Indeed, we have never had a more marked individualist in our American public life than Emerson. At every point he was simply himself. There is very little quotation in his writing, very little visible influence of any one else. He was not a follower of Carlyle, though he was his friend.
A large group of Anarchists, indeed the most extreme, are pure Individualists, even maintaining individual property; how this could be maintained without some legal guarantee is a question for themselves; but it is evident that the Anarchist theory would alter the existing state of things much less than the social-democratic theory; for the latter demands the cessation of Individualist economy, and would punish any opposition to its views as a crime, just as we punish theft to-day.
Most of the negroes were slaves and were more kindly treated by the Spaniards than by the Portuguese. Though divided among themselves, the Europeans were everywhere politically dominant. The Spaniard was always an individualist. Besides, he often brought from the Old World petty provincial traditions which were intensified in the New.
It seems not to have been understood that such experiments could only result in inevitable abortions, obliged as they are to develop in an individualist economic and moral environment which can not furnish them the conditions essential for their physiological development, conditions which they will, on the contrary, have when the whole social organization shall be guided by the collectivist principle, that is to say, when society shall be socialized.
Such extravagances as this passage are amongst the most precious things in Political Justice. Godwin was a fanatic of logic who warns us against his individualist premises by pressing them to a fantastic conclusion. The sketch of the ideal community concludes with a demolition of the family. Cohabitation, he argued, is in itself an evil.
From that British middle-class tradition comes the individualist protestant spirit, the keen self-reliance and personal responsibility, the irresponsible expenditure, the indiscipline and mystical faith in things being managed properly if they are only let alone.
Spoilt by his father, he took some little interest in poetry and music, and lived in an extraordinary circle of artists, low women, madmen and bandits; boasting himself of all sorts of crimes and vices, professing the very worst philosophical and social ideas, invariably going to extremes, becoming in turn a Collectivist, an Individualist, an Anarchist, a Pessimist, a Symbolist, and what not besides; without, however, ceasing to be a Catholic, as this conjunction of Catholicity with something else seemed to him the supreme bon ton.
The possibility of providing with ease and without the expenditure of money good training and education for children, is an immense advantage for the commune over the individualist who is a farmer or mechanic in a new country. The social advantages are very great and evident. Finally, the effect of the communal life upon the character of the individual is good.
He showed that he was an individualist rather than an associationist or socialist, that his supreme faith was in individual effort, and in each person making himself right before he undertook to reform society.
I must not lose one crawl or squirm if I am to get the most out of the ferment. Nor will the eternal movelessness that is coming to me be made easier or harder by the sacrifices or selfishnesses of the time when I was yeasty and acrawl." "Then you are an individualist, a materialist, and, logically, a hedonist." "Big words," he smiled. "But what is a hedonist?"