Picollo inspired this post when she mentioned in this post [warning french] that individualism was a big problem in our society. While I agree with her that their are some big problem with our society I do not think what she referees to is individualism, I personally think it should be egoism. You see, I understand individualism as to be a society model where the need of the society is secondary to the need of the society. Such society takes pride in the achievement of it best people and try to find means to get it's most unfortunate to achieve their potential. It keeps tax low to leave as much of the economical power as possible into the hand of individual. Such a society is not necessarily egocentrist as it's goal is that all it individual citizen achieve happiness, health and whatever their ambition might be, no matter who they are. It just leave the matter of helping those in needs to other who are more fortunate.
Now egoism, this society like individualism place the need of the individual above the need of the society, however unlike individualism people it encourage people not to think about every individual in the society as worthy but to think that the only one that matters is yourself. In a way it is simply an application of Individualism without social awareness. A egoistic society is jealous of those who succeed, saying they could only have done so by hurting other, it leaves tax low to give everyone economic powers but it doesn't value helping another human being.
I see Quebec right now as an egoist society, sure we have our social program and we "help" everyone in needs (and even some that are not in need) but we suffer from a "I have a right to it mentality". Many people (and I'll include myself in this) tend to see other as owning us, to see society as redeemable to our self. The government should give us that, the other person should give us right of way, it is not our fault it's the other... Just this morning I had an example of that, I was riding my bike along the riverside promenade that is reserved for biking, roller-blading and walking when all of the sudden an old guy comes along driving his car... yeah you read correctly he is driving a car along a promenade a promenade barely large enough for four bikes side by side. As I wasn't in an hurry and thought the guy might be confused (he looked at least 60 years old) I gestured for him to stop and try to talk to him. The exchange we had went a little like this:
"Sir, this isn't a road you shouldn't be driving here.
- I've seen the town guy drive here so I can drive here.
- but sir, this place is for biking and it is dangerous for us if you drive here.
-Don't you think I know it's a place for biking I live right next to it.
- Sir, you might hit someone.
-What you think I can't see clearly?
-That as nothing to do with it sir, you're driving outside the road someplace where children and people are not expecting a car and maybe distracted. It's dangerous for us that you drive here.
-I pay for this with my tax and I've seen the the town guy drive here, beside I'm not going far.
-But sir..." at that point I realise that the only way i was going to make him change is mind would be to lay in front of the car and let him hit me and not leave the scene until the police had been call. Unfortunately I did not have the kind of time needed to do that, I just hope he didn't kill or hit anyone while doing this... and the worse part is I'm pretty sure it wasn't the first time he drove there. But, as he said he paid for it and saw some town guy doing it so he as it's right and screw me if it might be dangerous for me. Now that Egoism.