Republicans are Individualists and Democrats are Collectivists? → Washingtons Blog
Republicans are Individualists and Democrats are Collectivists? - Washingtons Blog

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Republicans are Individualists and Democrats are Collectivists?

I just read an interesting quote by Fred Burks:

Republicans have tended to be individualists who idealized free enterprise and encouraged the brightest and most capable moving to the top. They prefer decentralized government with minimal restrictions so that individuals can flourish on their own skills and merits.

Democrats, on the other hand, have tended to be collectivists wanting to make sure that no one is left behind, and that everyone's basic needs are being taken care of. They prefer more centralized government to reign in the insatiable desires of the powerful individualists and protect the disadvantaged. They also tend to want everyone to be equal. Now we can integrate both of these. We have the capacity to honor and support the creative individualists while also taking care of the basic needs of everyone in the collective.
Is he right? Please comment below and let me know what you think.


  1. Basically yes - he's right. However, Neo-Conservatives and Neo-Liberals muddy the waters because they both feed into Collectivism via Globalism and Corporatism.

    Geo. will you add a Digg link to your pages? I'm a big Digger and probably your biggest fan on Digg.

  2. Sounds like a pretty conservative slant to me. First of all, we need to be clear that there really is no Democratic Party position. There is the position of the majority of Democratic voters and there is the position of the Democratic "leadership" and there is the position of the Blue Dog Democrats.

    Assuming we are talking about Democratic voters, I have the following objections:
    1. Democratic voters don't want to reign [sic] in the "insatiable desires of the powerful individualists". We know that government is the only entity with the authority to rein in the power of the corporations. Viewing corporations as individuals is a devious right-wing fraud that needs to be challenged daily by the opposition party - if we had one.
    2. Democratic voters don't want everyone to be equal, we want everyone to have an equal opportunity and equal rights. That does not and will not make them equal, but failure to provide opportunity and rights guarantees that some will never achieve equality.
    3. Republicans haven't "encouraged the brightest and most capable", they have smoothed the way for those who already had a significant advantage and reduced their competition from lower socio-economic classes.
    4. One party cannot both prefer decentralized government and support the Bush era power grabs by the Federal executive. Republicans want minimal restrictions on corporations and the wealthy but are happy to have government intrude in people's personal lives, or listen in on their phone calls, or lock them up indefinitely without a trial.

  3. Replace republicans with "true conservatives" and Dems with "true progressives" and he is

  4. Essentially, yes. Some people are more action-orientated, individualistic, focused on the material world with a relative deficit of relatedness. Others experience more connection, empathy, and suffer the deficit of outer-focus on material creativity. The biggest point is that of course we can have both. In fact, the economics of ending poverty for example, indicate it's in our best interests to cooperate in our advancement as individuals and as a "team." Details on the economics of ending poverty here: Fred is describing, I think, what we observe with stereotypical male/female responses. We all want our individuality at times, to forge our own way and make our own mistakes; and other times we genuinely want help and nurturance. Translating into policy: we can encourage individual excellence that benefits all of us while regulating for public health and safety. At the same time we can provide a foundation of what we want for all of our children: health care, safe shelter, education, nutritious food. For another example, research is unanimous in finding that providing these for the homeless is less costly than doing nothing and paying the bills for police and emergency room response: .
    Carl Herman

  5. I tend to reject these labels. There is basically "haves" and "have-nots"

  6. During the Roosevelt era you could have made some kind of a case that Democrats were at least posing as looking after a collective interest. But the Clinton administration simply continued what begun under Reagan, ending welfare and deregulating everything. The Democrats turned decidedly in that direction by the late 1970s.

  7. If democrats and republicans were today what they were a hundred years ago,or even 50 years ago, I would agree.

  8. There is no doubt whatsoever that we could easily provide a nice mninimum lifestyle for everyone in our society and probably preserve a good environment and even a prosperous consumer society as we had in the fifties. All we need to do is make it less attractive for corporations to ship jobs overseas ( Remember import duties are what originally built this country's industries!), stop putting all our money into unneeded wars ( We are the only country in the world that has been armed to the teeth and continuously at war since 1945! We are the only people in the world that are always scaring ourselves to death over some imagined bogeyman coming across two oceans to threaten us! Nobody else in the wide world could care less who rules in Afghanistan! The sad truth is that after nearly bankrupting this country for the last 65 years, there was never a serious enemy in the first place! Who? The Russians? Not hardly, after being nearly destroyed by Germany in the war and losing twenty million people all they really wanted was to be left alone so they could rebuild their country. But, of course, our dear president Truman realized that with Germany and Japan gone, we needed a new enemy to justify big defense contracts so he resurrected Communism as the new big threst to scare the Americans with, even though nobody had ever really worried that much about Communism throughout the 1930's! So you see, we really could have made this country into a real paradise and probably would have by now if it had ever really been left up to the American people, but then, it never really was. You see, when corporations are allowed to dictate both foreign and domestic policy, this is what you get, rotting inner cities, ever-more poverty and a handful of people getting super-rich. With luck we can wind up looking a lot like Inia!


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