One of the strawiest straw-men ignited by those with a collective bent is that the support for classical liberal ideas is akin to atomistic antihumanity. No need to delve deeper into that point here aside from pointing out that this is not at all an uncommon charge. Of course, the entire point of classical liberalism is to celebrate and inculcate the emergence of voluntary social arrangements – that forcing such collective arrangements is inferior on many moral and consequential criteria.
Which brings me to a very short conversation I had with a stranger today. I was looking at a solar display at the local zoo when I mumbled that I’d love to sever the chord from my electric supplier if solar and battery technology improved enough to allow me to do it. After all, we’ve already done such severing with our television provider and are quite happy. The stranger heartily agreed that “going off grid” was not just convenient but moral and would save the planet (not in those words of course). Now, since I am such an intrepid jackass, I then asked the guy a rhetorical question, “so, it’s morally appropriate and great for the planet to be a crass energy individualist, an energy atomist?” I then reasked the question by dropping the adjective.
Of course, I asked no such question, but I sure was thinking it.