The Philosophy of Individualism
an essay by Matthew Bissonnette
Many societies both historically and currently had held certain notions, notions such as that certain social and economic groups both domestic and foreign are singular in character and such groups are deprived of individuality where members of said groups are ascribed certain characteristics such as a predisposition towards criminal acts or violence. Such groups are denied the inherent truth that a man should be judged for his actions as an individual and not judged for any social group to which he belongs be it racial, economic or religious. In any such groups you will find a wide range of disposition and characters, that societies are composed of many individuals who's disposition is informed by the environment in which they grow to adulthood. In any such perceived group there will be a wide variance in character, some individuals will be contributors to society while others will be a detriment. Individualism is the view that all men are unique since their character is informed by numerous and complex factors such as background, genetics and parental upbringing. That people should be judged as a unique individual and not judged for any social group to which they may belong. That seeing such societal groups as singular and bereft of individualism is inherently faulty since it overlooks how people in such groups possess many differing character traits.
Though genetics plays a role, I believe that people are mostly products of their environment and shaped mostly by what ideals, notions and values they have had instilled in them in youth. Reducing social groups to stereotypical constructs is faulty since the backgrounds of all individuals is wholly unique and vastly complex. That a man should stand or fall based upon on how he has chosen to conduct himself during his life and not for any group to which he belongs. In the end I believe society is composed of a vast array of unique and distinct individuals and not of groups which lack distinct individuality. Though there may be some common traits of such groups, such traits are proverbially skin deep since any social group is composed of countless distinct individuals who actions are influenced by numerous factors. A man should be judged for how he chooses to act in his life and not for characteristics which are only a partial aspect of his entirety. All people I believe are unique.