Individualism, The Only Way. Persuasive Essay with Background on the Book: "The Giver"

Essay by juanjo_koolJunior High, 8th grade January 2009

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Jonas, a pale-eyed, different, calm, intelligent and determined kid was introduced in the plain Giver´s society by Lois Lowry; society in which everybody most be the same in terms of physical appearance and psychological structure, there’s always tension because of fear of braking rules and being ‘released’ (that in this specific community means to be killed), there’s a permanent seek for perfection that reaches the point of killing the weird people and the needs and worries of individuals are not even taken into account and are replaced by the necessities of the whole society that may mean nothing for some of its citizens.

As proved in this fictitious but reality-based society and in history by some well known collectivist nations such as Cuba, Russia and China, there are plenty of disadvantages collectivism brings to communities based on it. To begin with, in a collectivistic society everybody is seen as part of a bigger organ with specific characteristics and features that stay the same for all and sundry; forgetting that everyone is different and has diverse values and abilities, and provoking that even the most honest and sincere person can be considered a thieve and liar only because of living in a society recognized of having that kind of people.

In addition, it is important to say that collectivism is the best way for a country to fail economically, since it brings with itself an economic system in which industries, companies and factories are owned by the government, so the potentially active population works in them in order to have free hospital service, public education and basic food and cleaning tools. Then, with the monetary gains, the government pays the already described services, besides the maintenance of the country; including streets, cleaning of public places, and others, and with the remaining sources it is supposed to give equitable benefits to all the population, but money never exceeds (it is either spent in the country´s benefit, or it is lost in the political corruption), so the country ends as Raul Rivero (a Cuban journalist) says in his article “Daily Live in Cuba”; “There is not only one Cuba. There are several. One for the ruling class and another for tourists, diplomats and other foreign visitors. These two are very similar. However, there is another country for those who do not receive any of the $800 million dollars sent yearly to the island by Miami-based exiles, and who do not have relatives working in foreign corporations or mixed-capital enterprises. Those who are forced to live, along with their families, solely with national currency, with no access to dollar-based stores. This text concerns such people. Because there are other Cubans, smaller and forgotten”.

Focusing on politics and government, it is essential to point out that although the defenders of collectivism deny it, there is not a collectivist government; every single government is composed of individuals, and its decisions and activities are carried on based on intentions and actions of individuals too. On top of that, the already described economical system that collectivism involves, makes easier political corruption to emerge, because the government has practically a total control over all the monetary resources of the nation and by that means the opportunity to profit from it.

In terms of social aspects, collectivism doesn’t fulfill a very good work either. Supposedly, collectivism is stated in order to prevent and eradicate social classes, but with it the only end result is having two major, big and extremely marked social divisions: politicians and diplomats, who seize the economy and seem to be the oligarchy of the state, and the civilians that in most of the cases are forced to live in inhuman conditions and with no more than the necessary food to stay alive.

In contrast, individualism is a social, economical and political form that offers to each individual, that is part of the society, the possibility to be recognized as a different and unique person. Also, individualism seeks for the development and fulfillment of the necessities, worries and well-being of each individual (individualists would never sacrifice someone for the befit of the community), and it worries enormously about the interpersonal relationships between its members. The United States of America, is the proof of a well developed individualist nation, and thanks to capitalism (its economic system that is obviously based on individualism) has reached the point of been considered a world-wide power.

Different from the collectivist´s ones, economic systems based on individualism have prospered significantly in most of the nations that have made use of them. This is due to the fact that capitalism (the most representative individualistic system) offers each civilian the opportunity to possess private property and to own businesses or to simply look for money the way each one chooses. Then, the government just receives taxes to pay the maintenance of public places, the streets and in some cases public education and, I dare to say, that thanks to the fact of having people controlling its own profits and the government not getting involved in the management of a significant part of it, capitalism has better results that the own systems of collectivism.

Finally, it has to be accepted that individualism allows very marked social classes to emerge, but at least it lets people from the low social classes to surpass themselves and success economically in the required way to advance socially, and doesn’t deceive communities with the illusion of having a country with no social classes and that’s actually suffering the generation of two bigger ones in which there is not the possibility to overcome.

To conclude, I would like to say that from any point of view individualism is the way for nations to develop, and that it surpasses the old-fashioned form of ruling (collectivism), that was almost totally eradicated from the governments of the whole world, thanks to the arguments that never fail: facts; in this case, the economical, social and political depression that nations suffered because of it. In addition, I would like to make a call to nations, voting population and generally to the world, to accept the new forms and solutions that thinkers and new generations give, not only to this issue, but to every single one, because they are based on the history and registries of the things, in the problems the old forms generated and on the worry of the well-being of all.

 BIBLIOGRAPHY:•WIKIPEDIA, the Free Encyclopedia. Individualism. Entry: Individualism. URL: •WIKIPEDIA, the Free Encyclopedia. Collectivism. Entry: Collectivism. URL: •EBELING, Richard M. ‘Competing Capitalism’ and the New Rationales for Economic Collectivism. December, 1992. URL: •STATA, Raymie. What is Individualism. 1992. URL: •MACHAN, Tibor R. Individualism, the Collectivist’s Nemesis. February 2008.