individualism

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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 periodicals archive ?
Thus, her freedom from punishment of sin limits her ability to value penance as a means for achieving self-awareness and is a symptom of modern economic individualism experienced by an emergent eighteenth-century middle-class.
Today, the assumptions of economic individualism have been so absorbed into political science that scholars rarely question them.
Economic individualism is deeply embedded in the American body politic, a byproduct in part of the deep religious individualism that characterizes that society.
The recent emphasis towards economic individualism and the political movement against social collectivism are outlined.
The 'social' as metaphor and the case of cooperatives; a critique of economic individualism.
Nonetheless, I approached the council's sixth report, Taking Care, with an open mind after reading a column in The New York Times by David Brooks, who described the report as "a rebuke to the economic individualism of the right and to the moral individualism of the left," and an assertion of "mutual obligation.
On the one hand, the group's valorization of worldly achievement and economic individualism has a Protestant feel to it.
She argues that the record "underscores the inability (or refusal) of consumers, creditors, lawyers and judges to endorse the 'modern' commercial concepts of economic individualism and freedom of contract" (2).