June 27, 2008

Collectivists vs. the Individual

Collectivists have been around since Carl Marx and they never seem to give up. Upon defeat they simply try a new argument, a new tactic and are back in business.

The economic policies of the Soviet Union were an utter disaster. The tactics employed to enforce those policies were barbaric. Individuals do not wish to labor for the benefit of the collective. Individuals labor for their own benefit, that's natural law. Do tigers kill their prey to feed the entire animal kingdom? Of course not. Why would they? They do so to feed themselves. That's their nature. To require a person to work against his own nature requires force, either at the end of a gun or by threat of penalties and imprisonment.

The collectivists didn't learn from the example of the Soviet Union. They choose to forget it, they don't want it taught. They don't want to hear that Hitler came to power through a populist, collective message, as all fascists do.

The Great Depression was a great time for the collectivists. The ills of the world were blamed on capitalism and greed. Through FDR many of their dreams became reality, with enormouse expansion of the federal government and government control over the lives of American citizens. They were able to sell it to the people because times were tough. Americans would have survived the Depression and gone on to flourish without all of FDR's programs. Those programs may have actually prolonged the depression, but the feel good message of "hope and change" was too much for many Americans to resist.

Then came the "war on poverty". More money taken from the pockets of hard working Americans to create a new class of citizens, those dependent on their fellow Americans. Billions of tax payer dollars have gone into the "war on poverty" yet they tell us it hasn't been enough. Billions of dollars go into failing schools, yet they don't want us to be able to choose which schools to send our children. Rather than teach the virtues of self reliance, hard work and determination, a message is sent to the poor that nothing they can do will make a difference, that they are helpless and hopeless without the government's help.

When is the last time you turned on the news to hear about hard working Americans who simply raise their families, pay their bills on time and plan for the future? Isn't that what millions of Americans do? Why aren't those people celebrated? Because, the collectivists don't want to send messages of individual achievement. They want those of us that work hard to see pictures of the poor, of suffering and illness. They want people who achieved success through hard work to feel guilty. As if someone cannot achieve success without causing misery to another.

A fairly recent tactic they're using is global warming. They scare people. They predict terrible things. They convince people to stop thinking about what is in their own, individual interests in favor of what is best for the world. Lawmakers enact legislation producing unintended consequences such as global starvation, sky rocketing gas prices, economic slow down and job losses. Then they blame it on capitalists.

The collectivists will never go away. They have gotten their way slowly through the years. They hope people won't notice as their rights and freedoms are eroded. They try to silence those who understand their goals and tactics. There will come a day when they have gone too far.


diggerfoot said...

I suppose society would consider me an individual. I live in the same middle class house I was raised in. I refuse to join any political party or align myself with any ideology, preferring instead to think for myself. I have backpacked in the wilderness for thousands of miles. I pride myself on earning all my income with labor, unlike stockholders or other investors. My father relied on savings for retirement, which were the fruits of his labor only. Unfortunately, retirement plans that make money off of other people's backs have been forced upon me.

Yet I realize something that you have gotten wrong here. Natural humans, as best represented by early foraging cultures, were not individuals as you described but obtained and shared their food communally. The evidence is so strong on this that you clearly did not research this but, instead, wished this to be so. We are, by basic nature, pack animals that have an instinct to belong to each other. We should not deny this instinct in our desire to be individuals.

I have a strong faith and desire for free markets, but something tells me we would view this differently. If you are interested in my take on free markets, check out the free market tags at The Middle Class Forum (www.middleclassforum.org)

S.A. Andrews said...

Some are pack animals. I am a loner. While I, like most, rely on the larger society for food etc., I prefer to live apart.
What I think you miss, diggerfoot, is the size of the collective and it's authority. Small bands of people co-existed under a very strict set of rigidly enforced rules.
With urbanization and big government, people have lost he ability to govern themselves at the local level, which is what primitive culture is all about.
Great post LC, as the saying goes an 'apple doesn't fall very far from the tree.' Obama's mommy was a communist, so your point was not lost on me.

The Lonely Conservative said...

Thanks, SA. Obammy's mommy was a commy. Has a nice ring to it!

Digger-If it were so natural for humans to travel in packs and forage, why don't more humans choose to do that today? Why have individuals invented, built and created so much if our natural state is to live like cave men? Would we not have just remained like cave men?

I believe it is evil to encourage dependence.

ZORRO said...