The Downfall of Individualism and Rise of Collectivism

Ayla Bozkurt |

“One day there will be a civilization not needing to work, a civilization only dreams, wealthy enough to be able to dream and because it dreams it will stay wealthy forever.” (D’anna, 23, the school for gods).   

Think of the current world system and how it operates inside and reflects on us, human-beings. If you want to have an opinion on our collective well-being, you can use your innate ability of observation: look around, pause for a second and feel around. What people are talking about daily, their goals and their dreams about future, how about when they achieve their goals which are no more stand as a goal? Now after one second reflection, can you realize the vicious cycle of dissatisfaction and the everlasting search for happiness? I would like to say that I am addressing to the readers who live in modern chaotic environments, if you are a farm person, I bet you are looking at your cows now, instead of looking at a screen which gives a headache after a while. So anyways, whoever you are, with the light of the quote I have given in the beginning, which calls for dreamers, I want to ask: Do we really have goals that we freely choose, driven from our dreams or are these goals attributed to us and we have adapted to them unconsciously, because these attributions are very subtle, even hidden in movies, or any other means, and they are repetitively insisted on us?

  “Self-observation is self-correction” (D’anna, 12, the school for gods).

We have just drowned a line between a goal and a dream. Have this differentiation in mind. So here the next question under the light of our second quote above: How to achieve dreams within a system in which goals are supported but not dreams? Are we going to correct a whole powerful system individually? You guessed it right, of course not, we are not immortal yet, so we do not have time for that; however self-correction is highly accessible through self-observation, and if everyone does their work on that, the parts (individuals) sum up and bring the whole(system). With self-observation/correction: our authentic beings will arise to the surface, radiate in such intensity that the light from the source which is “ourselves” will shower on whichever exists around us: self-flourishing and flourishing on others.

These statements might appeal like a bit story telling right? So, if you are not satisfied let’s check out my findings via a 5-question interview(method) that I have assisted to 10 individuals (sample size), the questions are consecutively like that:

(know that the answers are directly written by me in an open-ended format, there is no rating scale.)

  • If that was your last day on earth, in the blink of an eye when you look back, would you prefer to live the life you have lived or request one more chance to redesign it?
  • Think of a scenario in which all humans are collectively and cooperatively living their lives, there are still individual differences that creates a harmony rather than conflict, imagine that scenario, feel it in your veins, become it, how do you feel?
  • Think of a scenario in which you are individually ultimately powerful (you can think of politics, financial, manipulation, relational or organizational power etc… whichever resonates to you) but you don’t really have people that you can trust, cry next to, be yourself around, hold your hand when you are sick (very vulnerable). Would you still hold onto that power, or ignore it to have other factors indicated above?
  • Very straight forward question, do not think much, money or collective unity?
  • When did you decide that you are an ‘individual’,’ an entity separate from other people, and even nature? Have you ever thought about that?

The 1st question’s mean answer was people would prefer to redesign their life if it was their last day on earth. The mean answer to 2nd question was people felt so “warm” when they imagined a scenario of collectiveness and harmony. In the 3rd question, when people imagined an ultimate power with loneliness they felt “cold”. And after these reflective questions, for the 4th question, all of the people answered as collective unity without a second thought. The 5th question’s mean answer made me realize that no one even thought about individuality or even believe that they are the decision-makers on that individuality.

Let’s briefly interpret our findings: first of all, these subjects are not satisfied with their lives and realize the intensity and the depth of this dissatisfaction when they are faced to a phenomenon such as ‘death’ which is the most interesting part of this research: we are waiting for death to understand the truths. Secondly subjects are deep inside craving for unity as they have felt ‘warm’ on a sensational level and some of them became emotional like they have been missing home where there is “collective unity”. Furthermore, when they are given a chance to have the biggest power tool of any kind, they rejected it for the compensation of having real people around them. Collective unity is chosen over money and ‘individualism’ appeared as a very strange concept to them, that made them feel alienated when reflecting on it.

So, what is wealth really if one second reflection on collective unity makes people give up on money? What is individuality and how it became that important? What if the real power comes from collectiveness? And why do we need “death” in order to realize our truth? I wanted to leave you with these last reflective questions. Also, I would like to say that there is a gap in the literature about collectivism (and its power), this gap should be filled because emphasizing a distinction between individualism and authenticity is crucial to realize the effect of toxic individualism on collectivism. However as long as scientific research is conducted within the existing system, I am doubted about the future replications of my research.


Stefano D’anna, The School for Gods, pages (12, 23).

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