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The joys of anti-social socialism

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  1. Whom
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    It brings pain to me seeing the collectivist attitude reduced to "some abstract idea of kindness or niceness," as if all socialist theory outside of that of the individualist strain of anarchism...

    It brings pain to me seeing the collectivist attitude reduced to "some abstract idea of kindness or niceness," as if all socialist theory outside of that of the individualist strain of anarchism is simply arguing "we should make these economic changes because we should be selfless and helpful to the masses on principle, fuck what you need!" As if mainstream socialist theory isn't full of work on the fulfillment of the individual. If I remember right, this video by Red Plateaus is really helpful for understanding this part of Marx's work.

    ...almost as much pain as the insistence on an individualist / collectivist split that this writer has, as if the same goals can't be brought about from different ideological starting points.

    The writer's cooperative example they mention is just irrelevant and only seems to fit because beforehand the writer already did the work of reducing "collectivism" to "short-sighted idealism". See, the issue there is that there is not a direct connection between the two positions (equal pay vs proportional) and collectivism or individualism. One could easily argue for the equal action from an individualist standpoint, saying that the security afforded to individuals frees them to self-actualize. Even if you think that's naive...that's naive from an individualist perspective, you don't get to give collectivism a monopoly on naivete. If your individualism seeks to enable the greatest amounts of individual self-actualization, you're perfectly in line with those dreaded idealist hippie collectivists. Drawing a line between the two of you is a point of division that is almost always meaningless.

    Individualist anarchists are cool. They're fine. I don't mean to shit on them, but I think this line of thinking actually falls into the problem they identify at the end with this bit:

    Rightists ask the question, and supply the answer. Leftists insist that the offered answer is wrong — when they should be insisting that the offered question is wrong.

    I can't help but read this and get really frustrated. How are you insisting the question is wrong? You're just picking the individualist side! There's no questioning of the question. So let's question the question: Is individualism vs collectivism a dichotomy worth keeping as part of the conversation? I don't think so, not with most things.

    6 votes