Individualism vs community

Henry Kissinger has written a book that is coming out this week called On China. Kissinger had an article on wsj.com yesterday with excerpts from the book. He ends with a wish that Zhou Enlai's "this will shake the world", from 1971 when Nixon and Kissinger opened up China, will instead become the China and the West will build the world together.

Francis Fukuyama claims that individualism is doing the US a disfavor the last decades and that more of community is in need to better the economy. In this respect is should be remembered that Barack Obama was a so called community organizer early in his career. The first Pacific president. I'm beginning to sense the real reason for the polarization of the US. It might be individualism versus community. If the Republicans are for individualism, I'm definitely on their side. The Americans might have to take a charge on their GDP per capita but this is due to reorganizations in the world economy and not due to the underlying principle on how they work.

Individualism does not mean that people can't work in a group but it means that the individual perspective is protected to prevent the status quo. Some people like to say that "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" but I believe that it is better to have an attitude of always wanting to improve things. If you believe that we have not reached the end of history, and that we need to make new leaps of faith like the Scientific Revolution to further human evolution, the principle of individualism is paramount. Our next future is not going to depend on engineering but on new profound ways of looking at things. I firmly believe that individuals do this most effectively. What has been interesting to see is that great ideas often have come from outside of universities.

So what we seem to have now is a situation where China is going to suppress the West or the West is going to destabilize China. It is going to be interesting to see if building the world together is going to work. Let's hope so but it will in all  probability be due to a realization of the need to tolerate each other's ideas and values. Not on a merger.

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