Individuality

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The idea of individualisms a type of ideology that sees the importance of the worth of the individual. Individualists strive to achieve personal goals and desires, which go hand in hand with independence and self reliance. Individualism is also associated to a lifestyle where self creation is heavily valued, often going against traditional or popular mass opinion and behaviors. 

Contents

Counterparts 

Egalitarianism

This is the belief that centers around equality. The common ground of this belief is that everyone should be treated equally, and factors such as race religion, ethnicity, political affiliation, economic status, social status, and cultural heritage. It holds the idea that all humans are created equal which reflects the natural state of humanity

"All men are created equal" - Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

Appearances in Class Reading

In all of our works so far, we've found that the characters, while they all share common threads are very much unique. Each of them has some set of aspects that make them unique to only themselves, be it the things that they were born with, or the things that they later did to their body. In some cases, their individuality doesn't even come from themselves, it comes from thigns that others have done to them. All in all, everyone is their own person.

Neuromancer 

Schismatrix 

He, She and It

Appearances in Other Media

In Bioshock, Man moves to the bottom of the sea where no laws can get in the way of science. However, when the individual, imperfect man obtains god-like power, the consequences are steep.

Intersections

This trope is quite similar with Property and Commons. I hoped with my proposal, however, to relate these theories back to society and its repercussions.

Trope Justification

Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another.

-Emerson, Self Reliance

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

-John Lennon, Imagine

Under capitalism, America has grown into one of the most powerful countries in the world. By allowing our citizens and companies to compete with one another, America’s industry is on the leading edge of the business world. However, there are some moral qualms regarding capitalism. Is it fair that one man enjoys all the luxuries money can buy while another wallows in the dirt? Communism, theoretically, remedies this situation; everyone shares everything and nobody is poor. However, Emerson contends that no man should be bound to such mediocrity. If a man wishes to better condition of life, why stop him?

When science fiction authors imagine the world of the future, they often take pre-existing models of society and augment them to showcase their flaws. In one of the short stories we read, He, She and It, everyone works for massive corporations called Multis, which run their lives. Everyone is equal, in the sense that everyone works under the same rules. While everyone seems perfectly content, characters like Joseph represent humanity's desire to be free, to travel where they want, and not to be confined to someone else's instructions. Can a human still reach his full potential in such a well-defined society, and how is the human condition changed by living in such a society?

On the other hand, writers also ponder the effects of extreme individuality too. In Schismatrix Sterling explores the possibilities of a mankind where each man and woman is completely different. Their brains are chemically different, their bodies are constructed differently, everything is up to the individual. However, this extreme degree of individuality leads to galaxy-scale wars with countless factions.

What defines this particular trope from the others is its outlook on the human condition, and ultimately society’s, under the influence of these different economies and forms of government. Under the guidance of our pre-existing morals, this trope will explore the moral and emotional side effects communism, capitalism, and any other economic system on human beings. For example, while communism uplifts the poor, lower class, it simultaneously punishes (some of) the hard working upper class. Alternatively, capitalism rewards “old” money and allows for a repressed lower caste. Additionally, we can judge the outcome of these cultures; will they flourish, or will they lead, eventually, to eminent destruction based upon our micro viewpoint on the single man?

References

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