Individualism and Consequences

The first and most fundamental step to becoming an individualist is to demand of yourself and others that they live with the consequences of their own choices in life.

This is why the world has so few individualists. Anti-individualism permeates every facet of society: culture, politics, families. Only in bottom-line business do you find individualism with any degree of frequency, and even then it’s rare. It’s rare in small businesses and virtually non-existent in large ones.

And it’s at the root of all problems.

Radley Balko has a good critique of that load of BS they’re calling Live 8. Read it and see what I’m talking about. And note: when you demand that the risks of the potential downside consequences of your choices be born by someone else, you’re not just affecting them. By making those risks unprofitable for anyone without your clout at getting others to bear them, you’re also harming others who just might profit and prosper from undertaking those risks head on and coming out on top.

As I said, I look around and I almost never see an individualists, anymore.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.


  1. Kyle Bennett on July 6, 2005 at 07:10


    There's a picure bigger than you can even imagine exists. Your "bigger picture" is but a single pane in a skyscraper. The foundation of that skyscraper is the individual.

  2. Richard Nikoley on July 6, 2005 at 08:02

    Only three possibilities exist, Carrie:

    1. You're blind, i.e., not looking or don't have the capacity to see.

    2. You're ignorant and/or have allowed youself to be brainwashed.

    3. You're lying, i.e., being dishonestly manipulative.

    Individualism _is_ the willingness of bearing the consequences of one's own choices and actions at _all_ levels–personally, professionally, and in society.

    There is almost none of that going on at any level. Everyone is seeking subsidies of one sort or another.

  3. carrie on July 6, 2005 at 01:21

    i see too many individualists and not enough concern for the bigger picture.

  4. josh kerbel on July 6, 2005 at 12:44

    Good post, but I have to disagree with your idea on small businesses. As someone who finances small companies, the owners live with the outcome of their decisions. We take personal guarantees from people, so they live up to their end of the bargin or else. Can't get more individual than that

  5. Richard Nikoley on July 6, 2005 at 13:27

    josh, perhaps you misunderstood. small business is about the only place i find individualists, so we're on the same page. i have a small company myself (20-30 employees, depending), and I too am on the hook persoanally.

  6. CT on July 6, 2005 at 13:08

    i agree with you…

  7. josh kerbel on July 19, 2005 at 11:34

    Ah, I see said the blind man

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