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Collectivism is a broad label for any ideology maintaining that society or some other group of people should matter more to an individual than their own self.[1] This can also mean a sacrifice of the individual to an ideology.

In economics, collectivism refers more specifically to mandated state or collective control of industrial and commercial concerns. This is often desired to further the goals of the former sort of collectivism.

These sorts of ideologies are most stridently opposed by "individualists" on those grounds, although different groups of collectivists are often at each other's throats as well over what group is more important than the individual. Of course, even extreme individualists (see below) have joined their own collectives to further their causes, making the horseshoe theory that much more interesting.

Scapegoats are a common aspect of collectivist ideologies, as it helps cement the collectives internal bonds against a common external threat and allows them to blame them for any of the collectives failures, though the level of hostility they show towards the scapegoated group often varies depending on the collective. Despite this they often feel their victory over this threat is inevitable.[2]

Examples of collectivist ideologies[edit]

Ideology Exalted group Scapegoat
Socialism, communism Working class Bourgeoisie
Objectivism The Ayn Rand collective "Parasites" (i.e. the poor)
Identity politics The given identity group Often other identity groups
Nationalism Nation Often foreigners
Racism Race Other Races
White Supremacy The white "race" Black people, Jews, and/or Native Americans
Fundamentalism Religious followers Infidels, and/or apostates
Nazism Aryan master race Jews
Secular humanism Humanity Sometimes fundamentalists
"Radical" postmodernism Marginalized identities White men
Militarism Military Pacifists
Ideology of any cult The cult Non-cultists


Far from crushing the individual, the Fascist State multiplies his energies, just as in a regiment a soldier is not diminished but multiplied by the number of his fellow soldiers.
Benito Mussolini
The unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual; and that the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual.
Adolf Hitler

See also[edit]