PUBLICATIONS
Books
The Independent Review
(Quarterly Journal)
Policy Reports
The Lighthouse
(Email Newsletter)
Commentary Articles
News Releases
Audio and Visual Programs
The Independent
(Quarterly Newsletter)
Research Articles
Working Papers
Course Adoption Program




Subscribe



Commentary
Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook

Contribute
Your participation will advance liberty. Join us as an Independent Institute member.



Contact Us
The Independent Institute
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621-1428

510-632-1366 Phone
510-568-6040 Fax
Send us email


Interested in working with us?  Click here for more information.

Bookmark and Share    

Individualism and Its Contemporary Fate
By Kenneth Minogue
This article appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of The Independent Review


Abstract

Since the sixteenth century, European civilization has mostly valued individual differences in wants and beliefs, an attitude that long distinguished it from other cultures and helped foster centuries of growing prosperity and personal autonomy. However, recent changes in views about individualism—exemplified by the rise of the entitlement state—raise questions about the future of the West.


Article

My concern in this article is to explore what I take to be the essence of freedom and to locate it in the context of our civilization. Described thus, the idea is insanely ambitious, and all I can do is sketch a position. I shall identify freedom with individualism, discuss first its emergence and then its established character in the eighteenth century, and finally say something about its paradoxical place in the world today.

Individuality is a universal characteristic of objects, but individualism is the practice that accords to some personal acts, beliefs, and utterances a legitimacy that may conflict with the dictates of custom or authority. Today, this practice is usually formulated as “self-interest,” which makes it clear that individualism may liberate some individual wants from customary controls....





Volume 17 Number 2
Fall 2012

Subscribe Today

Buy Single Issues

Independent Review Issues

Articles by Subject

Independent Review Articles on Related Subjects




Home | About Us | Blogs | Issues | Newsroom | Multimedia | Events | Publications | Centers | Students | Store | Donate

Product Catalog | RSS | Jobs | Course Adoption | Links | Privacy Policy | Site Map
Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook
Copyright 2014 The Independent Institute