Ideological Either-Or

In addition to individualism and individuality, here are two more examples of fragmented social theories on the conception of the individual: anarchism and socialism.

Anarchism’s view places the individual as the source of inspiration, and values freedom for the people from the state.  It is not the popularly-held notion that individuals just create disorder in society through lack of rules.  Rather, social rules and moral principles are only valuable to the extent that they don’t repress the individual, but free him from imposition of political authority.  People naturally have energy and talents, and they should have the freedom to express and develop these.  A collection of self-interested actors will create a successful collective.

Socialism’s target for critique is capitalism, in which, they claim, egoism and anarchistic pursuit of self-interest creates disorder and disunity.  Socialism resolves this by places higher value on service to the community and placing confidence in order.  No individual is free from social ties, and thus no individual can simply pursue one’s own interest; the Robinson Crusoe ideal is absurd and can’t actually exist.  Socialism’s collective values, implemented by a strong state apparatus, will establish an equality and freedom that capitalism cannot naturally achieve.

Clearly, none of these theories provide an adequate enough understanding of human nature required for humanity’s imminent transformation.  How have these prevalent thoughts been incorporated into society’s current view of an individual?  What are they missing?  What do they have in common?  What are some of your thoughts on human nature?