monthly conversation conversation #3

‘The blind belief in individualism’

By TOM KNAPPER of Kenoza Lake, NY
Posted 9/2/20

Why has wearing a mask which can save countless lives, including our own, become such an issue?

I believe it has everything to do with America’s obsessive cult of individualist supremacy. …

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monthly conversation conversation #3

‘The blind belief in individualism’

Posted

Why has wearing a mask which can save countless lives, including our own, become such an issue?

I believe it has everything to do with America’s obsessive cult of individualist supremacy. The blind belief in individualism is what has made the U.S.A. such a strong nation, but it is also its fundamental flaw.

The faith in our individual abilities is what allowed America to conquer the frontier, unleash dynamic creativity that put us technologically ahead in the world, foster unbounded entrepreneurship and made our work ethic among the most productive in the world, among other achievements.

As a child, I remember my German relatives, who had served in the well-oiled bureaucratic-military machine that was able to overrun Europe in a matter of weeks until it met its match in the Soviet Power on the Eastern front, tell me that the American military was superior to theirs. German weaponry was technologically more advanced but unable to counter the initiative of U.S. military commanders. The German troops had to report to their superiors and wait for their orders while the Americans were able to act decisively.

There is so much more that could be mentioned not the least of which is America’s role in ushering in the digital age.

But the individualist ideology is also our fundamental flaw. The fact is that we act as individuals within a social context that governs our interactions within the community we are a part of. Think of what would happen if we believed we had a God-given right to ignore the rules of the road when we drive. The problem arises when individuals believe they have a right to pursue behavior that is destructive of the social bonds on which our community is founded. We have only to look at the example of our President’s behavior. He has put us on a course that comes dangerously close to the disintegration of our national community.

This I know.

individualism

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