individuality Quotes

The social system of capital separates most people from the conditions of existence. This compels the vast majority to accept the mediations of work and commodity consumption in order to maintain a minimal existence at the expense of their lives, desires and dreams, of their individuality. The artificial economic scarcity imposed by capital leads to a competition that is often promoted in the United States as the basis of "individualism" in spite of the fact that it creates nearly identical mediocre existences in which life is subsumed in survival... If all individuals are indeed to be free to create their lives and relations as they desire, it is necessary to create a world in which equality of access to the means and conditions of existence is reality. This requires the total destruction of economy—the end of property, commodity exchange and work. Thus we see that the generalized realization of individual freedom goes hand-in-hands with the best aspects of the anarcho-communist ideal and can only be achieved through a revolutionary transformation.

- Wolfi Landstreicher Individualism and Communism

The point is that you are an individual inasmuch as you exist in a social matrix of others who respect your individuality and your right to make choices. That's concrete individuality: an individuality that it owes its existence to a kind of communal respect on the part of all the other individualities, and that it had better therefore respect them similarly.

- China Miéville, Perdido Street Station

FUCK "UNITY"!! What a pathetic way of thinking. How arrogant of Progressives to think that my hopes and dreams mirror their hopes and dreams. What an absolute bore.... what an total lack of originality or individuality... I believe in individual liberty. I am an extremist on the topic of individual liberty, precisely because I value original thinking and original accomplishments. Fuck unity of purpose. Fuck collectivism. My life is not your life. I have my own path. Get out of my way.

- A.E. Samaan

Society. I felt as though even I were beginning at last to acquire some vague notion of what it meant. It is a struggle between one individual to another, a then-and-there struggle, in which the immediate triumph is everything. ‘Human beings never submit to human beings.’ Even slaves practice their mean retaliations. Human beings cannot conceive of any means of survival except of a single then-and-there contest. They speak of duty to one’s country and such like things, but the object of their effort is invariably the individual, and, even once the individual’s needs have been met, again the individual comes in. The incomprehensibility of society is the incomprehensibility of the individual. The ocean is not society; it is individuals.

- Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human

This is the age of the individual and there is no reason to believe that this focus of mankind is likely to change in the foreseeable future. Hence, the mission is to put individualism inside a wide context and to give it meaning and a sense of direction; to empower it – but authentically this time.

- Shai Tubali, The Mystical Enlightenment of Friedrich Nietzsche: On the Death of God and the God Within

Romantic literature often presents the individual as somebody caught in a struggle against the state and the market. Nothing could be further from the truth. The state and the market are the mother and father of the individual, and the individual can survive only thanks to them. The market provides us with work, insurance and a pension. If we want to study a profession, the government’s schools are there to teach us. If we want to open a business, the bank loans us money. If we want to build a house, a construction company builds it and the bank gives us a mortgage, in some cases subsidised or insured by the state. If violence flares up, the police protect us. If we are sick for a few days, our health insurance takes care of us. If we are debilitated for months, social security steps in. If we need around-the-clock assistance, we can go to the market and hire a nurse – usually some stranger from the other side of the world who takes care of us with the kind of devotion that we no longer expect from our own children. If we have the means, we can spend our golden years at a senior citizens’ home. The tax authorities treat us as individuals, and do not expect us to pay the neighbours’ taxes. The courts, too, see us as individuals, and never punish us for the crimes of our cousins.Not only adult men, but also women and children, are recognised as individuals. Throughout most of history, women were often seen as the property of family or community. Modern states, on the other hand, see women as individuals, enjoying economic and legal rights independently of their family and community. They may hold their own bank accounts, decide whom to marry, and even choose to divorce or live on their own.But the liberation of the individual comes at a cost. Many of us now bewail the loss of strong families and communities and feel alienated and threatened by the power the impersonal state and market wield over our lives. States and markets composed of alienated individuals can intervene in the lives of their members much more easily than states and markets composed of strong families and communities. When neighbours in a high-rise apartment building cannot even agree on how much to pay their janitor, how can we expect them to resist the state?The deal between states, markets and individuals is an uneasy one. The state and the market disagree about their mutual rights and obligations, and individuals complain that both demand too much and provide too little. In many cases individuals are exploited by markets, and states employ their armies, police forces and bureaucracies to persecute individuals instead of defending them. Yet it is amazing that this deal works at all – however imperfectly. For it breaches countless generations of human social arrangements. Millions of years of evolution have designed us to live and think as community members. Within a mere two centuries we have become alienated individuals. Nothing testifies better to the awesome power of culture.

- Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

He recognized that need, in Odonian terms, as his "cellular function." the analogic term for the individual's individuality, the work he can do best, therefore his best contribution to his society. A healthy society would let him exercise that optimum function freely, in the coordination of all such functions finding its adaptability and strength. That was a central idea of Odo's Analogy. That the Odonian society on Anarres had fallen short of the ideal did not, in his eyes, lessen his responsibility to it; just the contrary. With the myth of the State out of the way, the real mutuality and reciprocity of society and the individual became clear. Sacrifice mught be demanded of the individual, but never compromise: for though only the society could give security and stability, only the individual, the person, had the power of moral choice -- the power of change, the essential function of life. The Odonian society was conceived as a permanent revolution, and revolution begins in the thinking mind.

- Urusla K Le Guin

We like to think of individuals as unique. Yet if this is true of everyone, then we all share the same quality, namely our uniqueness. What we have in common is the fact that we are all uncommon. Everybody is special, which means that nobody is. The truth, however, is that human beings are uncommon only up to a point. There are no qualities that are peculiar to one person alone. Regrettably, there could not be a world in which only one individual was irascible, vindictive or lethally aggressive. This is because human beings are not fundamentally all that different from each other, a truth postmodernists are reluctant to concede. We share an enormous amount in common simply by virtue of being human, and this is revealed by the vocabularies we have for discussing human character. We even share the social processes by which we come to individuate ourselves.

- Terry Eagleton, How to Read Literature

Every plant is an individual.Wrong again. We are not individuals at all, we are all connected. We are individuals the way each blossom on an apple tree is an individual.

- Dale Pendell, Pharmako/Poeia: Plant Powers, Poisons, and Herbcraft

I worship individuals for their highest possibilities as individuals and I loathe humanity for its failure to live up to these possibilities.

- Ayn Rand

You focus on telling stories,
we do everything else.