I have spoken to a couple of different people about these two concepts and have found some pretty interesting schools of thought. Some people believe that these two concepts can coexist. To an extent, I agree. In my opinion, it seems that we can still be individuals while simultaneously engaging within a community setting. For example, living in countries that promote freedom like Canada, the United States, or Holland, you have the choice to be whoever you want to be. You choose your lifestyle and the people you have around you. What do these countries have in common? They are all democratic which means people vote on what they think is right and for the benefit of their country/community. Even in this sense there seems to be underlying individualism going on because you vote on the way YOU think. Then based on the number of votes that is what the community does. We as a community are made up as individuals with different backgrounds, different thoughts and we all want what is best for our community for the most part but, to me, it seems odd to have these ideas as opposing views. Maybe I am misunderstanding the argument.
However, there does seem to be a connection with the two. I feel like you cannot have one without the other. In a way, individuality and community have to be perfectly balanced. When it comes to the political thought throughout history there is a mixed tradition. I would even make the argument that Emerson had to have some sort community concept to be able to be an individual. He says to be true to yourself but there are always going to be people that assimilate to the society norm. This does not take anything away from being an individual. It just means that, as an individual, you subscribe to and share certain thoughts and things that other people do as well.
I found myself asking this question: If everyone was an individual and freely expressing themselves and staying true to who they are, would there be similarities? If so, would the bonding over these similarities blend into communities of people? My argument is that there would have to be. That is why American political thought has to be a mixed tradition because it seems impossible to have one or the other. When analyzing the things that we have read in class I can always find hints and notions of either community or individualism. There does not seem to be a line drawn in the sand. One concept always seem exists when the other is present. When it comes to political thought, I believe that the only way to look at it is through a mixed perspective. It cannot be comprehended or defined as either Individualistic or Community.
When looking through a mixed lens, there are two different arguments: Socialism and Nativism. I find myself favoring the socialist side of the of the mixed lens but I can see that Nativism shares some similarities. When you look closely at the two opposing sides (socialism and nativism) there is the similarity of class and racism. There are groups of people who are treated as second class citizens and usually race has a lot to do with that. This is where I see the connection with the two. So in summary, I believe that these should not be two separate arguments, but rather one school of thought with minor differences.