Which side champions 'individualism' more - liberals or conservatives?

Liberals typically champion individualism when it comes to LGBT issues, abortion, not requiring voter ID, illegal immigration, legalization of marijuana/other drugs, etc…but go against individualism when it comes to gun ownership, the teaching of creationism, healthcare (ACA or single payer = everyone must acquire insurance or participate in the system,) compulsory school attendance, higher taxation, etc.
Conservatives typically champion individualism when it comes to free speech, gun ownership, creationism, homeschooling or vouchers for private schools, lower taxation, choosing not to have health insurance, etc…but go against individualism on illegal immigration, SSM, abortion, banning marijuana/other drugs, requiring voter ID, etc.
Both sides claim to oppose governmental wiretapping, infringement on civil liberties or spying on citizens, even if some secretly support it.
So, all said and done, which side is more pro-individualism? (Note that I’m not commenting on whether individualism is inherently good or bad.)

How are you defining “individualism”?

Neither side gets stellar remarks from me for individuality. But identity politics is a movement of the left. Socialism is a movement of the left. The haughty scoffing that so often erupts when mention is made of personal responsibility originates from the left.

The right is more in tune with individualism, but considering the competition, it’s a shallow victory.

Abortion. Which individual?

Another vote for “they both suck”.

The left: they value “that which benefits the group” over that which benefits individuals within the group. (Often erasing from the map any consideration of how the fuck we — individually or collectively — define what is beneficial to the group without being tuned in to what we as individuals find beneficial ABOUT the group)

The right: they value “protection FROM individuals who are threats to the group” over individual autonomy and the right to deviate from groupthink and normative conventional behavior. (Usually erasing from the map any consideration of how the fuck we — as a plural batch of individuals — are supposed to communicate in any pluralistic fashion without an allowance for deviation and nonconformity)

Let’s establish something: we all want an environment that is both good for individual freedom AND is geared towards a smooth functioning society; we don’t need to stress the latter insofar as unsmooth nonfunctioning societies tend to disentegrate, but smooth functioning societies do not intrinsically yearn for the maximum freedom of their individuals; therefore we START WITH the sanctity of individual freedom and, WITHOUT trammeling on it, we derive a means of functioning as a society.

Any departure from anarchy should be viewed at all times with the utmost of skeptical suspicion. It may be that infringements on individual freedom are necessary but you sure the fuck DO NOT get to start off with that as your premise.

And the left and the right can both kiss my ass.

Which is why we each have a left ass cheek and a right ass cheek.

Are unfettered private property rights part of your definition of “individualism”? If so, it’s the right, no question.

No, it isn’t.


-the habit or principle of being independent and self-reliant.

-a social theory favoring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control.*

Individualism is a threat to any political movement.

Both left and right have degrees of authoritarianism vs libertarianism. On the left some want to heavily penalize (via shaming, job loss,criminal charges, etc) anything non pc while others do not while on the right the rwa types are not the same as libertarians. Having said that, right wing authoritarianism is by nature right wing (anti-egalitarian,traditionalist) so I’d assume the right would by nature be more likely to harbor authoritarian strains.

Hardly. It’s not Democrats who tried to pass a flag-burning amendment.

Uh, no. Which side is it that vilifies Mexicans, Muslims, and LGBT? It was Ike that brought us the socialist Interstate system. George W. Bush championed the expansion of the socialist Medicare system to include prescription drugs.

Of course it is the left that is the true champion of individualism and all that is right and good. Of course it is good to not force a woman to complete a pregnancy, of course it is good to allow people to marry the person they love. At some point resistance to same sex marriage will seem as quaint as resistance to mixed-race marriage does today.

It isn’t anti-individual to favor higher taxes, it is being responsible about paying one’s bills. You don’t eat at a restaurant and act surprised when you get the bill, neither should you be surprised at being asked to pay for government services that you consume. The Reagan mantra was “there’s a free lunch and we’re going to eat it”, which is not only anti-individualist but also quite childish.

It isn’t anti-individual to favor gun control, it celebrates the individual by trying to reduce their chances of being murdered.

It isn’t anti-individual to not want creationism in schools, it is just a recognition that schools not teach matter that is demonstrably false.

It isn’t anti-individual to oppose school vouchers, it is merely recognition that pro-voucher people want to weaken the public school system, the backbone of society.

Economically, the right champions “rugged individualism” that’s a form of self-reliance. The left is focused on how we as a society can collectively meet everyone’s minimum needs (while still allowing for entrepreneurship and competition within that framework, if democratic socialism instead of communism).

Socially, the right champions conservatism and conformity to societal traditions, while the left seeks to allow people to be individuals with their own unique viewpoints, freedom of religion and so forth.

First of all, the OP needs to present a coherent concept of what “individualism” means. For example, replacing biological science with creationism has no more to do with “individualism” than replacing the periodic table with a list reading “air, water, earth, fire, aether”.

Nope; not if your private property includes (for example) a porn stash. Another hypothesis consigned to a closed-casket funeral after its ugly collision with reality.

I think GreenElf nailed it- The right embraces economic individualism, the left social individualism.

There are a few eddies, but the river goes overwhelmingly in favor of the right’s preference for unfettered property rights, and the left’s preference for balancing property rights against quality of life concerns.

Individualism makes me think of non-conformity, non-reverence of authority, and self-determination. These are not things that I associate with conservative thought, but I don’t think liberals have excusive ownership of these ideas.

The “sugared porridge” eddy, the “cinnamon porridge” eddy, etc.