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Old 10-26-2013, 11:53 AM   #14
detbuch
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,516
Quote:
Originally Posted by spence View Post
The vast majority of all success comes on the backs of others. Nobody does it alone...

-spence
Some are successful doing it standing or sitting . . . and there is masturbation

On a more serious note, the idea that nobody does it alone is closet circular reasoning. Obviously, there are things that one does alone. What "nobody does it alone" needs in order to make sense is to finish the thought--"nobody does it alone in society" for example.

Ergo, doing something in society requires a society in which to do the something.

The assumption proves itself. But when "nobody does it alone" is used as a political mantra, especially one against the idea of individual accomplishment and against a political system that depends on the concept of individual freedom and responsibility . . . when it is used, rather, to promote collectivist ideology, it usurps any notion that individuals are capable of doing something alone.

No sane believer in individual freedom and individual accomplishment would deny that those concepts need a society to give them meaning. Without other people, individualism has no meaning. To accomplish something in society not only requires society, it requires the individuals that "do" things. And if the individuals are free to act as individuals, then the doing will be in cooperation with others, but if they must act not as individuals, but as collectives and are only allowed to achieve through the collective, they lose their individuality, and society can work in the harmony of a bee hive, as Woodrow Wilson envisioned for his ideal of a progressive political system. Though he forgot to add that the hive requires mostly drones to maintain the power of the queen bee. That might make his desire for an unhampered all powerful central government somewhat less attractive.

So the difference between individual freedom to do and collective necessity to do is coercion. If you are free to do, or not do, your choice, your individual choice, is the motivating factor and prime mover of accomplishment. If you require collective coercion to do something, it is obvious that you are no longer free nor any longer an individual.

And so, when an individual is credited for doing something on his own, in a free society, it is obvious that the cooperation of others in society, and in the individuals use of past experience, is a part of the accomplishment. But when that obvious glue between individual and society is used to lower the value of the individual and raise that of the collective, it leads to, as Hayak said, the road to serfdom.

Last edited by detbuch; 10-26-2013 at 12:15 PM..
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