a synonym for the word freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change withou ...

Liberty
''. From these early influences, anarchism and especially individualist anarchism was related to the issues of love and sex. In different countries, this attracted a small but diverse following of bohemian artists and intellectuals,
free love Free love is a social movement Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is Volition (psychology), volun ...
and
birth control Birth control, also known as contraception, anticonception, and fertility control, is a method or device used to prevent pregnancy Pregnancy, also known as gestation, is the time during which one or more offspring develops inside a woma ...
advocates, individualist naturists as in
anarcho-naturism Anarcho-naturism, also referred to as anarchist naturism and naturist anarchism, appeared in the late 19th century as the union of anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority ...
,"Proliferarán así diversos grupos que practicarán el excursionismo, el naturismo, el nudismo, la emancipación sexual o el esperantismo, alrededor de asociaciones informales vinculadas de una manera o de otra al anarquismo. Precisamente las limitaciones a las asociaciones obreras impuestas desde la legislación especial de la Dictadura potenciarán indirectamente esta especie de asociacionismo informal en que confluirá el movimiento anarquista con esta heterogeneidad de prácticas y tendencias. Uno de los grupos más destacados, que será el impulsor de la revista individualista Ética será el Ateneo Naturista Ecléctico, con sede en Barcelona, con sus diferentes secciones la más destacada de las cuales será el grupo excursionista Sol y Vida
"La insumisión voluntaria: El anarquismo individualista español durante la Dictadura y la Segunda República (1923–1938)" by Xavier Díez
"Les anarchistes individualistes du début du siècle l'avaient bien compris, et intégraient le naturisme dans leurs préoccupations. Il est vraiment dommage que ce discours se soit peu à peu effacé, d'antan plus que nous assistons, en ce moment, à un retour en force du puritanisme (conservateur par essence)

freethought Freethought (sometimes spelled free thought) is an Epistemology, epistemological point of view (philosophy), viewpoint which holds that beliefs should not be formed on the basis of authority, tradition, revelation, or dogma, and that beliefs s ...
and
anti-clerical Anti-clericalism is opposition to religious authority, typically in social or political matters. Historical anti-clericalism has mainly been opposed to the influence of Roman Catholicism The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman ...
activists as well as young anarchist outlaws in what came to be known as
illegalism Illegalism is a tendency of anarchism that developed primarily in France, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland during the late 1890s and early 1900s as an outgrowth of individualist anarchism. Illegalists embrace crime, criminality either openly or secr ...
and
individual reclamation Individual reclamation (french: reprise individuelle) is a form of direct action . A general strike is an example of confrontational direct action. Direct action originated as a political activism, activist term for economic and political acts ...
,The "Illegalists"
, by Doug Imrie (published by Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed)
Parry, Richard. ''The Bonnot Gang''. Rebel Press, 1987. p. 15 especially within European individualist anarchism and individualist anarchism in France. These authors and activists included Oscar Wilde, Émile Armand, Han Ryner, Henri Zisly, Renzo Novatore, Miguel Giménez Igualada, Adolf Brand and Lev Chernyi among others. In his important essay ''The Soul of Man Under Socialism'' from 1891, Wilde defended socialism as the way to guarantee individualism and so he saw that "[w]ith the abolition of private property, then, we shall have true, beautiful, healthy Individualism. Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things, and the symbols for things. One will live. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all". For anarchist historian George Woodcock, "Wilde's aim in ''The Soul of Man Under Socialism'' is to seek the society most favorable to the artist.  ..for Wilde art is the supreme end, containing within itself enlightenment and regeneration, to which all else in society must be subordinated.  ..Wilde represents the anarchist as aesthete".George Woodcock. ''Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements.'' 1962. (p. 447) Woodcock finds that " e most ambitious contribution to literary anarchism during the 1890s was undoubtedly Oscar Wilde ''The Soul of Man Under Socialism''" and finds that it is influenced mainly by the thought of
William Godwin William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) was an English journalist, political philosopher Political philosophy is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those abou ...
.


Autarchism

Autarchism promotes the principles of individualism, the moral ideology of individual liberty and self-reliance whilst rejecting compulsory government and supporting the elimination of government in favor of ruling oneself to the exclusion of rule by others. Robert LeFevre, recognized as an autarchist by anarcho-capitalist Murray Rothbard, distinguished autarchism from anarchy, whose Anarchist economics, economics he felt entailed interventions contrary to freedom in contrast to his own ''laissez-faire'' economics of the Austrian School.


Liberalism

Liberalism is the belief in the importance of individual freedom. This belief is widely accepted in the United States, Europe, Australia and other Western world, Western nations, and was recognized as an important value by many Western philosophers throughout history, in particular since the Enlightenment. It is often rejected by collectivist, Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic or Confucianism, Confucian in civilized societies, although Taoists were and are known to be individualists. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote praising "the idea of a polity administered with regard to equal rights and equal freedom of speech, and the idea of a kingly government which respects most of all the freedom of the governed". Liberalism has its roots in the Age of Enlightenment and rejects many Foundationalism, foundational assumptions that dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, and established religion. John Locke is often credited with the philosophical foundations of classical liberalism, a political ideology inspired by the broader liberal movement . He wrote "no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions." In the 17th century, liberal ideas began to influence European governments in nations such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, England and Poland, but they were strongly opposed, often by armed might, by those who favored absolute monarchy and established religion. In the 18th century, the first modern liberal state was founded without a monarch or a hereditary aristocracy in America. The American Declaration of Independence includes the words which echo Locke that "all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to insure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Liberalism comes in many forms. According to John N. Gray, the essence of liberalism is toleration of different beliefs and of different ideas as to what constitutes a good life.


Philosophical individualism


Egoist anarchism

Egoist anarchism is a school of anarchist thought that originated in the philosophy of Max Stirner, a 19th-century Young Hegelians, Hegelian philosopher whose "name appears with familiar regularity in historically orientated surveys of anarchist thought as one of the earliest and best-known exponents of
individualist anarchism Individualist anarchism is the branch of anarchism that emphasizes the individual and their Will (philosophy), will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions and ideological systems."What do I mean by individualism? I mean b ...
." According to Stirner, the only limitation on the rights of the individual is their power to obtain what they desire, without regard for God, state, or morality. Stirner advocated self-assertion and foresaw unions of egoists, non-systematic associations continually renewed by all parties' support through an act of will which Stirner proposed as a form of organisation in place of the state (polity), state. Egoist anarchists argue that egoism will foster genuine and spontaneous union between individuals. Egoism has inspired many interpretations of Stirner's philosophy, but it has also gone beyond Stirner within anarchism. It was re-discovered and promoted by German philosophical anarchist and
LGBT ' is an initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (li ...

LGBT
activist
John Henry Mackay John Henry Mackay (6 February 1864 Greenock, Scotland – 16 May 1933 Stahnsdorf, Germany) was an egoist anarchist, thinker and writer. Born in Scotland and raised in Germany, Mackay was the author of ''Die Anarchisten'' (The Anarchists, 1891) and ...

John Henry Mackay
. John Beverley Robinson wrote an essay called "Egoism" in which he states that "Modern egoism, as propounded by Max Stirner, Stirner and Nietzsche, and expounded by Henrik Ibsen, Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, Shaw and others, is all these; but it is more. It is the realization by the individual that they are an individual; that, as far as they are concerned, they are the only individual." Stirner and Nietzsche, who Anarchism and Friedrich Nietzsche, exerted influence on anarchism despite its opposition, were Relationship between Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Stirner, frequently compared by French "literary anarchists" and anarchist interpretations of Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, Nietzschean ideas appear to have also been influential in the United States.O. Ewald, "German Philosophy in 1907", in The Philosophical Review, Vol. 17, No. 4, Jul., 1908, pp. 400–26; T. A. Riley, "Anti-Statism in German Literature, as Exemplified by the Work of John Henry Mackay", in PMLA, Vol. 62, No. 3, Sep. 1947, pp. 828–43; C. E. Forth, "Nietzsche, Decadence, and Regeneration in France, 1891–95", in Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 54, No. 1, Jan., 1993, pp. 97–117; see also Robert C. Holub's ''Nietzsche: Socialist, Anarchist, Feminist'', an essay available online at the University of California, Berkeley website. Anarchists who adhered to egoism include
Benjamin Tucker Benjamin Ricketson Tucker (; April 17, 1854 – June 22, 1939) was an American anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of h ...

Benjamin Tucker
, Émile Armand, John Beverley Robinson (anarchist), John Beverley Robinson, Adolf Brand, Steven T. Byington, Renzo Novatore, James L. Walker, Enrico Arrigoni, Biofilo Panclasta, Jun Tsuji and André Arru as well as contemporary ones such as Hakim Bey, Bob Black and Wolfi Landstreicher.


Ethical egoism

Ethical egoism, also called simply egoism, is the normative ethics, normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own wikt:self-interest, self-interest. It differs from psychological egoism, which claims that people ''do'' only act in their self-interest. Ethical egoism also differs from rational egoism which holds merely that it is Rationality, rational to act in one's self-interest. However, these doctrines may occasionally be combined with ethical egoism. Ethical egoism contrasts with ethical Altruism (ethics), altruism, which holds that moral agents have an obligation to help and serve others. Egoism and altruism both contrast with ethical utilitarianism, which holds that a moral agent should treat one's self (philosophy), self (also known as subject (philosophy), the subject) with no higher regard than one has for others (as egoism does, by elevating self-interests and "the self" to a status not granted to others), but that one also should not (as altruism does) sacrifice one's own interests to help others' interests, so long as one's own interests (i.e. one's own Desire (philosophy), desires or well-being) are substantially-equivalent to the others' interests and well-being. Egoism, utilitarianism, and altruism are all forms of consequentialism, but egoism and altruism contrast with utilitarianism, in that egoism and altruism are both Consequentialism#Agent-focused or agent-neutral, agent-focused forms of consequentialism (i.e. subject-focused or Subjectivity, subjective), but utilitarianism is called agent-neutral (i.e. Objectivity (philosophy), objective and impartial) as it does not treat the subject's (i.e. the self's, i.e. the moral "agent's") own interests as being more or less important than if the same interests, desires, or well-being were anyone else's. Ethical egoism does not require moral agents to harm the interests and well-being of others when making moral deliberation, e.g. what is in an agent's self-interest may be incidentally detrimental, beneficial, or neutral in its effect on others. Individualism allows for others' interest and well-being to be disregarded or not as long as what is chosen is efficacious in satisfying the self-interest of the agent. Nor does ethical egoism necessarily logical consequence, entail that in pursuing self-interest one ought always to do what one wants to do, e.g. in the long term the fulfilment of short-term desires may prove detrimental to the self. Fleeting pleasance then takes a back seat to protracted eudaemonia. In the words of James Rachels, "[e]thical egoism ..endorses selfishness, but it doesn't endorse foolishness."Rachels 2008, p. 534. Ethical egoism is sometimes the philosophical basis for support of
libertarianism Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamen ...
or
individualist anarchism Individualist anarchism is the branch of anarchism that emphasizes the individual and their Will (philosophy), will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions and ideological systems."What do I mean by individualism? I mean b ...
as in
Max Stirner Johann Kaspar Schmidt (25 October 1806 – 26 June 1856), known professionally as Max Stirner, was a German post-Hegelian philosopher, dealing mainly with the Hegelian notion of social alienation and self-consciousness. Stirner is often seen as ...

Max Stirner
, although these can also be based on altruistic motivations. These are political positions based partly on a belief that individuals should not coercively prevent others from exercising freedom of action.


Existentialism

Existentialism is a term applied to the work of a number of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who generally held, despite profound doctrinal differences, that the focus of philosophical thought should be to deal with the conditions of existence of the individual person and his or her emotions, actions, responsibilities, and thoughts. The early 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, posthumously regarded as the father of existentialism, maintained that the individual solely has the responsibilities of giving one's own life Meaning (existential), meaning and living that life Authenticity (philosophy), passionately and sincerely, in spite of many existential obstacles and distractions including Philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard#Despair, despair, angst, Absurdism, absurdity, Philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard#Alienation, alienation and boredom. Subsequent existential philosophers retain the emphasis on the individual, but differ in varying degrees on how one achieves and what constitutes a fulfilling life, what obstacles must be overcome, and what external and internal factors are involved, including the potential consequences of the Christian existentialism, existence or atheist existentialism, non-existence of God. Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophy in both style and content as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience. Existentialism became fashionable after World War II as a way to reassert the importance of human individuality and freedom.


Freethought

Freethought holds that individuals should not accept ideas proposed as truth without recourse to knowledge and
reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek ...
. Thus, freethinkers strive to build their opinions on the basis of facts, scientific method, scientific inquiry and logical principles, independent of any logical fallacy, fallacies or intellectually limiting effects of authority, confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, sectarianism, tradition, urban legend and all other dogmas. Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to scientifically validate the existence of supernatural phenomena.


Humanism

Humanism is a perspective common to a wide range of ethics, ethical stances that attaches importance to human dignity, concerns, and capabilities, particularly rationality. Although the word has many senses, its meaning comes into focus when contrasted to the supernatural or to appeals to authority. Since the 19th century, humanism has been associated with an anti-clericalism inherited from the 18th-century Enlightenment ''philosophes''. 21st century Humanism tends to strongly endorse human rights, including reproductive rights, gender equality, social justice, and the separation of church and state. The term covers Religious humanism, organized non-theistic religions, secular humanism, and a humanistic life stance.


Hedonism

Philosophical hedonism is a meta-ethical theory of value which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic value (ethics), intrinsic good and pain is the only intrinsic bad. The basic idea behind hedonistic thought is that pleasure (an umbrella term for all inherently likable emotions) is the only thing that is good in and of itself or by its very nature. This implies evaluating the moral worth of character or behavior according to the extent that the pleasure it produces exceeds the pain it entails.


Libertinism

A libertine is one devoid of most moral restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behaviour sanctified by the larger society. Libertines place value on physical pleasures, meaning those experienced through the senses. As a philosophy, libertinism gained new-found adherents in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, particularly in France and Great Britain. Notable among these were John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester and the Marquis de Sade. During the Baroque era in France, there existed a Freethought, freethinking circle of philosophers and intellectuals who were collectively known as ''libertinage érudit'' and which included Gabriel Naudé, Élie Diodati and François de La Mothe Le Vayer. The critic Vivian de Sola Pinto linked John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester's libertinism to Hobbesian materialism.A Martyr to Sin
/ref>


Objectivism

Objectivism is a system of philosophy created by philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand which holds that reality exists independent of consciousness; human beings gain knowledge rationally from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive and deductive logic; the moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest. Rand thinks the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure ''laissez-faire'' capitalism; and the role of art in human life is to transform man's widest metaphysical ideas, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form—a work of art—that he can comprehend and to which he can respond emotionally. Objectivism celebrates man as his own hero, "with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."


Philosophical anarchism

Philosophical anarchism is an anarchist school of thought which contends that the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
lacks legitimacy (political), moral legitimacy. In contrast to revolutionary anarchism, philosophical anarchism does not advocate violent revolution to eliminate it but advocates peaceful evolution to superate it. Although philosophical anarchism does not necessarily imply any action or desire for the elimination of the state, philosophical anarchists do not believe that they have an obligation or duty to obey the state, or conversely that the state has a right to command. Philosophical anarchism is a component especially of individualist anarchism. Philosophical anarchists of historical note include Mohandas Gandhi,
William Godwin William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) was an English journalist, political philosopher Political philosophy is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those abou ...
, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon,
Max Stirner Johann Kaspar Schmidt (25 October 1806 – 26 June 1856), known professionally as Max Stirner, was a German post-Hegelian philosopher, dealing mainly with the Hegelian notion of social alienation and self-consciousness. Stirner is often seen as ...

Max Stirner
,
Benjamin Tucker Benjamin Ricketson Tucker (; April 17, 1854 – June 22, 1939) was an American anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of h ...

Benjamin Tucker
and
Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817May 6, 1862) was an American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading Transcendentalism, transcendentalist, he is best known for his book ''Walden'', a reflection upon simple living in natural s ...

Henry David Thoreau
. Contemporary philosophical anarchists include A. John Simmons and Robert Paul Wolff.


Subjectivism

Subjectivism is a philosophical tenet that accords primacy to subjective experience as fundamental of all measure and law. In extreme forms such as solipsism, it may hold that the nature and existence of every object depends solely on someone's subjective awareness of it. In the proposition 5.632 of the ''Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus'', Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote: "The subject doesn't belong to the world, but it is a limit of the world". Metaphysical subjectivism is the theory that reality is what we perceive to be real, and that there is no underlying true reality that exists independently of perception. One can also hold that it is consciousness rather than perception that is reality (subjective idealism). In probability, a subjectivism stands for the belief that probabilities are simply degrees-of-belief by rational agents in a certain proposition and which have no objective reality in and of themselves. Ethical subjectivism stands in opposition to moral realism, which claims that moral propositions refer to objective facts, independent of human opinion; to error theory, which denies that any moral propositions are true in any sense; and to non-cognitivism, which denies that moral sentences express propositions at all. The most common forms of ethical subjectivism are also forms of moral relativism, with moral standards held to be relative to each culture or society, i.e. cultural relativism, or even to every individual. The latter view, as put forward by Protagoras, holds that there are as many distinct scales of good and evil as there are subjects in the world. Moral subjectivism is that species of moral relativism that relativizes moral value to the individual subject. Horst Matthai Quelle was a Spanish language German anarchist philosopher influenced by
Max Stirner Johann Kaspar Schmidt (25 October 1806 – 26 June 1856), known professionally as Max Stirner, was a German post-Hegelian philosopher, dealing mainly with the Hegelian notion of social alienation and self-consciousness. Stirner is often seen as ...

Max Stirner
.Horst Matthai Quelle. ''Textos Filosóficos (1989-1999)''. p. 15
/ref> Quelle argued that since the individual gives form to the world, he is those objects, the others and the whole universe. One of his main views was a "theory of infinite worlds" which for him was developed by Pre-Socratic philosophy, pre-socratic philosophers.


Solipsism

Solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. The term comes from Latin ''solus'' ("alone") and ''ipse'' ("self"). Solipsism as an epistemological position holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure. Philosophical skepticism, The external world and problem of other minds, other minds cannot be known, and might not exist outside the mind. As a Metaphysics, metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist. Solipsism is the only epistemological position that, by its own wikt:postulate#Pronunciation, postulate, is both wikt:irrefutable#English, irrefutable and yet indefensible in the same manner. Although the number of individuals sincerely espousing solipsism has been small, it is not uncommon for one philosopher to accuse another's arguments of entailing solipsism as an unwanted consequence, in a kind of reductio ad absurdum. In the history of philosophy, solipsism has served as a skeptical hypothesis.


Economic individualism

The doctrine of economic individualism holds that each individual should be allowed autonomy in making his or her own economic decisions as opposed to those decisions being made by the community, the corporation or the state for him or her.


Classical liberalism

Liberalism is a political ideology that developed in the 19th century in the Americas, England and Western Europe. It followed earlier forms of liberalism in its commitment to personal freedom and popular government, but differed from earlier forms of liberalism in its commitment to classical economics and free markets. Notable liberals in the 19th century include Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo. Classical liberalism, sometimes also used as a label to refer to all forms of liberalism before the 20th century, was revived in the 20th century by Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek and further developed by Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick, Loren Lomasky and Jan Narveson.


Libertarianism

Libertarianism upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing Free association (Marxism and anarchism), free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association. Libertarianism shares a skepticism of Political authority, authority and
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
power, but libertarians diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing Economic system, economic and political systems. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private Power (social and political), power, often calling for the restriction or dissolution of coercive social institutions. Different categorizations have been used to distinguish various forms of libertarianism. This is done to distinguish libertarian views on the nature of Property rights (economics), property and Capital (economics), capital, usually along
left Left may refer to: Music * ''Left'' (Hope of the States album), 2006 * ''Left'' (Monkey House album), 2016 Direction * Left (direction) Body relative directions (also known as egocentric coordinates) are orientation (geometry), geometri ...
right Rights are legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is desc ...
or socialist–capitalist lines.


Left-libertarianism

Left-libertarianism represents several related yet distinct approaches to politics, society, culture and political and social theory which stress both individual and political freedom alongside social justice. Unlike right-libertarians, left-libertarians believe that neither claiming nor Labor theory of property, mixing one's labor with natural resources is enough to generate full private property rights, and maintain that natural resources (land, oil, gold, trees) ought to be held in some egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively. Those left-libertarians who support property do so under different property norms and theories, or under the condition that recompense is offered to the Local community, local or global community. Related terms include ''egalitarian libertarianism'', ''left-wing libertarianism'', ''
libertarianism Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamen ...
'', ''libertarian socialism'',Bookchin, Murray; Biehl, Janet (1997). ''The Murray Bookchin Reader''. New York: Cassell. p. 170.Long, Roderick T. (2012). "The Rise of Social Anarchism". In Gaus, Gerald F.; D'Agostino, Fred, eds. ''The Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy''. p. 223. ''social libertarianism'' and ''socialist libertarianism''.Carlson, Jennifer D. (2012). "Libertarianism". In Miller, Wilbur R. ''The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America: An Encyclopedia''. SAGE Publications. pp. 1006–1007. Left-libertarianism can refer generally to these related and overlapping schools of thought: * Anti-authoritarian varieties of left-wing politics, in particular within the socialist movement, usually known as libertarian socialism. * Geolibertarianism, an American synthesis of Libertarianism in the United States, libertarianism and Georgism. * Left-wing market anarchism, stressing the socially transformative potential of non-aggression and anti-capitalist freed markets. * Steiner–Vallentyne school, named after Hillel Steiner and Peter Vallentyne, whose proponents draw conclusions from classical liberal or market liberal premises.


Right-libertarianism

Right-libertarianism represents either non-collectivist forms of libertarianism or a variety of different libertarian views that scholars label to the right of libertarianism such as libertarian conservatism. Related terms include ''conservative libertarianism'', ''libertarian capitalism'' and ''right-wing libertarianism''. In the mid-20th century, right-libertarian ideologies such as anarcho-capitalism and minarchism co-opted the term ''libertarian'' to advocate ''laissez-faire'' capitalism and strong private property rights such as in land, infrastructure and natural resources. The latter is the dominant form of libertarianism in the United States, where it advocates
civil liberties Civil liberties are guarantees and freedoms that governments commit not to abridge, either by constitution, legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgat ...
, natural law, free-market capitalism and a major reversal of the modern welfare state. In the ''Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy'', Peter Vallentyne calls it right libertarianism, but he further states: "Libertarianism is often thought of as 'right-wing' doctrine. This, however, is mistaken for at least two reasons. First, on social—rather than economic—issues, libertarianism tends to be 'left-wing'. It opposes laws that restrict consensual and private sexual relationships between adults (e.g., gay sex, non-marital sex, and deviant sex), laws that restrict drug use, laws that impose religious views or practices on individuals, and compulsory military service. Second, in addition to the better-known version of libertarianism—right-libertarianism—there is also a version known as 'left-libertarianism'. Both endorse full self-ownership, but they differ with respect to the powers agents have to appropriate unappropriated natural resources (land, air, water, etc.)."


Socialism

With regard to economic questions within individualist socialist schools such as
individualist anarchism Individualist anarchism is the branch of anarchism that emphasizes the individual and their Will (philosophy), will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions and ideological systems."What do I mean by individualism? I mean b ...
, there are adherents to Mutualism (economic theory), mutualism (Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Émile Armand and early
Benjamin Tucker Benjamin Ricketson Tucker (; April 17, 1854 – June 22, 1939) was an American anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of h ...

Benjamin Tucker
); natural rights positions (early Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner and
Josiah Warren Josiah Warren (; 26 June, 1798 – 14 April, 1874) was an American utopian socialist Utopian socialism is the term often used to describe the first current of modern socialism Socialism is a Political philosophy, political, Social philoso ...

Josiah Warren
); and egoistic disrespect for "ghosts" such as private property and markets (Max Stirner,
John Henry Mackay John Henry Mackay (6 February 1864 Greenock, Scotland – 16 May 1933 Stahnsdorf, Germany) was an egoist anarchist, thinker and writer. Born in Scotland and raised in Germany, Mackay was the author of ''Die Anarchisten'' (The Anarchists, 1891) and ...

John Henry Mackay
, Lev Chernyi, later Benjamin Tucker, Renzo Novatore and
illegalism Illegalism is a tendency of anarchism that developed primarily in France, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland during the late 1890s and early 1900s as an outgrowth of individualist anarchism. Illegalists embrace crime, criminality either openly or secr ...
). Contemporary individualist anarchist Kevin Carson characterizes American individualist anarchism saying that "[u]nlike the rest of the socialist movement, the individualist anarchists believed that the natural wage of labor in a free market was its product, and that economic exploitation could only take place when capitalists and landlords harnessed the power of the state in their interests. Thus, individualist anarchism was an alternative both to the increasing statism of the mainstream socialist movement, and to a classical liberal movement that was moving toward a mere apologetic for the power of big business."


Libertarian socialism

Libertarian socialism, sometimes dubbed left-libertarianism and socialist libertarianism, is an anti-authoritarian, anti-statist and libertarian tradition within the socialist movement that rejects the state socialist conception of
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
as a statist form where the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
retains centralized State ownership, control of the economy."So, libertarian socialism rejects the idea of state ownership and control of the economy, along with the state as such. Through workers' self-management it proposes to bring an end to authority, exploitation, and hierarchy in production.
"I1. Isn't libertarian socialism an oxymoron" in
An Anarchist FAQ
Libertarian socialists criticize wage slavery relationships within the workplace, emphasizing workers' self-management of the workplace and Libertarian socialist decentralization, decentralized structures of political organization. Libertarian socialism asserts that a society based on freedom and justice can be achieved through abolishing authoritarian institutions that control certain means of production and subordinate the majority to an owning class or political and economic elite. Libertarian socialists advocate for Decentralization#Libertarian socialist decentralization, decentralized structures based on direct democracy and Federalism#Federalism as the anarchist and libertarian socialist mode of political organization, federal or Confederation, confederal associations such as libertarian municipalism, citizens' assemblies, trade unions and workers' councils. All of this is generally done within a general call for Liberty#Socialism, liberty and Free association (Marxism and anarchism), free association through the identification, criticism and practical dismantling of illegitimate authority in all aspects of human life."The International of Anarchist Federations, IAF - IFA fights for : the abolition of all forms of authority whether economical, political, social, religious, cultural or sexual
"Principles of The International of Anarchist Federations"
"Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations." Emma Goldman. "What it Really Stands for Anarchy" in ''Anarchism and Other Essays''. Within the larger socialist movement, libertarian socialism seeks to distinguish itself from Leninism and social democracy. Past and present currents and movements commonly described as libertarian socialist include anarchism (especially anarchist schools of thought such as anarcho-communism, anarcho-syndicalism, collectivist anarchism, green anarchism,
individualist anarchism Individualist anarchism is the branch of anarchism that emphasizes the individual and their Will (philosophy), will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions and ideological systems."What do I mean by individualism? I mean b ...
, Mutualism (economic theory), mutualism, and social anarchism) as well as communalism, some forms of democratic socialism, guild socialism, libertarian Marxism (autonomism, council communism, left communism, and Luxemburgism, among others),Bookchin, Murray (1992)
"The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism"
Robert Graham (historian), Graham, Robert
"The General Idea of Proudhon's Revolution"
participism, revolutionary syndicalism and some versions of utopian socialism.Bromley, Kent (1906). "Preface". In Kropotkin, Peter. The Conquest of Bread. London and New York City: G. P. Putnam's Sons.


Mutualism

Mutualism is an anarchist school of thought which can be traced to the writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who envisioned a socialist society where each person possess a means of production, either individually or collectively, with trade representing equivalent amounts of labor in the free market. Integral to the scheme was the establishment of a mutual-credit bank which would lend to producers at a minimal interest rate only high enough to cover the costs of administration. Mutualism is based on a labor theory of value which holds that when labor or its product is sold, it ought to receive goods or services in exchange embodying "the amount of labor necessary to produce an article of exactly similar and equal utility" and that receiving anything less would be considered exploitation, theft of labor, or usury.


Other views


As creative independent lifestyle

The anarchist writer and
bohemian A Bohemian () is a resident of Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. Bohemia can also refer to a wider area cons ...
Oscar Wilde wrote in his famous essay ''The Soul of Man under Socialism'' that "Art is individualism, and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. There lies its immense value. For what it seeks is to disturb monotony of type, slavery of custom, tyranny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine." For anarchist historian George Woodcock, "Wilde's aim in ''The Soul of Man under Socialism'' is to seek the society most favorable to the artist, ..for Wilde art is the supreme end, containing within itself enlightenment and regeneration, to which all else in society must be subordinated. ..Wilde represents the anarchist as aesthete." In this way, ''individualism'' has been used to denote a personality with a strong tendency towards self-creation and experimentation as opposed to tradition or popular mass opinions and behaviors. Anarchist writer Murray Bookchin describes a lot of individualist anarchists as people who "expressed their opposition in uniquely personal forms, especially in fiery tracts, outrageous behavior, and aberrant lifestyles in the cultural ghettos of fin de siècle New York, Paris, and London. As a credo, individualist anarchism remained largely a bohemian lifestyle, most conspicuous in its demands for sexual freedom ('
free love Free love is a social movement Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is Volition (psychology), volun ...
') and enamored of innovations in art, behavior, and clothing." In relation to this view of individuality, French individualist anarchist Émile Armand advocated ethical egoism, egoistical denial of social conventions and dogmas to live in accord to one's own ways and desires in daily life since he emphasized anarchism as a way of life and practice. In this way, he opined that "the anarchist individualist tends to reproduce himself, to perpetuate his spirit in other individuals who will share his views and who will make it possible for a state of affairs to be established from which authoritarianism has been banished. It is this desire, this will, not only to live, but also to reproduce oneself, which we shall call 'activity." In the book ''Imperfect Garden: The Legacy of Humanism'', humanist philosopher Tzvetan Todorov identifies individualism as an important current of socio-political thought within modernity and as examples of it he mentions Michel de Montaigne, François de La Rochefoucauld (writer), François de La Rochefoucauld, Marquis de Sade, and Charles Baudelaire.''Imperfect garden : the legacy of humanism''. Princeton University Press. 2002. In La Rochefoucauld, he identifies a tendency similar to stoicism in which "the honest person works his being in the manner of a sculptor who searches the liberation of the forms which are inside a block of marble, to extract the truth of that matter." In Baudelaire, he finds the dandy trait in which one searches to cultivate "the idea of beauty within oneself, of satisfying one's passions of feeling and thinking." The Russian-American poet Joseph Brodsky once wrote that " e surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even—if you will—eccentricity. That is, something that can't be feigned, faked, imitated; something even a seasoned imposter couldn't be happy with." Ralph Waldo Emerson famously declared that "[w]hoso would be a man must be a nonconformist"—a point of view developed at length in both the life and work of
Henry David Thoreau Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817May 6, 1862) was an American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading Transcendentalism, transcendentalist, he is best known for his book ''Walden'', a reflection upon simple living in natural s ...

Henry David Thoreau
. Equally memorable and influential on Walt Whitman is Emerson's idea that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." Emerson opposed on principle the reliance on civil and religious social structures precisely because through them the individual approaches the divine second-hand, mediated by the once original experience of a genius from another age. According to Emerson, "[an institution is the lengthened shadow of one man." To achieve this original relation, Emerson stated that one must "[i]nsist on one's self; never imitate", for if the relationship is secondary the connection is lost.


Religion

People in Western countries tend to be more individualistic than communitarian. The authors of one study proposed that this difference is due in part to the influence of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. They pointed specifically to its bans on incest, cousin marriage, adoption, and remarriage, and its promotion of the nuclear family over the extended family. The Catholic Church teaches "if we pray the Our Father sincerely, we leave individualism behind, because the love that we receive frees us ... our divisions and oppositions have to be overcome""Catechism of the Catholic Church 2792"


See also


References


Further reading

* Albrecht, James M. (2012) ''Reconstructing Individualism : A Pragmatic Tradition from Emerson to Ellison''. Fordham University Press. * * John Dewey, Dewey, John. (1930). ''Individualism Old and New''. * * Gagnier, Regenia. (2010). ''Individualism, Decadence and Globalization: On the Relationship of Part to Whole, 1859–1920''. Palgrave Macmillan. * * * Ellen Meiksins Wood, Meiksins Wood, Ellen. (1972). ''Mind and Politics: An Approach to the Meaning of Liberal and Socialist Individualism''. University of California Press. * * Shanahan, Daniel. (1991) ''Toward a Genealogy of Individualism''. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press. . * Ian Watt, Watt, Ian. (1996) ''Myths of Modern Individualism.'' Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . * Gad Barzilai, Barzilai, Gad. (2003). ''Communities and Law.'' Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. . {{Authority control Individualism, Libertarian theory