Individual Rights & Collective Responsibilities

Corey deVos Polarity Map

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In the dynamic interplay between individual rights and collective responsibilities, we find the heartbeat of a functioning society. This polarity encapsulates the tension between the autonomy of the individual and the needs and demands of the larger community. It is a dance of freedom and duty, where the rights to personal freedom, expression, and pursuit of happiness are constantly weighed against the collective responsibility to maintain harmony, safety, and wellbeing in the society.
Individual Rights stand as a testament to the value placed on personal freedom and self-determination. This pole emphasizes the right to autonomy, the freedom to express oneself, and the pursuit of personal happiness. It is the bedrock of democratic societies, fostering innovation, creativity, and personal development. However, an overemphasis on individual rights can lead to self-indulgence, where personal desires overshadow communal needs, potentially fostering inequality and discord.
Collective Responsibilities represent the obligations and duties we hold towards our community and society at large. This pole underscores the importance of working together, fostering a sense of belonging, and nurturing a community where everyone thrives. It promotes social harmony, mutual respect, and cooperation. Yet, an overemphasis on collective responsibilities can lead to suppression, stifling individual creativity and potentially leading to a loss of personal freedoms and autonomy.
Individual volunteerism emerges from a harmonious blend of individual rights and collective responsibilities. It encourages individuals to willingly and proactively contribute to the community, marrying personal freedoms with a deep sense of duty towards the collective. It fosters a society where individuals are not only focused on personal growth but are also committed to the wellbeing of the community, creating a vibrant, dynamic, and harmonious society.
An unintegrated approach to this polarity manifests as either self-indulgence, where individual rights run rampant, disregarding the needs and wellbeing of the community, or suppression, where an overemphasis on collective responsibilities stifles individual freedoms and creativity. Both scenarios create a fractured society, marked by discord and a lack of cohesive community spirit.
Tips for
To foster a society grounded in individual volunteerism, it is essential to cultivate a deep understanding and respect for both individual rights and collective responsibilities. This could involve educational initiatives that foster civic awareness and personal development, encouraging individuals to see the value in both personal autonomy and community engagement. It is about creating spaces where individuals can freely express themselves while also actively contributing to the community, fostering a society that is both vibrant and harmonious.

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From Socrates to Social Media: Renewing Our Commitment to Free Speech

Nadine Strossen, Mark Fischler and Corey deVos

Mark Fischler and Corey deVos are joined by Nadine Strossen, a renowned advocate for free speech and former president of the ACLU, to traverse the rich history and the evolving frontier of free speech — a legacy that reaches from the philosophical debates of ancient Greece to today’s dynamic platforms of social media. Together, Nadine, Mark, and Corey illuminate the journey of free speech (a crowning achievement of the rational/modern (Orange) stage) celebrating it as a beacon of individual rights and a testament to the unyielding human pursuit of truth and expression.

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Corey deVos

About Corey deVos

Corey W. deVos is Editor-in-Chief of Integral Life, as well as Managing Editor of He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.