collectivism

collectivist, n., adj.collectivistic, adj.collectivistically, adv.
/keuh lek"teuh viz'euhm/, n.
the political principle of centralized social and economic control, esp. of all means of production.
[1875-80; < F collectivisme; see COLLECTIVE, -ISM]

* * *

Any of several types of social organization that ascribe central importance to the groups to which individuals belong (e.g., state, nation, ethnic group, or social class).

It may be contrasted with individualism. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the first modern philosopher to discuss it (1762). Karl Marx was its most forceful proponent in the 19th century. Communism, fascism, and socialism may all be termed collectivist systems. See also communitarianism; kibbutz; moshav.

* * *

      any of several types of social organization in which the individual is seen as being subordinate to a social collectivity such as a state, a nation, a race, or a social class. Collectivism may be contrasted with individualism (q.v.), in which the rights and interests of the individual are emphasized.

      The earliest modern, influential expression of collectivist ideas in the West is in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's (Rousseau, Jean-Jacques) Du contrat social, of 1762 (see social contract), in which it is argued that the individual finds his true being and freedom only in submission to the “general will” of the community. In the early 19th century the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel argued that the individual realizes his true being and freedom only in unqualified submission to the laws and institutions of the nation-state, which to Hegel was the highest embodiment of social morality. Karl Marx (Marx, Karl) later provided the most succinct statement of the collectivist view of the primacy of social interaction in the preface to his Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy: “It is not men's consciousness,” he wrote, “which determines their being, but their social being which determines their consciousness.”

      Collectivism has found varying degrees of expression in the 20th century in such movements as socialism, communism, and fascism. The least collectivist of these is social democracy, which seeks to reduce the inequities of unrestrained capitalism by government regulation, redistribution of income, and varying degrees of planning and public ownership. In communist systems collectivism is carried to its furthest extreme, with a minimum of private ownership and a maximum of planned economy.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Collectivism — • The term is sometimes employed as a substitute for socialism Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Collectivism     Collectivism      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • collectivism — col‧lec‧tiv‧is‧m [kəˈlektɪvɪzm] noun [uncountable] ECONOMICS when the state plans and controls the economy of a country and owns the means of production and distribution: • The Labour Party has moved away from its traditional objectives of… …   Financial and business terms

  • Collectivism — Col*lect iv*ism, n. [Cf. F. collectivisme.] (Polit. Econ.) The doctrine that land and capital should be owned by society collectively or as a whole; communism. W. G. Summer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • collectivism — index pool Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • collectivism — 1880, in socialist theory, from COLLECTIVE (Cf. collective) + ISM (Cf. ism). Related: Collectivist (1882 as both n. and adj.), collectivization (1890) …   Etymology dictionary

  • collectivism — ► NOUN 1) the giving of priority to a group over each individual in it. 2) the ownership of land and the means of production by the people or the state. DERIVATIVES collectivist adjective & noun collectivize (also collectivise) verb …   English terms dictionary

  • collectivism — [kə lek′tə viz΄əm] n. [Fr collectivisme ( c. 1880): see COLLECTIVE & ISM] the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution by the people collectively; socialism collectivist n., adj. collectivistic adj …   English World dictionary

  • Collectivism — For the magazine, see Collectivism (magazine). Collectivism is any philosophic, political, economic or social outlook that emphasizes the interdependence of every human in some collective group and the priority of group goals over individual… …   Wikipedia

  • collectivism — [[t]kəle̱ktɪvɪzəm[/t]] N UNCOUNT Collectivism is the political belief that a country s industries and services should be owned and controlled by the state or by all the people in a country. Socialism and communism are both forms of collectivism …   English dictionary

  • collectivism — The political theory that regards the collective as the fundamental unit of social authority; it is usually opposed both to liberal individualism, and to the larger authority of the state. A collective is a self governing association of… …   Philosophy dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.