Collectivism and Individualism

Collectivist – something that puts the group’s needs and desires first, before considering the needs and desires of the group.

Individualist – something that puts an individual’s needs and desires first, before considering the needs and desires of the group.


In other words, individualism focuses on individual liberties where as collectivism focuses on social welfare. Both are important but both constantly compete with one another in republican and democratic systems.

The very existence of a government infringes upon individual liberties by demanding taxes be paid or authority be recognized. These are things most people in a republic willingly give up for the greater good – and their own good! It becomes tricky, however, when individuals are asked to give up more liberties in order to directly improve the welfare of another in a manner that does not directly improve their own welfare. This issue comes up a lot when dealing with refugees or healthcare. The less a policy directly improves the lives of everyone, the more likely this policy is to be called socialist or communist or – in the least – unfair and not the governments job. This may be how you feel. On certain issues, it is how I feel. However, I tend to lean towards collectivism and Civilism does as well.

Before completely tuning me out – give me one last chance. Civilism demands certain collectivist policies – completely government funded healthcare for instance – but it also demands that the wealthy pay their fair share. I’m not advocating for a complete equalization, where there is no rich or poor, but I feel fairly certain that the average practical American can see that the hyper-wealthy are not paying their fair share. And the welfare policies Civilism advocates will actually increase the wealth of the Middle Class – it is the Middle Class that runs the risk of sinking into poverty due to medical bills – and advocate for the drastic reduction if not absolute elimination of taxes on individuals who have nothing left over after buying necessities.

Civilism is decidedly collectivist but the Path of Moderation demands Civilists not take that to extremes.