Social sciences and the destruction of individuality

Social sciences and the destruction of individuality

by Jon Rappoport

January 9, 2014

You may or not be interested in the sexual practices of Trobriand Islanders. You may or not be interested in what some tribe in the Amazon jungle is doing on a slow Thursday.

But what sociologists and anthropologists have written about such subjects is as much science as you sitting in a park and writing notes on what people are doing in the playground.

One of the founders of sociology, Emile Durkheim (1858-1917), coined the phrase “collective consciousness.” Durkheim insisted there were “inherent” qualities that existed in society apart from individuals. Exposing his own absurd theory, he went so far as to claim suicide was one of those qualities, as if the “phenomenon” were present beyond any individual choice to end life.

He wrote: “Man is the more vulnerable to self-destruction the more he is detached from any collectivity, that is to say, the more he lives as an egoist.”

In other words, according to Durkheim, the individual who rejects the norms of society must be wrapped up in himself in some morally repugnant way. There are no other alternatives.

In his book, The Division of Labour in Society (1893) (wikipedia), Burkheim spun moral conscience in the following fashion: “…Make yourself usefully fulfill a determinate function.” He cited this as a kind of command issued by collective consciousness. This is the presentation of the individual human as machine-cog.

From the mud of sociology’s beginnings, the long sordid history of the academic discipline brings us to something like this. Peter Callero, of the department of sociology, Western Oregon University, has written a book titled: The Myth of Individualism: How Social Forces Shape Our Lives (2013, 2nd Ed):

Most people today believe that an individual is a person with an independent and distinct identification. This, however, is a myth.”

When Callero writes “identification,” he isn’t talking about ID cards and Social Security numbers. He’s talking about an absence of any uniqueness from person to person. He’s asserting there is no significant distinction between any two people. There aren’t two individuals to begin with. They’re a group.

This downgrading of the individual human spirit is far from accidental. It’s launched as a sustained propaganda campaign, the purpose of which is top-down control.

The cold truth is that the individualist creed of everybody for himself and the devil take the hindmost is principally responsible for the distress in which Western civilization finds itself — with investment racketeering at one end and labor racketeering at the other. Whatever merits the creed may have had in the days of primitive agriculture and industry, it is not applicable in an age of technology, science, and rationalized economy. Once useful, it has become a danger to society.” (Charles Beard, 1931)

Beard, a celebrated historian, appears to see no difference between individual racketeering and the individual freely choosing and living his own life. For him, society must rely on organization, and the individual takes the leftovers.

British empiricist philosophy is individualist. And it is of course clear that if the only criterion of true and false which a man accepts is that man’s, then he has no base for social agreement. The question of how man ought to behave is a social question, which always involves several people; and if he accepts no evidence and no judgment except his own, he has no tools with which to frame an answer.” (Jacob Bronowski, Science and Human Values, 1956).

Bronowski is quite sure that hearing other people’s evidence and then keeping one’s own counsel is wrong. One has to accept that evidence on its face? This is sheer idiocy. Individuals are capable of deciding, on their own, what social agreements to enter into.

Even more to the point, Beard and Bronowski were both high-achieving individuals—who then turned around and celebrated the kind of society that would try to flatten and level the individual to an average.

The Matrix Revealed

The world has many such experts. They rise high enough and then they preach collectivism. They become social meddlers. They believe they have the tools to plan what kind of world we should live in—since they are not part of that world anymore.

Freed from the obligations with which they want to bind us, they can pontificate and scheme and fantasize about social, economic, and political constructs in which The Group is all.

This is elitism par excellence.

I’ll stick with Orwell:

It cannot be said too often — at any rate, it is not being said nearly often enough — that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamt of.” (George Orwell, 1944)

The people who take it upon themselves to impose a planned society on everyone else don’t have much to say about freedom. Why would they? It’s a wild card, and it belongs to the individual, whom they consider merely an obstacle to the so-called progress of the group.

The very basis of sociology and anthropology, with which college students’ heads are filled, is: know the group. These pseudo-disciplines have thrived because elites with real power are doing everything they can to eradicate the concept of the individual.

Why would anyone perpetuate the myth that these two academic subjects are “social sciences?” There is nothing scientific about them. Their practitioners may devise computer models and debate the merits of one generality about cultures vs. another. But otherwise, we’re looking at nothing more than a gateway into planning a world management system.

In which the individual plays no part.

Jon Rappoport

The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at

19 comments on “Social sciences and the destruction of individuality

  1. moshe rabaynu says:

    master and slave, god and man, that is the plan. each farm animals is allotted certain freedoms that contribute to the smooth operation of the food production system. all physical incarnations are branded/castrated/circumcised and then allowed to run free in the illusion of their choice. the vampires, cannibals, slavers and torturers sit at the crossroads selecting their next meal like a giant clam. dogs and monkeys recognize and revolt against unfair treatment. the less feral we are,
    the more domestic and compliant like the sheep and cows they eat. so a house divided cannot stand. if we do not stop the slaughter of animals for food, including human fetuses, then me thinks there is nothing noble worth saving in those ones. so the irony 4 me is that it is not either or, its probably three and more or theomorph and see. the new model is waiting to b.

  2. Messenger At The Crossroads says:

    Bravo! Well said!

  3. laughing says:

    If a person doesn’t care for himself, he can’t care about others. Trouble is, [those] at the top care about nothing but getting what they think they should want.

  4. Hmmmm. “…with investment racketeering at one end and labor racketeering at the other…” You’d think that the author of that statement could figure out that the problem stems from the motive to racketeer/profiteer. Profit is the problem.

    And, as usual, for the sake of the readers, I offer a solution to the profit motive:

    Foundations of Economics:
    The Plan:


    “If You want peace, take the PROFIT out of war.”

    “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil; remove the soil in which the root grows…”

    “If the universe is made of mostly “dark” energy – can We use it to run Our cars?”

  5. Lee says:

    Thanks Jon for providing support and nourishment to my courage . . . as an invisible “friend”.

    I am currently in a “David and Goliath” legal situation where my resistance has the very near possibility of seeing me innocently incarcerated for a pseudo, fictional crime. And although the State legal and policing system may not stop its androids from processing this action before I have adequate time to prepare and present my defense case (as a citizen not a trained legal soldier), and the act of incarceration may well provide an important event on this journey, I would prefer not to be taken out of my home away from my children just so the State can exert its muscle in trying to suppress my voice which is attempting to rip apart the layers of legal perversion in order to reveal the truth behind this out of control machine of suppression that like many areas of society needs a complete overhaul.

    Your individual, independent voice adds to my individual, independent voice and therefore provides a “new” concept to collectivism; higher intelligence collectivism based on transparency and individual contributions working in sync toward providing harmonious, sustainable communities that support individual and collective creative expansion without the archaic motive of power over others exerted by tyrannical institutions of force.

    Peeling away the layers to reveal the root cause of this societal tyranny is no easy feat and as much as the temptation is strong to surrender to their muscle, to pay the bribe (fine) so I can walk away from harassment and incarceration in order to fall back into the status quo, I cannot deny the force of my individual intelligence and truth that screams at me to stand strong in the face of this deceit, control and oppression.

    You are my daily dose of sanity!

  6. Orion says:

    In the last millennium or so the look of the predator has changed and so has its M.O, I walk the streets, ever on alert for Donald Sutherland popping out while pointing and screeching at me……

  7. OzzieThinker says:

    Jon ironically Durkheim was right but grabbed the wrong end of the stick. Man is naturally parasitic, contrary to populist opinion. As we are more than body, theta waves connect a sense of “oneness”. However, why should I “change” for you? I am no one’s slave. That is why the Illuminati attempts to influence society via mainstream (A-track) and alternative (B-track) media. That is why the “justice system” is in place.

    My latest short story touches on this.

  8. Luke says:

    The ‘elite” are also wanting to discard the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. They don’t like the phrase, “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. They have sought to eliminate God, and seek to have the state assume His position. It is important that our individual rights are looked upon as given by God, whether you believe in God or not. Because their alternative is to have the State in control of the rights of the citizens. Who of course are no longer individuals, but a part of the “group”, and the groups needs, are determined by this pseudoscience.

  9. Homer says:

    If All You Friends Were Jumping off Bridges (poles), Does That Mean You Would Too?

    Twelve members of the greater metro region communities of Urban, American killed themselves. Half jumped off bridges, the other half jumped from the top of 100 foot poles. Placed at the scene of each departure was a single stack of books each stack identical to the next.1.Orwell’s 1984 2.Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus 3. Plutarch’s Life of Cato the Younger. Police who arrived at the scene of each leap attempted to talk each jumper down. In response each LEaPER gloriously shouted the same phrase.” 2 + 2 = 4 and I am 1- as long as- I’m not (in) 101, Oh the HumanityAbsurdity?”. Before leaping they all smiled, let out James Brown Screams, and well the rests HIStory!
    Talk/consensus in the community”- “It’s a shame, but no wonder why, it makes sense, they were reading books about guy’s who wear toga’s”, and some other Sissy, and 1984… living in the past, and you never saw any of them at the community center, one wouldn’t even bring his poor old granny down to get her flu shot, “repugnant, sick individuals and you know what else I heard,…pssst,pssst, pssst,pssst,pssst,pssst, well I gotta get going now don’t wanna be late for CSI Topeka Kansas, God Have Mercy on THEM”!

    p.s They all wore T-shirts reading

  10. dale says:

    […] If you want to produce healthy individuals, you need healthy collectives, functional families, democratic communities in which each person is valued, and at the governmental level, good schools, good healthcare, and strong institutions.

    When these collectives become weak, individuality becomes psychopathy.

    There are no individuals without communities. No one would ever survive without the collective of the family (or a functional substitute), the community, and the larger society.

    The myth of the Individual vs the Collective ignores the symbiotic relationship which defines both. If you belong to a team, a work crew, the military, etc, you are obliged to put the welfare of the collective ahead of of your own selfish wishes. This form of cooperation is a reciprocal relationship, in which your welfare is also valued and protected by the others with whom you live or work.

    It’s not individualism or collectivism; rather it is individualism and community as a mutually beneficial relationship. This relationship can be abused by tyrannical corporations,governments, or bullies and exploiters. But it can also be strengthened with democratic and humane social policies.

  11. Patrick says:

    Thanks for the interesting article, Jon. Having studied sociology for many years I feel I should comment because in my view this piece misrepresents the discipline and also the sociology of Emile Durkhiem.

    In general sociology is naturally cynical about the notion of the individual, it’s true, and this can be very wearing at times when studying it. But there is a basic reason for this, being that so much data and observation clearly demonstrates that human behaviour is on the whole very predictable. A good example is that of opinion polls before election campaigns etc., the sampling methods and predictions that can be made are very often accurate, and the fact that they are (though obviously not as much as predictions you can make with the natural sciences) shows that sociology can be classified as a bona fide science in that it establishes certain laws of human behaviour that a lot more often than not hold true.

    In my view free will and individual inspiration do come into the mix as I guess people reading this blog will believe, and at this point sociological analysis loses some validity. Max Weber on the other hand, one of the other founders of classic sociology, recognised the value of the individual and developed a sociology which took into account individual actions and the effects they could have on society as a whole. So, whilst mostly deterministic (and rightly so as I have argued above), to characterize the social sciences as deterministic isn’t entirely fair.

    It might be a good idea to see the deterministic perspectives expressed by many in the social sciences as equivalent to Newtonian physics in that they establishes basic laws of phenomena (human behaviors), whilst sociologists like Weber look at deeper meanings, more individual philosophical perspectives, which might be equated to the unpredictability of quantum world in physics… not a perfect analogy, but I hope it illustrates my point a little better.

    On Durkheim, I feel I should defend him, as he was not quite the fundamentalist collectivist as this article represents, that accolade goes to Karl Marx, whom Durkheim is frequently contrasted to in the discipline. In his study of suicide, Durkheim did emphasize “egosistic” suicide being a major cause of distress for humans in modern society (especially urban society), and that a solution to this loneliness / meaningless etc. was for people to become more integrated into communities and contribute therein. However, he was not a communist like Marx, and also recognized a type of suicide he called “fatalistic” which was not as prevalent in modern industrial society. This is where an individual can be too overburdened by the regulation of a society or group, losing their individual identity and suffering as a consequence, suicide being one solution in such a suppressive environment. So although Durkheim espousing a theory of society that would translate into something that would resemble social democratic / socialist politics, a hard line communist / collectivist he most certainly was not. He emphasized the problem of individualism because that was the problem he observed in the society in which he lived, being a sickness he noted in Western society as a whole.

    Having said all this in my view the article is right to berate the excessive emphasis that most social scientists place on the deterministic aspects of human nature, I really did find it a very wearing and suppressive subject to be studying for this reason. The discipline has it’s obvious relevance and uses, but all too often the academics take the bit of knowledge they have and then generalize about life in ways that their science simply doesn’t justify.

    • OzzieThinker says:

      You invariably find hyperbolic devils have a cuddly side once the detail is scrutinised. Maybe that’s why they say “the devil is in the detail”.

      Thank you for your comment Patrick.

  12. […] original: Social sciences and the destruction of individuality Por Jon Rappoport  |  No More Fake News Traducido por […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.