About The Independent Individualist
In all the world, every minority is recognized by a host of agencies, organizations, and institutions defending their "rights," attending to their needs, and addressing their interests—every minority, that is, except one, the smallest minority in the world&mdah;the independent individual. It is that minority the Independent Individualist recognizes and is dedicated to.
There is an irony in this, however. The hallmark of the independent individualists is self-sufficiency and self-assurance—the certainty they are competent to live happily and successfully in this world without anyone's guidance, help, or approval. What, then, can the Independent Individualist possibly offer them?
What Individualism Is
The apparent irony of dedicating a site to individualists is because the true nature of individualism is misunderstood. I have written a whole series of articles about individualists which answer the question of what individualism is, and much more. Here I'll only point out those characteristics that pertain to the purpose of the Independent Individualist.
Dedicated to Individualism
The Independent Individualist is not the first to be dedicated to individualism. There have been many individualists in the history of the world, but as far as I know, there is only one person who explicitly stated that her "mission in life" was "individualism."1 That individual was Ayn Rand.
She understood what individualism is. In a letter to Rose Wilder Lane,2 she wrote, "Of course, Individualism doesn't mean isolation, aloofness or escaping to a desert island. In fact, only true Individualists are fit to associate with other men." [Emphasis added.]
It is because individualists want nothing from life but what they have earned by their own effort, and want nothing from others but that which others are willing to share to their mutual benefit—or to be left alone—that individualists are the only ones truly fit to enjoy the benefits of a civilized society. This is what Rand meant when she wrote, "Only free, independent men can cooperate and feel benevolence toward one another."2 It is because only the independent individualist makes no claims on anyone else, not their life, not their time, and not their property; not even their recognition if he has not earned it.
The independent individualist neither accepts or gives the unearned, which, while it is a matter of principle, is more importantly a profoundly personal matter: to know all one achieves, acquires, and owns is by means of ones own effort is proof one is worthy of all he possess and enjoys. Whether it is material possessions, or the friendship of others, or the highest form of romantic love, the independent individualist seeks to have and give only that which is earned—anything else is form of fraud, parasitism, or slavery.
The purpose of the Independent Individualist is, therefore, to provide both the resources true individualists will find nowhere else and the opportunity to enjoy the company of other's who neither seek or desire anything from them except what is to their mutual benefit, and the recognition of those who know what it means to be truly free and independent and who could not live in any other way.
The Free Individual
The Free Individual is a separate WEB site dedicated to establishing one's own individual freedom in one's own lifetime, not by means of some program or ideology, but by providing both the principles and practical resources one may use to find freedom in the world today.
Though it is a separate site, the Free Individual
is considered a part of the Independent Individualist, Freedom is inseparable from individualism. No true individualist can live without freedom.
The Free Individual has two daily features:
Daily Freedom which is an index to "Your Daily Freedom Vitamins," short articles providing practical, useful, and interesting information and ideas for those who choose to live free, and
International Living article, featuring a new country or other interesting information for those interesting in traveling to or living in a new place. These articles are provided by International Living magazine.
It Is Not ...
The Independent Individualist is not an organization or movement and is not associated with any organization or movement. Though philosophy is very important to the Independent Individualist, that philosophy is unique. This is not an Objectivist site.
There is nothing to join and program to support, except one's own personal program to establish their freedom and to live successfully and happily in this world.
The Autonomist is a separate site associated with the Independent Individualist, but not part of it. The Autonomist publishes articles by freedom-loving individuals from a broad spectrum of political and philosophical views—it is called a, "Free Market Of Ideas On Freedom."
. "That one word?individualism?is to be the theme song, the goal, the only aim of all my writing. If I have any real mission in life?this is it." [The Letters of Ayn Rand
, "Arrival In America To We The Living (1926-1936)," Letter To Marjorie Williams, June 18, 1936.]
2. "Of course, Individualism doesn't mean isolation, aloofness or escaping to a desert island. In fact, only true Individualists are fit to associate with other men. But they do it only on the basis of the recognition of each man's essential independence: each man lives primarily for, by and through himself and recognizes the same right in others; all relations among men are secondary; men are legally and morally free to associate together or not, on any particular occasion, as their personal interests dictate. There is the pattern of a free, moral society, of human cooperation, and of benevolence among men. ....
"You are right, of course, when you say that collectivism disintegrates human cooperation and comes to "dog-eat-dog." Only free, independent men can cooperate and feel benevolence toward one another. But they can do it only because (and only so long as) they know that cooperation will involve no pain or injury to them?that is, no demand for self-sacrifice." [The Letters of Ayn Rand, "The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged Years (1945-1959)," Letter to To Rose Wilder Lane November 3, 1946.]