is genius. Everything, seriously. It’s short. Read it.
Individualism is given a bad rep by ultra-rich conservatives because they like to pretend that that’s how they got where they are and that’s why they don’t owe welfare babies a dime. The fact is that their success is due in large part to the fact that we don’t live in an individualist society. After reading this article I’d happily call myself an individualist—in the true sense of the word, meaning that everyone is honestly and actually provided the much-touted “equal opportunity” that’s so often phrased as part of a retort to any socialist policy suggestions.
The conservative belief in individualism is actually a belief in everything but the content of someone’s individual character: their class, their family, their gender, their race, the resources with which they were born and raised. Their individualism is not individualism, it’s mostly classism, mixed in with sexism, racism, and whatever other biases that might pre-determine the ease with which someone can be successful, all tied up with a dogmatic little bow that reads “deal with it!”
Am I a total individualist? Personally I think I’ll always believe that we have a moral obligation to afford other human beings the dignity that comes with a certain quality of life. But in a sense, that’s really the only way to maintain an individualist society: to provide everyone with certain socialized opportunities and securities that guarantee their equal opportunity to succeed given the same amount of work, talent, interest, luck or time that anyone else might possess. I’m not suggesting a global commune, just a base standard of living that affords everyone an equal chance to compete in rising above it.