(1) State is not-a necessary evil:
The individualist’s view that state is a necessary evil, is not correct. The state is the result of social instinct of man as Aristotle has said, “State came into existence for the sake of mere life but it continues to exist for the sake of good life”.
The individualist view that the progress of civilization is possible in the freedom of the individual is also not correct. “The higher the state of civilization”, observed Huxley, “the more completely do the actions of one member of the social body influence all the rest; and the less possible is it for any one man to do wrong without interfering more or less with the freedom of all his fellow citizens, so that even upon the narrowest view of the functions of the state, it must be admitted to have wider powers than the advocates of the laissez faire theory are disposed to admit”. Thus in a progressive civilization, more control of the state is needed.
Today the state has become a welfare institution. Burke has rightly said, “State is a partnership in all sciences, a partnership in all art, a partnership in all virtue and in all perfection”. State is essential for the development and progress of man. It is a historical fact that the state has done a lot for the welfare of man. Thus it is improper to call it a necessary evil.
(2) Laws do not curtail liberty:
John Stuart Mill stated that with increase in the activities of the state, the laws will also increase and consequently the liberty of the individual will be curtailed. Today, no wise man can agree with this view of John Stuart Mill because the state enacts many such laws as help the people in their welfare. For instance, if the state or government makes laws for the benefit of the workers, how is their liberty curtailed by such laws?
(3) Man is not always the best judge of this interest:
The individualists were of the view that each individual is the best guardian of his own interests and, therefore, he can think of them himself. But this is not a reality. Many people and classes are not so intelligent as to know what is good for them.
Thus Dr. Gamer says, “Not only is the individual not always a competent judge of his own interests as our economic consumer, but in affairs of personal conduct, he is often not to be trusted, particularly in matters relating to his health or safety or moral welfare.
The truth is, society may be better judge of a man’s intellectual, moral, or physical needs, than he is himself and it may rightfully protect him from disease and danger against his own wishes and compel him to educate his children and to live a decent life”. Sidwick, Laveleye and Jerons, etc., also hold identical views.
(4) Open competition is undesirable:
The individualists were the supporters of open competition but when this theory was given a practical shape, many dangerous results accrued in Europe. How could the labourers compete with the capitalists? It encouraged the exploitation of the labourers and their condition became miserable, which resulted in the rise of socialism in Europe.
If even today, the government does not control of profits of the capitalists, and increase in the prices of the commodities is not checked, not only the condition of the labourers would worsen but the consumers would also face the same fate.
In India, before the declaration of Internal Emergency of June 25, 1975 the situation was the same. It is essential that there should be the state regulation and control over industries and trade. Otherwise, many undesirable results would accrue.
(5) The Doctrine of the survival of the fittest is most dangerous:
It will be a great foolishness to give recognition to Spencer’s theory of the survival of the fittest, because it will result in creating the same situation as is seen in the jungle, where stronger animals consider the weaker ones as their food.
With the acceptance of this theory, there will be the rule of thieves, dacoits, rogues and physically strong people and, in place of justice and truth; the supremacy of brute physical power will prevail. The society will have the same anarchy as was depicted by Hobbes in his state of nature. Thus the progress of human civilization and culture will be retarded and there will be an end to social peace and order.
(6) Welfare of the individual lies in the welfare of the society:
Individualists say that the society came into being for the welfare of the individual and many functions of the individual do not influence the society. But the reality is that the individual is an inseparable organ of the society and he learns everything from the society.
Without society, the development of individual is not possible. An individual’s welfare lies in the welfare of the society. Due to individualistic concept, the individual thinks himself above the society, which is not a correct approach.
(7) We cannot limit the functions of the state on the basis of past mistakes:
The individualists place the past mistakes of society before us in an exaggerated form and say that, on this basis, the functions of the state should be limited. But this viewpoint is not correct. The reason for this is that though the state did commit some mistakes in the past, yet this fact cannot become a guiding factor for future, because as compared to state, private institutions have committed more mistakes, on which the individualists depend very much.
In the past, the state has performed many such functions as proved beneficial to the individual and the society. Functions like social security, labour welfare, abolition of zamindari, control on prices, education, health and increase of productions, performed by the state, endorse this view.
It is also not necessary that the state would repeat its past mistakes in future also. The fact is that the state would definitely learn something from its past mistakes and it would not repeat those mistakes in future.
(8) We need state for furthering human welfare:
If we accept the individualists’ view, the functions of the state would be limited. Now the question is who should make arrangements for Railways, Posts and Telegraphs, education health, roads, hospitals, electricity, dams, etc.?
Individualists want to transfer all these functions to private hands, but private institutions cannot perform these functions properly. This has been proved in almost all the countries. Therefore, it is essential that the functions of the state should be expanded.
(9) Individualists’ notions about the individual and society are wrong:
Individualists’ notion is that by nature man is selfish. Society for them is a collection of disintegrated individuals, but both these notions are wrong. The fact is that though man is selfish to some extent, yet he is social. Where he not a social animal, human civilization would not have progressed so much. Secondly, human society is not an inanimate thing like a machine. It is an institution with organic unity in it.