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 Albert Einstein on part/wholes and politics

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Albert Einstein on part/wholes and politics   Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:24 am

I thought this was a very good quote by Mr. Einstein regarding the tug of war between individualty and socialism.

Quote :
Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life. Only the existence of these varied, frequently conflicting strivings accounts for the special character of a man, and their specific combination determines the extent to which an individual can achieve an inner equilibrium and can contribute to the well-being of society. It is quite possible that the relative strength of these two drives is, in the main, fixed by inheritance. But the personality that finally emerges is largely formed by the environment in which a man happens to find himself during his development, by the structure of the society in which he grows up, by the tradition of that society, and by its appraisal of particular types of behavior. The abstract concept "society" means to the individual human being the sum total of his direct and indirect relations to his contemporaries and to all the people of earlier generations. The individual is able to think, feel, strive, and work by himself; but he depends so much upon society -- in his physical, intellectual, and emotional existence -- that it is impossible to think of him, or to understand him, outside the framework of society. It is "society" which provides man with food, clothing, a home, the tools of work, language, the forms of thought, and most of the content of thought; his life is made possible through the labor and the accomplishments of the many millions past and present who are all hidden behind the small word "society." ~Albert Einstein

Do you think there's anyway to get past this tug of war?

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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: Albert Einstein on part/wholes and politics   Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:13 pm

Quote :

Do you think there's anyway to get past this tug of war?

Only by accepting it as natural and normal, like all of the other dualities of physical existence: life/death, self/other, us/them. etc. Dynamic dualities only become a problem when they are viewed as distinct dichotomies.

Dichotomies are contradictory. Dualities are complementary.
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Beowulf

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PostSubject: Re: Albert Einstein on part/wholes and politics   Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:22 pm

I am not sure we want to.... I think it would move us toward either end of the spectrum: either F.I.S.H*1 or a bland 'brave new world' type of submission.

















*1 F.I.S.H = Fiercely Independent Shit Head.
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PostSubject: Re: Albert Einstein on part/wholes and politics   Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:20 pm

Methdological Individualism transcends this dichotomy between the individual and the collective. Only under the precepts of classical Liberalism can we find a perfect harmony wherein all partisans can persuasively work synergistically without turning towards violence manifested through coercive control of individuals by the dominant faction.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Albert Einstein on part/wholes and politics   Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:45 am

Averroes wrote:
Methdological Individualism transcends this dichotomy between the individual and the collective.

Then why call it Methdological "Individualism"?

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scorch

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PostSubject: Re: Albert Einstein on part/wholes and politics   Fri Nov 23, 2007 1:56 pm

Gnomon wrote:
Quote :

Do you think there's anyway to get past this tug of war?

Only by accepting it as natural and normal, like all of the other dualities of physical existence: life/death, self/other, us/them. etc. Dynamic dualities only become a problem when they are viewed as distinct dichotomies.

Dichotomies are contradictory. Dualities are complementary.

I really like that last line Smile

Good explanation!
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scorch

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PostSubject: Re: Albert Einstein on part/wholes and politics   Fri Nov 23, 2007 1:58 pm

Averroes wrote:
Methdological Individualism transcends this dichotomy between the individual and the collective. Only under the precepts of classical Liberalism can we find a perfect harmony wherein all partisans can persuasively work synergistically without turning towards violence manifested through coercive control of individuals by the dominant faction.

"perfect harmony"?

"without turning towards violence"?

Good luck!
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Averroes



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PostSubject: Re: Albert Einstein on part/wholes and politics   Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:05 pm

Aaron wrote:
Then why call it Methdological "Individualism"?



Because, while individualism is a perfect balance between the extremes of egoism and altruism, still, when understood "methodologically" it brings forth a series of requirement, to be fullfilled by the government (i.e. republic) that are the moral justification for the existence of a minimal state. Hence, neither anarchy nor autarchy, but a democracy with limited authority to uphold the rule of law, provide for the fudamental necessities that only a state can provide.

Alternatively, often times people take the concept of "individualism" as synonymous with "egoism" and hence it becomes necessary to qualify it, just like Adam Smith used the term "enlightened selfishness" to imply selfishness, which correctly starts from the ego/person but encompasses the greater good of the whole society.
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