Template talk:Individualism sidebar

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I am proposing this template be deleted, because it is biased and loaded. it is unfair to assume and imply that "individualism" is purely a pro capitalist phenomenon, just as been attempted with the term "libertarian". terms such as "individualism" and "egoism" apply to people who have supported both socialism and capitalism, as does the idea of a preference for "liberty", and define something very deep to human desire in much of ther western world. I am going to have to put my foot down on this and say that right wing attempts to both whitewash the history of right wing behavior, economics, authoritarianism, etc on wikipedia, plus attempts to make terms like "individualism" "egoism" and "liberty" as well as "liberal" always point to capitalist preference are unfounded.. for every person who has used these terms in the defense of capitalism there have been those who have used the terms in opposition to it. To put words in our mouths, and labels on our brains, within wikipedia, by insisting these terms only point to one type of economic behavior is patently absurd, and unfair.. as is it also absurd and unfair to only use quotes biased toward one particular point of view, and sneakily and weai8ly leave out quotes that point to the opposite point of view. Radical Mallard Feb 23, 2009 7:39 PM

There is no claim that capitalism is the only individualist philosophy. It's one of many individualist-related ideas in the sidebar. And there is no denying that capitalism is individualist. Private property is individualist. It's not collectivist. Jadabocho (talk) 02:27, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
This is simply not true. you have set up a false dichotamy. Individualism is a philosophical tendency and a personal inclination. capitalism and socialism are economic arrangements. The fact that many socialists and collectivists are and have been individualists underlies the fact that opposing capitalism does not exclude individualism. You are trying to force it so everyone HAS to accept your capitalist version of individualism, just as you do the same with libertarianism and many other terms. It has gotten simply ridiculous. Radical Mallard Feb 23, 2009 10:56 PM
  • Is individualism even enough of a unified philosophy continuum to have its own template? Zazaban (talk) 22:05, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
It's not a philosophy. It's a category of philosophies and ideas. Some philosophies are individualist, and some, like socialism, are collectivist. Jadabocho (talk) 23:26, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Okay, but is it enough of a unified ideal that it deserves its own template? There is no 'collectivist' template. Zazaban (talk) 00:44, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I think it is. And I think it's very useful to the reader to have a sidebar to be able to explore all the individualist ideas and individualist thinkers. I'm open to making a collectivism template. Jadabocho (talk) 01:04, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
THe claim that socialist is anti-individualist is completley outlandish. Promoting solidarity and the collective good is in no way connected to supressing the individual!-- (talk) 01:13, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Individualism is to the individual as socialism is to the social. I agree that socialism isn't necessarily suppressing to the individual. It's just that socialism emphasis concern for the social whereas individualism emphasis concern for the individual. Jadabocho (talk) 01:22, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Individualism is clearly about a type of thinking where the interests of the self are of primary interest. It doesn't take a genius to see that this means some individualists, in an individualistic society (that is, any society that values individualism - there are still numerous religious and dictatorial societies that do not) will favor capitalistic solutions, and others will favor socialistic ones. That people are forced to behave in a capitalist way because everything has a price put on it says nothing about how many socialists (however individualistic we may all be) there really are, since like sexuality, a persons circumstances and what really benefits them (or what they believe benefits them) can only truly be known to them and possibly you only if they tell you... you have to walk in a man's shoes to see things his way. Nobody is denying that there are capitalist individualists. But to deny there are socialist ones is flat out wrong. This also explains why the anarchist individualists of old (and the modern ones who respect them like Joe Peacott or Fred Woodworth) would be capitalists one day and socialists the next. If you are a more "pure" individualist (that is that you find more joy in seeing people being happy by following their bliss than their bliss being some specific thing), and you find that capitalist behavior is hurting people, you may denounce it. And if socialist behavior is hurting people, you may denounce that. You might even say today you are a socialist just to piss off the capitalists you dislike, and tomorrow, say you are a capitalist because the socialist party is run by idiots. In Britain in the early 1800's, what kind of person would honestly say capitalism was glorious? And in Hungary in the late 1950's, what kind of person would honestly say socialism was glorious? You have to take these kinds of things into account. Radical Mallard Feb 25, 2009, 7:48 PM EST

Deletion discussion.[edit]

Since it is very clear that the worthiness of this template's existence is in question and the original author said, and I quote, 'Of course it's going to be biased', I propose that somebody open a discussion on this at WP:TfD. Zazaban (talk) 05:14, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

WP:TfD. Skomorokh 05:16, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Fixed, thank you. Zazaban (talk) 05:31, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Just like all sidebars are biased. The Liberalism sidebar is baised toward liberalism. The Socialism sidebar is biased towards socialism and so on. The individualism sidebar is biased towards individualism. By the way, if there is a socialism sidebar in existence, I would think it would be biased to not have an individualism sidebar in existence. Jadabocho (talk) 05:18, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
The point is that it is biased towards capitalist individualism. There have been, and are, socialist individualists. Zazaban (talk) 05:31, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how an individualist can be a socialist since a socialist by definition is for common ownership of the means of production, but if there is such a thing as socialist individualist why not just put him there. What's stopping you? There are going to be more capitalist individualist than "socialist individualists" for sure. The latter have to be a rarity. I don't see how this can be described as "bias" if the bias exists in the real world. Jadabocho (talk) 05:57, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I dont see how an individualist can be a capitalist since a capitalist by definition is for private ownership of the means of production, as this means it benefits some, but not others. If you are talking about individuals, then those individuals who it does NOT serve, does NOT benefit, does NOT belong to who are STILL individuals who care about themselves and their best interests, are in fact forced to sacrifice, and be "altruistic" in the sense that they defer to the property owner, to the boss, and they allow for force (private or public) to be used in their name, even against themselves. Many of us who consider ourselves socialistic also consider ourselves individualistic, and there is no rule, no clause, no trick that will make it not so. What made the IWW (and numerous others), for example. so different from others in the left, and those from religious circles was that it came out of a tradition of self-loving, self-caring-for poor people who worked the land or had trades, who were uprooted and displaced by private property. To say that because a brand of socialism was established that attacked and denounced individualism (and ultimately proved to be oppressive) "proves" that now and forever all socialists will not be individualists is absurd. The capitalist propaganda that claims capitalism is individualist (like saying "everyone with red blood cells is a capitalist.. because everyone is to some extent individualist, and egoist, too) are simply using individualism as a public relations campaign. It is an insult to those of us who are the type of socialists who would be put to death by those on either the right or left who hated us for our individualism. It is bad enough that the term libertarian has been hijacked this way. It is also bad enough that "objective", like the misuse of the word "truth" by the bolsheviks, would be used by capitalists to describe their system. It is as if they called themselves "The Holy Truth Party". It may be ok for capitalists and objectivists to make claims such as these in their on publications, but I'm sorry, not here, not in wikipedia. This is not simply your world, this is everyones word. I respect you if you respect me. I will admit that you exist if you will admit that i exist. Thats how it is. If you really are a friend to individualism than stop only caring about one version of it, because history has shown us that narrow definitions of broad terms are very weak, and serve only a small minority interest. Individualism and egoism are of value to the human being if they agree that they are of value. We know that capitalist individualists reject socialism, but it should be obvious that socialist individualists reject capitalism. It is also unfair to simply use the term "liberal" to refer to an Orwell, a Camus, a Burroughs, a Lennon, a Cobain, a Hunter S. Thompson, an Einstein, a Wilhelm Reich, and so many other complex thinkers, artists, writers and musicians who made it clear they did not agree that capitalism was good to them, and yet they were clearly examples of individualists. They believed in the primacy of the self and their behavior underscored this. Believing in that does not have any direct bearing on what economic form is best. If all the corporations today were suddenly run by cooperatives, while the bosses and perspective bosses might be unhappy, we cannot say that the people without land or means of production would automatically be unhappy. If it ended up benefiting them more than private ownership or state ownership, then who is to say they are not individualists? The cold war is over. You have to understand that many of us who do not believe in capitalism today are not a bunch of marxists (a marx or a freud is no more special to us than any other writer - what matters is if some of what they say is demonstrable as good and useful or not). If you want to put your own words in our mouths, or labels on our asses, you do that. But a lie is still a lie. Radical Mallard Feb 25, 2009 7:36 PM EST
Socialists are for socialized, that is, common ownership of the means of production. Individualists are for individualist ownership, in other words private ownership. Socialized ownership is NOT individualist by any stretch of the imagination. Individual ownership is individualist. Jadabocho (talk) 02:04, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Socialists are for ownership that benefits far more individuals than capitalists are, therefor socialists are far more individualistic than capitalists. To base your definition of "socialism" only on socialists of the past who have opposed individualism is a false way to depict individualism or socialism. Sorry, but you're wrong. It has to do with benefiting individuals. Socialism is the opposite of Capitalism, but not individualism. Since you are simply ignoring what I explain and repeating yourself like a robot, I don't have much reason to respect your opinion. Radical Mallard Feb 26, 2009 4:25 PM EST
You don't understand the individualist egoist ethic. The individualist pursues his self-interest regardless of its effect on other individuals. He lives for his own sake - to benefit himself, not others. If others benefit from him pursuing his self-interest, fine. If they don't fine. The more concern for the SELF than for others, the more individualistic the philosophy. Jadabocho (talk) 01:52, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
There have been plenty of egoist socialists. Emma Goldman, for example, took influence from both Max Stirner and Peter Kropotkin. The Situationist International was a marxist organization made up of people who did not appear to give a hoot about anyone but themselves. I have heard plenty of things about egoist syndicalists. Zazaban (talk) 06:16, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
An thoroughgoing individualist egoist cannot be a communist, by definition. Sure a communist can be an egoist, if he thinks communism is in his self-interest, but he can't be an INDIVIDUALIST egoist because an individualist supports private property not public property. If the individuals do not own the resources as separate individuals but as a community-wide collective then it's not an individualist society but a collectivist society. Jadabocho (talk) 23:28, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
(Second Reply) YOU don't understand the individualist egoist ethic. The individualist pursues his own interests, and that means if capitalism does not benefit him, he will not pursue capitalists interests. Capitalists work together to benefit their capitalist cause.. workers work together to benefit themselves. To pretend that capitalists do not have a common interest in defending capitalism.. and thus even when pursuing "individualist" capitalist goals they work together, but that this isn't the case for people whom capitalist does not benefit is simply silly. Radical Mallard Feb 27, 2009 7:50 AM EST
I never claimed that people working together is not individualist. If they're working together to further their own individual goals, that's individualist. If they're working together, however, for the "common good" through personal sacrifice it's collectivist. If a higher value is placed on the good of society than personal gain, it's not individualist. Jadabocho (talk) 23:35, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Joe Peacott Inclusion[edit]

Zeno, Lao Tzu, Aristotle, Locke, Tucker, Jefferson, Warren, Emerson, Stirner, J. S. Mill, Kierkegaard, Thoreau, Nietzsche, Spooner, LaVey, Adam Smith, Kant, Hayek, and Rand are all very famous, very notable thinkers. Many of them are household names. All of them are subject to significant amounts of serious literature. Peacott, by contrast, is obscure, an unknown; other than some mentions by Kevin Carson, there is no real discussion of his thought. His Wikipedia article is a one-paragraph stub. It's absurd to include him in such a list of thinkers when he doesn't come close to comparing.

I can let Fred Woodworth slide, as he's at least somewhat notable, but not Peacott. Peacott should be removed from the template. To include him is a massive bias. --darolew 23:43, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree about Peacott. He seems pretty irrelevant, especially compared to giants such as Emerson. I don't see why Woodworth is in there, because in his ariticle it says he has an "individualist streak" only, and says he's support anarcho-communism in some cases. I don't think that qualifies him being a noted "individualist." Jadabocho (talk) 00:23, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Regarding Woodworth, I'm not going to disagree; I also don't think Woodworth should be in the template. However, his case for inclusion is at least stronger than that of Peacott. --darolew 00:38, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I believe Peacott should be kept in. For one thing, he's actually alive, and he's written coherent explanations of what individualist anarchism is. He is far more qualified to be a noted individualist than the litany of rightists/Republicans who are describing themselves as "Libertarian" today, yet they full support every military adventure our government decides to partake in. The other reason is that Samuel E. Konkin III was just as much unknown, and yet a huge, imaginary bubble of publicity and text was made out of him simply because he used the term "left libertarian" in a pro-market-rule context, in order to prevent libertarians opposed to market rule to use the term. Most every person of SEK3's status has their entries removed from wikipedia, but for some reason his "left libertarianism" (which is pro market rule) and "agorism" (which is just another anarcho capitalism, which is just another brand of conservativism - there certainly are many conservatives who are not religious or overtly racist or homophobic) has been kept in, and has created yet another category for the same old thing.---Radical Mallard 1:41 PM EST, March 15, 2009
Thank you for the reply, Radical Mallard, and sorry for my delayed response.
"I believe Peacott should be kept in. For one thing, he's actually alive"
I fail to see what being alive or not has to do with notability for this template.
"and he's written coherent explanations of what individualist anarchism is."
Not including your point-of-view about the coherency of the explanation, what makes that explanation noteworthy? Is it famous? Is it discussed? Is it frequently cited? If it's famous, why is it not mentioned in the body of his one-paragraph Wikipedia article?
"He is far more qualified to be a noted individualist than the litany of rightists/Republicans who are describing themselves as "Libertarian" today, yet they full support every military adventure our government decides to partake in."
None of the thinkers listed were members of the Republican Party, as far as I know. Furthermore, of those listed, only Rand, Hayek, and Woodworth lived into the 20th century and only Woodworth is still alive—moreso, both Rand and Hayek rejected the label "libertarian"; so what does those who are "describing themselves as 'Libertarian' today" have to do with this template?
"The other reason is that Samuel E. Konkin III [...] the same old thing."
SEK3 isn't mentioned by this template, nor should he be. Agorism and anarcho-capitalism are not mentioned by this template either. You seem to be grinding your ideological axe in the wrong place.
What's being discussed in this thread is whether Peacott is notable enough to merit inclusion in the template. To summarize the discussion: I noted that Peacott is far less notable than the other thinkers mentioned in the template; I further noted the lack of discussion around his thought. I therefor contended that Peacott was not notable enough. For rebuttal, you noted that Peacott is alive (irrelevant) and that, in your opinion, he has written a coherent explanation of individualist anarchism, but you did not establish the notability of that either. You concluded with what appears to be a rant about SEK3 and anarcho-capitalism/agorism, which isn't relevant.
It seems that perhaps your opinion that your point-of-view is under-represented in the template is biasing your judgment about the inclusion of Peacott. I think there are really only two rational options: either establish Peacott's notability (which I doubt is possible—if it is, please consider expanding the Wikipedia article too) or simply find another notable individualist to add instead. I believe that is reasonable. --darolew 06:51, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Complaint About User "Jadabocho" & The Wikipedia "Libertarian War"[edit]

I am raising a formal complaint here about the Wikipedia user "Jadabocho". Like similar users (who have been banned for their behavior, such as "Anarcho-capitalist" and "Operation Spooner") this user has been doing everything they can to place capitalism "all over the ideological map" yet narrowly confine and define left wing ideas. We see more common neutral terms (like "individualism" or "libertarian" or "egoist") made to point to capitalism while obviously negative terms like associations with the state, blind collectivism with no individualist concerns, underpinnings, or context, or moral ideas that encourage altruism and disparage the individual are plastered over "Socialism".

Terms such as "left libertarian" and "progressive libertarian" are "camped" by rightists who hold the exact same views as moderate republicans/conservatives, or the regular view of the Libertarian Party (capitalism without regulation, and no racism against black/etc people yet anything done to fight racism is attacked anyway as "politically correct") and denied use by individualists who oppose capitalism and have a different definition of what "individualist" or "liberty" or "libertarian" means. While I know there is an ideological battle, and this is human nature, I do not believe wikipedia is the place for this. (And I think the attacks on making "Libertarian Socialism" a "entry of the day" and then removing that status but making "anarcho-capitalism" the entry of the day with no protests or opposition is somewhat ridiculous.) .. We have a sort of fantasy world for right-wing nerds created in wikipedia in which if you think for yourself, care about yourself, etc you have to be a capitalist and any "good" sounding historical or political phrases and terms point to you, but if you are a capitalist yet you work in or agree with group-think entities like the police & military (public or private), religions, or corporations you are somehow exempt and can still be called a "libertarian" or "individualist".

The tendency to make new categories to divide terms is a part of this. Like "classical liberalism" instead of simply "liberalism" - why not admit that there is a difference of opinion within a group? It is dishonest to make such a distinction when there were ALWAYS liberals who were weary of capitalism even though they liked it - thats all a modern liberal is - the same thing as a Thomas Jefferson or an Adam Smith of the past) is part of this problem. Perhaps they felt they could do this because terms like "libertarian socialism" and "left libertarian", when used by those who oppose market rule (I do not use the term "free market" because I do not believe the market is "free" - and I know I am not alone in this) sound alien to rightists or like some "trick" because they were not aware that left wing libertarians or individualists existed, even though there have been many. The problem is that the Cold War has made many people assume that socialism has no individualist underpinnings, or assume that there is and can be no difference between individualism for working class people and individualism for those in the ruling class.

I would like to call for a complete "Reset" of this ideological war on Wikipedia back to an earlier stage before banned accounts worked their havoc and make it clear that there are two types of libertarian that exist in the united states, and some of them call themselves libertarian and some do not, bot both sides exist and both sides are substantial, and some are actually observing libertarian ideals and some are phoneys or just kidding themselves. --Radical Mallard March 15, 2009, 1:32 PM EST

Was that meant as a rant, or do you have any proposals for this template? Much of what you're discussing seems like it belongs over at Talk:Libertarianism (though such discussions/arguments have been continuing unabated for years). Some of the things you're recommending are plain odd—you seem to be opposed to having liberalism split up into subcategories like classical liberalism, social liberalism, modern liberalism, etc., which seems an odd opinion—surely the significant differences between such ideologies warrant separate articles? Or would you suggest that collectivist anarchism, communist anarchism, mutualism, etc. all be merged into social anarchism? I think subcategories makes for a better encyclopedia.
At this template, your edits have been, as Jadabocho noted, "bizarre". For example:
  • You changed the link to Ethical egoism to Egoism, even though it has been noted that egoism is a disambiguation page, and is thus not very appropriate to link to.
  • You added Noam Chomsky to the list of thinkers, instead of Noam Chomskyi.e., you forgot to use a Wikilink.
  • You added links to authoritarian communism and authoritarian socialism to the Contrast section, but they are not articles.
  • You removed Corporatism and replaced it with Corporations, which seems hard to justify.
  • You added Religion, without a wikilink, to the Contrast section. But religion is not inherently individualist or anti-individualist.
  • You removed numerous other items from the Contrast section, e.g., Group rights and Communism, without explanation. You protest that your point-of-view is marginalized, but respond by marginalizing the opposing point-of-view?
Odd changes such as these, as well as your apparent habit of lapsing into ideological rants, are not going to resolve anything. Rather, why don't you explain what you think should be done to improve this template and why. --darolew 07:39, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Egoist Bias[edit]

This template is too biased towards egoism, which isn't necessarily connected to individualism. Here's a list of suggestions to make it better:

1. Two more sections should be created: "Related Philosophies" and "Debated Topics".

2. Liberalism, Libertarianism, Existentialism, Objectivism, and Methodological Individualism should be moved to the "Related Philosophies" section.

3. Capitalism, Ethical Egoism, Private Property, Workers' Self-Management, and Public Property should be moved the "Debated Topics" section.

4. Individualist Anarchism and Social Anarchism should be replaced by Anarchism, because all anarchists support individual autonomy, differing only in their opinions on the best ways for people to freely orgnanize.

5. Communism and Socialism should be replaced by State Communism and State Socialism, in order to distinguish them from their purportedly individualist counterparts.

6. Libertarian Communism and Libertarian Socialism should be added to the "Debated Topics" section.

That basically blurs everything down to be meaningless. About anarchism, not all anarchism is individualist. That's why there is the term "social anarchism," to distinguish from individualist anarchism. Communism whether state or non-state is not individualist. It's communist. In economic individualism property individually owned. In communism it's communally owned. 03:26, 26 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jadabocho (talkcontribs)
Existentialism should probably be under related, actually, as I believe most of its main theorists were marxists. Zazaban (talk) 17:33, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

The inclusion of certain thinkers[edit]

Earlier there was discussion about the notability of Joe Peacott in this template. Along the same lines, there are four more thinkers now in the template who, I would argue, probably don't merit inclusion:

  • Émile Armand. Obscure individualist anarchist with a stub article.
  • Han Ryner. Another obscure individualist anarchist.
  • Renzo Novatore. Yet another obscure individualist anarchist. His ideas appear to be mostly based on Stirner-esque nihilism, so his inclusion is also redundant.
  • Georges Palante. Obscure philosopher with a stub article. Little information about him or his work appears available except in French.

This template must confine itself to the big names—Zeno, Lao Tzu, Aristotle, Locke, Tucker, Jefferson, Warren, Emerson, Stirner, J. S. Mill, Kierkegaard, Thoreau, Nietzsche, Spooner, LaVey, Adam Smith, Kant, Hayek, Rand, Spencer, etc. If it does not, if it instead starts including obscure individualists like the four names above, this template would rapidly grow to hundreds of names. That is not acceptable. The template must be exclusionary; the four names listed above should be removed.

Since this discussion page is rather slow, I've gone ahead and done so. --darolew 05:03, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I will have to say that there´s really no way to show how the individualist anarchists i tried to include have had more importance and relevance than people like Rand, Spooner and worse Lavey. the article on Emile Armand is actually rather big and has detailed explanation of this thought and his influence within anarchism. Im starting to think this template will be one with Wikipedia:Systemic bias if we let it go as you want. In reality Rand, Spooner and Lavey might only have received attention mostly in the United States while Emile Armand was very influential in Spain, and Latin America and has too many publications, books and articles.

and really using your logic i could say that the inclusion of Spooner, Warren and Tucker is redundant as all these are american natural rights individualists anarchists economists. Also Hayek and Smith both are liberal economists. Locke and JSMill liberal political theorists.

So your "big names" seem to be really a taste of yours and to call LaVey a "big name" seems to me rather silly. If someone here deserves more the adjective of "obscure" it will have to be him. But also the fact that you have a preference for liberal thinkers, that most likely you are an from the United States and you dont know too much of anarchism and dont know or maybe you cant read in spanish and french is not an excuse for exclusion of some thinkers. In the end i actually think we might have to keep Tucker and take off warren and Spooner. Spooner is really an obscure author whose influence didnt go beyond the United States but Benjamin Tucker did have influence in Germany, France (Armand) and other places in Europe.--Eduen (talk) 09:12, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

My "big name" preference, so called, was merely a desire to prevent the "Thinkers" section from expanding to a ridiculous size; and I am unsure how this could be accomplished other than by removing the less notables. If you believe my judgment was wrong in some instances, you should simply explain why;—as you did, briefly, when you mentioned that Armand was influential in Spain and Latin America.
As for the "redundant" remark, I shall explain: I think it is judicious to include only philosophers in this list, and not the propagandists and popularizers;—in other words, only those who have made significant original contributions to individualist thought. Renzo Novatore,—in addition to not seeming sufficiently notable,—correctly or incorrectly, did not seem to me to meet this criterion. To say that Hayek, Smith, and J. S. Mill do meet this criterion would seem uncontroversial. --darolew (talk) 00:44, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Alphabetizing and . . .[edit]

Hope nobody minds my alphabetizing the lists. Absolutely nothing was removed nor added. Would like to discuss the possible inclusion of a great thinker and individualist friend of Thomas Jefferson: Thomas Paine. I could be wrong, however I do think Paine ought to be included in the list. If there are no objections, I shall add him in a few.
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  05:14, 27 July 2009 (UTC)


Per WP:DAB, and to make life easier for anyone who wants to use this template, self-interest must be disambiguated ASAP. The link leads to a multitude of ideas that are not necessarily part of individualism or anything you'd want to find in a template. If it matches more than one principle in there, add them all. Otherwise, remove it. The purpose of a sidebar is to make a reader's life easier, not harder. I've put up the {{dn}} because it will make someone come quicker. — Skittleys (talk) 00:56, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Individualism and private property[edit]

User Little c as in Charlie has tried to erase twice libertarian socialism from this template on the grounds that it advocates collective property. I think he is only aware of the line of individualism which is linked to economic classical right wing pro-capitalism or also known as right libertarianism. Mutualism and classical United States individualist anarchism both defend private property but reject interest, rent and profit and so they are thought of as forms of market socialism. Benjamin Tucker and Pierre Joseph Proudhon both identified themselves as socialists while also being individualists.

But in the end individualism if it is taken as a concept it means defense of the individual and his interest but this can or cannot imply defense of private property as a sacred concept. In the case of individualist Max Stirner private property as a metaphysical thing to be respected depends on individual will and so there have been Stirnerists who have advocated stealing, pickpocketing and bank robbery (see illegalism and individual reclamation) and even anarcho-communism in the cases of stirnerists like Max Baginski, Emma Goldman and insurrectionary anarchism.

Oscar Wilde in the well known essay The Soul of Man under Socialism went as far as to say "For the recognition of private property has really harmed Individualism, and obscured it, by confusing a man with what he possesses. It has led Individualism entirely astray. It has made gain not growth its aim. So that man thought that the important thing was to have, and did not know that the important thing is to be. The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is...With 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. "[1]. So Wilde finds that individualism means defense of one´s body and soul and so from this grounds it can go to reject the sacredness of the institution of private property. Wilde´s artistic individualism can do this and actually goes back to humanism which didn´t really focus on or talked about defense of private property but found that individual realization was found on free self-expression and free choice over one´s life. From these grounds there can be even vagabond homeless individualists. One cannot deny for example someone like Diogenes of Sinope is an individualist since he rejected society´s conventions on the grounds that they sacrificed the individual on cultural ideals which made him not honest to himself. A similar critique was put forward by Friedrich Nietzsche on his famous critique of morality and so individualism is also related with things like sexual libertinism and rejection of religion. Such lifestyle individualism has not really focused too much on defense of private property but more on free disposal of one´s body or as it has been called (self-ownership).

So the question of individualism is a rather complex one and so it can include contrasting views. For more check the well sourced article "individualism".--Eduen (talk) 18:51, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

You're hung up on the term or idea of "property," when the term you should be looking at is "private." THAT'S what individualists support. Individualist anarchists are for PRIVATE control of the means of production. Socialists are for SOCIAL control of the means of production. "Private" means individual, or a small group of individuals where that group of individuals is not so large as to comprise the whole society or the state. Yes I know that Tucker called himself a socialist, but I hope you'll admit that it's a highly unusual use of the term. There were only a few individualist anarchists that called themselves that. Libertarian socialism is almost always thought of a rejecting private control over the means of production. So you're putting a term in there that is only tangentially related insofar as there were just 2 or so individualists anarchists that even called themselves socialists. Social control over the means of production is not by any means considered individualistic. We could go on and on adding topics that are just tangentially related to the individualism, but I think the template needs to be more focused than that. Little c as in Charlie (talk) 15:14, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

"there were just 2 or so individualists anarchists that even called themselves socialists." I guess you could name them then if you are sure they were 2. I gave two cases, Benjamin Tucker and Oscar Wilde. But anyway you can add Pierre Joseph Proudhon and Tucker being a mutualist I guess you are aware mutualism has always been thought of being a form of socialism. And now if you want let´s consider the individualists anarchists that are communists (Renzo Novatore, insurrectionary anarchism), the individualists who justify theft and expropriation (illegalism, Max Stirner) and the case of Lysander Spooner having been a member of the socialist International Workingmen's Association. I think the problem might be that you want to restrict the use of the word to its use in the anglo liberal pro capitalist sense but it happens that for example the french, german and italian individualist traditions are less concentrated on the issue of property and of economics and more focused on a humanistic existentialist perspective and/or have aristocratic tendencies. The article individualism is actually well sourced and so the template is just a reflection of the complexity and the sometimes conflicting views that have adhered to individualism. And so the template includes both the concept of "private property", capitalism and right libertarianism and things like individual reclamation and libertarian socialism and humanism. Also it includes right wing liberals like Hayek, Friedman, Ayn Rand and Rothbard as well as self-labeled individualists of a more humanistic strain and with anti-capitalist tendencies like Wilde, Emile Armand and Michel Onfray. As far as balance I think we are fine.--Eduen (talk) 19:40, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

I accept the argument that it may be acceptable to call some individualist anarchists socialists, under some unusual definitions of socialism. But it's the extreme minority of libertarian socialists that are individualist anarchists. So by putting "libertarian socialism" under Individualism, it's implying libertarian socialism is an example of individualism. That's just not the case. The vast majority of people who call themselves libertarian socialists, and who writers call libertarian socialists, are for socialized ownership. They're collectivists. So it's inaccurate to direct people for looking information on individualism to the libertarian socialism article. Little c as in Charlie (talk) 14:59, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

"Anarchism" is not in the list for the same good reason. Anarchism includes much more than the individualists. So it wouldn't make sense to direct people to that article when there is one devoted to the individualist wing of anarchism, i.e. the individualist anarchism article. Little c as in Charlie (talk) 15:03, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

The problem I see in your definition of individualism is thinking it nessesarely implies defense of private property and possibly capitalism. There have been many individualist criticisms of markets and capitalism seeing they foster mediocrity in culture and that it means having to obey the authority of a boss. As such libertarian socialism is an economic position many individualists have adopted. I already mentioned mutualism, mutualism was the most common position American individualist anarchists adopted and mutualism is libertarian socialism. As far as european individualist anarchists they tend towards either mutualism and anarcho-communism.

This argument of yours is really not acceptable: "But it's the extreme minority of libertarian socialists that are individualist anarchists." The central question as far as individualist anarchism is ¿what are the economics of most individualist anarchists? and not ¿what percentage of libertarian socialists are individualist anarchists? As I showed one can say individualist anarchism is mostly a socialist position in economics since it goes between mutualism and anarchocommunism. Socialism mainly means criticism of capitalist forms and both mutualism and anarchocommunism are that.

But also one also has to take into account the fact that many individualist anarchists actually didn´t have economics as their main focus and so their economics are obscure. And so for example Ezra Heywood and Moses Harman mostly focused on free love and birth control activism, the germans Adolf Brand and John Henry Mackay on Gay liberation, and Henri Zisly, Emile Gravelle on ecologism and naturism.

You say "I accept the argument that it may be acceptable to call some individualist anarchists socialists, under some unusual definitions of socialism". Socialism is a huge diverse political position which includes complete collectivization positions like maoism and stalinism who even collectivized housing sometimes I think while it also includes market friendly positions like mutualism and mainstream social democracy of the political parties who belong to the Socialist International. But even advocacy of private property doesn´t imply support of capitalism. Mutualism is clearly anti-capitalistic since it opposes labor hierarchy, rent and interest. Even anarcho-communism recognizes private use of housing and personal possesions and so the anarcho-communist CNT-FAI during the collectivizations they conducted during the Spanish Civil War let individual peasants who didn´t employ other people to keep their land.--Eduen (talk) 19:31, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

On the question of anarchism as being an individualist philosophy I have to quote the prominent anarcho-communist Errico Malatesta who said this ""All anarchists, whatever tendency they belong to, are individualists in some way or other. But the opposite is not true; not by any means. The individualists are thus divided into two distinct categories: one which claims the right to full development for all human individuality, their own and that of others; the other which only thinks about its own individuality and has absolutely no hesitation in sacrificing the individuality of others. The Tsar of all the Russias belongs to the latter category of individualists. We belong to the former."Errico Malatesta. "Anarchism, Individualism and Organization" at the 1907 International Anarchist Congress. For this reason I support anarchism being included in this template. And this because it is usually associated with individualism and also because the other ideology associated with individualism, Liberalism, there have been liberals who have supported authoritarian governments. For example the neoliberal austrian school economist Friedrich Hayek who gave economic advise to the chilean Augusto Pinochet dictatorship or similar economists to the latest argentinian dictatorship of the late seventies. I bring up this point in order to give balance to the right wing liberal argument that you seem to bring out that says ""Anarchism" is not in the list for the same good reason. Anarchism includes much more than the individualists. So it wouldn't make sense to direct people to that article when there is one devoted to the individualist wing of anarchism, i.e. the individualist anarchism article." As malatesta showed, individualism is a central important political base of all anarchism. --Eduen (talk) 19:50, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Individualism is part of ALL philosophies. But in a directory of individualist topics, you direct people those that focus on individualism. Anarchism shouldn't be linked to, but INDIVIDUALIST anarchism. Same for libertarian socialism. Little c as in Charlie (talk) 21:02, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
For example, why is Kropotkin not in the list of individualist thinkers? Certainly there is some individualism in his ideas, but his focus is not individualism but communalism. Little c as in Charlie (talk) 21:09, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

The thing is that the two main political philosophies that are usually linked with individualism are liberalism and anarchism. The same thing you argue about anarchism can be said about liberalism. For example John Maynard Keynes called himself liberal and in the United States the people that we in the rest of the world call social democrats there they call themselves "liberals". Also John Stuart Mill supported socialist ideas to a degree and the ideas of another undeniable liberal such as John Rawls imply redistributive justice. The thing is that both anarchism and liberalism are diverse and old philosophies and so they have included a wide diversity of positions sometimes which find themselves in conflict while still being liberalism and anarchism.

So for the same reason you gave (and I agree with it) so that we don´t include Peter Kropotkin on this template for the same reason then we should´t include John Maynard Keynes either. But we have to include both anarchism and liberalism here. I don´t know how familiar you are with discussions within anarchism but individualism is an important issue and accepted value far beyond individualist anarchism. The existence of individualist anarchism just shows up to what extent anarchism is dedicated towards the defense of the individual and so for example in marxism and fascism there is not anything similar. And so the most influential individualist anarchist, Max Stirner, has many adherents within anarcho-communism which is the most widespread anarchist tendency (examples are Emma Goldman, Max Baginski, insurrectionary anarchism, post-left anarchy).--Eduen (talk) 23:56, 29 October 2011 (UTC)


narcissism is an important aspect of individualism and arguably ought to be in the individualism template --Penbat (talk) 13:53, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Anton LaVey[edit]

Anton LaVey does not merit inclusion here. LaVey's writing is not recognized as notable or influential in individualist arguments by any peer reviewed paper and he is not noted as a thinker in any academic books on individualism. In this, he is unique on this list. His inclusion on this list owes much to sycophancy and if Wikipedia is to retain integrity, those wishing to include LaVey should provide reputable, peer reviewed sources which attest to his importance to individualism and not other movements. (talk) 14:18, 6 October 2012 (UTC)