I'm looking for an antonym for individualistic that ideologically corresponds to valuing the common good above the individual.

For example when Spock says "the needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few", what ideological stance could this view be ascribed to?

4 Answers 4


I think collectivism may convey the concept you are referring to (www.merriam-webster.com):

  • emphasis on collective rather than individual action or identity

  • Any of several types of social organization that ascribe central importance to the groups to which individuals belong (e.g., state, nation, ethnic group, or social class). It may be contrasted with individualism. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the first modern philosopher to discuss it (1762). Karl Marx was its most forceful proponent in the 19th century. Communism, fascism, and socialism may all be termed collectivist systems. See also communitarianism; kibbutz; moshav.

Collectivistic cultures: (www:psychology.about.com)

  • emphasize the needs and goals of the group as a whole over the needs and wishes of each individual. In such cultures, relationships with other members of the group and the interconnectedness between people play a central role in each person's identity. Cultures in Asia, Central America, South America, and Africa tend to be more collectivistic.

Collectivism is what you're looking for.

According to Wikipedia:

Collectivism is any philosophic, political, religious, economic, or social outlook that emphasizes the interdependence of every human. Collectivism is a basic cultural element that exists as the reverse of individualism in human nature (in the same way high context culture exists as the reverse of low context culture). Collectivist orientations stress the importance of cohesion within social groups (such as an "in-group", in what specific context it is defined) and in some cases, the priority of group goals over individual goals. Collectivists often focus on community, society, nation or country. It has been used as an element in many different and diverse types of government and political, economic and educational philosophies throughout history and most human societies in practice contain elements of both individualism and collectivism. Some examples of collectivist cultures include Pakistan, India and Japan

  • I realize you probably wrote your answer concurrently with Josh61, but in the end I had to pick one accepted answer, and since Josh61's answer was published a few minutes before yours I went for that one. Thanks a lot for your answer though.
    – Arnfred
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 1:28

Moralistic or collective society

Source: http://www.wtamu.edu/~jrausch/polcul.html


While I don't think it's better than the other answer (collectivism), another word you might consider is socialist/socialism. Unfortunately it has a lot of polarizing political connotations (which vary widely from place to place) that increase your risk of being misunderstood, but there are certainly audiences where socialism would have a more positive connotation than collectivism.

The wikipedia disambiguation page is informative and might have other useful ideas for wording for related concepts:


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