For some reason Im on the mailing list of an outfit called Conservative Action Alerts. (They seem more libertarian than the conservative mainstream, so thats probably the connection.) Their latest missive complains that the word individualism has been poisoned by deceptive propaganda that disparaged it as rugged.
Well, not exactly. Rugged individualism was introduced as a positive term, either coined or popularised by Herbert Hoover (who liked to pose, at least sometimes, as a free-market type even though his actual policies were straight-up big-government dirigism). Admittedly its often used pejoratively now, but thats mainly due to the (ludicrous) perception that Hoovers ineffective response to the Great Depression was somehow driven by individualism.
Individualism has a bad rep with me mainly because I associate it with free market ideology (which I despise). I always assumed “rugged” means “fit” in the “survival of the fittest” sense. So I either coined or popularized the term “thick individualism.” Thick individualism is to individualism as thick libertarianism is to libertarianism.
Actual disparagement would tap into “atomistic” or “autistic” individualism.
Yes. Ignoring the fact that atomism is anti-indvidualist.
How do you mean?
See the opening section of this.
Then what I want to say is: Conservatives themselves disparage individualism by claiming to represent it and — simultaneously — pushing policy that’s charged by atomistic views.
That’s because they’re really atomic-powered robots.
Do those come with ‘off’ switches?
That seems disparaging toward autistic people.
I have Aspergers and I’m fine with “autistic economics.” I think it captures the blind-spot in “supply-side economics,” for instance. After all, autistics and neurotypical supply-siders both tend to miss the significance of others’ demands — though the latter does so abstractly and the former much more concretely.
When I said that Conservative Action Alerts “seem more libertarian than the conservative mainstream,” I was forgetting this.