The crossroad: Collectivism or American individualism
Our nation has a cancer called collectivism. Socialism, fascism, communism and progressivism are all forms of collectivism. Collectivism is a political movement that exists only so long as individuals are coerced into believing they have no right to exist.
Let me explain.
Collectivists believe the group reigns supreme, that individuals exist to support the group. The group supports the individual as long as the individual supports the group and not the other way around.
In its worst form, think Soviet Union or Communist China; individuals are replaceable/ disposable units of society. For the record, a group cannot act unless individuals in the group act. Individual action is “a priori.” The group is illusory, a chimera.
The dirty secret of collectivism is that it is aristocratic. A few individuals reign supreme and know full well that it is individual decisions that dictate policy. Hence the joke, socialism for thee but not for me. Coercion is mandatory.
Selling aristocracy is not easy, especially in a democratic republic like the United States of America. Government, corporate and media elites who understand how this collectivist thing works have infiltrated the power centers and now dictate regulations, curriculum, and cultural mores. As the cancer of American collectivism infects government, corporations and media, coercion of individuals is insidiously accomplished through indoctrination via government schools, illiberal higher education institutions and biased media outlets. Dependency is the fuel of collectivism, unlimited government the milieu in which it thrives.
Alternatively, Individualism is founded upon the belief that individuals are endowed with Liberty (freedom of individual responsibility), that this endowment comes not from man but from God. That individuals are inherently good and any restrictions on their voluntary actions, provided their actions do not harm others physically, psychologically or financially, are prohibited.
Individual liberty is an integral part of human DNA, a survival gene without which the species would have perished millennia ago. Each individual has the right to an equal opportunity. Results vary based on individual decisions. Historically, individuals acting in their own self-interest produce products other individuals acting in their own self-interest need and vice versa. This mutual dependency creates what we call the free market price system. It is organic and it works. Because limited government is the milieu in which individualism thrives, it is a natural fail safe against despots and totalitarianism.
By contrast collectivism promulgates the false premise that individuals are inherently evil and must be continually monitored to prevent them from creating inequality. One tool is identity politics, which pits citizen against citizen, encouraging them to snitch on each other when any are found to have strayed from the dictates of the group.
Sadly, this is life in Communist China. It is not, yet, life in America. Collectivism proffers a faux utopia wrapped in freedom from responsibility. When opened, it reveals bondage and a meaningless life. It must be snuffed out.
A brief history of the 20th Century does not present a salutary report on Government:
Over 200 million individuals murdered by governments around the world. The majority of which were monarchical or collectivist (socialist, fascist and communist).
What is this obsession with government and especially unlimited government? If there is anything in this world that needs to be limited and used sparingly, it is government.
Evil exists. Each individual has the potential to be tempted by it. There are, however, more safe guards against individuals obtaining absolute control over the levers of power in the private sector than in government. I would rather fight a thousand businessmen and women under the rule of law than one government official under the law of police power.
Utopia is impossible.
Dystopia is possible and to be avoided at all cost. All government, and especially collectivist ones, tend toward Dystopia.
How to best avoid it? Rethink the emphasis on governing. Instead of national, state and local, let’s try local, state and national. Let’s have the broadest government involvement be local, where individuals have the best chance to be heard and their choices honored. From there government involvement lessens and its authority becomes more limited.
Collectivism and Individualism are irreconcilable. We know it is either/or. Choose Individualism. It has a track record of liberty and prosperity for the greatest number of individuals. Collectivism has a track record of bondage and disparity for the greatest number — excluding, of course, favored party members.
The United States of America is exceptional because it is the only state ever in the course of human history, written or oral, where Liberty has been so elevated and enshrined.
“Give me Liberty, or give me death!” A declaration of the ultimate purpose of creation: Freedom of individual responsibility.
John Jensen is a real estate broker. He lives in East Lyme.
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