individualism


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

individualism

the philosophy that individuals have their own unique set of wants and interests, and that they should be given free rein to pursue them. Those promoting this philosophy therefore advocate the removal of laws and regulations governing how people should behave. In the economic and business spheres, they argue, regulation stifles entrepreneurial creativity and inhibits responsiveness to market forces; if people can be freed from regulation they will become more highly motivated to succeed, whilst markets will be able to function more effectively, leading to benefits to society at large. They tend to be critical of TRADE UNIONS since they believe that unions elevate group over individual interests, and place restrictions on both their members' and managers' freedom to behave as they wish. Critics of this philosophy argue, however, that interests are in fact often shared (for example between groups of employees), that power resources are unequal and hence that collective action is therefore often necessary, and that unbridled pursuit of individual goals can damage the interests of others. See COLLECTIVISM, DEREGULATION.
References in classic literature ?
Personal property hinders Individualism at every step.
When it is violently, grossly, and cruelly used, it produces a good effect, by creating, or at any rate bringing out, the spirit of revolt and Individualism that is to kill it.
Jealousy, which is an extraordinary source of crime in modern life, is an emotion closely bound up with our conceptions of property, and under Socialism and Individualism will die out.
Art is the most intense mode of Individualism that the world has known.
And it is to be noted that it is the fact that Art is this intense form of Individualism that makes the public try to exercise over it in an authority that is as immoral as it is ridiculous, and as corrupting as it is contemptible.
Art is Individualism, and Individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force.
It comes from the natural inability of a community corrupted by authority to understand or appreciate Individualism.
by creating the modern state, destroyed the individualism of the artist, and made things monstrous in their monotony of repetition, and contemptible in their conformity to rule, and destroyed throughout all France all those fine freedoms of expression that had made tradition new in beauty, and new modes one with antique form.
It is to be noted also that Individualism does not come to man with any sickly cant about duty, which merely means doing what other people want because they want it; or any hideous cant about self- sacrifice, which is merely a survival of savage mutilation.
Under Individualism people will be quite natural and absolutely unselfish, and will know the meanings of the words, and realise them in their free, beautiful lives.
For it is through joy that the Individualism of the future will develop itself.
What it aims at is an Individualism expressing itself through joy.