Individualism is all about taking care of yourself; it is the belief and practice that every person is unique and self-reliant. A belief in individualism also implies that you believe that the government should bud out of your individual affairs.

The concept of individualism is rooted in historical contexts where people’s personal differences were dismissed or even punished by the ruling body. In particular, the United States is known for having a strong bent towards individualism because it was founded by people who sought the freedom to practice whatever religion they chose. The counterpoints to individualism are socialism and communism (among others). Those who prefer individualism often site fear of governmental control over their life decisions as reason for that inclination.

Primary Meanings of individualism

the quality of being individual
the doctrine that government should not interfere in commercial affairs
Full Definitions of individualism

n the quality of being individual

individuality, individuation
commonality, commonness
sharing of common attributes
singularity, uniqueness
the quality of being one of a kind
distinctiveness, peculiarity, speciality, specialness, specialty
a distinguishing trait
foible, idiosyncrasy, mannerism
a behavioral attribute that is distinctive and peculiar to an individual
Type of:
a distinguishing feature of your personal nature

n a belief in the importance of the individual and the virtue of self-reliance and personal independence

rugged individualism
individualism in social and economic affairs; belief not only in personal liberty and self-reliance but also in free competition
Type of:
any cognitive content held as true

n the doctrine that government should not interfere in commercial affairs

laissez faire
Type of:
doctrine, ism, philosophical system, philosophy, school of thought
a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school

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