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Free Minds & Free Markets

Individualism Increasing Across the World

The richer people become, the more eagerly they throw off the shackles of collectivism.

MeWeBaltyraBaltyraGood news fellow libertarians: We are winning!

Individualism is rising across the world, according to a forthcoming study in Psychological Science by a team of Canadian and American psychologists who evaluated 51 years of data on individualistic practices and values across 77 countries.

There is, however, one big exception to this salutary trend: China.

Researchers focused on shifts in measures like the cross-cultural Individualism-Collectivism scale in the countries they evaluated. Individualism promotes a view of self-direction and autonomy, whereas collectivism fosters conformity and adherence to social obligations. Individualistic cultures prioritize independence and uniqueness whereas collectivist cultures emphasize family and fitting in.

To get at how cultures have moved along the individualism-collectivism spectrum the researchers used data focusing on changes in individualistic cultural practices and also World Values Survey responses that track shifts in cultural values.

The relevant cultural practices included changes in household size, percentage of people living alone, older adults living alone, and divorce rates. The researchers also analyzed how values changed with regard to the importance of friends versus family; teaching children independence or obedience; and preferences for self-expression such as arguing that free speech should be protected in their countries.

They also sought to identify what might be causing any changes along the individualism-collectivism spectrum. Consequently, they examined how socio-ecological changes such as socioeconomic development, disaster frequency, pathogen prevalence and climate affected trends in individualism.

Not too surprisingly, socioeconomic development had by far the strongest effect, accounting for between 35 and 58 percent of the change in individualism.

"Thirty-four (out of 41) countries showed a substantial rise in individualist practices," note the authors. "Thirty-seven (out of 52) countries showed a similar rise on a subset of markers assessing individualist values."

The shift toward greater individualism is not confined just to developed countries. Overall, they find a 12 percent global shift on the axis toward increased individualism. The richer people become, the more likely they are to throw off the shackles of collectivism.

Researchers find China is an outlier. This is a surprise, since socioeconomic development is driving the rise in individualism. After all, China's per capita GDP has increased nearly ten-fold over the past quarter century.

As a possible explanation, researchers cite a 2014 study that identified profound cultural differences between southern and northern Chinese. Specifically, the folks in rice-growing southern China are more interdependent and holistic-thinking than those who live in the more individualistic wheat-growing north. Of course, it doesn't help that the Communist government under President Xi Jinping is forcefully suppressing dissent.

The findings would suggest despite Xi's oppression, this dynamic of individualism will inevitably take hold in China.

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  • Brian||

    Well, duh: we're obviously better people.

    It's evolutionary.

  • Tony||

    So why is this good?

    And you can't answer with any form of "because it is good."

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Because valuing other people as people makes life better for everyone than valuing people solely for how good they are at being a cog in an institutional system, you horse's ass.

  • Tony||

    I said you can't answer that way.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    You'd say that no matter how i answered because you're completely uninterested in honest discussion.

  • Tony||

    The point of my question was to make you think, hmm, maybe there isn't a non-tautological answer out there.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    The point (or retarded approximation thereof) of your question was "hurr durr i wanna make fun a' libreturnains, maybe this'll work."

  • pan fried wylie||

    The point (or retarded approximation thereof)

    *The nub

  • ||

    Heh. Tony decides how to answer.

    Just like a well-trained autocratic progressive.

    Aw. So cute.

  • Devastator||

    Probably a paid troll. Anyone who wants someone to explain something should provide their own counter argument up front instead of being intellectually lazy. A debate requires equal participation not just someone asking "why?"

  • Brian||

    How about "Obviously this is better, because if it wasn't, people wouldn't be doing it?"

    Not today, then? OK.

    How about "Libertarians have the most 'masculine' style, liberals the most 'feminine.'" I mean, let's be honest: you're here because you're a bottom, aren't you?

    And we're the mean, nasty, strong libertarian men who just do as we please so good.

    Don't pretend you don't love us after spending these years together.

  • Tony||

    People do all sorts of things. Some are tops, some are bottoms. Which one is better? Whichever one you personally prefer? That's where we always end up, isn't it: you are comfortable with your worldview and that's why you want to make sure everyone else has to go along with it. Maybe collectivists like their form of community just fine and don't want you butting in to change it.

    I like to think I arrive at a political belief because it stands up to cold, empirical testing, which doesn't sound like sissy-boy empathizing to me, but maybe merely asserting something without any desire for evidence to back it up is the more masculine approach. Why debate something when you can just fuck it up the ass?

  • Brian||

    If you can't see the double-standard hypocrisy in what you just said, I don't know what to tell you.

    Smooches, baby.

  • Tony||

    I know--you want to fuck everyone up the ass with freedom, and that makes it OK. Do you tell the world it's OK if it cries as long as it keeps the noise down?

  • Brian||

    Daddy will let you know when it's time.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    What's really funny is that John was fond of that exact same argument. Almost verbatim, minus the references to banging dudes.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Minus the explicit references to banging dudes.

    Mind the subtext.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Good point.

  • Zeb||

    Tony, you are stuck on the notion that libertarians want to force people to be libertarians lately. Or maybe you've always been. It's kind of dumb.

    Who is calling for some kind of libertarian coup? Optimistically celebrating an increase in regard for individualism around the world and political activism isn't "making sure everyone has to go along with it". It's trying to convince people of the benefits of liberty.

  • Tony||

    I assume that, with some generous wiggle room, people want the form of society that best suits them. A libertarian regime would, all evidence suggests, simply devolve into plutocracy (because the liberties you prioritize meet the needs of the wealthy but few of the needs of the poor, adding to what's already a large imbalance of power). Thus, a democratic populace will never choose a libertarian regime, at least not without a huge propaganda effort and various other tactics of fascists. Couple this assumption with the fact that most libertarians I talk to downright distrust democracy (because people will vote themselves the treasury, don't you know), and we arrive at the irony to which you refer.

  • Take that cloud!||

    No, actually, we really don't. Reality shows we end up with libertarians finding ways to remove themselves from the influence of collossus, not trying to co-opt it, through force or other measures.

  • Tony||

    Tell that to various countries in South America and Eastern Europe.

  • Take that cloud!||

    I would if they had any libertarians.

  • KDN||

    Yeah, who ever on their own initiative ever made a point of meeting the needs of the poor? Where's the money in that?

    There is no evidence that wealth imbalances are an economic problem except insofar as they entice politicians and would-be revolutionaries to take actions which are detrimental to the health of the economy. It's a political problem which exists primarily because you and those like you have difficulty accepting that life is neither fair nor consistent.

  • Tony||

    Oh good, you invoked "life isn't fair." So now every time I propose something you don't like, I get to say "Suck it up, life isn't fair." Right?

    We're going to have universal healthcare in this country and rich people are going to pay for it with taxes. Suck it up. Life isn't fair.

  • Take that cloud!||

    Except, you constantly claim they dodge those taxes because they can afford devious accountants.

    So, they aren't going to pay for it. Or use it.

    Suck it up. They're smarter than you.

  • KDN||

    We already have it, and they already do. I don't even much care about it. It won't stop me from pointing out how terribly inefficient the regime is, however. So duplicative. Much redundancy. Wow.

  • Take that cloud!||

    "Maybe collectivists like their form of community just fine and don't want you butting in to change it."

    And we wouldn't care, except you pass laws that require us to participate, at the point of a gun.

  • Tony||

    Just as you would do when imposing your libertarian system. You can pretend all day long that large numbers of humans interacting requires no enforcement if we just choose the right system, but that is merely you giving yourself unearned extra credit.

  • Take that cloud!||

    "Just as you would do when imposing your libertarian system"

    Imcorrect.

    It takes no force to ask that I be left alone.

    This stupid fucking attempt at drawing this parallel is among your most ridiculous assertions.

  • Take that cloud!||

    "Just as you would do "

    By the way, i love the admission that your system only works at the point of a gun.

  • Tony||

    Cite an example of any system that has worked some other way. You want to be left alone? Great, me too. Me, Netflix, and something to sip on. The perfect society. And as soon as I step outside my front door and interact with other human beings, uh, hope they are nice and don't want my stuff? Hope they don't have a disease and will cough on me?

    We are talking about a form of society, yes, meaning what other people than you are obligated to do, and not just what you want to do on a Sunday afternoon?

  • Take that cloud!||

    "Cite an example of any system that has worked some other way"

    There has never been voluntary cooperation ever.

    I LOVE that you gave the game away.

  • ||

    No. You believe in the progressive version of 'empirical testing'.

  • Tony||

    Hey OM, who's the postmodernist now?

  • H. Farnham||

    I take your post to mean, 'explain why this is good, but without any sort of moral absolutism.' So if I'm to accept that 'good' is completely subjective, then I would say this is 'good' because individualism allows more people to decide for themselves whether this is a good or bad thing.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    You think it's good, don't you?

  • Tony||

    I personally have not completely solved the central, oldest question in philosophy, "How should people live?", and I doubt you guys have either.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    This may go against your instincts, but some of us do not leap from "good" to "should."

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    And to answer the question, I think it's good because I prefer "self-direction and autonomy" over "conformity and adherence to social obligations," "independence and uniqueness" over "family and fitting in." I'd think a gay man who complains about the discrimination of his hometown would share that preference.

    The writing for this character is getting sloppy.

  • Tony||

    And if you were born and raised in Japan, you'd probably have a different set of priorities. The only metric I have to go by is to look at a society as a whole and see how the people are doing according to various measures of well-being. (We can leave aside the point that caring about human well-being is arbitrary too.) Japan has its problems, but the US, which undoubtedly has high marks for individualism, is probably the most pathological advanced democracy. We could probably benefit from a little less individualism and a little more collectivism. And that's not a bad way to summarize my worldview. Please take care to notice that I said "a little."

  • KDN||

    We could probably benefit from a little less individualism and a little more collectivism.

    I see someone hasn't been following along with what's been happening to this country's most recently benighted community.

    Upthread you're claiming to be some kind of steely eyed empiricist, yet here you can't seem to acknowledge that it's the most collective cultures which fare the worst. I'd contend that reality is a symptom of their situation and not a cause in most cases, but there's little evidence that more collectivism, cultural or political, is something which we should be encouraging.

  • Tony||

    I think those articles confirm my point rather than yours. I did tell you to notice that I said "a little." The problem with both "inner cities" and rural areas is lack of access to opportunity. Lack of sufficient government, in other words.

  • KDN||

    I'm guessing that you just read whatever teaser is before the paywall instead of bothering to dig deep, but if you take from those articles what you said then you're completely hopeless (though we knew that already).

    The problem isn't lack of opportunity, it's cultural and material disincentives for people to take the required actions to seize the opportunities that do exist.

  • Tony||

    The problem isn't lack of opportunity, it's cultural and material disincentives for people to take the required actions to seize the opportunities that do exist.

    What opportunities are those in inner cities of the past and rural America of the present? The same ones that exist in wealthy suburbs and urban areas of the present?

  • KDN||

    What opportunities are those in inner cities of the past and rural America of the present? The same ones that exist in wealthy suburbs and urban areas of the present?

    Proximity to the wealthy suburbs and urban areas. Thos who live there have lots of things they need help with and a lot of free cash to spend on them, but there are ever more barriers being erected in front of those that might otherwise be enticed to support them. Some of these are the government's fault (location-based welfarism, exponential growth in licensing requirements), others are cultural (you are currently making yourself a shining example of one).

    There's a huge number of unskilled immigrants in this country and a huge number of unemployed and discouraged native workers. That points to a severe misallocation of labor and capital which might be spent on it. I'd rather untangle that knot instead of just throwing money at the people affected by it.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    The problem with both "inner cities" and rural areas is lack of access to opportunity. Lack of sufficient government, in other words.

    The problem with both "inner cities" and rural areas is lack of access to new episodes of Game of Thrones. Lack of sufficient government, in other words.

    The problem with both "inner cities" and rural areas is lack of access to whales. Lack of sufficient government, in other words.

    The problem with both "inner cities" and rural areas is lack of access to HOTT XXX PIX of HUNG DUDES. Lack of sufficient government, in other words.

    The problem with both "inner cities" and rural areas is lack of access to those Superballs, remember, that we all had when we were kids? Those things were rad. Lack of sufficient government, in other words.

    The problem with both "inner cities" and rural areas is lack of access to sunshine. Lack of sufficient government, in other words.

  • Tony||

    So we're talking about the central problem with the claim that if government gets off our backs, we'll be able to prosper, and you respond with this obtuse crap?

  • KDN||

    and you respond with this obtuse crap?

    I LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Take that cloud!||

    This is your brain on Tony.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Sorry, i was just responding to your comment with some equally logical statements.

    So we're talking

    I'm sorry, were you under the impression that you'd ever shown any signs of willingness to engage in honest debate? Because in eight years (or however long you've been trolling Hit'n'Run) you've done no such thing. Fuck off.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    (We can leave aside the point that caring about human well-being is arbitrary too.)

    Gosh, that sure is convenient!

  • Take that cloud!||

    He's positively Protean in his mendacity.

  • Tony||

    It is, but without that assumption there'd be nothing to talk about.

  • Take that cloud!||

    Well, yeah, you'd have to admit you had no position, and were a monster.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    So can you not explain why your metrics are good, beyond "because this is good"?

    There would be plenty of things to talk about. We just couldn't talk about how our assumption gives us the moral authority to order others around.

  • Tony||

    Well, having an education is better than not having one. Not having diseases is better than having them. Basically, being able to meet basic and maybe even secondary needs of humans as humans. I don't believe there's any point in talking about politics if we're not talking about how to make human lives better. If all you want is for you to be god-emperor of your mother's basement, except mom and everyone else just leaves you alone, then that would be an impasse.

  • Take that cloud!||

    Choosing for yourself is fundamentally better than having someone who doesn't know anything about you choose for you.

    Which, kind of crushes your point.

  • Tony||

    I wouldn't dream of endorsing a system in which such choices were imposed on people. But we can all agree on certain goods. Potable water isn't an option among others. Let's not be so open-minded our brains fall out.

  • ||

    Potable water isn't an option among others

    Lack of sufficient government, in other words.

  • KDN||

    Getting? It's been all downhill for seven years.

  • KDN||

    In the civilization to which we belong this was answered pretty succinctly a couple of centuries ago and has served us pretty well: however they like so long as it doesn't infringe on my ability to do the same.

    Where we end up getting tied into knots is where and how that infringement comes in and what type of action should be taken in response.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Fortunately, libertarianism holds that there is no one answer to that question, and as long as it doesn't involve harming others, everyone should be free to figure that out for themselves.

    A smarter, more honest foe of libertarianism would have noticed that by now and incorporated it into his arguments.

  • Tony||

    as long as it doesn't involve harming others, everyone should be free to figure that out for themselves.

    But that is your answer. You said there wasn't an answer and then you gave an answer.

    That proposition does not come without serious implications in public policy and individual well-being in the real world.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I said there was no one answer. Did you not read, or are you just lying again?

  • Take that cloud!||

    Lying.

  • Tony||

    No one answer except your one answer.

  • Take that cloud!||

    Which was?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    "There's potentially as many answers as there are people on earth" = one answer, in Tony's mind.

    Christ, what an asshole.

  • Take that cloud!||

    I feel like Asshole doesn't adequately convey it.

  • pan fried wylie||

    I feel like Asshole doesn't adequately convey it

    Assholes?

  • Tony||

    "As long as it doesn't involve harming others, everyone should be free to figure that out for themselves."

    Fantastic. So what does that mean for education policy? Healthcare? Just because your answer can fit in a fortune cookie doesn't mean it doesn't imply a specific regime.

  • Take that cloud!||

    It means people make voluntary agreements to deal with those things, among other solutions.

    Why is something so simple so difficult for you ti comprehend?

    How long are you going to struggle with this befire it dawns on you, the problem is you and your intellectual limitations?

  • Tony||

    By "voluntary agreements" you mean if I'm poor I can jolly well live a short, stupid life fit for a medieval street urchin. You'll be sure to come around and slap me with a bumper sticker that reads "freedom," won't you?

  • Take that cloud!||

    No, I mean like volunteer fire departments that put out anyones fired, regardless of ability to pay.

    But i like how you try to change the subject away from your imtellectual disablity.

  • Tony||

    Why did we invent modern civilization in the first place if people were naturally prone to forming voluntary collectives that were perfectly suitable for everyone? Again with the magical bullshit. What's the difference between what you and I are talking about? Surely rules have to be enforced in yours too.

  • Take that cloud!||

    Why are you constantly changing the subject when it gets too complex for you to understand?

    No one said anything was perfect. I dontl't understand why you lie.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Why did we invent modern civilization

    Really? No, i gotta pull a "I Just Can't Even" on this one.

  • ||

    Why did we invent modern civilization

    Who is it that you believe "invented modern civilization?"

    Be specific, now.

  • Take that cloud!||

    Why can't poor people make voluntary agreements?

    What kind of idiot thinks that?

  • Tony||

    They can make some voluntary agreements but not many. They are thus less free than the rich. You want to maximize freedom, don't you? Or do you merely want to maximize freedom from government? (Something both the rich and the poor might like for different reasons, but in practice only the rich really get their freedom, oddly enough.)

  • Take that cloud!||

    "You want to maximize freedom, don't you? "

    Do I?

    Oh right, you're incapable of debating a person, instead of a caricature.

    You're that idiot who wonders why libertarians arent trying to maximize freedom for pedophiles or rapists or murderers to commit crimes.

    "BUT THAT MEANS YOU'RE A HYPOCRITE!!!"

  • ||

    They can make some voluntary agreements but not many. They are thus less free than the rich.

    Are you familiar with the concept of a "grey market?"

    Do you know where and why they exist in this country?

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Tony,

    So what does that mean for education policy? Healthcare?


    Non Sequitur. It's like asking "What does that mean for the sun coming up tomorrow"?

    If you want to argue that individual freedoms hinder your plants for free health care and education, the answer to that is: Too bad. Buck up, sissy pants.

  • Tony||

    Fine, if you think my socialist iron fist interferes with your ability to do whatever it is you do, sorry, suck it up, life isn't fair.

  • Take that cloud!||

    And there it is.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Tony,

    Fine, if you think my socialist iron fist interferes with your ability to do whatever it is you do, sorry, suck it up, life isn't fair.


    My freedom fist interferes with your socialist fist. There. Suck it up. Life isn't fair.

  • Philadelphia Collins||

    How about treating others as you would like to be treated? How about not initiating force or fraud?

  • Tony||

    And if someone does initiate force or fraud, government will be there to protect us. Is libertarianism simply a different way of saying statism?

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Tony,

    And if someone does initiate force or fraud, government will be there to protect us.


    That doesn't mean individualism per se is not good, only that you prefer to delegate your responsibilities to a bureaucracy.

    Is libertarianism simply a different way of saying statism?


    No, it is not. Your post-modernist basura will not fly here, Marxian.

  • Tony||

    But it's where we're converging. We're all looking at roughly the same society, just from different angles. We both value the existence of relatively powerful government and the existence of a relatively fluid market. Maybe we see or ignore problems in each according to how we're inclined.

    All I've ever wanted is for these guys to stop trying to tell me how special and outside of the laws of physics they are and defend their specific policy proposals on their merits with respect to human well-being. Don't want public healthcare? Fine. Don't tell me it increases freedom, because the freedom it increases can be found in the offshore bank accounts of a handful of people. Tell me why it's better than my healthcare policy with respect to the healthcare of humans in the society at hand. That's all.

  • Take that cloud!||

    "Tell me why it's better than my healthcare policy with respect to the healthcare of humans in the society at hand. "

    Because no one will go to jail for refusing to participate.

    You're welcome.

  • Tony||

    I think that might be an actual answer. Thank you.

    How do you feel about mandatory vaccines?

  • Take that cloud!||

    I feel like you're going to try to make a tenuous, strained connection between them and Obamacare.

  • Tony||

    Just curious if you think one of the prices I should have to pay for your "freedom" is polio and smallpox.

  • Take that cloud!||

    And i was right.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Tony,

    We're all looking at roughly the same society, just from different angles.


    No, you're defining society in a holistic fashion as if the individuals that comfort a society were less important than the society itself. Society is just a concept, a word used to facilitate the efficient conveyance of ideas, but not a thing that exists beyond the existence of the individuals that form it. The only beings of will that step on this good earth are individual human beings and not "societies".

    Besides this, you're merely using society as an excuse to argue for societal rights that do not really exist or to define entitlements as 'rights', by framing these as necessary for the existence of a society but, again, a society doesn't exist beyond the individuals who conform it, and each individual has WILL, obviating the urgency to turn those supposed 'rights' into reality. If each human has WILL then each human is perfectly capable of acquiring education and care, by trading or by gift.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Tony,

    Don't want public healthcare? Fine. Don't tell me it increases freedom, because the freedom it increases can be found in the offshore bank accounts of a handful of people.


    You're employing a silly non sequitur to argue against freedom itself. Freedom means the ability to choose. The beasts of nature cannot enjoy as much; but humans can, as we were gifted a mind, by Nature. The fact that some people have "offshore accounts" is not an argument against exercising freedom to choose, notwithstanding the fact that there's nothing inherently wrong with offshore accounts. It sounds like you bring it up out of jealousy.

    How do you feel about mandatory vaccines?


    The same way I feel about mandatory shoes and shirts in a Burger King. I choose to wear shirts and shoes. People choose not to. That may cause problems to them in the long run, but I still retain the freedom to choose to not wear them. At the same time, Burger King reserves the right not to serve me food if I am not wearing a shirt and shoes. It's the same with vaccines.

  • Tony||

    "Problems in the long run." Ha! You mean rampant communicable disease that could have been prevented by a simple policy?

    It's not that you favor too much freedom, it's that you favor a most trivial freedom (freedom from mandatory vaccination) at the expense of a vastly more important one (being free of a horrific disease or worry about contracting it).

    Because you can't imagine freedom that isn't a metaphor of you sitting in your recliner with Old Betsy there to protect you from varmints doesn't mean you know the most about freedom. You endorse freedom minimalism because you can't grasp the simple concept of a give-and-take.

  • Tony||

    What's an individual but a collection of tissues working in concert?

    It's all language all the way down. I can talk about society as a thing if it's convenient just as I can refer to a galaxy without negating the existence of solar systems.

  • ||

    What's an individual but a collection of tissues working in concert?

    An individual has a will. Tissues do not. Societies do not.

    I thought you took some kind of philosophy course in college?

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Tony,

    What's an individual but a collection of tissues working in concert?


    And so you want to extrapolate the biological condition of each being to society? Except that tissues DON'T have will. There lies the difference. The fact that you choose to ignore that indicates that you harbor a horrifying disdain for human beings, Tony, only valuing them as much as they form part of a system.

    I can talk about society as a thing if it's convenient just as I can refer to a galaxy without negating the existence of solar systems.


    So what's exactly your argument, then? Because you didn't say anything different from what I said.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Conform, not "comfort". Sorry.

  • ||

    Don't want public healthcare? Fine. Don't tell me it increases freedom, because the freedom it increases can be found in the offshore bank accounts of a handful of people. Tell me why it's better than my healthcare policy with respect to the healthcare of humans in the society at hand. That's all.

    I really don't think that's all, because you've been told again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, but all you hear is "BECAUSE WE HATE BLACK PEOPLE!!"

  • Mark22||

    We both value the existence of relatively powerful government and the existence of a relatively fluid market.

    Libertarians desire a weak government and a free market.

    Don't want public healthcare? Fine. Don't tell me it increases freedom, because the freedom it increases can be found in the offshore bank accounts of a handful of people. Tell me why it's better than my healthcare policy with respect to the healthcare of humans in the society at hand. That's all.

    Fair enough: you are an amoral utilitarian, so arguments based in liberty will never convince you; you are going to continue to vote according to greed and self-interest, regardless of whose natural rights you trample on. You may be contemptible, but you are also a voter.

    When it comes to "public healthcare", the argument is easy: it's an inefficient, expensive system that delivers worse care than private systems.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    Re: Tony,

    So why is this good?


    The fact that you have a mind that allows you to formulate that question means the question itself is meaningless.

  • Mark22||

    So why is this good?

    Because individualism results in more economic growth and a more cohesive society.


    Basically, increased individualism delivers the very benefits socialists and progressives claim to be able to deliver but fail at in practice.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    I don't know. Some of the wealthiest countries in the world are in the Middle East, and we all know how things are working out over there these days. Not all that great, unless you're the type who considers genocide to be the greatest expression of your individualism.

  • Ron Bailey||

    DD: FWIW, Saudi Arabia scores very low on individualism - despite oil wealth it is still a tribal society.

  • Rhywun||

    The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best (Masculine) or liking what you do (Feminine).

    Hoo boy this kind of talk is so not OK.

    :)

  • KerryW||

    It likely depends on how that wealth was obtained -- earning it might be different than having it dropped in your lap. Their wealth doesn't depend on individualism.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    There is, however, one big exception to this salutary trend: China Elite college campuses.

    FTFY

  • Brandybuck||

    Except in the US. The richer people become the more they whine that gub'ment needs to do everything for them.

    Which leads me to my theory that government is a luxury good. We have the biggest and most intrusive that we can afford.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I was wondering what exactly this study was calling "individualism". Are the individualists people who are looking to be free from political collectives, or people who are looking to be free of private social supports and look to government as a substitute?

  • Mark22||

    Except in the US. The richer people become the more they whine that gub'ment needs to do everything for them.

    Until the 70's, northern Europe was strongly individualistic and free market oriented. Progressivism and collectivism were innovations, driven by the wealth acquired in previous decades. But for about the last 1-2 decades, those countries are becoming more conservative and libertarian again, as they discover that their high social welfare spending is a dead end.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    There is, however, one big exception to this salutary trend: China.


    China? What about Cheeto-man's America? Where people make arguments against trade and immigration based on exhortations to "national interests" and always with a "we"? "We" don't need more trade. "We" don't need more immigrants, etc. You can't listen to a more collectivist bunch than Trumpistas, other than Marxians, and that's saying a lot.

  • Tony||

    It boggles the mind that people seek out a strongman and then choose such a ridiculous one.

  • OM Nullum gratuitum prandium||

    I am convinced that this country could not be worse off with Hitlery at the helm. At least the woman would show far more restraint than Cheeto-man. Her 'vision' of an open trade zone along the Americas is not inconsistent with free markets.

    But the fact that so many were easily swayed by the anti-market and anti-trade ramblings of a madman should serve to indicate to YOU, Tony, that people have a predisposition to accept facile demagoguery regardless if it comes from leftwing ignoramuses like Bernie or rightwing ignoramuses like Cheeto-man. Maybe at one point you will also stop placing so much faith in the State and realize how fragile are these rights we enjoy.

  • Tony||

    I've never agreed with you more. I was defending Hillary's original position on trade against the Bernites even after she was forced to change it. The main problem I saw, however, wasn't the existence of the state, but the existence of simplistic, tribal thinking.

  • Sevo||

    OM Nullum gratuitum prandium|8.4.17 @ 5:13PM|#
    "I am convinced that this country could not be worse off with Hitlery at the helm."

    Two names:
    DeVos
    Gorsuch
    Any of the hag's 'visions' are worth nothing at all; she's a far more accomplished liar than Trump could ever hope to be.

  • Red Twilight||

    Sevo, you have been sucking at Drumpf's taint too much. Stop. Let your fellow Durmpfistas get a turn

  • Mark22||

    "We" don't need more trade. "We" don't need more immigrants, etc. You can't listen to a more collectivist bunch than Trumpistas, other than Marxians, and that's saying a lot.

    "We" can't help being collectivists because our f*cking tax system and social welfare system and subsidies and trade deals and legal system forces us to be. And "we" are dealing with other collectivist societies that impose strong restrictions on the movement of goods, services, and money, heavily subsidize and regulate their economy and workforce.

    Pretending that "free trade" or "open borders" under those conditions are libertarian policies or policies that promote freedom is bullshit.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Just glancing at the study I think the conclusions look awfully ambitious. We've clearly seen an uptick in the welfare state (can it get any more collective than that?) coupled with the decline of the family. That doesn't appear to be all that great a tradeoff in favor of real individualism.

    And mean temperature for a whole country? Seriously?

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

  • buybuydandavis||

    The relevant cultural practices included changes in household size, percentage of people living alone, older adults living alone, and divorce rates.

    Everyone but the Chinese are more socially atomized.

    Yay?

  • Peter Verkooijen||

    Millennials are collectivist. That may not yet show up in averages, but that is the future direction - and reflected in the last two authoritarian US presidents.

  • Mark22||

    Young people have been socialists and progressives for centuries. Most grow out of it sooner or later.

  • Red Twilight||

    Like the baby boomers. Then they learnt that borrowing and spending is the way to go. For cover, blame the millennials for the ills of the huge debt and deficits.

  • Mark22||

    Well, see, they went from "tax and spend" and "redistribution" to "borrow and spend". I.e. they went from socialists and progressives to conservatives.

    I didn't claim that they turn into libertarians.

  • eyeroller||

    Good news fellow libertarians: We are winning!

    Libertarianism is about force, not about me vs. we. You can be very group-oriented in your thinking, and still be very libertarian. (That's why it's called "libertarianism" and not "individualism".)

    That confusion is why people can falsely characterize libertarians as people who don't care about other people.

  • Red Twilight||

    No, the characterization is justified. Libertarianism is as libertarians do. Ronny is precisely right. Celebrating individualism with "I got mine" is the pinnacle.

    You can be group-oriented only as long as you are a corporation. If you are a union, then you are communist.

    Simple test for libertarians: why don't your most appealing ideas ever make it big enough that the free market adopts it?

    Quite simply, why is Kansas such a dump after all libertarianism all the time for the two terms of Brownback before he bailed? "Because it is not true libertarianism" Despite taxes cut for the rich, all gubmint regulations basically eliminated, no socialism in sight...

  • Red Twilight||

    Good news fellow libertarians: We are winning!

    Yuugely. Along with the other Drumpf supporters. Much winning.

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