ABSTRACT

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book argues that all societies have some theoretical conception of the individual. While all societies have some theory of the individual, the Discovery of the Individual was a process unique to Western culture. The discovery is the background discourse out of which the specific doctrine of individualism emerged. Individualism and capitalism develop independently and separately. Capitalism influences individualism by confirming its discursive dominance and emphasizing the possessive aspects of individualistic theory. There is no dominant ideology in modern capitalist societies. Although the conventional position is that individualism and capitalism are necessarily conjoined, the chapter shows that they developed separately. Political struggle was an essential feature of the emerging dominance of individualism as a general discourse. Individualism shapes capitalism in a particular mould, in that is provides a particular type of economic subject, namely, the individual and individual property ownership.