On Mon, 23 Oct 2000, Gordon Fitch wrote:
> It does not appear to me that this ideology is rightly
> called "individualism" since it is not interested in the
> individualities of everyone. The ownership and control of
> the means of production by a private elite strongly implies
> the collectivization and disindividuation of the members of
> the working class and of the poor, if not the bourgeoisie;
> but probably of the last as well, since they have to combine
> in a highly-organized and disciplined team to resist serious
> changes to the order of things.
On the contrary: hyperindividualists are easy to control. They won't cooperate in their common interest, so as a group they will rarely challenge the status quo; the mantra is "look out for number one".
And another practical example: if people weren't so concerned with being unique individuals, and expressing that individuality with a unique constellation of products such as clothes, music, stereo equipment, and cars, the capitalist economy would be in a world of hurt.
This is the weird thing to me about contemporary capitalist societies: they do not deindividualize people, they impose individuality upon people. And paradoxically, that is a very effective strategy for perpetuating the capitalist economy.