Tuesday, September 21, 2010


How has individualism come forth into Western society, and why is it not an element as strong in other societies. In this section we provide a brief overview by looking at several authors and how they have approached the idea of individualism. The various authors have give various analyses using historical and cultural elements and we find that having this oversight allows us to then taken and establish a framework for understanding individualism in a broader manner.

I ndividualism is fundamentally a new concept. As we have argued elsewhere, Progressivism is essentially a throw back, it has a Hobbesian social contract basis, replacing the monarchy with a central government and fundamentally distrusting the individuals[i]. The Leviathan becomes not a king with all powers but a central government with all powers. Individuals are stripped of any power and in some sense the majority rules has been the entity which has entered into this social contract with the now all powerful government. In contrast, Individualism rejects the social contract theory, it extends rights to individuals and the negative rights it extends in effect nullifies any attempts by a central government to become that Leviathan. Individualism is a relatively recent concept and we explore some of its roots in what follows.

1.1 Huntington and The Clash

In the now classic work by Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations, the author explores some of these issues regarding individualism which he sees as a fundamental element of Americanism as so established by its Founders. Also Huntington sees that in today world the very concept of individualism is under attack, mostly by the Progressives and the left wing, and we seek to understand why this group has taken such an approach and in turn what gain have they in mind by doing so.

Huffington states[ii]:

"Many of the above features of Western civilization contributed to the emergence of a sense of individualism and a tradition of individual rights and liberties unique among civilized societies[iii]. Individualism developed in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and acceptance of the right of the individual choice … prevailed in the West by the seventeenth century. Even claims for equal rights for all individuals … were articulated if not universally accepted."

Huntington goes on to state that many of the elements appeared in other civilizations but not the totality as was the case in the West. He contends that it was this mutual occurrence which led to the idea of individualism. Individualism is lacking in all other cultures, Islamic, Asian, and all others seem to have some form of tribal or communitarian structure. The West thus stands out as unique in this area.

Yet Huntington later discusses how the West and East can compete, a true clash of cultures, with individualism at risk. He states[iv]:

"To compete with the East it was argued that the United States "needs to question its fundamental assumption about its social and political arrangements and in the process learn a thing or two about East Asian societies" … For East Asians, East Asian success is particularly the result of East Asian cultural stress on the collectivity rather than the individual. "…the more communitarian values and practices of the East Asian … have proved to be clear assets in the catching up process" argued Lee Kuan Yew. "The values that East Asian culture upholds such as primacy of the group interests over the individual interests support the total group effort necessary to develop rapidly." "

Huntington then focuses on China where he states[v]:

"China's Confucian heritage with its emphasis on authority, order, hierarchy, and the supremacy of the collectivity over the individual creates obstacles to democratization. Yet economic growth is creating in south China increasingly high levels of wealth … all this creates a social basis for a movement to social pluralism."

However this idea of the group in China being dominant over the individual does fall when one looks at the growth of entrepreneurial enterprises in China. The Chinese, throughout East Asia, in and outside of China itself, are quintessential entrepreneurs. As such individualism in this context is held as a virtue. Singapore is a small and bounded city state which had almost a benevolent dictatorial rule managed to control certain assets in its communitarian style. Whereas mainland China, ruled by the ever changing oligarchy where individualism is not only tolerated but supported, has shown a remarkable rebound from the period of the Mao communitarian domination, and this rebound far exceeds Russia or even India in its global success.

Huntington near his conclusion observes the decay of individualism. He states[vi]:

"A more immediate and dangerous challenge exists in the United States. Historically American national identity has been defined culturally by the heritage of Western civilization and politically by the American creed on which Americans overwhelmingly agree: liberty, democracy, individualism, equality before the law, constitutionalism, private property. In the late twentieth century both components of American identity have come under … onslaught from a small but influential number of intellectuals and publicists."

He then goes on to identify this group as the multiculturalists. He then specifically states:

"The multiculturalists also challenged a central element of the American Creed, by substituting for the rights of individuals the rights of groups, defined largely in terms of race, ethnicity, sex, and sexual preference."

This statement is one of true import. The destruction of the concept of the individual and the equality of all individuals with the replacement of groups, small and segmented groups, takes away the key elements which made America what it is.

One must then ask what is it that drives these people to do this? What is the motivation, what are the drivers, what is their world view and how have they come to reach that world view. Huntington has reached a key set of observations regarding the select group of intellectuals and publicists. One can see their influence today in all aspects of society. They select minority groups to support and neglect others. There is no equality of minority groups, there are selected favorites, chose groups who get their attention and in turn are promoted often at the neglect of others. For example one may ask why does the society go out of its way to support Hispanic groups. We can have a rationale for Blacks, the legacy and shame of slavery, but there is no such legacy with Hispanics. So why the choice. Why do we neglect the poor Asians, the ones often found doing menial work in the Asian ghettos, they get no attention. The comparisons can continue. Individualism would allow us to treat each person equally, thus the end may be the same if one seeks an end of equal opportunity. But if one is seeking a different end, then this may very well the goal of choosing selected groups and ignoring others.

1.2 Manent and Liberalism

Pierre Manent is a French political philosopher who teaches both in France and in the United States. He has published widely on the topic of liberalism and its evolution and he is viewed as a key contributor to the dialog in France today. His writing is clear. direct, and comprehensive, his style cuts through the confusion of the left leaning writes. He brings a certain resurgence of Montesquieu, albeit in a readable modern manner, to the discussion of individualism.

Manent in the Preface to Liberalism starts with a definition of individualism. He states[vii]:

"The individual is that being who because he is human is naturally entitled to "rights" that can be enumerated, rights that are attributed to him independently of his function or place in society and that make him the equal of any other man."

This is one of the best definitions of individualism ever posed. The individual, the single person, is distinct and in possession of defined rights, negative or positive, and as a result of that is equal to any other man in the society. There is no group, there is no community, there is only the individuals. This as Manent states a shocking concept, for the Greeks and Romans were essentially communities, you were a Roman citizen or you were part of the Greek polis. Slaves did not count. In an individualistic society there can be no slave if one follows the logic to its fullest extent. One may ask if this then applies to all people in the society, those who are citizens, legal immigrants and illegal immigrants. Is all that is necessary in an individualistic society to be physically in it, and thus one's position as an individual with rights is obtained? That question is critical but unanswered by Manent.

Manent then poses two interesting questions, ones which we feel are critical and go to the heart of our investigation, of individualism and also of progressivism. Manent asks:

First, how did the idea of individualism come about, and how did it come to guide the development of our political thought and deeds?

Second, what led to its creation, why did it get created, what were the drivers that forced its creation?

In a sense the first question posed by Manent is the how question and the second question is the why question. These questions can equally be posed regarding Progressivism. Namely how way the Progressive or communitarian idea created and secondly why was it so created.

The why part of the question has essentially two elements. The why at the time of its inception and the why as part of a continuing process. One may in the case of Progressivism look at the why say in 1890 and look at Trusts as a potential inciter of the movement. But there is a deeper question which is the why does it continue. We will argue that the why of continuation is linked to an ongoing need for power and control, having a political structure of dependence, of communities which can be controlled, is beneficial to those doing the controlling.

One can look at Progressivism as merely an extension of the past, as a monarchial or despotic extension where the communitarian role is now ruled over by some abstraction of the monarch called the government. Individualism is a recent construct, it requires a controlled government, more than just a democracy of majority rule, but a structure wherein the rights of the individuals are protected by the government, albeit majority selected, yet assuring the same rights to all, no matter what their position in selecting the government. Individualism denies the precedence of the group or community, yet it permits and even endorses the creation of associations as stated by Tocqueville. Yet, as warned by Tocqueville, the soft despotism of allowing the democratic government to attain excess power and thus control may reduce the democracy to a despotic state[viii].

Manent also poses two questions in his Preface which are of significant import[ix]. He looks at the Enlightenment and the development of the concept of liberalism as a synthesis, almost in a Hegelian sense, of the thesis of Catholicism and the antithesis of the Enlightenment thinkers resulting in the liberalism as we see it today. His two questions are simply was this battle of ideas a simple misunderstanding or the exemplification of a definitive meaning. In effect, Manent seems to state rather clearly that liberalism was a direct result of the battle between the Enlightenment thinkers and the Catholic Church, and that further is was a unique result emanating from this unique combination of ideas, of beliefs, and that the Enlightenment thinkers needed Catholicism as the thesis for their antithesis.

That in turn the synthesis of liberalism was unique to that combination. One may then ask for example can the same thing happen with the Muslim faith, which in many ways is in a period of development relative to their adhering political environments as was Europe to Catholicism prior to the Enlightenment. Manent may be interpreted to say that if such a Muslim reactive Enlightenment were to occur that the result, the synthesis, would be of a unique variety, and there is no assurance that the synthesis would in any way be akin to what we see as liberalism.

Manent clearly sees Catholicism having a dominant influence on the evolution of liberalism and in turn individualism. As he states[x]:

"The remarkable contradiction embedded in the Catholic Church's doctrine can be summarized in this way: although the Church leaves men free to organize themselves within the temporal sphere as they see fit, it simultaneously tends to impose a theocracy on them. It brings religious constraint of a previously unheard of scope and at the same time offers the emancipation of secular life. Unlike Judaism and Islam, the Church does not provide a law that is supposed to govern concretely all of men's actions in the earthly city."

This is a powerful observation. Judaism has laws which control the life of the community and especially so in strongly orthodox communities. It is even more the case with Muslim communities and the use of Sharia laws as the governing code. In the case of Islamic countries, one would then consider if such an Enlightenment would occur, or even if it had already occurred and failed. In a Manent sense, there is the Hegelian conflict and sometimes the synthesis is merely the retention of the initial thesis, I this case classic Islamic culture.

Manent then proceeds to explore individualism across a broad spectrum of political thinkers including Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and even Tocqueville, and others[xi]. In his analysis of Hobbes, he introduces the development of Protestant thought as a driver of individualism, via the drive to allow for individual interpretation of the Scripture, rather than having the Scripture selected and dictated from a pulpit as was the case in classic Catholic churches. Manent makes a point regarding Hobbes which can be expanded quite a bot. He argues that Hobbes viewed two cause of the English Civil Wars; a secular cause found in the universities and their teaching of liberty and a religious cause in the Puritan and Presbyterian belief in individual interpretation of Scripture.

The secular cause as espoused by Hobbes has significant merit even in the rebirth of communitarian Progressivism, since it was after the explosion of colleges and universities after the Civil War in the US that there was created a mass of new "scholars" who "rediscovered similar issues. As we shall not the secular cause of Progressive thought may very well have been driven by these universities and the new "intellectuals" created who rediscovered principles long dead. This is most likely the case in the US which created universities along the German line, such as Hopkins, MIT, and many of the land grant colleges as well.

Manent also looks towards Locke and the theory of property as another thread in the fabric of the concept of individualism[xii]. Specifically Manent speaks to the fact that Locke looks at the labor and property nexus, as an individual nexus. The individual labors and the result of that is the creation of the individual's right to the property ensuing from the individual's labor. This nexus of labor and property, and property and rights of use are individual in nature. For example as Mansfield notes of Tocqueville[xiii], and also as Rahe so notes, Tocqueville was aghast at the American democracy and its rejection of primogeniture, the state's mandating of how a person's property must be transferred on death to the eldest. In the US this was not the case and a person could dictate the disposition of their property, the result of the individual's work, labor, to whomever they so desired. This is still not permitted in most other countries. Primogeniture is a reinforcement of an aristocratic landed gentry. In the US the tax code however has changed what Tocqueville saw, now with the proposed inheritance tax the state, both Federal and State, intervenes and usurps property rights to in many cases an extortionary degree. In fact current tax structures, 2010 notwithstanding, allow for the takings of property without any due process.

1.3 Tocqueville and His Perceptions

Tocqueville is, in my opinion, one who observes with a tinted glass American society and is not himself a political philosopher. He is responding to the observations he has made rather than making pronouncements on what should be[xiv]. Tocqueville in Volume 2 early on develops what he considers the concept of individualism as observed in his journey. He extends this beyond the equality issue into a broader context. He begins as follows defining what he means[xv]:

""Individualism" is a word recently coined to express a new idea. Our fathers only knew about egoism. Egoism is a passionate … love of self… Individualism is a calm and considered feeling which disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and withdraw into the circle of family and friends; with this little society formed to his taste, he gladly leaves the greater society to look after itself."

It is worth considering what he seems to observe. He sees little national or regional government, he sees small communities, associations, fluid collections or people, assembling for certain purposes, relying not upon some government with some dependency and reliance, but having a strong sense of self. To some degree if one looks at the time and the places one is not surprised by what he observed. This is but one aspect of Individualism, self reliance, and self selection of association.

Tocqueville continues[xvi]:

"Individualism is of democratic origin and threatens to grow as conditions get more equal. … In democratic ages … the duties of each to all are much clearer but devoted service to any individual much rarer. The bonds of human affection are wider and more relaxed. … When the public governs, all men feel the value of public goodwill and all try to win it by gaining the esteem and affection of those among whom they must live. …Under a free government most public officials are elected, so men … feel that they cannot do without the people around them. … The Americans have used liberty to combat the individualism born of equality and they have won. … I have often seen Americans make really great sacrifices for the common good, and I have noticed hundred cases in which .. they hardly ever failed to give each other trusty support."

Tocqueville then discusses the existence of associations, entities formed freely by the individuals for the public good, not government institutions but free and fluid associations, dealing with issues and problems. Tocqueville then observes[xvii];

"Among laws controlling human societies there is one more precise and clearer, it seems to me, than all others. If men are to remain civilized or to become civilized, the art of association must develop and improve among them at the same speed as equality conditions spread."

Associations, not a central government, is what Tocqueville sees and appreciates. It is man, the individual, coming together as an association, to sole some issue, to resolve some dispute, to assist some part of the community. This was and to some degree remains part of the American culture. However one must see when we discuss the Progressives that they deny individualism and thus they move the role of associations to the government.

1.4 Lukes and Individualism

Steven Lukes is a Professor at NYU, educated at Oxford, and is a professor of sociology and has written extensively on political and social sciences. One of his earlier manuscripts was a shot treatise on Individualism written in 1973. It is an excellent summary of individualism, looking at its historical roots, examining the basic elements of individualism, and then examining the relationships between the elements he purports as the constructs of individualism. We take a brief look at his ideas in this area since they provide additional elements to understanding the concept[xviii].

Lukes starts with the discussion of how there is a great lack of precision in defining the term individualism. There is in fact confusion both historically and across the breath of current usage. He starts first with a discussion historically of the use in France. In many ways the French understanding was that having a negative connotation. It was to the extreme as a self possessed and self centered egoist, one not willing to participate in the French body politic. As Lukes states, to the French, man lives only in society, and the French have their cultural ways which are quite societal in nature. To anyone who has spent time in France, this comes across quite strongly. For example in the period after 11 September 2001 I stayed in Bayeux for a week or more while awaiting the resumption of flights. My French was reasonable for Normandy, a place where there is a flux of visitors from Ireland and England, and where one can even receive English and Irish radio broadcasts. It is not Paris, but it is France. On a Sunday there was a bicycle race between France and a few other countries. At the completion of the race the town had a parade, I do not remember the winners but that is not important, what was essential was the parade was a French parade. The mayor was at the head, and one should remember that in France mayors are appointed by the central government not elected local officials, and then following the mayor, who was regaled in full costume, were the old soldiers, then the students all in uniforms, and on and on. At the end were the cyclists, almost as an afterthought. The community was represented in its hierarchical order, and the winner, not an individual, but a country, was represented along with all other countries, not individuals.

Thus France held individualism as anti-French. This of course is a bit surprising given the view developed by Tocqueville and his view of individualism in America. Tocqueville saw individualism as not a separation from society but as a mechanism to adaptively create associations in a democracy to accomplish goals. In France there can be no such association, in France one cannot for example set up a foundation and give ones money away, one must seek approval first of the state and in addition have the state take a set at the table while you do that. France not only holds individualism in bad regard it actually prohibits it.

Lukes details how the descendents of the Philosophes and the Enlightenment thinkers viewed the concept of individualism as those opposed to society. Lukes provides a quote from DeGaulle, after the riots of 1968 stating effectively that the cause of the riots was the explosion of individualism amongst the students, the idea that individuals rather than society has merit, and that they as individuals mean more that the overall French society. Lukes also discusses the difficulty that Tocqueville had when dealing with the individualism he found in America, yet when reading Tocqueville one wonders if somehow he learned about what individualism was in America as compared to what the French at the time may have conceived of it. How much of the response of France to individualism is a response to the Revolution and the extremes that it brought, it still a compelling question.

In contrast Lukes sees in Germany a positive response to the concept of individualism. He states[xix]:

"While the characteristically French sense of "individualism" is negative, signifying individual isolation and social dissolution, the characteristically German sense is thus positive, signifying individual self fulfillment and … organic unity of individual and society."

This is in many ways a German conundrum, in that in one idea they have the singular and the group, one complimenting the other. German excellence is the excellence for example of a German athlete, the athlete receiving individual recognition but all knowing it is German excellence being awarded recognition as well. A German winner is both an individual and a German, both sides win.

Lukes then covers the UK and America. For the UK he slants the meaning as non conformist and using Oscar Wilde as a spokesperson. The Brits, for the most part, are still a class based society, from whence Lukes is derived, and as such class and groups are essential. Individualism means equality and in the UK there is no such thing. It becomes a strange thing for a Brit to see this basic concept. In America Lukes uses the quote by Bryce to highlight his emphasis[xx]:

"individualism, the love of enterprise, and pride in personal freedom, have been deemed by Americans not only their choicest, but their petition; they have accepted the economic virtues of capitalist culture as …"

Lukes then details the basic ideas or principles as he perceives them in individualism and he provides the following different forms or fundamental bases for individualistic theory. They are not mutually exclusive for Lukes but they represent to him clear and separate threads which are woven together depending on the individualistic school.:

  1. The Dignity of Man: This for Lukes is the Christian principle of the ultimate dignity of the individual. Lukes reaffirms the consistency of public and individual dignity with reference to Thomas Paine. Fundamentally the first principle is the dignity of the individual, that humans singly are important.
  2. Autonomy: The individual is self directed, the individual has the capability of self selection and that the purpose of government is to insure that there is no interference with that principle.
  3. Privacy: The individual should have the ability to be left alone, to have a capability to keep that which is personal just that. Lukes does not take it to be anonymous, the extreme version of privacy.
  4. Self Development: The individual has the right to seek his fulfillment, by the ability to extend his capabilities to their fullest extent.
  5. The Abstract Individual: This is in and of itself an abstract notion wherein the individual is the given and society is derived therefrom. In effect it is in a sense the Tocqueville understanding that individuals are there ab initio and from them by their separate choice associations can be formed. The associations are no abstractly existing and to which individuals then align.
  6. Political Individualism: Here the abstract individuals remain separate but then have the ability to make individual decisions regarding their political leadership.
  7. Economic Individualism: In a sense this is opposed to economic regulation, the individual is by themselves capable of making their own economic choices. Take the example of health care, in individualism the individual would have the right to select what he wants and the government would have no right to mandate. This appears to be a natural extension of Lukes.
  8. Religious Individualism: Lukes states that this implies that the individual needs no intermediaries and that the individual is responsible for his own beliefs and actions related thereto. In a sense it is an extreme form of Protestantism.
  9. Ethical Individualism: In a sense this is the non religious aspect of religious individualism.
  10. Epistemological Individualism: Here the statement by Lukes is that the source of all knowledge lies within the individual.
  11. Methodological Individualism: This is best described by quoting Lukes as follows: "Methodological individualism is a doctrine about explanation which asserts that all attempts to explain social (or individual) phenomena are to be rejected … unless they are couched wholly in terms of facts about individuals."

The work of Lukes is a reasonably inclusive efforts for its time. What is missing from Lukes is the discussion of the individual and the group. Lukes looks at individualism solely as the individual qua individual. Tocqueville sees by observation the relationship between individual and association, and the need and effectiveness of the doublet, the individual and the fluid set of associations. Indeed one should not view Lukes as the complete understanding of individualism. His is a discussion bounded within the relationship of individuals as solitary entities, not as fluid elements in an evolving set of relationships.

1.5 The Existentialists

The Existentialists represent another aspect of individualism. It is worth a brief overview of their understandings because it will assist in developing a better understanding of the individual in all possible dimensions.

To the existentialists, broadly speaking, one may quote Olson as follows[xxi]:

"… by humanism one understands a doctrine according to which individual persons are the source of value and intelligibility, then existentialism is itself humanism … humanism is taken to mean the doctrine … which the individual can and should identify the species mankind, putting the in

However for the Existentialists, Sartre included, the existentialist did not have the nexus to society at large as did the humanists, the existentialist had freedom a separation and as Sartre said an "Anguish of Freedom". Thus the existentialists, from Kierkegaard on down through Sartre and the French School, saw the individual as the defining element of existences and that the individual had to deal with themselves, often with others as abstractions. This of course was an ontological argument and not a political one but as Sartre found out, as did Camus, the battle met a brick wall as an existentialist decided to at the same time be a communist, and with Stalin and his was of denying the individual, any reliance of communism led to insurmountable walls as well as the battle over the Algerian question. Sartre went from an early period of classic individualism before the War and then into a blended form of humanism and social bonding after the War.

It was Kierkegaard who was the essential individualist. He opposed three camps[xxii]: Hegelian Philosophy, the Danish Church, and the popular press. In all cases he was exhibiting his individualism. Opposing Hegel was in effect opposing a philosophical school which in many ways was the foundation of modern day Progressivism. Kierkegaard saw in Hegel the problems that would lead to the Progressive movement and in many ways to The Third Reich. The Hegelian view of central power, a Prussian mindset which was the driver in reverse for Kierkegaard and his view of individualistic existentialism.

1.6 Primary Alternative Thinkers

We will look at the various political philosophers in a bit more detail. However we oftentimes see Hobbes in the school of liberalism and individualism. We see that very much not the case. Hobbes has two main views which argue against his placement there. First, Hobbes has a general distrust for the individual, Hobbes believes that the individual is out solely for their own interests. Secondly we will argue that Hobbes is also a polemicist for the aristocracy, the need for a king, the need for an all powerful leader. His argument is predicated upon the distrust of the masses and the need for a benevolent despot.

As Manent states about Hobbes[xxiii], "By nature, men quarrel rather than love or help each other. … This means that the comparison between respective merits of different political regimes seems altogether pointless to Hobbes. Admittedly, one can distinguish between democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy. But whether the sovereign is one, several, or everyone, what is important is that that sovereign have the right to demand complete obedience."

Hobbes distrusted the masses and for a variety of reasons, some quite personal and accruing to his personal perceived gain, Hobbes saw a monarchy with total power as the singular solution. Thus in many ways we will argue that Hobbes was indeed a fundamental builder of the Progressive movement as it evolved.

In somewhat of the same vein, John Dewey wrote a brief overview of individualism in his book, Individualism, Old and New. For Dewey this was a brief work and it was his attempt in to dismiss individualism as an outdated and inappropriate view of human interactions.

Dewey was an extreme Progressive, one of its founders and one who we shall discuss later in detail. His understanding and interpretation of individualism however is of interest. Dewey is known to be a difficult read, to some degree he is the Hegel of American philosophers in that context, without the advantage of complex German structures.

Let is start with what he means by individualism, both old and new. He never really defines it, in fact that is a classic problem of Dewey, he waves his hands and spouts volumes of words in an almost stream of conscious flow, yet structure is always amiss.

He starts with the following flow of words[xxiv]:

"So far, all is for the best in the best of all possible cultures: our rugged - or is it ragged - individualism. And if the culture pattern works out that society is divided into two classes, the working class group and the business (including professional) group, with two and a half times as many in the former as the latter, and with the chief ambition of parents in the former class that their children should climb into the latter, that is doubtless because American life offers such unparalleled opportunities for each individual according to his virtues."

This is classic Dewey, a group of several ideas, half articulated, slammed together to express what he is attempting to say. He disdains the individualism he see in the society, thus his ragged phrase, and he sets up the fact that society is divided into those who work and those who profit from those who work. It is amazing that in such an individualistic society that created the business class, that for the most part they were composed of those who had just come from the working class. Unlike the UK where class was at the time, and even still not, a key element in society, it had been and for the most part is still disdained today. Dewey somehow feels that those who took the risks and thus created wealth are doing so on the backs of those who work. Yet, and this is also classic Dewey, he also articulates the wishes of parents to have their children make it to the owner class, which frankly is really just another working class, He then appends to his description the professionals, attempting to lump himself and the newly created academic and public intellectual class into this group. If one can follow this simply then they are unique in their ability of abstraction.

Dewey then continues[xxv]:

"So regarded, the problem is seen to be essentially that of creation of a new individualism as significant for modern conditions as the old individualism at its best was for its day and place. The first step in further definition of this problem is the realization of the collective age we have already entered. When that is apprehended, the issue will define itself as a utilization of the realities of a corporate civilization to validate and embody the distinctive moral element in the American version of individualism: Equality and freedom expressed not merely externally and politically but through personal participation in the development of a shared culture."

This is Dewey, he takes individualism of the Founders and the 19th century and redefines it to the Progressive communitarian mold and then calls it the new version of the old. It is just the contrary to the old. Painful as Dewey verbiage is, his thoughts are even more so. This was written and published in the period of 1929-1930, just as the Depression was beginning, yet it was in a sense at the peak of Dewey's influence as well. He managed to infuse this idea of citizenship into his philosophy of teaching as well. For Dewey we had entered a collective age, a shared culture, or more properly a communitarian environment, as defined by the Progressives and a natural extension of the Hobbesian view of government.

We will finish with Dewey in a final quote as follows[xxvi]:

"The art which our times needs in order to create a new type of individuality is the art which, being sensitive to technology and science that are moving forces of our time, will envisage the expansive, the social, culture which they may be made to serve. I am not anxious to depict the form which this emergent individualism will assume. Indeed, I do not see how it can be described until more progress has been made in its production. But such progress will not be initiated until we cease opposing the socially corporate to the individual, and until we develop a constructively imaginative observation of the role of science and technology in actual society. The greatest obstacle to that vision is, I repeat, the perpetuation of that older individualism now reduced, as I have said, to the utilization of science and technology for ends of private pecuniary gain. I sometimes wonder if those who are conscious of present ills but who direct their blows of criticism at everything except this obstacle are not stirred by motives which they unconsciously prefer to keep below consciousness."

Dewey was totally wrong on this point. If one looks back over the past eighty years since he scribbled these words it was the individualism, the old individualism of the young entrepreneur which pushed science and technology forward, which created value and a broadened economy. This has been despite the incompetence of bankers who have caused their periodic collapses, and macroeconomists who predict in a fashion akin to alchemists each with their own formula for another fool's gold. Dewey did not understand the nature of the entrepreneur. He had an example before him in Edison for example, a man who created a great deal, and yet did not profit anywhere near what others did. In fact Edison ended up with a "tip" for his efforts, a nice home, and a great many headaches.

One must then read the last sentence and wonder where this man was coming from. He was totally ignorant of science and technology, he was totally ignorant of the entrepreneur, of the creation of wealth and value for all, and he most certainly had no understanding of what those who create new business and opportunities went through, then and of course now. Dewey clearly sets the stage for what the Progressives view of individualism was, everything they despised, and despised out of gross ignorance.

1.7 The Evolving Concept of Individualism

Individualism has clearly been evolving. It can be seen as the recognition that the single individual counts, then that individuals have equal rights, then that the rights are protected by government, then that individuals can freely associate and that the associations can evolve and change, and the characteristics may continue to evolve but not in the way say a Dewey suggests. In the book by Bird, the author provides an interesting discussion of what he terms Liberal Individualism[xxvii]. The issue however posed by Bird is expandable to a wider scope. Individualism as we define it is separate from classic liberalism. There may be a nexus, but individualism in the classic sense, and as expanded into the twenty first century is fundamentally a belief in the sanctity of the individual, the equality of the individual, and the primary role of government is to protect the individuals via a set of negative rights, and in a Coasian sense via a set of processes to remedy disputes.

1.8 The Legacy of Hegel

Hegel hangs over the debate of individualism and liberalism versus communitarian views of society like a specter of some season past, providing to proponents of each view with a form of justification for their way of seeing the world. Hegel wrote extensively on the state, liberty, freedom, and did so it appears in an almost total vacuum as regards to what was happening in America, his sole reference point being the French Revolution. The impact of Hegel on the thinking of Wilson is but one of the connections to the way Progressive thought emerged.

In a recent Thesis by Mauro (at McGill), the author states[xxviii]:

"James Harvey Robinson, Charles Austin Beard, John Dewey, and Herbert Croly are all founding members of the American Progressive Movement. However, a thorough understanding of their philosophy remains incomplete. …the object … is to demonstrate that Hegel's philosophy plays a major role in the formation of American Progressive thought- an understanding of Hegel's political thought helps one to better grasp the philosophy of the American Progressive movement.

While Robinson, Beard, Dewey, and Croly have many intellectual influences, a close reading of Hegel's works and the writings of the Progressives teases out similarities between the two. However, Hegel's influence on the Progressives is not self-evident or unattenuated in most cases Hegel's influence comes to the Progressives through sources other than his texts…. Thus, … American Progressive thought represents some variation on Hegelianism."

Mauro says of Dewey:

"Dewey enrolled in Johns Hopkins University at the age twenty-three in September of 1882. At Johns Hopkins University Dewey took up philosophy and quickly fell under the influence three professors: G. S. Morris, G. S. Hall, and Charles S. Pierce. • It is also important to note that Dewey studied with these individuals at Johns Hopkins University. As the thesis points out above Johns Hopkins University was modeled after the German University system. Thus, Dewey's growing interest in German Philosophy and Hegel's scholarship ought not to surprise us. Also, the thesis pointed out above that G. S. Morris was heavily influenced by Hegelian scholarship- Morris studied in Germany with Trendelenburg, a Hegelian scholar.

Morris also studied in Britain with T. H. Green whose academic mentor was Hegel. In addition, as the thesis points out above, Morris wrote a book on Hegel's philosophy of the state and history which contributed to Robinson's philosophy- it should be recalled that Morris utilized Hegel's historicist Method As Ryan points out Dewey was educated in the Hegelian method while at Johns Hopkins University. In addition, Bernstein notes that "Dewey had learned his Hegel under the guidance of G. S. Morris, his teacher at Johns Hopkins University".

Thus, Dewey received much of his Hegelian education through Morris at Johns Hopkins University. Importantly, Dewey's other mentors at Johns Hopkins University, Pierce and Hall, also demonstrate Hegelian tendencies. Having reviewed the Hegelian nature of Morris' philosophy and the German nature of Johns Hopkins University, the essay goes on to discuss Pierce's Hegelian influence on Dewey."

Mauro also states about Croly:

"In the philosophy department at Harvard University, Croly studied with William James and Joshia Royce. As the thesis points out above both Royce and James exhibited Hegelian tendencies along with many of their students.

Croly did not escape the Hegelian influence of his professors. Royce's Hegelian philosophy is one of the influences found in The Promise of American Life according to Stettner. However, Herbert Croly's academic career at Harvard University was less than impressive. After nearly six years of undergraduate study Croly had not yet graduated.

Thus, Croly took a leave of absence from Harvard. In 1895 Croly returned to the philosophy department with hopes of completing a degree by 1898. However, Croly once again left Harvard University in 1899 after a mental breakdown just prior to exams. So, Croly never received a degree…After Croly gave up on Harvard University he went to New York City as • the editor of Architectural Record. While in New York City, Croly's interest in economic and political thought grew. In fact, he got out the company of several scholars at Columbia University.

Specifically, Croly became close to John Dewey, Charles A. Beard, and James Harvey Robinson- in October of 1917, Croly and his academic friends would set up the New School for Social Research. More importantly, when Dewey Herbert Croly, like ail the Progressive scholars above, embraces the Hegelian method. That is, Croly's arguments concerning economic, social, and political problems proceed historically. However, because Croly is more concerned with • addressing a popular audience and affecting mass political change he does not concern himself with many theoretical and methodological arguments.

For example, Herbert Croly's "The Promise of American Life" never addresses the theoretical underpinnings of the historical method in the way the works of Robinson, Beard, or Dewey may do. As Stettner says ·"in Croly's view, a ·promise' has to be realized in action, and to he realized it has to be infused with an "ideal' to organize and inspire its followers". Thus, Croly's work must leave some of the more academic and terse arguments up to other scholars. However, Croly's philosophy does embrace the historical method utilized by the "New • History'. Croly suggests that only through a historical analysis of American political thought will the contemporary political environment make sense-- the present is only rational when viewed historically.

Thus, for Croly, like Robinson, Beard, and Dewey, what is defined as rational is determined historically. Therefore, a historicist reading of Hegel, as laid out by scholars like Pippin, Pinkard, and Forster will aid in an understanding of Croly's philosophy. Although Croly never discusses historical method Croly's dialectical scheme is intertwined with his historicism. For Croly, American political history is the result of a dialectic.

American political history is a dialectic between two groups. Importantly, according to Croly an understanding of the American dialectical political history makes the contemporary political environment rational. The dialectical history of American politics makes the present rational. For Croly, rationality only emerges after a reconstruction and understanding the dialectic in American political history. Thus, in order to make sense of Croly's historicism one must first understand Croly's dialectics.

Croly believes that American political history is a dialectical process between the Jeffersonians and Hamiltonians- American history is the dialectic between the political thought of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton's political thought is classified as Federalist and Jefferson's political thought is Republican. As Bowman says Croly identified two major traditions within democratic theory and practice: the Republican or Jeffersonian, and the Federalist or Hamiltonian"."

Now to gain a better understanding the political thinking of Hegel one must look towards his work, Philosophy of Right. In the Introduction of Hegel's work Philosophy of Right, Houlgate comments on the reception the work had on Popper, of The Open Society Fame, when he states[xxix]:

"Karl Popper…in his widely read book The Open Society and its Enemies, Popper accuse Hegel of churning out "bombastic and mystifying cant", of maintaining that "the state is everything and the individual nothing" and of thereby being "the missing link" between Plato and modern totalitarianism."

Thus one wonders what is truly in Hegel that so disturbed Popper, himself not necessarily the greatest individualist amongst 20th century thinkers. One must recall that George Soros is a student of and a self declared disciple of Popper. Soros is more communitarian than individualistic. Thus exploring Hegel given the influences he has had is essential.

The work by Beiser on Hegel mis one of the most readable and clear sources available. By working back and forth between Hegel and Beiser one can attain a reasonable understanding of Hegel's position and assess his potential influence.

Beiser makes an excellent comparison between liberals and communitarians. He states as follows[xxx]:

"First, the liberals held that the chief purpose of the state is to protect liberty, the rights of citizens to pursue happiness in their own manner. The communitarian claimed however that the main end of the state is to ensure the common good, which is more than the sum of private interests…

Second, liberals contended that the state is an aggregate that arises from the sum of individuals, each of which is self sufficient unit; communitarians however held that the state is an organic whole that determines the identity of the individuals that compose it,…

Third, liberals maintained that there should be a clear distinction between legality and the sphere of morality and religion; communitarians held the state is sustained by patriotic virtues...

Fourth, the liberals adopted a negative concept of liberty, according to which freedom consists in the absence of coercion and constraint; the communitarians had a positive concept of liberty, according to which freedom consists in performing definite actions, such as participating in public life."

To Beiser he wants to demonstrate that Hegel in Philosophy of Right desires to blend liberalism with communitarianism. That the critique of Popper is not based on the true understanding of Hegel. This comparison of liberalism and communitarianism is one of the best ever presented. The issues in the 1800s were the same as today, and the nature of the debate is also the same. It is a difficult task set out by Beiser to blend these two with the words of Hegel.

Beiser continues regarding Hegel and communitarianism[xxxi]:

"We can best gauge Hegel's attitude toward communitarianism by considering his views on the ancient republics of Greece and Rome.…First they gave priority of the public good over self interest.…Second the ancient republics saw that the highest good - the end of life - is to be achieved only by life in the state…Third, the ancient republics were democratic giving each citizen the right to participate in the affairs of the state. It is important to see that Hegel like most thinkers in late eighteenth century Germany associates democracy more with communitarianism than liberalism."

Hegel took Plato and extended it to his environment in the Prussian state. Hegel discusses the French Revolution but he totally dismisses the American. Hegel seems almost totally ignorant of what had transpired in American and in addition he seems totally lacking in the understanding of Locke and Montesquieu. He does in 273[xxxii] detail and review the divisions as discussed by Montesquieu but looks at this at the thinnest possible level. It is not at all clear why he fails to carry this on to an analysis of America, especially since the Founders had such a strong influence from Montesquieu.

Beiser continues[xxxiii]:

"For all his liberal values, Hegel took exception to liberalism in fundamental ways. … Hegel questioned the classical liberal economic doctrine that the free workings of market forces naturally work out for the benefit of everyone alike. He contended that the only way to ensure liberties of civil society was for the government to control market forces."

[i] In many ways we argue as we shall show later that Hobbes was in effect the first of the Progressives. In the book by Boucher and Kelly, Social Contract, specifically the Chapter on Hobbes by Forsyth we can see many of these threads being assembled.

[ii] Huntington, Clash pp 71-72.

[iii] The features Huntington refers to are; (i) classical legacy, (ii) Catholicism and Protestantism, (iii) European languages, the multiplicity thereof, (iv) separation of spiritual and temporal authority, (v) rule of law, (vi) representative bodies. Specifically the wealth of thought from Greek and Roman writers and thinkers, and also the Scholastics of the Middle Ages, the concepts of law as separate from religion, laws made by man for man, the organizational structures of the Christian religions and the battling of the ideas, and the fragmentation of languages as means to communicate ideas.

[iv] Huntington, Clash, p 108.

[v] Huntington, Clash, p 238.

[vi] Huntington, Clash, pp 305-306.

[vii] Manent, Liberalism, p xvi.

[viii] This is the premise of Rahe in Soft Despotism. In many ways the creation of soft despotism is at the heart of a functioning Progressive state.

[ix] Manent, Liberalism, pp xvii-xviii.

[x] Manent, Liberalism, p 5.

[xi] Manent, Liberalism, pp 21-22.

[xii] Manent, Liberalism, pp 42-43.

[xiii] Mansfield, Tocqueville, p 19-20.

[xiv] The approach of Tocqueville is of a nature akin to Heidegger, and the concepts of breaking down and readiness to hand. One can look at the work of Winograd and Flores and see how they explain this concept wherein to truly understand something one must become involved in the process of not just observing but by becoming a participant. (Winograd and Flores, p 35-41.) Tocqueville became part of the process, he became a participant in American, not just an observer. In Brogan's description of Tocqueville's journey (see Brogan pp 179-213) one sees a person becoming one with the items and persons he is observing. In an anthropological sense Tocqueville is the involved observer, yet not changing what is observed. Yet Tocqueville does in turn interpret what he has observed and participated in through the eyes and mind of a Frenchman in the mid 19th century. One should look at Tocqueville's remarks as say compared to Simone Beauvoir's in America Day by Day. Beauvoir approached the United States as an arrogant and closed minded anti American, as a French woman who thought that she was above the peasants she interacted with in the United States. Tocqueville on the other hand approached the United States with a more open mind, allowing the influences to be absorbed and then interpreting them.

[xv] See Tocqueville, Democracy p 506.

[xvi] Tocqueville, pp 510-512.

[xvii] Tocqueville, p 517.

[xviii] In a recent revision of the book, Lukes has prepared a new introduction available at: http://stevenlukes.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/ind_intro.pdf . This new introduction shows the change over forty years of thought as well as the change in style. The 1973 book we well written with minimal jargon, focused on clean and crisp statements by Lukes of what he intended to say. The new introduction is jargon filled with complex presentations which regrettably make the comprehension a bit awkward. I have found the 1973 presentation exceptionally well presented and it stands the test of time quite well.

[xix] Lukes, Individualism, p 21-22.

[xx] Lukes, Individualism, p 31.

[xxi] Olson, Existentialism, p 47.

[xxii] Flynn, Existentialism, p 82.

[xxiii] Manent, Liberalism, p 31.

[xxiv] Dewey, Individualism, pp 5-6.

[xxv] Dewey, Individualism, pp 16-17.

[xxvi] Dewey, Individualism, p 49.

[xxvii] Bird, Individualism, pp 1-29.

[xxix] See Hegel, Philosophy of Right, Oxford, 2008.

[xxx] Beiser, Hegel p 226.

[xxxi] Beiser, Hegel, pp 227-228.

[xxxii] Reference 273 is to paragraph 273 in Hegel's Philosophy of Right.

[xxxiii] Beiser, Hegel pp 229-230.