Individualism & an Enemy of the People Essay

1007 WordsDec 5, 20125 Pages
Are you really an individual? President Lincoln felt it was his obligation and duty to his country to uphold the constitution when he freed the slaves. Rose Parks had the duty to herself when she chose not to give up her seat. Both of these individuals had the need to follow through with their responsibilities, while other Americans were running away from them. Their individualism came from their sense of duty. Duty is the source of individualism because it is the individual's moral obligation to help steer society towards change. Duties promote responsibility amongst people. The same responsibility that the people try to turn a blind eye against. As Friedrich Nietzsche said in Beyond Good and Evil, “... Socialist dolts and flatheads [are seen as] 'man of the future'... This [is] degeneration and diminution of man into the perfect herd animal (or as they say, to the man of the 'free society')”. The elite minority enables the systematic brainwashing of the common man and programs them to not question, but to only follow. Before we understand the duties of individuals, we must first know what drives them. The characteristics that make up individualism are morals and confidence. Morality teaches the individual to live a certain lifestyle. Persevering through society's opposition leads the individual to their desirable goal. Nonetheless, as hard as this seems, it is the only way to retain individuality. As Henry David Thoreau states, in “Civil Disobedience”, “If I have unjustly wrestled a plank from a drowning man, I must restore it to him though I drown myself” (181). The individual sacrifices himself rather than someone else because he knows it is the moral thing to do. Along with morality, confidence is another supporting pillar to individualism. If the individual is confident, it will show society that they have conviction and full belief in themselves. Having

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