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Economics: the Collectivist Theory Versus the Individualist Theory (Open to all political schools of thought!)

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Glay Collier 23 Rep.

Hello, dear reader and potential member of this discussion! I have made this post to spark a much needed debate and discussion about economics. To begin, in economics there are two ends of the spectrum the Collectivist theory and the Individualistic theory. Collectivism is comprised of ideals that put an emphasis on society as a collective group, therefore one could refer to Collectivism as Socialism in all her forms. These forms of course include fascism (national socialism) and Marxism (communism and modern socialism). The other end of the economic spectrum, the Individualist theory, is essentially Capitalism for lack of a better word. As an country moves more toward Individualism and abandons restrictions, it will finally reach its apex Laissez-Faire Capitalism. True Libertarianism is also a crucial part of Individualism as it protects the civil and economic rights of the individual man. The purpose of this post is to encourage people to take sides and discuss the benefits of either theory and how we can utilize them to solve current issues and potential problems as well. I shall start off with arguing for Individualism.

The justification that collectivists have for their ideology taking priority over the individual is that taking care of the collective group shall make up for the need of each individual. An individualist could argue that if the rights and privileges of the individual weren’t trampled upon, the societal collective would benefit in the long term. This logic is valid for a painfully obvious reason, the collective consists of multiple individuals. By restricting any rights of the singular man, whether civil or economic, a government is indirectly restricting the collective group.

A second justification for Collectivism is centered around economic distrust and jealousy. Collectivists claim that if a governing body does not place restrictions upon individuals such a business owners or capitalists, then they shall form monopolies and dominate the market. This domination will be detrimental to the society as the common pleb shall be economically ruled by their despotic capitalist overlords. Or so they say! In reality, this has never occurred. Not even in the golden age of capitalism!

A common example of capitalist monopolies that the socialists point out would be the infamous Robber Barons. Probably the most well known Robber Baron, and my favorite, is John D. Rockefeller. Rockefeller was a co-founder of Standard Oil, which was the subject for propaganda by the ironically so-called progressives. The progressives were yet an other form of collectivism, they believed that they had the right to control the market and trade. Their boogie man used to justify their policies was Standard Oil. Standard Oil did indeed dominate the market, but in all actuality this was not inherently oppressive toward the common consumer or worker alike. In fact, the common man benefited from the existence of Standard Oil because it stabilized the kerosene market and cut the cost of kerosene in half from 58 cents per gallon to 26 cents per gallon. Whats more, when Standard Oil encompassed 90% of the market share, the price of kerosene went from 26 cents to 6 cents! This occurred because even though Standard Oil had a massive share in the market, there were still small businesses that existed which sold kerosene for a lower price as they did not have to cover as many costs. This cheap price led to growth in technology and the economy of the nation because things were more accessible to the public.

Well, that’s my two cents on the subject… or should I say… 6 cents! Anyway, I implore that you shall partake in this discussion with your own ideas and thoughts!

P.S. I apologize for any grammatical errors in my post! I was in a bit of an excited rush to put this out there. Also, forgive my pretentious mannerisms!

 

References:

Standard Oil Was Never A Monopoly

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