The myth of the collective

The Czech Republic needs a concept. Government concepts of education / transport / industry and more. Well, at least some people think so. They defend their planning theses (directly or covertly) with a kind of "public", "social" or "national" interest.

You too will be in solidarity!
You too will be in solidarity!

However, I argue that there is no collective interest. There is no "public", "social" or "national" interest. If these interests do not exist, all possible "conceptions of development" have no justification.

What is really hidden under the guise of collective interest is usually just an attempt to enforce one's individual interest through coercion (of the state) at the expense of someone else.

For coffee with Skoda

The crucial question is: is the team without people? And are people without a collective?

In other words: is Škoda (a company) without people, individuals? And are the employees of Škoda (the company, I include the management, etc.) without that company?

The answer is more than simple: employees without Damage are, of course, there are. Damage without employees, individuals, no.

Generally speaking, an individual without collective it still exists, while a collective without individuals does not. There is no humanity if there are no people. Therefore, if we want to understand the essence of the phenomena that we associate with humanity (the collective), we must examine the actions of individuals (people).

If collective entities do not really exist, they cannot act. The premise of action is the expected goal - if the collective entity does not act, it has no goal. The only one who acts and has a goal is the individual, the individuality.

In other words, if we want to create a comprehensive theory of the behavior of collective entities (ergo societies, nations, markets), we can do nothing other than based on the theory of individual behavior. Macroeconomics must be strictly based on microeconomics.

The "collective" does not need a plan, because it has no goal, it does not act, it does not hobbies. The one who plans is only the individual who plans on the basis of his subjective preferences, interests, subjective expectations, information; an individual who plans for himself.

When an individual calls for a "collective plan," he does nothing but elevate his interest above the interests of others and makes his interest a "collective" interest to which everyone must submit. It is therefore clear that by promoting this interest as a "collective", someone will benefit, someone will lose. This means, then, that the "collective" does not gain at the moment, but loses in the long run.

What is a collective?

So what is a collective if it does not really exist? The answer can be found in microeconomics - in business theory.

In general, an enterprise (which is a collective entity) arises when the costs of managing the enterprise are lower than the costs of transactions.

The company is thus a tangle of equal contracts, a system of voluntary cooperation, where people within the company generally have one thing in common: to acquire.

It is, of course, easier for people "outside" these contracts to create a virtual entity, where up to thousands of contractual relationships can be combined into one "company". Since people within one conspiracy of contracts (one enterprise) are usually outside many other conspiracies, people within one conspiracy also perceive other conspiracies as enterprises (collective entities).

If we see many individuals with one skin color (eg black), they will create one collective entity ("black race") for their perception. However, the collective entity is not real, it is not in itself ("race" does not act, it is not real), only individuals (people with black skin color) act.

If we stop perceiving the collective entity as such (eg we stop thinking about races), individuals remain (they will still be blacks). However, if there are no blacks as such (eg there will be genocide of blacks), there will be no collective entity (eg race of blacks).

The team is a simplification that reduces our costs, for example in conversation - try to say "Škoda" instead of "a tangle of voluntary contracts producing cars in a factory in a place where many individuals live at 50 ° north latitude, 14 ° east longitude.

It is a simplification of the same nature as when I say that wooden chairs are made of wood. Of course they are not - they are also painted, metal (nails), work… But try to say "wooden chairs, paint" instead of "wooden chairs"


So the collective does not really exist. There is no collective interest, the team does not act, has no goals, does not evaluate. It doesn't matter if we call the collective "enterprise", "public", society, nation or whatever. Their basis is always the same: it is an individual.


  1. by the way an individual that nothing can do? and what would you like? Do you think that such a clause or paroubek is an unlimited monarch? that he is not an ordinary person with his problems? Don't you understand that especially today, in peacetime, power is in our hands every day since breakfast, when our daily choice decides on the existence and non-existence of dairies, bakeries, etc.? (of course only our share of the consumer market) but that is exactly the magic and the basis of democracy…

    there is only one thing worse than slavery - ignorance

  2. Mr. Cactus, you're not here for the trade union convention (or worse).

    a group of people may have the same interests but not necessarily MANDATORY !!!!!!!
    (see: the altruistic rich, the greedy communist, the slave who dismisses the slave - why do they act against the "collective interest"?

  3. The individual alone can do nothing. Therefore, it is advantageous when people with similar interests promote them together. Only sometimes is hierarchy and competition at the forefront, while other times equality and cooperation. The bearers of right-wing ideologies, ie the nobility, the bourgeoisie, the merchants, know this very well. When would they be without various aristocratic units, cities, guilds, Hanseatics, political parties? Speaking of the non-existence of a collective, it is just such propaganda intended for rather poorer sympathizers of the right, to whom it does well that they are "individuals". The common interests of the same social group objectively exist, even if the individuals treated in this way are not aware of them, because they are not a crowd, they are enough for themselves.

  4. And we are at a problem: in order for politicians in elections to get approval from the "collective", it must be unanimous consent - so no one must be against it. Otherwise, he did not receive approval from the whole nation, but from selected groups of individuals.

    This is not a problem in the company, because existence in the company is voluntary. The state is obligatory (can I be a non-citizen?)

    And again - there is no interest from the team. What a politician does is primarily in his interest (the theory of "public choice" - a politician is primarily an egoist and he is about re-election). Voters act according to their interests and preferences, as do politicians. There is no interest of the collective, the collective does not exist, it does not think, it has no brain, there is no collective mind, knowledge, existence. And despite any consent. I can't give a politician powers that I don't have myself - how can I give them to him if I don't?

    But there is no public interest, so it is a "vulgar phrase" - but in the last paragraph you have de facto confirmed what I am saying here all the time.

  5. As an individual, it is difficult for me to deny me the right to decide that I do not want to make a decision, and to leave the decision on my affairs to someone else. By power of attorney, employment contract, elections - it doesn't matter, the result is the same, only the scope of the transferred powers differs. At that moment, my interest of the individual becomes the interest of the collective, and whatever the representative of the collective does is also the interest of the collective, because he received prior consent to act on behalf of all its members (I do not claim to have received approval from ALL MEMBERS). This is not a problem in the company, because there is clearly limited consent to representation. In a democracy, this is a problem, because a 51% majority (sometimes a much smaller "majority") decides that I have to give unlimited power of attorney, even though I have the opposite opinion, and the only thing I can do about it is move somewhere in the jungle.

    I'm not expelling anyone to emigrate, I'm staying here too, even though I don't like a lot of things. But I also don't lie that I'm out of the system - giving me one ten-millionth of the legitimacy of the current government. If the outvoted half of the population left, the government would notice the hell, until no one rebels, so they can rest easy and continue their "reforms".

    Back to the public interest. We argue more or less about words. You claim that it does not exist, in the sense of the uniform interest of all individuals living in a given territory, because something so complex cannot be detected other than on the free market. That's fine, it fits the theory, but the theory doesn't appeal to many people. I'm just adding that the phrase is commonly used as a political trick, it has nothing to do with the real public. There are only selfish goals for a few individuals who had enough of the desire for power to get to a place where decisions can be made, and enough charisma to be able to do that. And they received an unlimited power of attorney for 4 years. It would make it a vulgar phrase, not a claim that it doesn't exist.

  6. Huan:

    ad enterprise - certainly, so you yourself recognize that an enterprise is a virtual construct and a collective entity. As I write in the article.

    Enterprise is an example of a collective entity here, just as a collective entity is a race, a nation, a state. Volunteering / involuntary has nothing to do with it, in the context of the article the only important thing is that they are collective entities.

    Ad acting on behalf of the company - acting the owner who is interested (the interest is not the conspirator, but the owner). The owners (directly or indirectly) authorized by the owner, who have accepted this role voluntarily in their interest, also act. By "defending" the interests of the business in this case, it means defending the interests of the owner. In other words, there is no interest of the company itself, what really exists is only the interest of the owner.

    She PO does not really exist, it is a virtual construct anchored in the law, which is nothing special (there are takových)

    People do not express that will by not emigrating. Many people were born in a given country, they did not influence this, they are not to blame. Wanting them to move out if he doesn't like it is like telling a black man that if he doesn't like racism (from the state), let him repaint.

    The "people" did not give up voluntarily. The majority forced a minority to do so (we live in a democracy, that).

    Thus, the public interest does not have to be at least identical to the interest of all individuals forming the public, which is usually not true. Regardless of the fact that even then it is really just a common interest of some group made up of individuals = it is the interest of those individuals. The public does not really exist.

  7. At first glance, this seems reasonable, but the latter… The company is only legally based on the lowest transaction costs * how the individual-owner can organize the conglomerate for their own benefit *, or how individuals with similar interests can organize each other for mutual benefit.

    However, with the transaction costs of labeling in natural language or people outside the company, it has nothing to do, employees do not (rightly) care if a person breaks their tongue when they want to name their conglomerate, or if they choose a one-word label for them. Many companies and countries refer in the colloquial language differently than their official name. And mixing skin color into it is nonsense, the company is based on voluntary contracts, you can't become a contractual black man, or give up membership.

    Although the company consists only of individuals and without them it makes no sense, each company also has several people who represent it externally. They act as individuals, but act on behalf of the whole undertaking, including its subcontractors, to the extent of contracted subcontractors, either because they own it or have been authorized by the owner of the undertaking. Other employees voluntarily relinquished the right to act on behalf of the company externally by signing a contract to work at the belt - only in matters outside their employment do they retain their own identity. Leaders can also respect internal pressures (the threat of a strike), but the actions of individuals for the environment are still the equivalent of the actions of the entire team. So, within the given company, there are individual individuals, but on the outside there is also the relevant legal entity. The interest of the company exists, it is identical with the interest of the owner and limited by the possibility of employee strikes. You can go for a coffee with a Škoda, finding contacts for the board is a matter of a minute.

    It's similar with the state. It is made up of people and makes no sense without them, but in some way those people have expressed their willingness to follow the leadership - at least by not emigrating yet. They have voluntarily relinquished the right to decide for themselves. With the current wording and compliance with the constitution, it is better to say almost everything that makes sense to decide - for example, the state can easily owe me without explicit consent, a right that I would not even entrust to my own family. The public interest also exists, is identical to the personal interest of the state leadership, and is limited by the possibility of a strike by employees (and owners in one person).

    The only difference is in the way of deciding how to act externally. In the company, decisions are made by directive, only things that make sense to decide on are decided, if possible, by experts on the given problem and do not talk to employees outside of employment. In the state, decisions are made collectively, absolutely everything, and everyone can talk about everything - most of all to other people's lives.

  8. I understand the point, but the explanation seems so rough to me. I will not print this on the bulletin board for work 😀

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