Federalism The Perfect Balance Of Individual And Collective Interest

1031 words - 4 pages

Federalism - The Perfect Balance of Individual and Collective Interest

I have arrived at some temporary solutions to problems regarding political philosophy in the real world. For the most part, the debate over the ideal political philosophy has been narrowed down to two choices: socialism and capitalism. I agree with this. However, blending in with that debate my own conviction that toleration and moderation are the keys to success in any situation, I have concluded that there are, for purposes of this discussion, two types of political philosophies, and each is best served by a compromise between socialism and capitalism.

Individual Political Philosophy. I believe there can be no question that individualism is the political philosophy that best serves the individual. By its definition, which follows, one can see that individualism advocates effort and responsibility as a price for freedom. If all individuals in any given society earnestly tried to be productive for themselves (and/or their family, business, country, etc. -- whatever serves the individual's interest), the result would be an emotionally and materially prosperous society, as well as free and secure.

individualism: the belief in the primary importance of the individual, in the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence, in the freedom from government regulation in the pursuit of economic and social goals, and in the priority of individual interest over collective interest.

One should note that the inherent selfishness of individualism is not the same type of selfishness as the typical, derogatory form, characterized by a general disregard for anyone but one's self. Rather, the selfishness of an individualist with a solid moral foundation -- which is best achieved if the individual's peers, serving their own interests, influence such a moral foundation -- is characterized by an awareness of one's role individually and as part of the collective. In other words, a morally sound individualist can never be a "greedy, back-stabbing capitalist" unless unfairly coerced.

Collective Political Philosophy (or social political philosophy). Just as individualism is the political philosophy that best serves the individual, collectivism is the political philosophy that best serves the collective. (Branches of collectivism include socialism and communism, derived from "society" and "community", respectively, and thus implying their interests in serving the collective rather than any individual or groups of individuals.)

collectivism: the belief in the primary importance of the equitable distribution of assets, in the virtues of humanitarianism and environmentalism, in the protection (usually by government regulation) of the pursuit of economic and social goals, and in the priority of collective interest over individual interest.

The virtues of collectivism arise from its noble intentions; collectivist aim to level the playing field in order to improve the quality of...

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