TED Conversations


This conversation is closed.

Redefining Individuality

We all love our individuality. It is what shapes us as human beings and not some brainwashed robots, right? But how free and individual are we really? Can anybody, regardless of their situation, go to any local store and buy the food they need, rent an apartment that provides them with the human and sanitarian needs such as sleep, a shower to clean themselves and a place to cook their food or perhaps book a flight to India the next morning that would enrich their life personally and socially purely out of the enjoyment of visiting and exploring other cultures and places? No. You are only as free as your purchasing power. That means from the day you are born you are dependent on other people to take care of you and provide you with the necessities of life until you are old enough to attend school (assuming it is free), memorize the information that will hopefully grant you with a diploma and that would hopefully make you able to compete with many others to a job that will likely rob your personal freedom to express your individual desires to take on your own projects, just so you make enough money to survive. Is this truly individuality?

Now, what if we made a society where we utilized science and technology to intelligently manage and allocate our resources to meet the needs of all human beings on the planet by claiming all of Earths resources as the common heritage of all mankind. Where we collectively would utilize technology to free mankind (through automation of jobs and labor) in order for every human being to be able to reach their fullest potential personally, socially and culturally. That sounds like a society that cherishes the individual, right?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 12 2012: I think... Especially in America, that we are a culture that prides individualism.

    Collectively we educate that the individual can do anything and can be anyone they want. In another sense, we inspire positive individualism - as the main drive of individualism seems to be idealistic.

    Ironic as a well paradox... A 'system' that cherishes individualism.

    I would agree with you Mats; we need something that can inspire the collective to truly care about individuals as opposed to what individualism has inspired.

    This seems to be socialist? Yet, that ideology could not function without crafting a new system which would allow it to evolve in light of good. If we implanted socialism today in America, the current culture of individualism would abuse to the system, to the point of bankruptcy - although our system is arguable heading there anyways.

    I don't think any ideology implanted into today's existing system will carve the path towards a 'united world'. Because that is what you are hinting at, and that is purely idealistic as of today.

    In order to achieve a system where everyone is taken care of in equal fashion... we need to take a first step. That step to me is looking at what already exist and has existed and objectively considering what has/does work[ed] and the contrary. The goal is true equality - which is a social, culture and civil issue - baby steps. We can, more than ever, look at the examples history has to provide and make a conscious effort towards what is in fact humanitarian and virtuous for all mankind, let alone just individual countries.

    Again, I feel that is where you are hinting your discussion is going - an united world. Especially since you come from one of the happiest nations in the world, as well as one of the most successful. It seems likely you are inspired to wanting to know how the rest of the world can be on the same page...

    That will come from questioning our immediate existence; the concern of money will always arise.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.