Saturday, August 12, 2006

Individualism is Bad for You

Can the cornerstone of American life really be a problem? Say it ain't so!

Inidividualism is valuable to a degree. In this sense, individualism is just like science, religion, and lots of other things. The problems start when individualistic thinking gets carried to extremes. Of course this happens all the time as a desire to have our inidividual selves recognized and respected gets twisted in dangerous ways. Huh?

Consider social policy - We come up with stupid ideas and vote on stupid policies because we:(1) Only care about our taxes not going up, not even a penny, (2) we assume that people have more control over their behavior than they actually have.

Consider self-help - How many millions of hours and billions of dollars are wasted by people who have nothing wrong with them. Of course, being OK is not OK. We have to discover our inner selves and blah, blah, blah. (Self-improvement books can be helpful but, really, how much imporvement do most of us need?)

Consider relationships - What do you suppoe is going to happen to marriage, and general relations between the sexes, if all we care about is our almighty egos? Maybe there will be more cheating, more beating, and more dislike of the opposite sex (same sex for gay people of course).

I wonder how much money and time we waste each year protecting ourselves from amoral individuals who we know are going to take advantage of us if they can? And why are those inidivudals amoral, you ask? Because they grew up being taught to honor their egocentric desires above all else.

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