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What is the Objectivist definitions for:

  • collective
  • free-individual
  • collectivism
  • individualism

Then: are those the only definitions for those?

What are the nessessary definitions without extras?

Are the nessessary definitions incompatible? Why? Is there no compromise of mostly collective mostly free individual?

asked Dec 27 '11 at 23:05

Adeikov's gravatar image


edited Dec 28 '11 at 01:17

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

Adeikov: Label things how you may, but the bottom line is that what matters is what you mean. Every person needs to be left free to (peacefully) lead their lives as they see fit, alone and in groups. So if you want to offer people some collective scheme and leave them free join in or not, then Objectivists may scoff and call you misguided, but they will nonetheless fight for your right to offer it. On the other hand, if you attempt to shackle any person to your plan against their will, then Objectivists will fight you tooth and nail because slavery is an abomination.

(Dec 28 '11 at 01:40) Greg Perkins ♦♦ Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

So, Objectivism is primarily against people being bound by a system other than laissez-faire? Are they bound to laissez-faire even if they consciously refuse it, if people don't want to be "let be and alone", but prefer the help to "let become and belong"?

Is Japan such a bad collective? Do collectives, even where there are expectations; are these bad experiences for it's members? If they mostly experience good no less than in laissez-faire, then collectivism can inspire the rational self-interest to value the collective beneficial to self, why must individualism & collectivism be exclusive?

(Dec 28 '11 at 02:07) Adeikov Adeikov's gravatar image

Okay, here's a good deal, let any individualist experience collectivism for a year & see do their perspectives change & whether collectivism falls into their rational self-interests as beneficial to self?

Experience conquers prejudgement, see it before you know it. Taste before you say no. Try before buying or not. If you like, you will want more, true? If you don't like, you won't want that flavour, true? & if some favour agrees with you, you will have learnt to discriminate nice from nasty collectivism.

But if you refuse, you will not know the truth, but are stuck with superficial truth..

(Dec 28 '11 at 02:30) Adeikov Adeikov's gravatar image

What is your fascination with the word collectivism where you want to redefine it so that others would accept it? Why not accept the dictionary definition of that word and the historical practice of that belief? That way, you can create your own philosophy..say, Adeikovism with your hive mind and everything else that you want in there?

(Dec 28 '11 at 02:51) Humbug Humbug's gravatar image

If my contrariness starts passing a respectable level, tell me. I will know more the boundaries of Objectivists.

(Dec 28 '11 at 02:55) Adeikov Adeikov's gravatar image

Adeikov, Objectivism is against coercion (i.e., rights violations). If what you want to do amounts to coercion, then it is evil and Objectivists will fight against it -- but if you aren't proposing to coerce people, then by all means go forth and try to make the world a better place.

Using the bare term "collective" confuses crucial issues because people can be forced to be in groups AND they can be in groups voluntarily. But those are moral opposites, so please be sure to indicate CLEARLY which you mean when you use the term (especially since your use may be different than the norm).

(Dec 28 '11 at 03:13) Greg Perkins ♦♦ Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

I might consider the concept of coercion to see if it is all bad in every case and for every person.

It might turn out that it is only a kind of coercion that objectivism refers; Perhaps, as you would coerce a violator of objectivist ethics into submission to it. Maybe there are Stoics out there that, are duty first, pleasure/pain second.

~~~ I am listening to the points made by others, there is still ambiguity though as I look closer. And my ear is open ti any meaningful challenge I find to Objectivism. I seek an integrated understanding of it. I will study the novels at some point.

(Dec 28 '11 at 03:41) Adeikov Adeikov's gravatar image

It has occurred to me that the term "commune" might be closer to what Adeikov has in mind. There is a brief but informative article on "Commune" on Wikipedia.

(Dec 29 '11 at 23:44) Ideas for Life ♦ Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image
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Objectivism identifies that a definition should consist of the essential characteristic(s) which serves to integrate the concretes which subsume a concept. As such, a dictionary definition usually serves as a starting point. What distinguishes Objectivism, however, is that the definition for any particular word per se is not the concept.

A collective is a number of persons or things considered as a group or whole. A soldier is not an army, an army is a group of soldiers. A rock is not a pile, a rock-pile is a group of rocks. 1 is something considered as a unit. Ten is a way of treating as a unit or whole, a group of ten units.

A free individual is an individual who is free to do what is not explicitly forbidden by objectively constructed law.

Collectivism is a social theory which (among other things) is willing to sacrifice the inalienable rights of the individual to the group. Individualism is a social theory which (among other things) constructs its laws using the principle of the inalienable rights of the individual as the objective basis for evaluating if a law is proper for a non-oppressed society.

To determine if a definition is valid, it is the concepts which must be validated - that is the concept needs to be related back to the concretes which made it necessary. This process is outlined in Ayn Rand's book "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" More broadly, in order for a proposition to be true, at minimum, it must consist of valid concepts before further evaluation is warranted.

answered Dec 29 '11 at 14:14

dream_weaver's gravatar image

dream_weaver ♦

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Asked: Dec 27 '11 at 23:05

Seen: 1,054 times

Last updated: Dec 29 '11 at 23:44